Have you been experiencing connectivity issues, sound problems or other annoying glitches with your AirPods or AirPods Pro? Before you think about replacing them or visiting the Genius Bar, try resetting your AirPods first.
Resetting your AirPods essentially removes any previous pairing information and restores them to their original factory settings. This can fix a number of issues and get your AirPods working like new again.
In this simple, step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to quickly reset both the standard AirPods and AirPods Pro models. These tips work for all generations of AirPods.
So if you’ve got first, second or even third-gen AirPods that need troubleshooting, read on to learn how to easily reset them in just a few minutes.
- Why Reset Your AirPods?
- What You’ll Need Before Resetting AirPods
- Step 1 – Put AirPods in Case and Wait 30 Seconds
- Step 2 – Unpair AirPods from Your Apple Devices
- Alternative: Unlink AirPods via Find My App
- Step 3 – Press and Hold Setup Button to Reset
- Reconnecting Your AirPods
- How to Reset AirPods Without an Apple Device
- What About Resetting AirPods Max?
- What if AirPods are Still Linked to Previous Owner?
- Troubleshooting When AirPods Won’t Reset
- Reset Your AirPods for a Quick Fix
Why Reset Your AirPods?
Here are some of the main reasons for resetting your AirPods to factory settings:
- Fix connectivity or pairing issues – A reset can resolve problems with your AirPods not connecting properly to your iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices. This is one of the first troubleshooting steps for any wireless connectivity problems.
- Remove a previous owner’s details – If you purchased secondhand or used AirPods, resetting them removes any lingering personal info, Apple ID accounts or Find My connections related to the previous owner. This prevents them from still tracking the location of the AirPods.
- Prepare AirPods for selling/gifting – Resetting restores AirPods to a clean state so they are ready to be paired and used with another person’s Apple ID and devices.
- Troubleshoot sound issues – Problems like low volume, muffled sound, echoing, dropouts or microphone malfunctions can sometimes be fixed by resetting the AirPods.
- Fix other software glitches – A factory reset can resolve software bugs and get AirPods working normally again. Often resets fix issues where settings changes or updates did not install properly.
By fully resetting your AirPods back to their default settings, you give troubleshooting connectivity, audio and other problems a solid chance before exploring more drastic measures.
What You’ll Need Before Resetting AirPods
To smoothly reset your AirPods or AirPods Pro, make sure you have the following:
- AirPods charging case – The process requires the charging case with at least a 30% battery charge. Make sure to use the original charging case paired with your AirPods.
- AirPods – You’ll need at least one AirPod bud inserted into the charging case. Both buds are not required, but make sure the one bud has some battery charge.
- Lightning cable (optional) – If your AirPods case has a very low battery, give it at least 15 minutes of charging time before resetting so there is enough power to complete the process.
As long as you’ve got a minimally charged AirPod and its paired charging case, you’re all set to reset!
Step 1 – Put AirPods in Case and Wait 30 Seconds
The first step is very simple.
Place your AirPods into their charging case, close the lid and wait for approximately 30 seconds before doing anything else.
This short charging time allows just enough power to go into the AirPods so they can be reset properly. Don’t skip this step!
If for some reason your AirPods case has an extremely low battery (like less than 10%), give it about 15 minutes of charge time before resetting just to be safe. But in most cases, 30 seconds is sufficient.
Step 2 – Unpair AirPods from Your Apple Devices
Next, you’ll need to unpair or “forget” the AirPods from any Apple devices they are currently connected to before you can reset them.
This includes iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and any other Apple devices logged into your Apple ID that your AirPods are paired with.
Here is how to unpair AirPods on both modern and older iOS versions:
Unpairing on iOS 16
- Go to the Settings app and select Bluetooth.
- Under “My Devices”, find your AirPods.
- Tap the “i” icon next to them.
- Tap “Forget This Device” to unpair them.
Unpairing on iOS 13, 14 and 15
- Go to Settings and select Bluetooth.
- Find your AirPods in the list of devices.
- Tap the “i” icon next to them.
- Tap “Forget This Device”.
This will unpair the AirPods from any Apple devices so they are ready to be reset.
Key point: Unpairing your AirPods like this will also unlink them from your Apple ID. So after resetting, you’ll need to set them up from scratch again on your devices.
