Apple AirPods to a MacBook

How to Connect Apple AirPods to a MacBook (or Mac)

If you’re trying to connect AirPods to your Mac and are facing connectivity issues and you don’t know what to do, today’s article will help you troubleshoot this problem. AirPods pair to Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account. However, connectivity issues can arise in some cases, but they are easy to solve; just follow our instructions!

Ensuring You Mac Is Updated

We will not count this one as a troubleshooting step, but you must ensure that your Mac is up-to-date with the latest version of the operating system because AirPods only work with macOS Sierra or higher.

Therefore, if you are not sure which OS your Mac is running or haven’t updated the software in a while, then it could be causing the AirPods not connecting problem.

You can check which software is currently running on your Mac, and to update if necessary, click on the Apple logo available in the top left-hand corner of the screen and go to About This Mac.

A pop-up window will appear on the screen with the information about your system and which macOS is currently running. To update the OS, click on the Software Update, which will start the update process.

However, suppose the OS is up to date and running macOS Sierra, and you are still facing the AirPods not connecting to your Mac issue. In that case, we suggest that you read our methods below to diagnose and rectify the situation.


1. Turning On Your Mac’s Bluetooth

Airpods connect to your Apple device via Bluetooth, so to connect your Mac to any Bluetooth device, you have to make sure that the Bluetooth is turned on

How To Turn On Bluetooth On A Mac?

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Press Turn On Bluetooth button

Once the Bluetooth is successfully turned on, your Mac will show Bluetooth: On

2. Use the Bluetooth Pairing Mode On Your AirPods.

Use the Bluetooth Pairing Mode On Your AirPods.

If you aren’t logged into your iCloud account through your iPhone, you will need to use the Bluetooth pairing mode on your Airpods to connect to your Mac. Here is how you can pair AirPods to MacBook Bluetooth:

  1. Place your AirPods into their Charging Case.
  2. Open the lid of the Charging Case.
  3. Find the setup button on the charging case, press it, and hold it.
  4. The AirPods will be in Bluetooth pairing mode When the status light starts to flash white.

3. Connect The AirPods To Your Mac Manually

Connect The AirPods To Your Mac Manually

Although your Airpods should connect to your Mac automatically, there is also a way to pair them to your Mac via Bluetooth manually.

How to Connect My AirPods to My Mac Manually?

  1. First, make sure that the Bluetooth is turned on on your Mac.
  2. Open the lid of your AirPods charging case.
  3. Go-to  System Preferences on the Mac.
  4. Select Bluetooth.
  5. Find AirPods in the list of paired Bluetooth devices. Double-click it.

4. Choose Your AirPods As An Output Device

Choose Your AirPods As An Output Device

Your AirPods might not be working with your Mac if it is linked to a different output device, which could cause connectivity issues between the two devices.

Fortunately, you can easily and quickly fix this problem by simply selecting your AirPods as an output device in the list of your Mac’s devices.

  1. Ensure that your Mac and your AirPods are within working range and the charging case is open.
  2. Also, check to see if the Bluetooth on your Mac is turned on.
  3. Go-to System Preferences.
  4. Select Sound.
  5. Click the Output tab.
  6.  Select AirPods as an output device.

5. Restart Your Mac

As simple and obvious as this solution may be, it is often one of the best ways to fix minor technical problems. Try restarting the system and connecting your AirPods for an easy fix.

How To Restart A Mac?

  1. Click the Apple icon on the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select Restart from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Restart on the confirmation alert.
  4. Be patient and allow your Mac to restart itself fully. The restarting process may take a few minutes.

6. Remove/Forget AirPods as a Bluetooth Device

Remove/Forget AirPods as a Bluetooth Device

Several people have reported issues connecting their devices after Mac/AirPods’ update. Thus, after receiving an update, remove/forget AirPods as a Bluetooth device on Mac and reconnect it. Reconnecting the AirPods as a Bluetooth device will also allow the Device to make a new, more stable connection. 

How to Forget AirPods as a Bluetooth Device on Mac?

  1. Go to your Mac’s System Preferences and click on Bluetooth.
  2. From the Bluetooth Devices menu, select your AirPods. Scroll over your AirPods to find the close “x” option and click on it. 
  3. Once the confirmation alert appears, select Forget Device
  4. Wait for a couple of minutes before you reconnect your AirPods as a Bluetooth device on Mac.

7. Charge Your AirPods

Charge Your AirPods

Using your AirPods with good battery life is vital if you want them to connect and function properly. You can face connection issues if you are using them on low battery life. Also, ensure always to charge your AirPods using their original charging case.

  1. Correctly place your AirPods in the charging case.
  2. Once the AirPods are in their charging case, the battery life status indicator will indicate the remaining charge of your AirPods.
  3. When the AirPods are fully charged, the status light will turn green.

8. Charge the Charging Case of the AirPods

Charge the Charging Case of the AirPods

It is also vital to remember that your AirPods’ charging case must also be charged to charge your AirPods. 

  1. Find the lightning connector on your charging case and connect a lightning cable.
  2. Plug your lightning cable into a wall charger or a USB port.
  3. Depending on the charging speed of your charging case, it can take a few hours to charge the battery fully.

9. Keep your AirPods and its Charging Case Clean

Keep your AirPods and its Charging Case Clean

If you want to protect your AirPods and its charging case from functionality and hardware problems, keep your AirPods and its charging case free from dirt, dust, or other debris. To clean the AirPods and its charging case, follow the tips below:

  1. Always use a soft, lint-free cloth. Using tissue paper or a rough fabric can cause minor breakups inside your device, leading to functionality problems.
  2. Always wipe it gently. Be patient and clean your AirPods and charging case carefully. 
  3. If necessary, use an anti-static brush or a new toothbrush to remove compact debris.

10. Reset Your AirPods

Reset Your AirPods

Sometimes, something as simple as resetting your AirPods can resolve several minor issues at one. If you face connectivity or battery drainage issues, you can simply reset your iPhone and AirPods to give them a “fresh start” and fix minor software bugs. 

  1. Press and hold the setup button of your charging case to reset it. 
  2. Release the setup button once you see the status light flashing amber a few times and then gleaming white. 
  3. Your AirPods have been successfully reset.
  4. Now connect your AirPods to your Mac device and check if the issue persists. 

11. Repair Your AirPods

Repair Your AirPods

If you have tried our ten tips mentioned above and are still wondering why your AirPods connect to my Mac, then your AirPods might have a hardware issue. 

Getting your AirPods’ hardware repaired is not as complex as it seems. However, if you are still on the return window, you can take the AirPods back to the Apple Store from where you purchased your AirPods and request a new pair of AirPods. 

If you are not in the return window, you can try getting them repaired through Apple’s online support; you can get an online mail-in repair through Apple’s online support. You can also make an appointment at your local Apple Store’s Genius Bar. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my AirPods not connecting?

Ensure that both of the AirPods are charged, and if not, charge them in their case. Confirm that Bluetooth is turned on and the AirPods are selected. If these steps do not resolve the AirPod issue, you might need to update the macOS to the most recent version.

How can I perform a factory reset on my AirPods?

If you are experiencing connectivity troubles, you may quickly factory reset the AirPods or AirPods Pro. Place your AirPods in their charging case with the lid open, then press and hold the Setup button located on the back for 15 seconds before closing the lid to reset them. 

Where is the AirPods’ pairing button?

The pairing button is located on the back of the charging case for the AirPods. Place the AirPods in the case and keep the lid open to pair them with your Mac. Hold the button down until the Airpod light goes white. To connect, locate your AirPods among the Bluetooth devices shown.

How can I pair two AirPods with my MacBook?

First, connect each pair of AirPods to your MacBook (so that they both appear as a different device). Launch Audio MIDI Setup (from the Applications or Utilities menu) > plus (+) > Make a Multi-Output Device > choose both sets of AirPods. Navigate to System Preferences > Select the newly established output device under Sound.

Wrap up

We hope that with our 11 tips, you will not be worrying about why won’t my AirPods connect to my MacBook.

We hope that a combination of our tips will help you solve the “AirPods not connecting to MacBook” issue, and you will go back to enjoying your AirPods. 

Do you have a solution that helps you solve the AirPods not connecting to Mac issues? Please share it with Reviewed in the comments.

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Sarah is a writer by profession and passion. She is a real tech-savvy who loves everything tech! Talk about the latest tech releases, latest news from the tech world, on-trend tech gadgets, or simple tech hacks – Sarah knows it all! Being a movie enthusiast, she always has a close eye on the latest releases. Her insights about how well the movie will do on the box offices are surprisingly always correct! We call her the “Encyclopaedia of Movies”.