How to Connect AirPods to Your Laptop: PC & Mac Guide

June 21, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Apple’s AirPods are celebrated for their seamless compatibility with Apple devices, but what happens when you need to connect them to a Windows PC or a MacBook? Fortunately, AirPods can connect to various devices, including PCs and Macs, via Bluetooth. Here’s a comprehensive guide to get your AirPods connected.

Connecting AirPods to a Windows PC

To connect your AirPods to a Windows computer, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that your AirPods have enough battery and are placed in their charging case.
  2. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the AirPods case until the status light starts flashing white, indicating they are in pairing mode.
  3. Turn on Bluetooth on your Windows PC:
    • For Windows 10: Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and switch Bluetooth to ON.
    • For Windows 11: Go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices and toggle Bluetooth to ON.
  4. Click on “Add Bluetooth or other device” and select Bluetooth.
  5. From the list of available devices, select your AirPods to complete the pairing process.

If the AirPods don't appear, check that Bluetooth is turned on and your AirPods are in pairing mode. If issues persist, consider restarting your PC or recharging your AirPods.

apple earpods beside apple airpods

Connecting AirPods to a MacBook

Connecting AirPods to a MacBook is generally more seamless, especially if you're logged into the same Apple ID.

Here are the steps to manually connect them:

  1. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your MacBook. Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and toggle Bluetooth ON if it's not already.
  2. Open the AirPods case with the AirPods inside. Press and hold the setup button until the light flashes white.
  3. Your AirPods should appear in the list of Bluetooth devices. Select your AirPods and click Connect.
  4. If your AirPods have been previously paired with an iPhone connected to the same Apple ID, they should automatically connect via Apple Handoff.

For a seamless connection, ensure your MacBook’s operating system is up-to-date, as different AirPods models may require specific macOS versions for optimal performance.

AirPods
"AirPods" by Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Troubleshooting and Tips

Although the connection process is straightforward, you might encounter issues. Here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your device.
  • Keep the AirPods in their case and close to the device.
  • Restart the Bluetooth service on your device.
  • Update your device's operating system to the latest version.

If the AirPods fail to connect or disconnect frequently, a quick reset might help:

  1. Place your AirPods back into the case and close the lid.
  2. Wait for about 15 seconds, then open the lid and press the setup button until the light flashes white.

Using AirPods on Your Computer

Once connected, you can use your AirPods to listen to music, watch videos, or participate in online meetings. Though features like automatic in-ear detection and gesture customization may be unavailable on non-Apple devices, the essential functionalities like audio playback and calls work perfectly.

To disconnect, navigate to the Bluetooth settings on your Windows PC or Mac and remove or disconnect the AirPods. On a Windows PC, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices, select your AirPods, and click Remove device. On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth, select your AirPods, and click the "X" to remove them.

With these steps, you can make the most out of your AirPods, even when using devices outside the Apple ecosystem. Enjoy your seamless listening experience!

StepWindows PCMacBook
1Ensure AirPods have enough battery and are in their charging case.Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your MacBook (System Preferences > Bluetooth).
2Press and hold the setup button on the AirPods case until the status light flashes white.Open the AirPods case and press the setup button until the light flashes white.
3Turn on Bluetooth on your Windows PC:

  • For Windows 10: Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices
  • For Windows 11: Settings > Bluetooth & devices
Select your AirPods in the list of Bluetooth devices and click Connect.
4Click "Add Bluetooth or other device" and select Bluetooth. Choose your AirPods from the list to complete pairing.If previously paired with an iPhone on the same Apple ID, AirPods should automatically connect via Apple Handoff.
Apple AirPods
"Apple AirPods" by pestoverde is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

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