Connecting your AirPods or AirPods Pro to your Mac, iOS, or Android device.

Apple has introduced a number of Bluetooth earbuds over the past few years, and they're fantastic thanks to additions like noise cancellation and automatic device switching. Apple's AirPods have become a runaway success, and consumers can't get enough of them.  

It's possible that you'll run into difficulties when trying to pair devices, such as when using AirPods with a Mac. The best ways to pair your AirPods or AirPods Pro with your Mac, iPhone, or Android are outlined here.

Setting up your AirPods with your Mac

Apple's unified ecosystem is well-designed and simple to use. Everything Apple, From the Mac to the iPhone to the iPad to the AirPods This is why using AirPods within this ecosystem saves you a ton of time and effort. Not everything is rose-colored, though; sometimes you need a supplementary aid to improve things. We'll walk you through the best ways to pair your AirPods or AirPods Pro with any of your gadgets.  

Make sure your gadget is compatible before continuing.  

First-generation AirPods users:

  • Any macOS after Sierra
  • Upgrade to iOS 10 or later
  • Minimum Requirement: tvOS 11
  • watchOS ================  

For the second-generation AirPods:

  • macOS 10 14 4 or later
  • iOS 12 2 or later
  • tvOS 12 2 or later
  • watchOS 5 2 or later  

Regarding AirPods Pro:

  • macOS 10 15 1 or later
  • iOS 13 2 or later
  • tvOS 12 2 or later
  • watchOS 6 1 or later  

To use with AirPods 3rd Gen:

  • Later versions of macOS
  • A device running iOS 13 or later
  • No earlier than tvOS 14
  • If your watch isn't running watchOS 8, upgrade!

How to pair a new set of AirPods with a Mac:

  1. Simply activate your AirPods by opening the charging case and holding the pairing button.
  2. Select Bluetooth from the main menu. If it isn't already enabled, turn on Bluetooth in System Preferences/System Settings.
  3. Click the Connect button after choosing AirPods from the list of devices.  

connect airpods to mac

It's a bummer that AirPods aren't always a miracle worker with macOS. When compared to iOS, Mac makes it more difficult to pair wireless headphones. Some users have reported issues like the AirPods disconnecting in the middle of a video or when the Bluetooth suddenly stops working. Help is available, though.  

AirBuddy smooths out the process of pairing Bluetooth devices on macOS and iOS. This brings up the same pop-up you see on iOS when you try to pair your AirPods, making the process just as simple and straightforward.  

Here's how to use AirBuddy to pair your AirPods with your MacBook:

  1. Remove the AirPods from their case and place it near your Mac.
  2. Just Make a Click Here to Join In
  3. Enjoy  

connect airpods using airbuddy

The AirBody icon in the top bar provides instant access to a connection status report. Alternately, you could set it up so that the default action when clicking the icon is to connect to your preferred headphones.  

Automatically connecting your AirPods to your Mac

If you have AirPods, you probably use them with a variety of electronic gadgets, including your computer and smartphone. Apple allows you to automatically connect your AirPods to the device playing audio so long as you're signed into all of your devices with the same Apple ID. You can save a lot of time and effort with this.  

Automatic switching shouldn't require any action on your part; if your devices meet the requirements below, it should be activated automatically.

  • You're rockin' some newer-than-the-first-gen AirPods.
  • Every one of these gadgets is equipped with the most recent OS available.
  • All of your Apple products share the same Apple ID that you're using.  

Automatic switching can be extremely frustrating for some. Turn off the auto-switch feature if you prefer to connect your AirPods manually.

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iOS device and head to Settings > Bluetooth to see when you last used them and which device they were paired with.  

  2. Connect your AirPods to your Mac and head to System Preferences > Bluetooth. From there, select When Last Connected to This Mac from the drop-down menu next to AirPods.  

Advice: if your Mac usually has several wireless devices connected, connecting them all manually may be excessive. ToothFairy is a Bluetooth assistant that streamlines your workflow by allowing you to assign a unique icon to your menu bar for each of your devices.  

toothfairy mac

Most people's experience with AirPods begins on their mobile device. AirPods require an iPhone with an active iCloud account in order to be paired for the first time. The AirPods will be automatically set up with all of your Apple devices if you use the same Apple ID across the board. That's a tremendous short cut, for sure.  

  1. Release the iPhone from its case and place it in a charging position.
  2. Connect by touching the screen.
  3. If you're using AirPods 2 or AirPods Pro with an iPhone and don't already have Siri installed, you can do so by following the on-screen prompts.  

If you've already paired your AirPods with an iPhone and want to use them with a different device, you'll need to follow the on-screen prompts while holding the pairing button on the charging case.  

Connecting AirPods is a lot simpler on iOS than it is on macOS; all you have to do is follow the on-screen prompts.  

Try AirBuddy if you want a similar experience connecting AirPods to a Mac.  

Setting up your AirPods with your Android device.

The steps are a little more involved for those with Android phones:

  1. Turn on your phone's Bluetooth feature.
  2. Turn your charging case upside down and use the button there to pair your device.
  3. Click Pair next to AirPods in your device's Bluetooth menu.

When using AirPods with an Android phone, you will miss out on some of their built-in features. Taking out the headphones will automatically pause the music, and you won't be able to change this setting.

What to do if your AirPods won't pair

Troubleshooting AirPods connection issues can be challenging because many different things could have gone wrong. The following suggestions should help you locate the source of the issue and restore normal AirPods connectivity:

  • If your AirPods get dirty, you can use a damp cloth to clean them, or you can use a dry, lint-free cloth. Before you plug them back into your Mac or iPhone, make sure they are completely dry.
  • If you're having trouble with just one AirPod, try adjusting the stereo balance on your iOS device or computer.  
  • Disconnect your AirPods and reconnect them. It's possible that all you need is a quick fix.
  • If you're having trouble pairing your AirPods with your Mac, try using a different app, such as AirBuddy or ToothFairy.  
  • If nothing else has worked, try resetting your AirPods to factory settings.  

If your AirPods aren't connecting, our in-depth guide has the answers you need.  

If you want a better AirPods experience, download Setapp.

Setapp is a Mac and iPhone productivity service that includes AirBuddy and ToothFairy, two fantastic programs for connecting your AirPods to your computer. ToothFairy allows you to set up multiple connections and connect different headphones at the same time, whereas AirBuddy is the best in terms of pairing user experience. While AirPods are the most common example of this, both AirBuddy and ToothFairy are compatible with any Bluetooth device.

Get both apps for free for 7 days when you sign up for Setapp today! The Monthly Cost is

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