Want to Sell Old AirPods? How to Factory Reset AirPods Pro (2022)

How to reset AirPods Pro (& AirPods) so you can sell them, use the ones you found, or just troubleshoot.

Resetting your AirPods or AirPods Pro can help troubleshoot issues you're having with the devices and is a necessary step when you want to sell or give away your old AirPods. Knowing how to reset AirPods Pro will allow you to use AirPods that you’ve found if you can’t locate the owner.

Related: AirPods Mic Not Working? Try These 6 Tips

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How to Reset AirPod Pros, AirPods, or AirPods Max

Although you'll still need to remove them from your Apple ID (which we'll go over later), here's how to disconnect AirPods:

  1. Place your AirPods inside their charging case and close the lid.
  2. After 30 seconds, open the lid.
  3. On your iPhone, open Settings.

    On your iPhone, open Settings.
  4. Tap Bluetooth

    Tap Bluetooth - how to reset air pods
  5. Next to your AirPods, tap the info icon.

    Next to your AirPods, tap the i icon - how to reset airpod pro
  6. Tap Forget This Device.

    Tap Forget This Device.
  7. Confirm that you want to Forget Device.

    Confirm that you want to Forget Device - how do i reset my airpods
  8. While the AirPods case lid is still open, press and hold the setup button on the back of the case. You have to do this until the status light changes color to amber and then back to white.

    how do you reset airpods

That’s it! Your AirPods have been reset! If you were just troubleshooting, I hope this fixed your AirPod issues. If you just bought used AirPods, this should allow you to set them up under your Apple ID. If you want to sell them, make sure to follow the steps below to remove the Pairing Lock; if you don't, the new owner will see a message saying, "The owner of this item will be able to see its location," along with information about the Apple ID it's registered under.

i found someone's airpods - how to reset your airpods

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How to Remove AirPods Pairing Lock to Remove Them from Apple ID

In the past, when you factory reset AirPods Pro or AirPods, they could no longer be tracked via Find My. With the iOS 15 update, you can: AirPods and AirPods Pro can now be tracked because they have a Pairing Lock, which is similar to your iPhone's Activation Lock. Even if you hard reset AirPods, they will still be trackable via Find My because of the Pairing Lock. To remove it:

  1. On your iPhone, open Find My.

    On your iPhone, open Find My - reset airpod pros
  2. Tap Devices.

    Tap Devices - how to reset my airpods
  3. Select the AirPods you wish to remove.

    Select the AirPods you wish to remove - how to hard reset airpod pro
  4. Tap Remove This Device at the bottom. You may need to swipe up to display more information.

    Tap Remove This Device at the bottom.
  5. You’ll have to enter your Apple ID Password and tap OK.

    You’ll have to enter your Apple ID Password and tap OK.

The good news is that you can do this even after you've sold or given away your AirPods! If you've bought some used and are unable to pair them, you'll have to contact the previous owner and walk them through these steps.

Can Someone Use Stolen AirPods?

Unfortunately, yes, stolen or found AirPods can be used. However, with the iOS 15 update, AirPods became more secure. When I tried to set up my husband's AirPods under my own Apple ID, I was unable to do so despite him being a member of my Apple Family Sharing group. So if someone steals your AirPods, they can still use them to listen to music, but in doing so, you'll be able to see their location.

How to Find Owner of AirPods

"I found AirPods; can I use them?" Yes, you can—but we recommend doing so to assist in finding the owner. Using someone's AirPods can be the key to helping them find you and get their AirPods back. Also, when you reset them and connect them to your iPhone, you may be able to see the owner's Apple ID email. You can use this to try and contact the owner to return the AirPods. In the meantime, try to keep them charged and connected for easier tracking. The other option is to bring them to the police station or an Apple Store and see if they can help.

Now you know how to hard reset AirPods Pro, AirPods, and AirPods Max. We hope this article helped you sell your AirPods, set up used AirPods, or troubleshoot AirPod problems. Next, check out these tips on improving AirPods battery life!
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life who lives in Hawaii. With a BA in International Relations from Anglo American University, Olena traveled the world. She has lived in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, China, and the USA. Olena won an excellence award for a controversial article, got a grant to blog from a war-zone, and published a short fictional story. She hopes to publish a full-length novel and continue writing up a storm on her blog The Travel Bug Bite! When she’s not typing or flying, she is loving on animals, crafting bizarre creations, and devouring all-you-can-eat sushi.