Hard reset your Apple AirPods

One of Apple's biggest hits of this decade isn't the Apple Watch, the Homepod or even the iPad. Instead, it's the Airpods, Apple's wireless earbuds launched after removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. The Airpods have found a huge fan base thanks to their ease of use, long battery life and their automatic connection function.

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Of course, if your Airpods aren't working, or you just got a new phone, you may need to reset your Airpods. Unfortunately, the design is so simple that it actually makes things a bit confusing when it comes to troubleshooting. Let's take a look at how to troubleshoot your Airpods.


AirPods have a single light indicator under the hood. Specific combinations of lights can indicate various problems, depending on where the AirPods are at any given time. It is important to understand this before starting the recovery.

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You won't be able to know exactly how much energy is left in the battery. But if you see a green light while the AirPods are in their case, it means you have enough battery life for normal use. If you see a green light and your AirPods aren't in the case, then the case still has at least one charge available.

When the AirPods are connected to the charger, the yellow light indicates that the AirPods are charging. But if the AirPods aren't in the case at the time, this light can also mean the case has less than a full charge left.

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Is the yellow light flashing? This indicates a pairing error with one or more of your devices. It might mean you need to disconnect and try again by resetting the AirPods. A blinking white light indicates that the AirPods are ready to connect with Apple devices.

Of course, if there is no light on the case and your AirPods are inside, it means that the case's charging is completely depleted and needs to be recharged.


Resetting your AirPods can be a quick fix for a number of common problems. Specifically, resetting the AirPods is done to troubleshoot battery-related issues or audio issues, such as when only one of the AirPods is making sounds. You can also use it to troubleshoot connectivity issues.

Here's how to perform a reset:

  1. Lift the top of the case
  2. Press and hold the button on the back
  3. Wait for the light to flash
  4. Release the button when the light flashes red

Note that this will disconnect your AirPods from all connected devices. You will need to repeat the setup wizard to be able to use them. Wait until the light flashes white again. This is the signal that you can try to re-establish one or more connections.


Relying on lights isn't the only way to determine what's wrong with your AirPods, it's only useful when your phone, tablet, or Mac isn't close at hand. If you open the case near a connected iOS device, you can press the button on the back of the case and open the display to read the battery status.

This will tell you exactly how much battery is left. You can do this when the lights are not working properly, if you have forgotten what each sequence indicates, or if you have heard a beep to shut off. This chime indicates that you are below 10%.

Some users may confuse audio problems with low battery power. If your AirPods look muffled, the first thing to check is whether they are clean or not. Get rid of the earwax, dust and all other debris before retesting.

Alternatively, try the AirPods on different devices before bothering to reset them. One final thing to note is that a reset may not fix your AirPods charging problems. You can try to clean them up a bit and make sure the connectors are working properly. But not charging is usually a hardware problem that can't be easily fixed.


Apple's AirPods are super easy to use. However, it's a shame they no longer have official support and guidelines. Instead, users have to resort to online tutorials to be guided through these simple processes.

As you've already noticed, resetting AirPods doesn't fix everything. Proper maintenance is more useful in many cases.

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