How to connect AirPods to Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
May 23, 2023
7 minutes to read

AirPods, like any other Bluetooth headphones, can connect easily to a variety of devices. And of course, they work especially well with Mac computers, iPhones and iPads. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to connect AirPods to a MacBook or iPhone.

connect airpods mac


  1. How to connect my AirPods to my Mac
  2. How to connect two AirPods to Mac
  3. How to connect AirPods to iPhone
  4. How to add AirPods to Find My
  5. How to find my AirPods
  6. FAQs about AirPods

Before we start

Although Bluetooth connections are usually straightforward and easy to set up, you may face issues where AirPods are not connecting to your Mac. This may happen due to system bugs, malicious programs, or junk files on your Mac. To avoid Bluetooth problems, use MacCleaner Pro. This application helps you remove junk files, optimize system performance and guard against a range of issues on your Mac.

MacCleaner Pro is an all-in-one software solution to speed up and clean up your Mac. It lets you remove caches, clear leftovers of removed apps, find duplicates, uninstall unused apps, optimize RAM usage, find hidden files, and more. It offers a free trial, so you can try it right now.


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How to connect my AirPods to my Mac

Before we walk you through the steps to connect AirPods to a Mac, let’s clarify an important point: wireless headphones can automatically connect to your Mac if 3 conditions are met:

  • The Bluetooth feature is enabled on your AirPods and the Mac.
  • Your AirPods are already paired with your iPhone.
  • Your iPhone and Mac use the same Apple ID.

To see if auto-connect will work for you, do the following:

  1. Click the Control Center icon on the top of your menu bar.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. You should see the name of your AirPods in the list of devices.
Bluetooth drop-down window

If the AirPods don’t automatically connect, you’ll need to manually configure their settings.

  1. In your Mac’s menu bar, click the Control Center icon.
  2. Click Bluetooth in the drop-down window.
  3. Open Bluetooth Settings. Bluetooth window with the settings option highlighted
  4. Take your AirPods and press the button on the back of the case.
  5. Hold it down until the indicator flashes.
  6. The name of the AirPods will appear in the list of available Bluetooth devices.
  7. Click the Connect button to pair the devices.
  8. Pairing will be complete in a couple of seconds. From now on, your AirPods should automatically connect to your MacBook when Bluetooth is turned on.
Bluetooth settings window showing devices to connect

How to connect two AirPods to Mac

It’s possible to connect two pairs of AirPods to a single Mac, for example when you’re watching a movie with someone. For this, do the following:

  1. Open System Settings and go to Bluetooth.
  2. Pre-connect the second pair of AirPods to the Mac, using the same steps as for the first one.
  3. Open the Audio Midi Setup app from the Launchpad.
  4. Create a Multi-Output Device by clicking the plus (+) button at the bottom.
  5. From the list that appears, select the second pair of AirPods and click “Use This Device For Sound Output.” Audio Midi Setup window
  6. Then open System Settings and go to the Sound section.
  7. In the Output tab, select the “Multi-Output Device” you just created. System settings showing sound window

Now you can use two pairs of AirPods on one Mac, and the sound from the Mac will play through both connected devices.

How to connect AirPods to iPhone

Apple makes things really simple, and connecting your AirPods to an iPhone or iPad is even easier than on Mac.

How to pair Apple AirPods with iPhone:

  1. Unlock your iPhone.
  2. Bring an open AirPods case close to your iPhone.
  3. You’ll see an animation on your screen showing the Connect button.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. Press and hold the button on the case until the devices pair.
  6. Choose Announce Calls & Notifications, or customize if needed.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. After that, the AirPods can be used with your iPhone. iPhone screen showing how to connect AirPods

For iPad, the steps are the same.

How to add AirPods to Find My

All AirPods models—like all Apple devices—have a feature to be located in case of loss. This feature is called Find My. If your AirPods are connected to your Mac or iPhone, you can use the geolocation and an internet connection to find the headphones. You can also make them play a sound for audible detection.

Note that the geolocation works on the AirPods themselves, not the case. It’s not possible to track a lost case. In addition, if you only lose one AirPod, Find My won’t be able to track it because the geolocation will follow the one that’s still connected.

Also note that if the headphones or case are not charged, finding them will be problematic. In both cases, you’ll only be able to see the last place they were when they were charged.

To allow the Find My app to detect any of your devices, make sure:

  • All your devices are connected to the same Apple ID.
  • Bluetooth is enabled on all your devices.
  • Your AirPods are paired with your devices.
  • Geolocation services are turned on for the Find My app on your Mac. For this, open System Settings → click Privacy & Security → select Location Services → switch on the toggle button for Find My.
Find My

When you open the Find My app on any of your devices, you’ll see your AirPods in the list of devices.

To add AirPods to Find My on iPhone, do the following:

  1. Open the Find My app on your iPhone.
  2. Switch to the Devices tab.
  3. