How to connect AirPods to MacBook, iMac, Mac mini?

I don’t know about you, but I use my AirPods with a wide variety of devices. In addition to the iPhone, I connect them to a PC on Windows (as already written in the instructions: how to connect AirPods to MacBook and laptop on Windows ), and sometimes you also have to connect AirPods to a MacBook. When I take my MacBook Air brother, by the way, they also work correctly with a TV, but I’ll talk about this in another article.

AirPods, like any other Bluetooth headphone, connects seamlessly to a variety of devices.

And of course, they work great with Mac OS computers. I mean MacBooks (Air and Pro), iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro. Connecting AirPods to Apple’s computer is much easier compared to the same Windows. You can assign your actions to double-tap on the headphone; the microphone works without problems.

In this article, I want to show the process of connecting AirPods to a MacBook. And also consider the possible settings and some nuances. I have first-generation headphones. If you have a second – it’s okay; the instruction will do similarly if you have, for example, iMac. The system is the same; then, everything will work out.

If you connected your headphones to the iPhone, and on a laptop or MAC computer logged in with the same Apple ID as on the iPhone, then nothing needs to be connected. Just pull the headphones out of the case, insert them into your ears, and select your headphones in the sound settings.

So simple. If the headphones are not in the list of output devices in the sound settings, then they need to be connected. The same magic as on the same iPhone or iPad (when we open the case and bring it to the device) in this case does not work. You need to go into the Bluetooth settings on Mac OS and connect everything manually. But it is straightforward and fast. Now I will demonstrate what is called on a real example.

Why don’t AirPods connect to my MacBook?

If the wireless headphones are connected to the iPhone, sometimes problems are establishing a connection with other devices. To connect your headphones to your MacBook, you need to disable Bluetooth on your iPhone temporarily. Actions must be done through “Settings” – “Bluetooth.” Turning off Bluetooth through the “Control Center” does not altogether disable the feature and allows connection to Apple Watch and AirPods.

Make sure the headphones are sufficiently charged. To do this, open the charging case and look at the LED indicator. It should light up.

If the headphones do not respond, you can restore the factory settings. To do this, press and hold the button on the AirPods housing for 3-5 seconds, until the LED indicator flashes yellow three times.

Connecting AirPods to a MacBook or other Mac OS computer

Open the Bluetooth settings.

We put both headphones in a case and open it. We press the button on the issue and hold it for three seconds. The indicator will blink white.

Check if Bluetooth is enabled on our MacBook. Headphones should appear in the list of available devices. Just click on the “Connect” button.

AirPods will be connected. A battery indicator appears next to the Connected status.

That’s all; you can use headphones. Everything is as simple and as easy as possible.

A menu opens where you can assign the function to double-tap on the left and right earphones. As on the phone, the following options are available: Siri, Start / Pause, Next track, Previous track, Off. There you can configure the use of the microphone on AirPods and disable it or turn on the “Auto Detect Ear” function.

If necessary, in the same settings, Bluetooth headphones can be turned off, renamed, or deleted.

Disabling and Removing AirPods Headphones from a MAC Computer

In the sound settings, you can change the sound output source. For example, switch it to the MacBook’s built-in speakers, even when AirPods are connected. There you can see the charge level of the headphones and the case.

Managing audio output sources on your MacBook

If your Bluetooth icon is displayed in the menu bar, then you can also see the charge level of each AirPods earpiece and case there.

AirPods Headphone Displays on MacBook and iMac

No problems with drivers (as is the case with Windows 7), microphone settings, and the like. Connected in a few seconds and use it. It would be strange, of course, if Apple had not adapted the AirPods to work perfectly with their laptops and computers. Apple ecosystem, without it in any way.

How to connect AirPods to a computer and laptop on Windows?

Apple has made really cool and simple AirPods that can be connected to other Apple devices in seconds with no problems at all. If you have these headphones, then you have probably already seen how easy they are to connect to the same iPhone. The newest on the market is AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. But today I want to tell you not about the headphones themselves, but about how to connect them to a computer, or a laptop that runs on Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7. We’ll also see if these headphones can be used as a headset.

The process of connecting AirPods to Windows is not complicated, but still not as simple as for devices on iOS and Mac OS. I sometimes use my AirPods with a Windows 10 laptop. Of course, they connect via Bluetooth. Therefore, if you do not have a laptop (where Bluetooth usually already has built-in), but a desktop computer, then you will need a Bluetooth adapter to connect Apple’s wireless headphones.