Here is an alternative way to unlink your AirPods from your Apple ID using the Find My app:
- Open the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Select the Devices tab.
- Choose your AirPods from the list of devices.
- Tap “Remove This Device”.
This achieves the same effect of unlinking your AirPods so they are no longer associated with your Apple ID account before resetting.
Step 3 – Press and Hold Setup Button to Reset
Now for the actual reset process!
With your AirPods unpaired from your devices, follow these steps:
- Open the AirPods charging case with your AirPods inside.
- Locate the small setup button on the back of the charging case.
- Firmly press and hold the setup button for approximately 15 seconds.
- Wait until the status light flashes white. Once it stops flashing amber and flashes white instead, release the button.
The flashing white light means the reset to factory settings is complete!
If the status light is flashing amber, keep holding the button until it flashes white instead. This may take up to 20 seconds of pressing.
And that’s it! Your AirPods are now restored to their original settings.
Reconnecting Your AirPods
The last step is to reconnect your freshly reset AirPods. The process is quick:
- With both AirPods in the charging case, simply open the lid near your iPhone or other Apple device.
- You’ll see a prompt pop up to connect or pair the AirPods – tap Connect.
- Follow the on-screen setup prompts to finish pairing your AirPods or AirPods Pro. It will walk you through naming them, enabling features like Automatic Ear Detection and more.
That’s all there is to it! With just those few quick steps, you’ve cleared any previous owner data and reset your AirPods back to factory mode.
How to Reset AirPods Without an Apple Device
Don’t have an iPhone, iPad or Mac handy to reset your AirPods with? No problem.
You can reset AirPods while paired to an Android phone or Windows PC. Here’s how:
- First unpair/forget the AirPods from the Android or Windows device’s Bluetooth menu.
- With AirPods in the charging case, press and hold the setup button on the back until the light flashes white.
- Next, open the AirPods case lid to put the AirPods into pairing mode. The light will flash white again.
- On your Android or Windows device, go to Bluetooth settings to pair with the AirPods again.
While it takes a few extra steps without an Apple device on hand, you can still manage the factory reset process.
What About Resetting AirPods Max?
The AirPods Max use a slightly different reset process since these over-ear headphones don’t have a charging case.
Here are the steps to reset AirPods Max:
- Press and hold both the Digital Crown and Noise Control button together for about 15 seconds.
- Keep holding both buttons until the status light flashes white after about 15-20 seconds.
- Once the light flashes white, release both buttons. The reset is now complete!
What if AirPods are Still Linked to Previous Owner?
If you purchased used or secondhand AirPods, make sure to reset them before pairing to remove any connection with the previous owner’s devices or Apple ID.
Without resetting first, the prior owner could potentially still track their location or even rename or connect to the AirPods!
Resetting removes any lingering personal data, settings or Apple ID associations beforehand so they are fresh for you to set up.
Troubleshooting When AirPods Won’t Reset
In some tricky cases, your AirPods may fail to reset even after following the steps correctly. Here are some things to try:
- Make sure the AirPods charging case has enough battery. It may need more than 30 seconds of charging time. Try waiting 15-30 minutes to ensure it has ample power.
- Inspect the charging contacts in the case and on the AirPods – clean any debris blocking the connectors with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. This can prevent a good connection.
- Completely drain the battery of both the AirPods and charging case, leave them discharged for 15 minutes, then charge back to 100%. Sometimes this “power cycling” can resolve an issue.
- Try resetting again while connected to a friend’s iPhone to eliminate your own device as the problem.
- In very rare cases, fake third-party or counterfeit AirPods may not reset properly. Ensure yours are legit Apple AirPods.
- If you still cannot reset the AirPods, contact Apple Support for further troubleshooting help.
With one of those fixes, your AirPods should successfully reset.
Reset Your AirPods for a Quick Fix
Now you know how to easily reset AirPods and AirPods Pro in just a few minutes!
Resetting your AirPods to their factory settings can fix a surprisingly wide range of issues before you think about replacing them.
So next time your AirPods start acting up, don’t forget to try this simple troubleshooting trick. Just put them in the case, unpair them from your devices, press the reset button, and re-pair.
With these straightforward steps, you can restore your AirPods to their original settings and have them working properly again. Just remember to unpair them from all your devices first!