How to Properly Reset Your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max

AirPods Pro, AirPods Max (From: Unsplash)
AirPods Pro, AirPods Max (From: Unsplash)

Whether you’re selling or fixing an issue, there’s a go-to solution every AirPod owner should know! Here’s how to reset your AirPods and their variants.

While AirPods are some of the most intuitive wireless audio devices to date, they’re nowhere near perfection. You’ll encounter some hiccups – ranging from syncing issues to poor connectivity to a missing AirPod.

It can be annoying, especially when you can’t use your AirPods for an extended period. Hence, knowing how to reset your AirPods is a must for all its users.

Resetting is one of the most common solutions to problems with wireless earphones, including AirPods. But it’s not always as straightforward as it may seem, depending on your situation.

Here’s how you can factory reset your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max for different occasions.

How to Reset Your AirPods or AirPods Pro

Apple has designed them to be intuitive and convenient to use. That’s why resetting your AirPods (Gen 1, 2, or Pro) shouldn’t be difficult. Simply follow these steps for a fuss-free reset.

Same reset procedure should work for all iOS devices (including iPhone, iPad, or Mac).
  1. Put your AirPods back into the charging case, and close the lid for at least 30 seconds.

    Put AirPods back in case
    Put AirPods back in case

  2. On your iOS device, under Settings, select Bluetooth.

    Access Settings & Bluetooth
    Access Settings & Bluetooth

  3. Tap on the “i” icon next to your AirPods.

    Tap the i Icon
    Tap the “i” Icon

  4. Select Forget This Device and once more to confirm.

    Forget the device
    Forget the device

  5. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds while the lid is open until the status light changes from amber to white.
    If your ‌AirPods‌ case charges with a wire, the status light will be found inside the case between the ‌AirPods‌. If your ‌AirPods case can charge wirelessly, the status light is indicated on the front of the case.

    Reset AirPods until status light turns from Amber to White
    Reset AirPods until status light turns from Amber to White

  6. Keep the lid open. Place your AirPods close to your Apple device to reconnect.
    After the reset, your ‌AirPods‌ will no longer automatically recognize any of the devices linked to your iCloud account. Opening the ‌AirPods‌ case near any iOS device will initiate the setup process.

    Keep lid open and sync your AirPods
    Keep the lid open and sync your AirPods

How to Reset Your AirPods Max

Unlike the AirPods (Pro), AirPods Max doesn’t have a power button. There’s no way to power cycle them like you would with a traditional Apple device. If you’re having connectivity or other issues with the AirPods Max, resetting is your most effective option.

There are 2 ways to reset your AirPods Max:

We recommend the first option – mainly for the convenience and being less invasive.

A factory reset can remove your AirPods Max from all your devices rather than just the particular one you’re having trouble with. You’ll end up spending more time re-pairing your AirPods Max with other devices.

However, a reboot doesn’t always guarantee that the glitches you encounter will be fixed. That’s why, if the first option fails, you should proceed with the factory reset.

Make sure your AirPods Max are partially charged for at least 5-10 minutes before resetting them.

Direct reboot

  1. Reboot your AirPods Max by pressing and holding the Digital Crown and the Noise control button for 5 to 7 seconds until the status light flashes amber.
    Hold your AirPods Max upside down to easily observe the change in the status light color.

    Hold down Digital Crown and Noise Control to reset AirPods Max (From: Serg Tech/Youtube) Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJiyMRbus2g
    Hold down Digital Crown and Noise Control to reset AirPods Max (From: Serg Tech/Youtube)

  2. You should be able to repair your AirPods Max to your device after the reboot.

    Repair AirPods Max (From: Serg Tech/Youtube)
    Repair AirPods Max (From: Serg Tech/Youtube)

Factory reset

  1. Unpair your AirPods Max from your iCloud account.
  2. Factory reset by pressing and holding the Noise Control button and the Digital Crown for 15 seconds. The status light would change from flashing amber to flashing white.

    Reset AirPods Max by Noise Control and Digital Crown (From: Erik/Youtube)
    Reset AirPods Max by Noise Control and Digital Crown (From: Erik/Youtube)

  3. After resetting, you should be able to successfully repair them to your preferred iOS device.

How to Factory Reset Your AirPods Without a Phone

Don’t have your phone with you? Not an issue. It’s easy to reset your AirPods without unpairing them from your phone.