If your laptop or computer does not have Bluetooth, or it does not work, then connecting AirPods will fail. Therefore:

  • In the case of a laptop, where the Bluetooth module is usually built-in, you just need to install the driver. In Windows 10, there should not be any problems with this, since the drivers are usually installed automatically. It doesn’t matter which Windows you have. See if there is a Bluetooth icon in the tray. If there is, then everything is fine, you can connect Airpods. You can also look if there is a corresponding module in the device manager. If there is no Bluetooth anywhere, then try installing the drivers.
  • Download them from the website of the laptop manufacturer for your model. More information in the article How to enable and configure Bluetooth on a laptop with Windows 10 and how to enable Bluetooth on a laptop (there is also information on Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 7).
  • In the case of a PC, you will most likely need to choose and buy a Bluetooth adapter. Then, you need to install and configure it: set up Bluetooth on your computer.

If the computer has Bluetooth (tray icon, section in the settings, etc.), then you can proceed to connect the headphones.

Connecting AirPods to Windows 10

You can click on the corresponding tray icon and select “Add a Bluetooth device”, or go to “Settings” – “Devices” – then “Bluetooth and other devices” tab.

We leave the window with the parameters open, take our AirPods headphones, open the case and hold the round button for three seconds on the back of the case. Keep it pressed until the indicator inside the case starts flashing white.

In the Windows settings, click on “Add Bluetooth or another device” and in the new window select “Bluetooth”.

The computer should see our Airpods. We click on them and the connection process will immediately begin. Upon completion, you just need to click on the “Finish” button.

Everything is ready! Windows is already broadcasting sound to our wireless headphones. Their status in the setting: AirPods – “Connected voice, music.” There you can either manually disable or delete them. After removal, you will need to repeat the connection process again.

We take them out of the charging case, insert them into our ears, and enjoy the music. Only one headphone can be used.

When we hide both earphones in a case and close it, the earphones are automatically turned off (the status of the connection is “Paired”) and the sound starts playing through the speakers of the laptop, or the speaker system. As soon as we open the case with Airpods, they will automatically connect to the computer and the sound goes to the headphones.

Microphone setup, work as a headset

In this regard, everything is the same as with other Bluetooth headphones. I couldn’t set up AirPods in Windows 10 so that I could listen to good quality music (Stereo) while the microphone worked.

You can select an input and output device in the sound parameters. If you select “AirPods Headphone”, then the headphones will work in headset mode.

If you connected Airpods for communication via Skype, then right in the program settings you can configure the settings. Choose these headphones as microphones and speakers.

But then the system will not play sounds through the headphones. You need to return all the settings back. Perhaps you will succeed otherwise to set it all up. You can share it with us in the comments.

In general, in this regard, everything is far from perfect. If you just listen to music, watch movies, etc., then yes, everything works well. But to set up the microphone – you have to tinker. And then it’s not a fact that everything will turn out.

Connect and configure AirPods on a Windows 7 computer

Since I have Windows 7 installed on my laptop next to the top ten, I decided to try connecting AirPods to it. Since there are problems connecting such new devices.

I did everything as in Windows 10. Just connect a new device. Do not forget to activate the connection mode on the headphones. Using a separate button on the case.

But as I expected, Windows 7 could not find the driver.

The AirPods connected, but with an error (there was a yellow exclamation mark next to them) and they simply did not work.

How did I solve this problem?

Updated the driver of the Bluetooth module. I went into the device manager, opened the Generic Bluetooth Adapter properties, and saw that the driver was back in 2006. Which Windows 7 itself installed.

Since I know the model of the Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module that is installed on my laptop (I already changed it), I quickly downloaded and installed a new driver from the manufacturer’s website. If you do not know the model of the module itself, then you can try to download the driver from the website of the laptop manufacturer. But strictly for its laptop model. And if you have a USB Bluetooth adapter, then download the driver for it.

After updating the driver:

Then I just deleted AirPods from the list of already connected devices (since I already tried to connect them) and established the connection again. And this time, Windows 7 installed almost all the drivers. Except for “Bluetooth Peripheral”. But the headphones began to work without problems, despite the fact that a yellow exclamation mark remained near them.

In playback devices, you need to assign them the status of “default”.

That’s how I made friends with Apple’s new headphones with Microsoft’s not-so-new operating system. In Windows 10, it all connects and configures a lot easier. Not like on iOS and Mac OS devices, but still without such dances with a tambourine.

Various problems, settings, solutions, etc. on this topic we can discuss in the comments. Leave your messages there.


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