How to reset Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro

AirPods and their higher-end cousin, AirPods Pro, are designed to be easy to use: you can set them up in seconds if you already have an iCloud account and an Apple device handy. However, sometimes these little earbuds can develop issues like refusing to charge, or you can make sure you have the latest AirPods updates installed. This requires a full reset, although it’s not always clear how to perform a reset. Our guide digs deeper into the details: follow these simple steps for a safe reset!

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Insert your AirPods into your charging case and wait

Step 1: Grab your charging case and place your AirPods inside if you haven’t already. This also applies to AirPods Pro, where the reset instructions are the same.

AirPods 3, AirPods and AirPods Pro sitting in their charging cases.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

2nd step: Close the case and wait about 30 seconds to a minute. Apple advises doing this, so if one of your AirPods has lost all battery life, it can recharge for a bit and be recognized by the case before the reset begins.

Step 3: If your case is running low on the battery itself, it’s a good idea to recharge it before trying to reset. If the case has no charge, you will not be able to properly reset it.

AirPods 2 charging case.

Activate and unpair your AirPods

Step 1: Have the Apple device you use the AirPods with handy. Open your AirPods case for the Apple device to detect them, then head to your Settings.

2nd step: In Settingsgo to Bluetooth and find your connected AirPods. Select the blue “i” button, aka More information, next to them. Right here. Choose the option for Forget this device. Confirm the decision and when your AirPods are no longer connected, move your Apple device to another room and return to your AirPods.

To note: If your AirPods/AirPods Pro have basic sound issues like no sound, stop here. Try to go back in Settings and manually reconnect your AirPods. Sometimes this can fix minor issues and you don’t have to worry about a full reset.

iPadOS Forget This Device option.

Complete Reset

Step 1: Keep the lid of your AirPods case open. Locate the indicator light to monitor it. This light is usually found on the front of the case for most AirPod models, although the very first generation has it inside the case.

AirPods configuration buttons.

2nd step: Now face the back of your AirPods and locate the config button. It’s a small circular button under the case cover, marked with a slight outline.

Step 3: Press and hold the setup button – you should be able to feel when it’s pressed. Hold the button and watch the indicator light on your charging case, which should start flashing white. After about 15 seconds, you should see the light flash amber, then turn white. When this happens, you can release the setup button: your AirPods have now been reset.

AirPods notification on iPhone.

Reconnect your AirPods

You can now recover your Apple device and bring it closer to your AirPods again so they can connect. Keep the AirPods charging case lid open and wait for your Apple device to start setup procedures again (if your AirPods are not showing up, close the lid and reopen it). Complete setup and pairing, and you’re done! You’ll need to re-enter some basics on learning gesture commands and Siri, plus fit testing for AirPods Pro, and more.

What if you’re not using an Apple device?

If you’re using an Android platform instead, the steps are the same. However, instead of auto-configuring your AirPods at the end, you’ll have to go to the Bluetooth section of your Android device and manually find, then reconnect, your AirPods.

Pairing AirPods Max.


Got AirPods Max instead?

Charge your AirPods Max for a minute, then find the Digital Crown and noise control buttons, both on the same side of an earbud. At the bottom of this headset, you will find the status light. Press and hold the Digital Crown and Noise Control buttons for about 15 seconds, until the LED flashes amber and then white again.

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