How to connect AirPods to PC, Mac and Android

Few headphones are as popular as Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro among iPhone users. But you can also use the Apple earphones on a Windows PC or laptop. We will share how to connect AirPods to Windows PC and what you should keep in mind when pairing AirPods with Windows.

Of course, your computer must be Bluetooth-enabled since this is how the connection to the headphones is established. If your PC does not have a Bluetooth receiver, you can upgrade it via USB. This method works with both the first-generation AirPods and the newer AirPods Pro.

how to connect airpods to pc

Connecting and using AirPods with Windows 10

If the cable of the headphones bothers you when listening to music or watching movies, you should go for a wireless earphones. Especially popular among iPhone users: Apple AirPods and Apple AirPods Pro. Since Apple products generally work best with in-house equipment, it is recommended to use them primarily with an iPhone, an iPad, or a Mac.

However, you can equally use the headphones with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. If you are now wondering how AirPods can be connected to a Windows PC and whether there are different procedures for the different models, you are in the right place.

Because we will inform you about the advantages and disadvantages of the connection, how to connect the AirPods with a PC, and which special features you should pay attention to when connecting the AirPods with a PC with Windows 10 or an Android smartphone.

How to connect AirPods with Windows PC

While Apple often keeps its system locked and use outside of the Mac and iOS is not possible for many apps and gadgets, they are not stuck with the AirPods. Here’s how to connect the AirPods to a Windows PC:

  1. Check the Bluetooth is enabled on the Windows computer.
  2. Put the AirPods into pairing mode. To pair, first place both headphones in the charging case. With the lid open, press the setup button on the back of the case.
  3. Hold the button down until the LED flashes white.
  4. The AirPods are now in pairing mode and can be connected to other devices.
  5. Open the Start menu on the Windows computer.
  6. Use the gear wheel to navigate to the settings.
  7. Go to the “Bluetooth and other devices” section (1).
  8. At this point, check whether Bluetooth is on (2).
  9. Select the option “Add Bluetooth or other devices” (3).
  10. Decide on the “Bluetooth” option.
  11. If the pairing mode on the headphones and Bluetooth on the Windows PC are activated, the AirPods will now appear in the overview of available devices. Press the entry for the AirPods to connect the Apple headphones to the Windows PC.
  12. The message “Your device is ready to use” will appear on the monitor. You should now be able to hear the sounds from the Windows PC through the tiny earbuds.

In the future, the headphones can be connected via the Windows computer’s Info Center when the case is open.

Tip: We also explain how the AirPods can be connected to a Mac and paired with Android smartphones.

AirPods do not connect with Windows?

If the connection worked, but you still can’t hear anything, you probably need to select the AirPods as an output device in the sound settings first. If the headphones won’t connect, check the Bluetooth connection on your computer and make sure the AirPods are charged. Sometimes, You can also solve connection or sound problems by deleting already paired AirPods from the list of connected devices.

Go through the steps above again if necessary. In order for the headphones to pair, they must not already be connected to an iPhone, iPad, or other devices during this time.

In case of persistent connection problems, WireDale will help you here: AirPods keep cutting out? Here’s how to fix!

Apple’s headphones are naturally optimized for use with iPhones. Therefore, you cannot use some features via the Windows computer. These include Siri control and automatic pausing. Sometimes, the microphone might not be recognized correctly for some users.

Specific Criteria: Connecting AirPods to PC

To connect Apple AirPods with a Windows PC, it must meet specific criteria. The most important requirement is that you use a laptop or Windows PC with Bluetooth. Most computers come with Bluetooth out of the box. If this is not the case, you would have to upgrade.

All you need is a USB stick that makes the laptop or PC Bluetooth-enabled. You can buy this for a few dollars in stores. While the connection is usually automatic on a Mac, you have to manually pair AirPods with a Windows PC.

The good news is that after the initial connection, you can quickly and easily find the AirPods via the PC’s Info Center and connect them directly. You can even use the talk and playback functions with your AirPods and a Windows PC. Only Siri is exclusively available for Apple devices.

How to connect AirPods with Mac

If you have a PC with a Bluetooth module built-in or retrofitted via USB, you can also pair the AirPods with that device. To do so, go to the “Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & Other Devices” menu in Windows 10 and click “Add Bluetooth or other device.” Press and hold the setup button on the AirPods charging case until the LED flashes white. The entry for the AirPods should now show up in the Windows settings. Click “Connect” to pair the headphones with the computer.

The process is a little different on a Mac

If your AirPods are already paired with your iPhone, in many cases, they’ll be connected to your Apple computer right away. If your iPhone and Mac are connected to your iCloud, you can probably connect the headphones to your computer without pairing them manually first. The prerequisite for this is that you use the same Apple ID for all your devices.

If the Mac does not connect automatically: 

  1. Open the System Preferences and click on “Bluetooth.”
  2. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  3. Make sure the charging case of your AirPods is open.
  4. Press the setup button until the status indicator glows white.
  5. You should now be able to see your AirPods in the device list on your Mac.
  6. Now when you click “Connect,” the AirPods will automatically connect to the computer.

How to connect AirPods to Android Smartphone

What’s unique about AirPods is that you can pair them with more than just iOS devices. If you want, you can also connect your AirPods with an Android smartphone. Unlike iPhone and co., the connection does not work fully automatically, but it is certainly possible. The key to a successful connection is the setup button. It is located on the back of the AirPods’ charging case. 

  1. First, place the headphones in their charging case and leave them open.
  2. You must then turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone.
  3. This is possible via the settings in the menu item “Connections.”
  4. After that, you can press and hold the setup button of the AirPods case until the light on the case flashes.
  5. If everything works, the headphones will now appear on your smartphone as an available Bluetooth device.
  6. Select the headphones, and your Android smartphone will be connected to the AirPods.
Note: Keep in mind that you won’t be able to benefit from all of the AirPods’ features if you have them paired with an Android phone. This includes Siri voice control, for example, which requires a device from Apple.

Microphone and problems with other functions

Even though AirPods can be paired as ordinary Bluetooth headphones, they are specifically designed to pair with an iPhone or other Apple products. Therefore, you cannot fully use the AirPods functions with a PC. And there are problems with the connection or with the microphone.

Unfortunately, you have to do without the Siri function via double-tap and automatic pause. The built-in microphone is also not recognized correctly in Windows for some users. However, you could use the AirPods Pro with a Dell laptop (Windows 10 Pro) without any problems.

We have more tips and tricks for your AirPods:

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