When most of the tech in your life is acting up — whether it be your computer, phone, game console, what have you — simply turning the device off and on again works wonders. Tech likes a reset! However, not all of our stuff has an on/off switch. AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones, for example, don’t have any obvious way to perform a hard reset. But if your AirPods aren’t working as they should, you can use this hidden trick to get them back up and running.
Now, you normally don’t need to worry about a hard reset with Bluetooth headphones. Sometimes, when things go wrong, simply unpairing and repairing your AirPods to and from your iPhone is enough to jostle things back into place. That’s how I’ve addressed most of my AirPods connectivity issues in the past.
However, a pairing cycle isn’t enough to solve all issues. Sometimes, your device still can’t find your AirPods; other times, your AirPods continue to disconnect. It’s a pain in the arse, especially when all you want to do is listen to your music or a movie without disturbing others around you.
How to reset AirPods, Beats, and other Bluetooth headphones
Let’s take a look at AirPods. To perform a hard reset, first unpair the AirPods from your device. On iPhone or iPad, go to your Bluetooth settings, tap the (i) next to your AirPods, scroll down and choose “Forget This Device,” then “Forget Device” on the popup. On Mac, go to Bluetooth in System Preferences, right-click on your AirPods and choose “Remove.”
Now, pop your AirPods back in their charging case. Hold down the button on the case while keeping the lid open for roughly 15 seconds. You should notice the light turn amber, and blink three times. Let go of the button, and the light will turn white, indicating the AirPods are ready to pair again.
You can expect the same for Beats earbuds, as well; unpair the Beats from your device, place the Beats in their case, and hold down the button for 15 seconds, or until the light turns red.
AirPods Max, on the other hand, require a slightly different approach. You still unpair the headphones as you normally would, but instead of holding down one button for 15 seconds, hold down the Digital Crown and noise control buttons in unison for 15 seconds, until the LED starts flashing amber.
You can try this method with other Bluetooth earbuds and headphones, as well; however, know that this might not be a true standard. After all, these are all Apple-made headphones, so some companies might use another approach with their devices. If you don’t find success in resetting your particular device this way, do a targeted search for how to reset your specific Bluetooth headphone model.