Apple AirPods Reset
Justin Duino

Apple AirPods can sometimes start acting up after a year of use. Whether you’re running into this problem or you bought AirPods used, the best solution is to reset the earbuds. Here’s how to make your AirPods perform like new.

Unpairing Your AirPods

Although unpairing your AirPods from your iPhone or iPad isn’t required to reset the headphones, Apple recommends this step to remove them from your account.

You can also unpair your AirPods from Android smartphones, PCs, and other devices to ensure that the earbuds act as new. These instructions are primarily for iPhone and iPad users, but the steps can be similarly replicated on whatever hardware you own.

Note: If you’re buying AirPods secondhand and haven’t connected them to your devices, you can skip the unpairing process and move to the next section.

RELATED: You'll Have to Replace Your $160 AirPods Every Few Years

Start by jumping into your phone’s or tablet’s Bluetooth settings. Access this menu by opening the “Settings” app and then select “Bluetooth.”

Locate your AirPods from the list of paired devices. Tap on the “i” information icon next to the headphone’s name.

Apple iPhone Bluetooth Settings

Next, select “Forget this device” to unpair the AirPods.

Apple iPhone Forget this Device Settings

The AirPods can be unpaired from your iPhone or iPad whether the earbuds are currently connected or not. Either way, the headphones will be removed from your Apple account.

Resettings Your AirPods

Now it’s time to wipe your Apple AirPods. Before you start, place both of the earbuds into the charging case and keep the lid closed for at least 30 seconds

Apple AirPods Closed Case
Justin Duino

Next, open the AirPod case’s lid. Flipping the case over, locate the setup button on the back of the device.

Press and hold the button until the case’s status light blinks amber then flashes white continuously. This process can take up to 20 seconds.

Apple AirPods Button Edited
Justin Duino

Repairing Your AirPods

Lastly, reconnect the AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. Thanks to the inclusion of the W1 or H1 chip, opening the lid of the headphone case near one of Apple’s devices will automatically display a pop-up menu.

Tap on “Connect” to pair the AirPods.

Apple iPhone Connect AirPods
Justin Duino

To pair the headphones to an Android smartphone or Windows PC, open the case’s lid and then press and hold the AirPods’ setup button until the status light starts blinking. Go to your device’s Bluetooth menu and connect to the earbuds as you would with other accessories.


AirPods are very easy to use, and the process to reset them is just as simple. Wiping the earbuds might take a couple of minutes, but it solves so many problems that tend to plague the wireless headphones.

Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Technical Content Editor for How-To Geek. He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry.
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