What Does The Button on the Back of AirPods Do?

AirPods are an innovative device that allows you to connect to any device with Bluetooth capability and be hands-free while you listen to music or stream a movie or television show. The design of the AirPods case is sleek and minimalistic. There is an easy flip-up lid, a small light in the front to indicate battery life/charging, and a seamless charging port on the bottom, but most users overlook one feature on the back of the case.

The small, flush button on the back of the AirPods case is used for pairing the AirPods to non-Apple devices and resetting your device should a problem occur.

Let’s look at how you can pair your AirPods to your devices and the step-by-step process for resetting your device. Keep reading to find out what to do if the button on the back of the case stops working. 

How to Pair Your AirPods to Non-Apple Devices 

Most people have experienced something called brand loyalty at one point or another. You have a satisfactory experience with one product, influencing your perception of the brand. They now seem dependable and high-quality, so you are more likely to continue purchasing their other products. Such is the case with Apple products; many Apple users get a majority of their devices from this brand.

When you purchase AirPods, it is designed to be a seamless experience with the rest of your Apple devices. Simply opening the lid of the AirPods case should prompt the device to pair with your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. Automatic pairing is not the case with non-Apple devices. For non-Apple devices, you will have to pair the AirPods manually. 

Pairing your AirPods to a non-Apple device is quite simple, and it all has to do with the button on the back of the case.

  • Go to the “Settings” of your device and then locate Bluetooth settings
  • Make sure your device’s Bluetooth is turned on
  • Open the lid of the AirPods case and hold down the button on the back until the light on the front of the case flashes white. 
  • Allow your device to search for other nearby devices
  • Once it appears on your screen, select it to connect

Now your AirPods are paired to your device, and you shouldn’t have to go through this process again with that device. When you want to connect again, go to your Bluetooth settings, and it should already be on your list of devices to connect to. 

How to Reset Your AirPods Using the Button on the Back

There are times when your device is experiencing technical issues. It could be connectivity bugs, poor audio, or battery issues. Before you run to the Apple store or spend hours on the phone with technical support troubleshooting, you can try resetting your device and see if that fixes the problem. 

Before you reset, you may want to go into your Bluetooth settings, find the AirPods on your list of devices, select it and then select “Forget Device.” Now you have a clean slate to connect again if it’s connectivity issues.

  • Open the lid on the case of your AirPods
  • Hold down the back button for 10 seconds
  • Wait until the light on the front of the case flashes white
  • Now re-pair your AirPods to your device

Check your device and see if the previous issues have been resolved. If so, now you have a tool for the future if any problems should reoccur. 

What Should You Do If the Back Button Doesn’t Work?

If you’re trying to pair your device or reset it and the button on the back of the AirPod case doesn’t press down properly, or you don’t see the light on the front of the case flash white, it could mean one of two things. You could have debris preventing your button from working properly or a faulty AirPods case. 

If the button on the back of the AirPods case doesn’t work, the first thing you should do is thoroughly clean the case. More often than not, cleaning the back button resolves the problem. You can find AirPods cleaning kits on Amazon for less than $10. 

If cleaning the case does not fix the issue, contact Apple support or go to your nearest Apple Store for a repair or a new case. The Genius Bar may be able to fix your existing case without having to replace it.

Related Content: Can Someone Use Your Stolen AirPods? 



Apple AirPods is an excellent, high-quality product that creates a branded experience with other Apple products. You don’t need Apple devices to enjoy them, pair them using Bluetooth and go. Keep them clean and debris free, and they will serve you well.





John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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