How to reset Apple AirPods: Four steps to restoring factory settings on your earbuds

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Apple AirPods are well known for their instant connectivity and ease of use, but that doesn't mean you'll never encounter issues. And sometimes, the only way to solve an issue is with a good old-fashioned reset.

So if your AirPods won't connect, the case won't charge or you're having other problems, how do you reset them? Well, that's where our step-by-step guide comes in.

Read next: Apple AirPods tips and tricks

Below, we've outlined the key steps needed to reset AirPods; no matter if you have the original or AirPods 2, standard or wireless charging case, this should get you back on track and ready to start anew.

How to reset AirPods

How to reset Apple AirPods: Four steps to restoring factory settings on your earbuds

1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings

A fairly simple start here. On whichever iOS device has been connected to AirPods in the past, go to Settings > Bluetooth and hit the 'i' icon located next to the 'Connected/Not Connected' tab on the right. Then, on the next screen, tap 'Forget This Device' and confirm.

2. Put AirPods in the charging case

Now that previous history with your iOS device has been severed, place the AirPods in the charging case and close the lid. Count to 30 seconds, then open the lid back up.

3. Reset the AirPods

To reset Apple AirPods, simply press and hold the button on the back of the case. Once the status light flashes orange a few times, then flashes white, the AirPods are ready to pair again.

4. Reconnect the AirPods

Depending on the kind of device you're trying to reconnect your AirPods to, this step will differ. However, if it's an iOS device, all you'll need to do is ensure the AirPods are in range and then simply follow the pop-up setup instructions.

If you want to connect AirPods to a MacBook (or your PC, or an Android device), check out our full guide.

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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