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How to connect AirPods to iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and more

Updated Mar 1st, 2023 1:54PM EST
AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Image: Jonathan S. Geller

Launched in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7, AirPods are among the most popular Apple products. Currently, the company sells AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max.

What’s great about these products is how easy connecting them to your Apple devices is. Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or Apple Watch, it’s almost magical the instant connection between them and your AirPods.

Even if you have a Windows PC or Android phone, it just takes a few steps to take advantage of your favorite wireless earbuds.

How to connect your AirPods to an iPhone

Apple iPhone 12 on a desk next to AirPods and an Amazon Echo Dot
Apple iPhone 12 on a desk next to AirPods. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The first and major thing to note when trying to connect your AirPods to your iPhone is to be sure that your iPhone is updated to the latest version of iOS. Also, AirPods automatically connect with iPhones, so the process is pretty easy.

Just follow the step-by-step step guide below to prompt this connection.

  • Unlock your device and let it remain on the iPhone’s home screen.
  • Bring your iPhone close to the AirPods in the charging case, and then open the lid.
  • A prompt will appear on your iPhone screen. Tap Connect. When they are connected, the case status light blinks and stays. After following the on-screen instructions, tap Done.

How to connect AirPods to an iPad

An iMac, iPad, iPhone, AirPods, and AirPods ProImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Connecting your AirPods to an iPad works the same as on your iPhone. In fact, if you have already paired the AirPods with your iPhone, it will automatically appear on your iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, or Apple TV. It just has to feature the same Apple ID.

If the iPad is the only Apple device you have, here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Unlock your device and let it remain on the iPad’s home screen.
  • Bring your iPad close to the AirPods in the charging case, and then open the lid.
  • A prompt will appear on your iPad screen. Tap Connect. When they are connected, the status light on the case blinks and then stays. After following the on-screen instructions, tap Done.

If it doesn’t work, try this:

  • Be sure that the Bluetooth is turned on from the Bluetooth menu in the settings
  • Swipe down from the upper right corner to navigate to the control center. The audio control should show an image of a connected AirPod.
  • If your AirPods have still not connected, press and hold on to the music control icon.
  • Tap on the music source icon and tap on your AirPods.

This should fix the problem.

How to connect AirPods to a Mac

MacBook next to AirPods Pro.Image source: nhannan/Adobe

If your only Apple device is a Mac, here’s what you need to do to connect your AirPods to your Mac device.

  • With the AirPods in the charging case, open the lid.
  • Press and hold the setup button on the back of the charging case or the noise control button (for Apple AirPods Max users only). Do this until you see the white status light flash.
  • Go to the Apple Menu bar on your Mac and choose System Preferences.
  • Click Bluetooth, and next, select your AirPods on the list of devices displayed on your Mac. Then, tap Connect.

Note: You can enable your preferences to connect your earbuds to your Mac automatically. Also, users whose AirPods support the Siri voice commands can enable it on their Mac.

How to connect AirPods to an Android Phone

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Plus, S23 Ultra, and S23.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus, S23 Ultra, and S23. Image source: Samsung

To connect AirPods manually to an Android device, you need to go to the settings app on your device and follow the steps below.

  • Navigate to your phone settings and then select Bluetooth settings.
  • Bring your AirPods in the charging case close to the phone and open the lid of the case.
  • Press and hold the button on the back of the case till you see a flashing white light.
  • Select the AirPods from the list of Bluetooth devices on the phone screen and follow the on-screen instructions to pair them with the device.

While you can pair the AirPods to a non-Apple device, you should know that the devices might downgrade the audio streaming quality of the AirPods.

The notable sound enhancement and noise cancellation might also be unavailable to some Android devices, mainly because of Apple’s proprietary builds.

How to connect AirPods to a PC/laptop (Windows)

Here’s how to connect your AirPods to your Windows PC.

  • Ensure your Bluetooth is on by navigating to Devices from the Settings
  • Click Add Bluetooth or other devices, and then click Bluetooth.
  • Open the lid of your AirPods case with the AirPods inside and hold the small button on the back of the case for some seconds until you can see the blinking white light.
  • Your earbuds should appear on the computer screen under the list of devices available for pairing. They might appear as Headphones at first and then switch to AirPods.
  • Click on the AirPods name, and there will be a display message at the bottom right corner of your screen indicating a successful connection.

How to connect AirPods to Samsung TV

Samsung TV t

If your Samsung TV has Bluetooth support, It is pretty easy to connect it to your Apple AirPods.

  • Navigate to the Settings of your TV using the remote control or look for the settings icon on the home screen.
  • Scroll down to Sound and click Sound Output. It will probably be a TV Speaker. Click Ok on your remote.
  • Scroll down to Bluetooth Speaker List and then click on Ok. It immediately starts searching for available Bluetooth devices within range.
  • Next, open the lid of your AirPods’ case with both earbuds seated, and long-press the small button behind the case until the indicator flashes a soft white light.
  • Using your remote, click on Needs Pairing, and then click Pair and connect. A message will then pop up that says the connection is successful.


How do I remove an old owner from my AirPods?

To remove an AirPod paired to someone’s Apple ID, ensure that the device is Bluetooth-connected to an iOS device and is within Bluetooth range. Open the Find My app on the same Apple device as the previous owner. Next, choose the AirPods at the bottom devices tab and Remove this device. Reset the AirPods first if this doesn’t work, then repeat the steps again.

Why won’t my AirPods connect?

If you’re having trouble getting your AirPods to connect, make sure your AirPods are charged and the Bluetooth settings are turned on for the device you want to connect to. Then reset the device and try again.

Why are my AirPods blinking Orange?

For any existing variants of AirPods, the orange light means you need to charge them already. A quick plug to a power source should solve it.

Is AirPods Waterproof?

No, they aren’t. No current versions of the AirPod are known to be waterproof. The charging cases are not waterproof either.

What does the white light mean on the AirPods?

A flashing white light indicates that the AirPods are ready to connect to your Apple devices.

Why won’t my AirPods connect to Find My?

This may be due to temporary glitches. To solve this and have your AirPods show up in the Find My app, you only need a simple restart. Place your AirPods in their charging case and close the lid. Then restart the Apple device you want to check the Find My app.

Can you track the AirPods case?

Yes, it’s possible. Once there’s at least one of your AirPods in the missing charging case, you can use the Find My app to track it. An alternative is using products like AirTags or other tracking devices if your AirPods aren’t in the lost case.
With the AirPods Pro 2, you can use Precision Find to locate the case or ask it to play a sound.

Can someone use stolen AirPods?

Yes, they can. If the thief has an Apple device, they can reset the product and make it theirs. Unfortunately, since AirPods don’t connect to Wi-Fi, you can’t remotely control or lock them to prevent others from using them.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.