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How to pair Apple AirPods with a Windows PC

Apple AirPods on a Surface PC
Apple AirPods on a Surface PC (Image credit: Al Sacco/Windows Central)

Apple's AirPods are designed for use with other Apple products, but that doesn't mean you can't use them with your Windows PC. Pairing AirPods with a PC initially isn't exactly intuitive at first because you have to use the charging case along with the AirPods, but it's easy once you know the process.

Products used in this guide

  • Latest AirPods for your earholes: Apple AirPods Pro (opens in new tab) (From $234 at Amazon)
  • More affordable: Apple AirPods (opens in new tab) (From $139 at Amazon)

How to pair AirPods with a Windows device

To pair and connect a new pair of Apple AirPods with your PC, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Insert AirPods into their charging case, and make sure they're at least partially charged.
  2. Open the lid of your AirPod charging case (do not remove AirPods from the case).
  3. Tap and hold the circular button on the rear side of the charging case for a couple of seconds until the light inside the case blinks white.
  4. Open your Windows PC's Bluetooth settings by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the system tray all the way to the right of your taskbar, or by searching for "Bluetooth" in your taskbar search field and clicking the "Bluetooth and other devices settings" option when it appears.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click "Add Bluetooth or other devices" at the top of the settings screen
  2. On the next "Add a device" page, click the top option for Bluetooth.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the AirPods option from the list of discoverable devices.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. After a few seconds, you should see a connection confirmation screen once your AirPods and PC are paired and connected.
    • Note: If you get a connection error, close your AirPods case and your PC's Bluetooth settings, and repeat the process above.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Remove AirPods from their case.
  2. Stick them in your ears, and you're good to go.

Connecting AirPods to a PC is just as easy as connecting any other Bluetooth device. When you're ready to disconnect them, just put your AirPods back in their charging case and close the lid.

How to reconnect paired AirPods and a Windows PC

Your AirPods should automatically connect to your PC after a few seconds every time you remove them from the charging case. If for some reason they don't, you can easily reconnect them by following these easy steps:

  1. Open your Windows PC's Bluetooth settings by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the system tray all the way to the right of your taskbar, or by searching for "Bluetooth" in your taskbar search field and clicking the "Bluetooth and other devices settings" option when it appears.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Scroll down to the Audio section under the "Bluetooth and other devices" list, and click on the AirPods listing.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click Connect to reconnect your AirPods and PC.
  2. You'll hear an audio confirmation if you're wearing your AirPods, and your Bluetooth settings screen will read "Connected voice, music" beneath AirPods listing.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings Airpods

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If for some reason your AirPods still won't reconnect, insert them back into their case, close your Windows Bluetooth settings and repeat this above process. If you're still having issues repeat this process, but on Step 3 choose "remove" to unpair you AirPods and then begin the pairing process detailed above once more.

Our top equipment picks

To connect AirPods and a Windows computer, you need only some AirPods and a PC.

Check out more tips on getting the most out of your headphones and earbuds.

Al Sacco is content director of Future PLC's Mobile Technology Vertical, which includes AndroidCentral.com, iMore.com and WindowsCentral.com. He is a veteran reporter, writer, reviewer and editor who has professionally covered and evaluated IT and mobile technology, and countless associated gadgets and accessories, for more than a decade. You can keep up with Al on Twitter and Instagram.