How to Reset Apple AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max

Key Takeaways

To reset AirPods or AirPods Pro, first remove them from their paired iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Place your AirPods in their charging case, and then press and hold the button on the back of the case for 15 seconds. (To reset AirPods Max, press and hold the Noise Control button and Digital Crown for 15 seconds instead.) The LED will flash amber and then white when the reset is complete.

If your AirPods aren’t working properly or you want to pair them with another device, you may need to reset them. Here’s how to reset AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max—and some troubleshooting tips if you have a problem.

How to Reset AirPods or AirPods Pro

Your AirPods and AirPods Pro can be “reset” by removing them from a paired Apple device like an iPhone or Mac. You can also pair your AirPods with non-Apple devices (and use them as standard Bluetooth headphones) without going through this process.

To unpair your AirPods or AirPods Pro, first make sure they are in the case. If you’ve just taken them out of your ears and put them in the case, wait 30 seconds before proceeding.

Now open your case and put your AirPods or AirPods Pro in your ears. On your iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > Bluetooth and tap on the small “i” next to your headphones.


Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap “Forget This Device” and then “Forget Device” to confirm. For AirPods Pro and third-generation AirPods, which are paired with your Apple ID, you’ll see a warning to say that your AirPods will be disassociated with your Apple ID.

Remove AirPods Pro from Apple ID

Hit “Forget Device” one more time to confirm. Now place your AirPods in the charging case but keep the lid open. Press and hold the small button on the back for 15 seconds until the status light flashes amber and then white.

Your AirPods will now be factory reset, and they can be paired again with any other iPhone—and any other Apple ID.

How to Reset AirPods Max

To reset your AirPods Max to factory settings, all you need to do is press and hold both the Noise Control button and Digital Crown for 15 seconds until the LED indicator flashes amber and then white. Note that your AirPods Max will still be associated with your Apple ID even after doing this.

AirPods Max on a table with the physical buttons visible.
Peter Cao / How-To Geek

That means in order to pair your AirPods Max with a different Apple ID, you’ll need to remove them from your account. To do this, make sure your AirPods Max are charged, and then place them on your ears. On your iPhone, head to Settings > Bluetooth, then tap on the “i” next to your AirPods Max.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and then tap “Forget This Device” followed by “Forget Device” to confirm. You’ll be warned that proceeding will disassociate your AirPods Max with your Apple ID. Hit “Forget Device” one more time to proceed. You can now pair your headphones with another iPhone and Apple ID as if they were brand new.


How to Factory Reset AirPods Without a Phone

You can reset first and second-generation AirPods to factory settings (a state in which they can be paired with any iPhone or Apple ID) without removing them from your Apple ID.

To reset your first or second-generation AirPods, first place them in the charging case. With the case open, press and hold the small button on the back for 15 seconds until the status light flashes amber, then white.

Reset AirPods Pro using the button on the rear of the case
Tim Brookes / How-To Geek

If you have AirPods Pro, third-generation AirPods, or AirPods Max, then you will need to use the steps above to remove the headphones from your account before you can pair them with another device.

Alternatively, you can log in to, access Find My, find your AirPods, and then click “Remove from Account” to remove them from your Apple ID remotely.

Remove AirPods from your Apple ID remotely via Find My

You can also pair any generation of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max with a standard Bluetooth audio device like a Nintendo Switch, a Windows PC, or even an Android smartphone. They’ll work likely standard wireless earbuds. To pair your AirPods with a non-Apple device, place your AirPods in their case and press and hold the small button on the back until the LED indicator starts flashing rapidly.

Your AirPods are now in pairing mode. They should be visible on the device you want to add them to (Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Android smartphone, etc.). Select them from the Bluetooth menu, and they should pair. When you do this, your AirPods will still work with your standard Apple devices, though you may need to manually select them from Control Center the next time you want to use them.

Nintendo Switch found AirPods

Left or Right AirPod Not Working After Reset?

If one AirPod isn’t working, there’s a possibility that it’s run out of battery. Put the affected earbud in the case and then connect the case to power. We’d recommend waiting at least 10 minutes for the AirPod to charge before trying again.

If nothing happens, try cleaning the contacts inside the case to make sure that the charging mechanism is clear. For more information, check out our full guide to fixing your AirPods if only one AirPod is not working.

AirPods Not Resetting? Try These Fixes

If you can’t connect your AirPods, you might want to try manually pairing them using the button on the back of the case, restarting the device that you’re trying to pair with, or giving them a good clean.

For more tips, learn how to troubleshoot some common AirPods problems. AirPods battery not what it used to be? You may be able to swap your old AirPods for serviced replacements.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Icky AirPods

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