How To Connect AirPods to Laptop

Chris Campbell10 Jan 2022

Apple's AirPods are entirely wireless Bluetooth earphones designed for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. However, AirPods are compatible with a wide range of other devices, including your laptop.

AirPods are relatively simple to install and use Bluetooth, thus they can be used with any device that can sync with Bluetooth earphones.

Meaning, you can use AirPods with a laptop as an alternative or addition to a MacBook. It's even possible to sync your AirPods with your laptop while connecting to your iPhone simultaneously. This definitely makes it easy to switch between your iPhone and laptop.

So, you can't seem to get your AirPods to work with your laptop. No need to get all worked up! The fix is simple. Depending on whether you’re using a MacBook or a Windows laptop, this process may look different. 

How To Connect AirPods to Laptop Windows 10

Let's go with a Windows 10 laptop first.

  1. On your Windows 10 laptop, select Settings from the Start menu.
  2. Open the case lid of your AirPods and hold down the button. That should make your AirPods visible to the laptop. 
  3. Navigate to "Select devices” then Click on "Add Bluetooth or other devices."
  4. Select your AirPods once it appears on the device list.
  5. Your AirPods should sync with your laptop. Finally, click “Done.”

Note: Almost all laptops come with Bluetooth capabilities, so you almost certainly have this feature.

How To Connect AirPods to Laptop Mac

For your MacBook, as a first step, make sure the operating system on your Mac is up to date. 

To check, click the Apple icon in the upper left of your screen and choose “About this Mac.” You will see a window where you can choose "Software Update." AirPods Pro will require Catalina 10.15.1 or later, and regular 2nd generation AirPods macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later.  Follow these easy steps to connect your AirPods once you’ve made sure your Mac's software has the latest version.

  1. Navigate to “System Preferences.” It's the gear-shaped icon on your screen. “Spotlight” may also be used to look for System Preferences (it's the magnifying glass icon in the upper right).
  2. Click “Bluetooth” from the list. 
  3. Open the lid of your AirPods’ case and hold down the button. 
  4. The light should begin to flicker white. When it happens, you may let go of the button.
  5. Look for your AirPods to show up on the devices and click “Connect.”

Note: If your AirPods don't show up on the devices list, check and make sure that Bluetooth is switched on and follow the steps,

How To Connect AirPods to Laptop Without Bluetooth

As a rule, there is no way to connect an AirPods to a PC other than through Bluetooth. With a Bluetooth adaptor, you may connect your wireless AirPods to a Windows laptop. In order to link a non-Bluetooth laptop with Wireless Bluetooth devices, USB Bluetooth adapters are the ideal option.

Airpods are meant to operate with IOS devices and Macs, however, they lack a Bluetooth chip, therefore they can only be paired with devices that have an "enhanced" Bluetooth mode.

If you want to link AirPods to a laptop that doesn't support the "enhanced" Bluetooth mode, you'll need to get a Bluetooth Adapter.

The AirPods will work so long as they are linked to a Bluetooth device even connected through a USB port. The rationale for this is that Apple wants to ensure that users who buy their products can conveniently transfer music onto the AirPods.

Apple offers a means for the AirPods to connect over USB and allow users access to their music library so if you want to listen on your laptop which unfortunately doesn't come with Bluetooth, you can still easily do so.

Here are the steps to pairing your AirPods with your laptop even without Bluetooth:

  1. Check and make sure that your Bluetooth adapter has been plugged in, and that “Bluetooth” is turned on on your laptop.
  2. Open the lid of the AirPod case but don’t take out the AirPod earbuds. 
  3. Hold down the button on the AirPod case for up to 3 seconds. Once the light blinks, let go of the button.
  4. Navigate to your “Bluetooth Settings.” Click on "Add Bluetooth or other devices." Wait for a few seconds as the laptop searches all available Bluetooth devices.
  5. Select your AirPods once they show on the screen to connect them to your laptop. 
  6. A notice should appear indicating that they have been successfully linked with your laptop.
  7. You can now start listening on your AirPods.

How To Troubleshoot Connection Errors When Connecting AirPods to Laptop

When it comes to pairing Bluetooth devices to your laptop, experiencing a connection error is rather common. When you encounter a connection problem with AirPods, here are steps you can follow.

  • The first step to try is a quick reboot of the laptop’s Bluetooth. Simply turn your laptop's “Bluetooth setting” off and then turn it back on.
  • If that doesn't fix the issue, go to your Bluetooth devices list and look for your AirPods. Click “Forget” then reconnect them again. 

Note: If you want to completely disconnect AirPods from your laptop, simply put the AirPods inside the case and close its lid.

How To Reconnect AirPods to Laptop

After connecting your AirPods to your laptop for the first time, you can reconnect them easily by returning to the "Bluetooth & other devices" option in "Settings." Under the Audio heading, you'll find a list of all of your associated audio devices. Click the "Connect" button after selecting your AirPods from the list.

How To Troubleshoot AirPods That Keep Disconnecting From Laptop

Bluetooth connection is quite efficient, but it isn't ideal, so your AirPods might occasionally disconnect.

Putting your AirPods inside their case and shutting the lid for a few seconds is a simple method to reconnect them. Once you remove the AirPods from the case, they should instantly reconnect to your laptop, but if that doesn't happen, you may need to manually reconnect using the Bluetooth devices menu.

If your AirPods keep disconnecting, another factor could be the number of Bluetooth devices that are synced to your laptop. If you have numerous Bluetooth devices connected, such as a Bluetooth mouse, wireless keyboard, and your AirPods, the Bluetooth module is likely to be overloaded and unable to provide a reliable connection to all devices simultaneously.

An easy solution would be to unplug any Bluetooth devices that are no longer in use and switch to cable peripherals.

There you have it. Now you can use your AirPods to listen to your fave tunes anytime you work on your laptop, or to do some "Netflix and chill."

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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