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How to reset AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max

Your step-by-step guide to resetting your AirPods

The AirPods being taken out of their charging case
(Image: © Future)

Once you figure out how to do it, it’s simple to reset your Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro. It’s so simple, in fact, that Apple doesn’t even tell you how to do it – they just assume that you’ll be able to figure it out on your own.

In a sentence, all you need to do is hold down the button on the back of the AirPods charging case until the light turns amber. (Note, of course, that you might need to rename the AirPods after they’ve been paired to your phone via the settings if they’ve kept the same name as before.)

But, if you’ve already tried that and it hasn’t worked, we have a complete step-by-step guide below to get those AirPods reset for that fresh-out-of-the-box feeling.

Step 1: Check your battery

If you’ve tried to reset your AirPods by holding the button on the back and you don’t see a light flashing on the inside of the case, it’s probably because they’re dead. Plug them in for 15 minutes to make sure that they are adequately charged to re-pair. 

Step 2: Find the button on the back of the case

So, that small button on the back of the AirPods' charging case is the key to resetting the AirPods. Hold it down for 15 seconds and the LED light on the case will change from white to amber. You can’t hold it down for too long, so there’s no reason to be worried about messing this up.

It’s a good idea to hold this reset button away from the phone you’re trying to unpair from the true wireless earbuds. If it’s too close, it will just pull in all the same data as before.

Step 3: Pair them with your device

OK, so after the AirPods are reset it’s time to sync them with a new iOS device. To do that, all you need to do is hold the two devices close together and you should be able to connect ... as long as you're using an Apple device.

If you're an Android user, you'll need to go to Settings > Connections > Bluetooth, and then connect them that way.

(Optional) Step 4. Change the name of the AirPods

If you’ve reset your AirPods but they’ve stubbornly held onto their old name, you’ll need to change it by going into the Settings > Bluetooth, then click the info (‘i’) button next to the AirPods to change their name.

a woman wearing the apple airpods max

(Image credit: Apple)

How do I reset the AirPods Max?

Resetting the AirPods Max, Apple's first over-ear headphones, is simple. First, make sure you charge them for a few minutes. 

Then, just press and hold the noise control button and the Digital Crown until the LED flashes amber. 

If you want to reset the AirPods Max to factory settings and unpair them from your iCloud account, do the same, but wait for the LED to change from flashing amber to white. 

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar and covers TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's written for TechRadar, GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.