Samsung Galaxy Buds/Buds+/Live randomly dead? Here’s how to fix them
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+, and Galaxy Buds Live are the closest rivals to Apple’s AirPods, at least in terms of popularity. While there are a few quirks to each of them, this range of earbuds from Samsung are one of the safest, general recommendations for the average consumer. But sometimes, accidents do happen, and you may land in a situation where one or both of your earbuds stop working, no longer showing up on the Galaxy Wearable app. If you are in this situation with the Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+ or Galaxy Buds Live, this might just be the fix for you.
If you are not using your Galaxy Buds for a few days, you might land up in a situation where the buds do not turn on. They appear dead, with no reaction when you remove them from the case or pop them back in. The Galaxy Wearable app may show some battery charge on the case, but nothing for one of the buds. If both the buds are dead, then the case might not even appear on the Wearable app as the case does not directly communicate with the phone and needs the Buds in working condition to communicate. While the issue does not happen if you regularly use your Buds, it apparently happens if you haven’t used the device for a longer stretch of time. I faced the same on my unit of the Galaxy Buds+, where both of the buds died and did not react at all.
A guide on Reddit presented instructions on how to fix dead Galaxy Buds. Trying out the steps on our unit, I can confirm that this does indeed revive dead Buds, but it takes a lot of patience in the process. Here are the steps we followed to revive both the dead earbuds on our Galaxy Buds+:
- Ensure that there is sufficient charge on the case. The case has an LED on the outside, and it should light up green when you connect to a power source (wired/wireless). Green indicates full battery, but the process should work as long as you know there is sufficient charge in the case.
- Open the lid on the case.
- If one of your earbuds is working, ensure that it has sufficient charge (ideally 100%) and remove it from the case. This way, the working earbud will not interfere by displaying its own charging status, and the case will report the charging status on only the dead earbud.
- If both of your earbuds are dead, choose one to revive first and repeat the process with the other later on.
- Place the dead earbud in the case. Do not close the case.
- As soon as you place the dead earbuds within the case, the LED on the inside of the case will momentarily turn red, to indicate “charging in progress”, and then turn green, to indicate “charging complete” within a few seconds.
- When the LED on the inside of the case turns green, reposition the dead earbud slightly so that the LED turns red again. It will once again stay red for only a few seconds before turning green.
- Repeat step 4 again and again till you get a solid red LED that stays red for a longer period of time. Whenever it turns green in a few seconds, repeat step 4.
You may need to do Step 4 anywhere between 25-50 times per dead earbud. But eventually, the LED will stay red for a long period of time, and sometime later, the dead earbud will show up on the Galaxy Wearable app with 1% charge. Once you have revived one earbud, you can let it charge up full and then repeat the same process again on the other one. These steps worked for us in reviving both the dead earbuds and for a few others in reviving one dead earbud, so we have good confidence in them. The steps were tried with the Galaxy Buds+ primarily but should work across the older Galaxy Buds and the newer Galaxy Buds Live as well.
It isn’t clear why the issue appears in the first place. Placing the earbuds within the case should be turning them off and preventing further battery drain. And the charging case itself should be able to charge the buds when they are dead, since storage and charging are pretty much all the objectives of the case. So as long as the case has some charge, the earbuds should be getting charged — which doesn’t seem to be happening if the buds reach and stay at 0% for a long period of time. And the switch over to green LED indicates that the charging only happens momentarily on a completely (long) dead earbud, preventing the earbud from reviving itself automatically.
If this still does not fix your dead earbuds, you may try out a few other steps. You can try disconnecting the earbuds from a connected smartphone before trying the steps, and reconnect only once you have a solid uninterrupted red LED status for a good hour. You can also try a hard reset (open case, tap and hold on buds within the case, LED within case will blink red, close the case), but this might not work for all. You can also try cleaning out any gunk on the charging points, but take care not to damage them in the process.
If your Galaxy Buds/Buds+/Buds Live are still dead, then you may be left with no option but to take them to a service center and get them repaired/replaced. Keeping in mind the situation with COVID-19 and the general advice of staying home, the steps above might be worth a shot before making the trip.