How to connect Apple AirPods to your MacBook, PC and other Bluetooth devices

Pair the smart earbuds to anything in the room
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Connecting Apple AirPods to a MacBook, PC or another Bluetooth device isn't quite as straightforward as pairing them to an iPhone or iPad.

While the smart earbuds hit it off instantly with an iOS deice when taken out of the charging case, there are a couple more hurdles to jump over when pairing to a the likes of a Mac.

Just announced: Apple AirPods 2

Thankfully for you, we're here to help. Below, we'll be guiding you through every step on how to connect AirPods to your army of devices.

How to connect AirPods to MacBook

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Whether you've got a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or just a regular Mac, the process for connecting AirPods is the same. And if you've already set up the earbuds with your iPhone and your Mac device is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, they might already be ready to pair.

To check, click the Apple logo > System Preferences >Bluetooth and hit 'Connect' if you see a device named AirPods.

If you can't see your AirPods in the Bluetooth menu, follow these steps:

  • Hit the Apple logo in the top left corner, go to System Preferences and click through to the Bluetooth section.
  • Ensure that Bluetooth on your Mac is turned on.
  • Make sure the AirPods are in their charging case and open the lid.
  • Hold the setup button on the back of the case until the light begins to flash white.
  • You should then see the AirPods in the Devices list of the Bluetooth menu.

How to connect AirPods to PC

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Maybe it's your work laptop, maybe you've got an old computer collecting dust or maybe you want to pair AirPods to your shiny Windows 10 device – well, like connecting to an Apple Mac, the process is simple:

  • Open the Settings app and choose Devices from the menu.
  • Go to the Bluetooth & Other Devices page and choose 'Add Bluetooth or other device'.
  • On the next window, hit Bluetooth.
  • Make sure the AirPods are in their charging case and open the lid.
  • Hold the setup button on the back of the case until the light begins to flash white.
  • You should then see the AirPods in the 'Add a device' list of the Bluetooth menu – click to pair.

You won't have to repeat this step every single time you want to pair your AirPods to your PC. However, you will have to manually go the list of Bluetooth devices associated with the computer and click to connect. Also, be aware that you won't be able to use Siri when paired.

How to connect AirPods to Android

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You might not know it, but the AirPods can connect to your non-Apple smartphone or tablet. So, for those of you running on Android, you can harness the earbuds' Bluetooth capabilities and cheat on Apple. Like with connecting to a PC, you won't be able to speak to Siri, but that's probably not where your priorities sit.

Things may vary slightly depending which version and device you're working from, but follow the steps below to connect AirPods to an Android device:

  • Go to the settings or connections section of your device and ensure Bluetooth is turned on.
  • With the AirPods sitting in the charging case, open the lid.
  • From there, press and hold the setup button on the back until you see the light begin to flash white.
  • When the AirPods appear in the list of Bluetooth devices, select them.

Again, as when connecting to a PC, you won't have to repeat this step every time you want to pair your AirPods to an Android phone or tablet. However, you will have to manually go to the list of Bluetooth devices associated with the device and click Connect.




Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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