How to connect AirPods to your laptop

How to connect AirPods to your laptop

AirPods connect seamlessly to Apple devices; listen to podcasts on your iPhone or watch your latest streaming obsession on the iPad without disturbing anyone around you. But you’re not limited to Apple-made gadgets; thanks to the power of Bluetooth, AirPods can connect to Android devices, as well as your PC.

Whether you need to drown out your co-workers or keep that Zoom call private, here’s how to connect Apple’s true wireless earbuds to PCs and Macs, according to Chloe Albanesius on PCMag.com.

How to connect AirPods to a Windows PC

AirPods connect to your Windows laptop through Bluetooth, so make sure the functionality is turned on. Head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and flip the switch for Bluetooth to on if it’s not already activated. It’s also accessible via the taskbar, and Windows 11 has a Quick Settings option for Bluetooth.

Up top, click “Add Bluetooth or other device.”

Find Bluetooth settings in general settings or the taskbar.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

Select “Bluetooth” from the top of the menu:

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Add a device settings on a Windows PC
Select Bluetooth to add a new device to pair.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

Make sure your AirPods are in their case. Flip it open and press the small white button on the back.

The back of an AirPods case
Press the white button on the back of the AirPods case to signal Bluetooth pairing.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

Wait until the indicator light turns white.

AirPods case open showing a green indicator light
Wait until the green light turns white.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

Your AirPods should show up in the list under “Add a Device.” Select your AirPods.

AirPods device showing up in Bluetooth settings on a Windows PC
Select AirPods when it shows up in your Bluetooth settings.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

When your AirPods connect to your PC, a message will appear to say your AirPods are ready to go.

Confirming pair AirPods on a Windows PC
Confirm pairing your AirPods.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

Your computer should remember your AirPods. The next time you want to connect, look for them in the list of available Bluetooth devices and click to connect if they don’t do so automatically.

Windows PC settings showing the AirPods in a list of available devices
Your PC should remember your AirPods from now on.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

If your AirPods fail to connect down the line or you want to remove them from your PC manually, click your AirPods in the “Bluetooth & other devices” menu, and select “Remove device.” To add them again, go through the steps above one more time.

Windows PC settings showing remove device option
If your AirPods don’t connect, remove the device and repeat the steps.
Credit: PCMag.com / Windows

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have a Mac laptop and your AirPods are already connected on your iPhone, they’ll connect automatically via Apple Handoff. Just open your AirPods case, click the sound control option in the menu bar on the Mac and select AirPods.

Bluetooth settings on a Macbook
Pick AirPods from the list of devices.
Credit: PCMag.com / Apple

Otherwise, open the AirPods lid, press the white button on the back (or the noise control button on AirPods Max) until the status light flashes white. On your Mac, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth and pick your AirPods from the “Devices” list.

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