How to Factory Reset AirPods: Step-by-Step Guide

Jonathan Kao

shallow focus photo of Apple AirPods

AirPods offer convenience and wireless connectivity to your favorite audio content and let us do things wirelessly (like making phone calls, etc.) However, there may come a time when you need to factory reset your AirPods. This can solve issues such as connectivity problems or prepare the AirPods for a new owner if you decide to sell them. Performing a factory reset is a straightforward process and returns your AirPods to their original state. It removes all data linked to your Apple ID and iCloud account.

It’s important to know that resetting your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max will erase any settings you have customized, returning the devices to their default settings. This process is necessary if you experience consistent technical issues or plan to pair the AirPods with a different iPhone or iPad. You can factory reset your AirPods by using the setup button on the case for the original AirPods, AirPods 2, and AirPods 3, as well as on the AirPods Pro.

Restoring Your AirPods to Default Settings

Sometimes you might want to wipe your AirPods clean, whether it’s for troubleshooting or preparing them for sale. Here’s a simple guide on how to factory reset your AirPods, regardless of model:

Before You Reset

  • Charge & Case: Ensure both AirPods are in their charging case. It’s best to have a decent charge level for a smooth process.
  • Forget Your AirPods: This is crucial. Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings, find your AirPods, and select “Forget This Device”.

The Factory Reset Process

  1. Locate the Setup Button: Find the small, circular button on the back of your AirPods case.
  2. Press and Hold: Press and hold the setup button for about 15 seconds. Keep holding until the status light on your charging case flashes amber, then white.
  3. Reconnect: Your AirPods are now reset. Place them near your device and follow the on-screen prompts to pair them again as if they were brand new.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Unresponsive AirPods: If your AirPods don’t reset, try cleaning the charging contacts on both AirPods and within the case. Ensure they are making good contact.
  • Individual Reset (Pro Models): If you have AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation) or AirPods Max, you can reset each earbud individually within the Settings app on your connected device.

When to Consider a Factory Reset

SituationIs a Reset Helpful?
Selling or Giving Away AirPodsYes! Protects your privacy and ensures a fresh start for the new owner.
Persistent Connectivity IssuesSometimes a reset can resolve stubborn Bluetooth pairing problems.
Unexplained Audio GlitchesA reset can act as a “refresh” for your AirPods, potentially clearing up audio problems.

Remember, before resorting to a factory reset, try basic troubleshooting like restarting your device and cleaning your AirPods.

Key Takeaways

  • Resetting AirPods can fix issues and prepare them for new users.
  • A factory reset erases customized settings and unlinks from Apple devices.
  • The process involves using the setup button on the AirPods case.

Factory Resetting Your AirPods

To restore your AirPods to their original settings as if they were fresh out of the box, a factory reset is the way to go. This process removes all paired devices and sets the AirPods back to default settings.

Preparation and Backup

Before resetting, back up any important data connected to your AirPods on your Apple device, like settings for Siri or shortcuts. Ensure your AirPods are fully charged to avoid interruptions during the reset process.

Procedures for Different AirPods Models

  • Original AirPods and AirPods Pro: Locate the setup button on the charging case.
  • AirPods Max: Find the noise control button and the digital crown.

Unpairing from Devices

Remove the AirPods from the list of connected devices in Bluetooth settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your device.
  2. Tap the “More Info” button next to your AirPods.
  3. Choose “Forget This Device” and confirm.

Executing the Factory Reset

  • AirPods & AirPods Pro: Press and hold the setup button on the case for about 15 seconds. Release when the status light flashes white.
  • AirPods Max: Press and hold the noise control button and the digital crown until the LED flashes white.

Post-Reset Setup and Reconnection

After resetting,

  1. Open the case near your device. A setup animation appears on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap “Connect,” and follow the steps on your screen.
  3. For devices not signed in to your iCloud, pair AirPods manually in Bluetooth settings.

Troubleshooting Post-Reset Issues

If you face connection glitches or other issues post-reset:

  • Restart your Apple device.
  • Repeat the factory reset process if the AirPods don’t connect.
  • If problems continue, contact Apple Support for assistance.