How to Factory Reset any Apple TV, HomePod, AirTag, AirPods, or Beats Headphones
Posted on February 9th, 2023 by Kirk McElhearn
You may need to reset your Apple devices to factory settings when troubleshooting, or when selling, giving away, or recycling devices. In this article, we look at resetting other Apple devices: the Apple TV, HomePod, AirTags, AirPods (all types), and Beats headphones. All these devices are linked to your Apple ID, and if you don’t reset the Apple TV and HomePod, someone could access your content and data.
Here’s how to reset these devices to factory settings. In another article, we look at how to reset any Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch.
Reset any Apple TV to factory settings
Resetting an Apple TV is easy. Go to Settings > System > Reset. You have two options, and different Apple TV models use slightly different terminology. See this Apple support document to identify your Apple TV model.
For the Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD:
- Reset returns the device to its original factory settings.
- Reset and Update resets the device and downloads the latest software.
For the Apple TV (3rd generation) or earlier:
- Reset returns the device to its original factory settings.
- Restore resets the device and downloads the latest software.
You may want to try one or the other when troubleshooting, though if your Apple TV is old, then the Reset option will only install the version of tvOS that was available when it was sold. You won’t need an internet connection for the basic reset option, though you will need internet access to download and install the latest software.
After you’ve reset an Apple TV, if you’re not setting it up again for yourself, it’s a good idea to check that it’s no longer linked to your Apple ID. Go to appleid.apple.com, then click on Devices. If you still see your Apple TV, click it, then click Remove from Account.
Reset any HomePod or HomePod mini to factory settings
You can reset any HomePod with the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Find your HomePod in the Home app, click on it, then click on the gear icon and scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
Click or tap Reset HomePod then click or tap Reset.
If you are unable to reset a HomePod with the Home app, you can do the following:
- Unplug the HomePod for at least 10 seconds.
- Plug it in again, and touch the top of the device and hold your finger there. When the white spinning light turns red, keep holding your finger on the top of the device.
- Siri will say that your HomePod is about to reset; after you hear three beeps, you can lift your finger.
- Remove the HomePod from the Home app.
The large HomePod has no way to connect it to a computer, but you can connect a HomePod mini to a Mac or PC with a USB-C cable. The HomePod mini will show up in the Finder sidebar (on a Mac) or in iTunes (on a Windows PC). Click it, then click Restore HomePod; this resets the device.
After you’ve reset a HomePod, if you’re not setting it up again for yourself, it’s a good idea to check that it’s no longer linked to your Apple ID. Go to appleid.apple.com, then click on Devices. If you still see your HomePod, click it, then click Remove from Account.
Reset AirTags to factory settings
AirTags are a special case. You may have AirTags of your own, that you want to reset, or you may have found an AirTag. In the former case, you need to remove that AirTag from your Apple ID; in the latter, you need to do a full reset.
To remove an AirTag from your Apple ID:
- In the Find My app, tap Items, then tap the AirTag you want to remove.
- Swipe up and tap Remove Item from the bottom of the screen.
If you’ve found an AirTag, you can reset it, and it will no longer share its location with its owner. However, you won’t be able to associate it with your Apple ID and use it.
- Press down on the stainless steel battery cover of the AirTag and rotate it counterclockwise until the cover opens.
- Remove the cover and the battery, wait a few seconds, then replace the battery.
- Press down on the battery until you hear a sound.
- After you’ve heard the sound, repeat the process four more times, removing and replacing the battery, then pressing down on the battery until you hear a sound. You should hear a sound each time you press on the battery, for a total of five sounds. The fifth sound is different from the previous four: it indicates that the AirTag is now ready to pair.
Since you cannot reuse someone else’s AirTag that you find, assuming that you don’t know the owner and can’t return it to them, it’s best to dispose of it correctly. You can keep the battery, in case you have other AirTags (or a non-smart watch, or other device that uses a CR2032 battery), but take the AirTag itself to a recycling collection point.
Reset AirPods to factory settings
To reset any AirPods (other than AirPods Max), do the following:
- Go to Bluetooth settings on any device; since AirPods sync across all your Apple devices, you should see them on any Mac, iPhone, or iPad where you’re signed in with your Apple ID.
- Tap or click the circled i (ⓘ) icon next to the AirPods, tap Forget this Device, then tap again to confirm.
To reset AirPods Max, press and hold the noise control button and the Digital Crown for 15 seconds until the LED flashes amber, then white.
For any AirPods, you can then re-pair them with a device, or sell them or give them away.
Reset Beats on-ear or over-ear headphones
If you have connection or sound problems with your Beats headphones, resetting them may help. This will also remove them from your Apple devices. For on-ear and over-ear models, such as the Solo Pro, any of the Solo Wireless or Studio Wireless models, you press and hold one or two buttons for ten seconds. This Apple support document specifies which buttons to use for each model.
Reset Beats in-ear earphones
For Beats earphone models, such as any Powerbeats, Beats Flex, BeatsX, or Beats Fit Pro, the procedure is similar to that for on-ear and over-ear headphones. You press and hold one or two buttons for ten seconds. This Apple support document specifies which buttons to use for each model.
Beats Studio Buds are similar to AirPods; to reset them, do the following:
- Place both earbuds in the charging case. Leave the case open.
- Press and hold the system button on top of the case, between the two earbuds, for 15 seconds, or until the LED indicator light flashes red and white.
- Release the system button.
After you’ve reset your devices, you can sell them, give them away, or recycle them.
How can I learn more?
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