Here’s How to Pair AirPods on Your Apple Devices

Image of AirPods an AirPods case on a white background.

AirPods are Apple’s wireless earbuds that connect to your Apple devices over Bluetooth. In case you purchased them recently, here’s how to pair AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

How to Pair AirPods on Your iPhone and iPad

One of the defining features of AirPods is how easy it is to connect them, whether you’re pairing them for the first time or the hundredth time.

  1. For a first time pairing, make sure you’ve navigated to the home screen.
  2. Open the AirPods case and hold it near your device.
  3. A white menu will appear on the screen. Tap Connect.
  4. If you have AirPods Pro, follow the on-screen instructions. Otherwise you’re all set.
  5. Tap Done.

Another great feature for AirPods: If you’re signed into iCloud with your Apple ID, your AirPods will be automatically set up on your other devices, as long as you’re logged in with the same ID.

Screenshot showing How to pair airpods on iPad.

How to Pair AirPods on a Mac or Non-Apple Device

If you have the second generation of AirPods, your Mac has to be running macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. If you have AirPods Pro you have to be running macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.

If you’ve already paired the AirPods with your iPhone or iPad, all you have to do is put them in your ears and find them in the Bluetooth menu in the top menu bar. If they don’t appear you’ll have to try the next steps.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Bluetooth and make sure it’s turned on.
  3. Put your AirPods in the case, then open the lid.
  4. Press and hold the button on the back of the case until the light on the front flashes white.
  5. Your AirPods should then appear in the list of Bluetooth devices, where you can click Connect.

The process is similar if you’re pairing AirPods with a non-Apple device, like an Android phone. Locate the device’s Bluetooth settings, then repeat steps 3 and 4, then 5 to connect.

Screenshot showing how to pair airpods mac

How to Pair AirPods on your Apple Watch

If you have the first generation of AirPods your Watch has to be running watchOS 3 or later. Second generation AirPods and AirPods Pro require watchOS 5.2 or later.

Your AirPods can automatically switch between your iPhone and Apple Watch depending on which one is playing audio. But you can also do it manually.

  1. On your Apple Watch, swipe up to access the Control Center.
  2. Tap the AirPay icon, which looks like a triangle with circles.
  3. Then, tap AirPods.

And that’s how to pair AirPods on your devices. This works for any generation of AirPods.

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