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How to reset your AirPods - and when you should

Are your earbuds disconnecting or not charging properly? A simple reset can fix a host of problems. Here's the best way to do it.
Written by Nina Raemont, Associate Editor
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

You're jamming to your favorite tunes when your AirPods suddenly disconnect and won't reconnect to your phone. What now?

If you run into connection or charging issues while using your AirPods, or if you're looking to sell your Apple earbuds and remove their iCloud connection, your best bet might be a reset.

Also: New AirPods models are coming later this year

Resetting your AirPods takes minutes and can fix many random issues that pop up through regular use. Here's how you can easily reset your AirPods. These instructions apply to all earbud AirPods models, but keep reading to learn how you can reset the AirPods Max. You'll be back listening to your favorite music or podcasts before you know it. 

How to reset your AirPods

1. Put your AirPods in their case

Put your AirPods in their charging case, ensuring that both earbuds are physically connected inside the case. Close the lid and wait for at least 30 seconds. 


The AirPods Pro 2 case charging via the Apple Watch 8 charger. 

June Wan/ZDNET

2. Put AirPods in

Open the lid and put the AirPods in your ears. 


How the AirPods Pro 2 look in my ear with the XS ear tip. 

June Wan/ZDNET

3. Click Forget Device in Settings

Go to your Settings > Bluetooth > Your AirPods > Forget Device. 

Instructions on how to reset your AirPods
Nina Raemont/ZDNET

4. Return AirPods to their case

Put AirPods back in the charging case. Don't close the lid. 

5. Press button on the back until it turns white

Press and hold the button on the back of the case for 15 seconds or more, until the light on the front of the case flashes red and then white. 

Also: The best AirPods you can buy

6. Reconnect your AirPods

To reconnect your AirPods, keep the lid open and place your AirPods near your iPhone or iPad.

AirPods connect on settings
Nina Raemont/ZDNET

My AirPods aren't resetting. What should I do?

You need to have both AirPods fully connected inside the case for the reset to happen. If you have an AirPod with a faulty connection, it might take a few trials to get it connected inside the case. If that doesn't work, consider cleaning your case to get rid of any dirt or dust in the way of the connection. 

Also: How to clean and sanitize your AirPods (and why you should)

How can I reset my AirPods Max? 

The AirPods Max don't have a case, so the steps for resetting them are different than that of the earbud AirPods. You should charge them for 10 minutes before beginning the reset. Once they're charged, press and hold the noise control button and the Digital Crown until the light flashes amber. Go to your Bluetooth settings to reset your AirPods Max, and wait for the amber light to turn white.  

What happens once my AirPods are reset? 

The AirPods won't instantly recognize your device and pair with it. The reset gives your AirPods a blank slate for connecting to iOS devices

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