Here’s how you can factory reset your AirPods without your phone:

  1. Place both AirPods into the charging case. Open the lid.

    Open lid of AirPods case
    Open lid of AirPods case

  2. Locate the Setup button on the back of your AirPods case.

    Locate reset button
    Locate reset button

  3. Press and hold the Setup button for 15 seconds. The status light should change from flashing amber to white.

    Press until status light change from amber to white
    Press until the status light changes from amber to white

  4. Close the lid. Your AirPods are fully reset.

Should You Reset If One Airpod Is Missing?

Another common scenario we encounter is people losing their AirPods. Being small in size, AirPods can be easily misplaced in our homes. And, having to turn your house upside down to search for it isn’t a practical solution either.

Here’s where the brilliance of Apple’s system shines. With the latest iOS14 and macOS Big Sur, your AirPods are automatically added to the Find My app. They’ll automatically pair with any of your devices on iCloud and play a sound that gets louder when you’re closer to it.

If you lost one AirPod, only reset the remaining earpiece if you’re sure that you won’t locate the missing AirPod. Doing so can mean that you’ll lose the missing AirPod for good as it’ll no longer be detected through Find My app.

So before doing anything rash, make sure to check your resources first to make sure that resetting is the next proper step.

  1. Open Find My app.

    Apple's Find My app
    Apple’s Find My app

  2. Select the Devices tab.

    Select devices
    Select devices

  3. Select your AirPods. You should see either a location indicated, Play Sound option, or a No Location Found notification.

    Select AirPods and options to locate AirPods
    Select AirPods and options to locate AirPods

  4. If you choose Play Sound, your AirPods will play a sound that gets increasingly louder when your iOS device is nearer to it.

    Play sound to locate AirPods
    Play sound to locate AirPods

For other solutions, check out our all-around guide on how to find your lost AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max.

How to set up replacement AirPods

If you lost one AirPod and decided to replace it with a new earpiece, you’ll need to sync the old and new AirPods properly before using them. Here’s how:

  1. Put both AirPods back into your charging case.

    Put AirPods into case
    Put AirPods into case

  2. Open the lid. Your status light should flash amber.
  3. Press and hold the Setup button (on the back of the case) for a few seconds. The status light should change from flashing amber to white.
    If the status light flashes amber for more than 30 seconds, charge your AirPods case for approximately 20 minutes with the lid closed. Then, open the lid, and press and hold the Setup button for a few seconds until the status light flashes white.

    Change from amber to white for status light
    Change status light from amber to white

  4. Open the AirPods case with both AirPods inside. Hold it next to your Apple device to reconnect. Follow through with the setup instructions.

    Reconnect AirPods to Apple device
    Reconnect AirPods to Apple device

When Should You Reset Your AirPods

You’re not expected to reset for every issue you encounter with your AirPods. However, there are sticky situations you should consider resetting. Resetting your AirPods relieves you from the nagging frustration and time wasted in attempting to fix the problem.

Here are some of the common issues that can be fixed with a simple reset:

  • Syncing Issue: AirPods case should automatically sync to the nearest device when the lid is open. Sometimes, they may not sync despite multiple attempts.
  • Charging Issue: Tried charging for a couple of minutes, yet the power doesn’t come on? It could be an issue with the power management firmware in your AirPods case.
  • Battery Issue: Surprised why your AirPods die out too quickly? It might be related to the small battery in the AirPod’s stem or your AirPods’ battery management.
  • Before selling: Apple products generally have high resale value. Often, we sell the older model to make room for the new. But before selling your AirPods, you should unpair them from your iCloud account. Doing so would unpair your current AirPods from all your devices, preventing confusion when you pair new AirPods with the same name.

Unpairing your AirPods from your iCloud account and resetting them before selling also prevents whoever buys them from getting any access to your iCloud account. And, it gives the AirPods a clean slate to start their new journey with the new owner.

You can trade-in your faulty AirPods via Apple’s trade-in program. However, you can expect menial returns — considering how fast a new model is produced every year. If you’re planning to sell, you’re much better off selling on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Conclusion

The convenience AirPods give is unrivaled in the market. Resetting your AirPods can be as easy as pairing them. Regardless of your predicament, you could have mastery over it within minutes. Now, you can enjoy your high-fidelity sound with all the convenience and zero glitches.

We hope our suggestions were useful to reset your AirPods hassle-free. Tell us in the comments section if our solutions worked well for you or if you’ve got better alternative methods. We’re open to suggestions.

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