How To Hard Reset the Apple AirPods [December 2020]
One of Apple’s biggest successes of this decade isn’t the Apple Watch, or the HomePod, or even the iPad. Instead, it’s the AirPods — Apple’s wireless earbuds which were released following the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.
AirPods have found a massive fan base thanks to their ease of use, their long battery lives, and their auto connection feature. They work seamlessly with other Apple products, making them perfect for customers invested in the Apple ecosystem.
Of course, AirPods can have their problems. If your AirPods are acting up, or you just got a new phone, you might need to reset your AirPods to get them back to working order.
However, the minimalist design can make things difficult when it comes to troubleshooting. With no buttons or switches in sight, how are you supposed to reset your AirPods?
Let’s take a look at how you can figure out what’s wrong with your AirPods and how you can fix them.
What Does the Light on the AirPods Charging Case Mean?
Apple AirPods have a single light indicator underneath the hood of the charging case. Specific combinations of lights can indicate various issues, depending on where your AirPods are located at the time.
Before you decide to initiate a reset, it’s important to understand what issues are represented by different lights.
First, this light can tell you how much charge is left in your AirPods.
If you see a green light while the AirPods are in their case, it means you have enough battery life left for regular use. If you see a green light and your AirPods are not in the case, then the case still has at least one remaining charge.
When the AirPods are connected to the charger, the amber light indicates that your AirPods are charging. But if the AirPods are not in the case at the time, this light can also mean that the case has less than one full recharge left.
While you aren’t able to see a percentage, these lights are a good enough indication of how much battery is left in your AirPods and the charging case. If you’d like to know the percentage of the case or the pods themselves simply open the AirPod case and look at your iPhone.
Is the amber light flashing?
This indicates a pairing error with one or more of your devices. It may mean that you have to sever the connection and try again by resetting the AirPods. A white flashing light indicates that the AirPods are ready to connect to your Apple devices.
Obviously, if there’s no light in the case and your AirPods are in it, it means that the case is completely depleted and needs a recharge.
How to Hard Reset Apple AirPods
If you’re having issues with your AirPods, initiating a hard reset will often fix the problem.
Resetting the AirPods can be a quick fix for many common issues. Most notably, resetting the AirPods is done to solve battery-related problems or inconsistent audio delivery, such as when only one of the AirPods is delivering sound. Resetting the AirPods may also solve connectivity issues.
These instructions will work for both older generation models and the Airpods Pro.
First, head to your iPhone and open the Settings. Tap on Bluetooth, then tap on the ‘i’ next to your Airpods’ name. Next tap ‘Forget this device.’
Now, get your Airpods to finish the reset.
Here’s how to perform a quick reset:
- Lift the top of the case
- Press and hold the button on the back
- Wait for the light to blink
- Release the button when the light flashes red
Note: This will disconnect your AirPods from all connected devices. You will have to go through the setup wizard again to use them. Wait until the light flashes white again. That’s the signal that you can attempt to reestablish one or more connections.
In many cases, doing this will be enough to resolve any issues you’re having with your AirPods. If not, keep reading for some other troubleshooting tips.
Other Troubleshooting Tips
Relying on the lights is not the only way to determine what’s wrong with your AirPods.
If you open the case near a connected iOS device, you may press the button on the back of the case and open a readout display of the battery status. This will tell you exactly how much battery life is left. You can do this when the lights aren’t working correctly, if you forget what each sequence indicates, or if you heard the power down chime.
If your AirPods sound muffled, the first thing you should check is whether or not they’re clean. Get rid of the ear wax, dust, and all other debris before testing again. Alternatively, try the AirPods on different devices before bothering to reset them.
Depending on your problem, you can always change the name of your AirPods to help with connectivity. Open your AirPods case with the AirPods still in it, open the Bluetooth settings on the Apple Device it’s paired to, then tap the ‘i’ with a circle around it. Update the name of your AirPods and try connecting to a new device again.
You can try to connect your AirPods to another device to rule out any device-specific issues. If your older iPhone model is not working with your AirPods but your Mac is, it’s likely the iPhone is the issue and not the pods themselves.
One last thing to note is that a reset may not fix your AirPods’ charging issues. You can try to clean them up a bit and make sure the connectors work correctly. But failing to recharge is usually a hardware issue that can’t easily be solved.
If you’re not able to fix your issues via hard reset or with any of these other troubleshooting methods, there’s a good chance you AirPods have hardware issues that may not be fixable. In this case, your best option is to replace them with a new pair or check with Apple for any warranty options.
You can make an appointment at your nearest Apple Store for repair and help if necessary. It may interest you to know that you can buy a single AirPod or the case from the company as well.
Considering the cost of a full replacement, the prices for replacing one component aren’t that bad. Especially if you’re attached to the model you already have.
A Final Thought
Apple AirPods are super easy to use, especially if you’re using them alongside other Apple devices.
However, troubleshooting and maintenance can be difficult. Instead, users have to resort to online tutorials to guide them through these simple processes.
Familiarize yourself with the light patterns and colors to identify the type of problem they’re signaling and you’ll be able to fix most of the issues on your own. As you’ve already noticed, resetting the AirPods won’t fix everything, but can be a quick fix for some common problems.
Have any other tips for troubleshooting issues with AirPods? Share them in the comments below!