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How to Reset AirPods and AirPods Pro?

The AirPods range of wireless earphones and headphones from Apple are amongst the most popular in the world. They offer a great build quality and sound, as well as intuitive features that make them super user-friendly.

Although, these wonderful little sound machines are not without their flaws. Many folks have connection problems, sound problems, hardware malfunctions, or software glitches.

Luckily, the engineers at Apple are not only good at building great products, but they’re good at giving users control over them beyond just normal use. This includes things like tracking features and software maintenance options.

One of these options…

The old tried and trusted reset. This procedure can help you take care of several AirPods problems you might have. But, it also puts them in the correct state should you be selling them. 

Some folks are unsure how to perform this strange ritual that everyone keeps talking about. And, with newer Airpods models, it’s become a bit more tricky since they are so minimalist in their design. 

But, have no fear. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll be taking a look at how to perform an AirPods reset on the first, second, and third generations. As well as the AirPods Pro. 

How to Reset AirPods and AirPods Pro

How to Reset AirPods and AirPods Pro

Apple makes very high-quality gear that is uncomplicated and easy to use. This means that performing any task on an Apple device is never harder than a few steps. This is true when it comes to performing a reset as well. 

Whether you own a pair of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation AirPods, or a pair of AirPods Pro, the process remains the same. Here are the steps to reset a pair of AirPods:

  1. Start by placing both AirPods in the charging case. Keep the lid closed for at least 30 seconds; this will restart the AirPods.
  2. Open the Settings app on the device you have paired the AirPods with. Scroll down to Bluetooth and open the Bluetooth Settings.
  3. Find your AirPods among the listed devices and tap on the “i” icon displayed to the right of the name.
  4. Tap on “Forget this device”, this will remove the AirPods from the memory of all devices it’s been paired with using that Apple ID.
  5. Open the lid of the charging case and press and hold the Setup button for fifteen seconds. The status light will change its color from amber to white.
  6. With the lid still open, bring your AirPods near your source device to begin the re-pairing process.

Something to take note of…

The location of the status light will depend on your AirPods model. If your AirPods case cannot charge wirelessly, then the status light is located on the inside of the case between the two AirPods. If your case charges wirelessly, the light will be located on the front of the case. 

Remember, after performing the factory reset, your AirPods will no longer automatically recognize the devices linked with your iCloud account. When you open the AirPods case close to any Apple device in the future, it will initiate the setup process via a quick pair pop-up. 

Performing a Factory Reset without a Phone/Tablet

If you don’t happen to have the source device with you, you can still do a factory reset without having to un-pair from your phone or tablet. 

The following steps will lay out how to factory reset your AirPods. Additionally, this will disconnect your AirPods from all devices without the use of a phone:

  1. Place both the AirPods in the charging case and keep the lid open.
  2. Find the Setup button.
  3. Press and hold the Setup button for at least fifteen seconds. The status light of the Setup button will change from amber to white. 
  4. Close the lid of the charging case; the AirPods are now fully reset. 

Airpods Won’t Reset?

Airpods Won’t Reset

So, that’s the quick guide on how to reset AirPods and AirPods Pro. However, there are times you can’t reset your AirPods despite following the steps above. In these cases, there are still things that you can try. 

Clean the AirPods case

When microscopic pieces of dirt get lodged on the Airpods and the case, they can prohibit proper connection when the AirPods are placed in the case. This means that the reset cannot be performed since the case is having trouble recognizing the AirPods inside the case. 

Cleaning your AirPods is maintenance that must be performed regularly. However, the rush of our modern day-to-day makes it hard to do these things as often as we’d like. Luckily, the process is relatively quick and can be done using easy-to-find, low-cost items. 

Here’s how…

Use a Lint Free Microfibre ClothCotton Swabs, and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to wipe down your AirPods. Be sure to get the crevices inside the case, and don’t neglect the bottom parts of the stems of the AirPods, as this is where the contact points are located. 

Don’t exert too much pressure when you do this; otherwise, you might damage some of the small metal components. 

If you have trouble with some of the smaller spaces, just use a Toothpick. But, remember to be gentle, and also not to use too much alcohol. Otherwise, there will be a build-up of liquid which is never good for electronics. Take care to let the AirPods dry completely before using them.

Contacting Apple Support

So, you’ve gotten this far and still have not been met with success. Unfortunately, you’re probably left with little choice other than to contact Apple Support to help. That’s because you’re problem is likely hardware related. 

When contacting Apple Support, it’s best to have the serial number of your AirPods ready. Alternatively, you can head to the closest Apple store and have their technicians take a look. If you still have warranty coverage, then the item will likely be replaced completely. 

Need Help With Your AirPods?

We have you covered. Take a look at our handy articles on Can I Use Two Different AirPodsWhat’s The Difference Between AirPods 1 and 2AirPods Connected But No SoundHow to Make Your AirPods Louder, and Where is the Microphone on AirPods for more useful information.

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, and the Best True Wireless Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

How to Reset AirPods and AirPods Pro – Conclusion

In many ways, Apple AirPods are the unrivaled champions of the wireless earphones world. But, they are not perfect, far from it. Glitches and wear and tear get to AirPods just like they do to any other piece of tech. 

Luckily, performing a reset can solve AirPods problems nine times out of ten, whether it be a connection, charging, or just plain operational issue. Performing the reset takes seconds, and the process is very much the same on all the different models. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Warren Barrett

Warren has spent nearly half a century (now that's a long time!) as an ink-stained wretch writing for music magazines and websites and has no plans on giving up soon.

He is curious about all types of music and instruments apart from any genre with 'Urban' in the title. He's also not so keen on Plastic Potted Plants, Reality TV, and any movies with Kevin Costner in them.

He lives in Delaware with his wife Wendy and lots of great memories...

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