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How To Connect AirPods to your Mac or PC

by William Linden

Apple unveiled its second generation of AirPod Pro earbuds building on the technology and features released in the originals released a few years ago. Ever since its introduction Apple has been slowly adding new features and purifying the designs of their wireless earbuds including a wide range of technologies including Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, and Spatial Audio.

If you are lucky enough to own a pair of new AirPods or AirPods Pro wireless earbuds made by Apple and available in a wide assortment of different models at numerous price points. You may be wondering how to connect your AirPods to Mac computers or other Bluetooth devices.

Thankfully Apple has made it very easy for you to connect your AirPods to macOS, Android, or other operating systems and platforms using Bluetooth. Enables you to listen to music, take calls or simply listen to your favorite audiobook or movie. This quick guide will concentrate on showing you how how to connect your AirPods to Mac computers such as the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Studio systems.

Check your Mac operating system

Depending on which AirPods you have will slightly change the operating system you need to connect them. If you own a pair of second-generation AirPods, make sure your Apple Mac computer is running macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. If you own Apple AirPods Pro earbuds, make sure your Mac is running macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later. Or if you are the owner of third-generation AirPods, make sure that your Mac is running the Monterey macOS or later.

To check this on your Mac computer, simply go to the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of your screen and click on “About This Mac”. A window will open and in large letters above the version number, you will see the operating system that is installed on your Mac computer. If it is different from the requirements listed above, you will need to update the operating system on your Mac before you can connect your AirPods.

Connecting AirPods to Macs

If you have already set up your AirPods on your iPhone, you are pleased to know connecting them to your Mac is a simple operation and requires that you sign into iCloud with the same Apple ID you are using on your iPhone. If you already know that your Mac computer and iPhone both use the same Apple ID, your AirPods may already be available to use and connected to your Mac.

Check this by going to the Bluetooth icon in the top right-hand corner of your Mac screen. Clicking the Bluetooth icon will list all the devices that are known by your computer and allow you to quickly connect them by simply selecting them. By placing your AirPods in your ears your Mac should automatically connect, enabling you to adjust the volume directly from your Mac keyboard. If they do not automatically connect, simply select them if they are shown in the list of Bluetooth devices and the operating system will take care of the rest. If you are AirPods have lost their connection to your iPhone it might be worth resetting them.

Connect AirPods to Mac using Bluetooth

The connection not showing on Mac

If for some reason they are not showing in the list of Bluetooth devices on your Mac or under the volume control button, you will need to pair your AirPods with your Mac. Simply follow the instructions below :

1. Make sure Mac has Bluetooth turned on

2. On your Mac computer, go to the System Preferences located under the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of your screen.

3. Select the Bluetooth icon and make sure your AirPods are replaced in their charging case

4. Open the lid of your AirPods charging case

5. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the charging case until the status light flashes white.

6. After a short time, you should see your AirPods appear in the list of devices

7. Once they appear, select them from the list and click the “Connect” button

8. If the connection has been made, you will hear audio playing in your AirPods when you play music, audio, or videos.

Switching AirPods connections automatically

If you own second or third-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro earbuds whenever you swap from your iPhone, or iPad to your Mac computer, as long as it is running the latest macOS Big Sur, and your iPhone is running iOS 14 and iPad loaded with iPadOS 14 or later. Your AirPods will automatically swap from one device to another as long as all your devices are using the same ID and factor authentication. This is very handy when you are watching a video on your iPad or Mac and you receive a call on your iPhone. As sooner you answer the call from your phone, your AirPods will automatically connect to your iPhone to provide you with audio from your call.

Sometimes a notification will appear about your AirPods on the screen of your Mac when you mouse over this, notification a connect button will appear enabling you to press this to confirm that you would like to switch your AirPods to stay with your Mac computer. Do not worry, once you have completed the process a couple of times, it will become second nature.

Disable automatic AirPods switching

If you would prefer not to automatically switch your audio from one device to another, Apple has made it easy for you to disable this by going to your Bluetooth preferences on your Mac computer. Place your AirPods in your ears and click the Options button next to your AirPods in the list of devices shown. Then select “Connect to This Mac” and then select “When Last Connected to This Mac”. This will stop audio from automatically switching from one device to another and is handy if you are in a conversation such as a FaceTime call on your Mac and a call is received on your iPhone. If you would like to revert to automatic AirPod switching, simply select the “Automatically” option and your AirPods will return to their default configuration.

If you are still experiencing issues connecting your AirPods to your Mac, iPhone, or other devices it might be worth talking to the Genius team at Apple or searching the official Apple support website for more indications on what might be causing the issue.

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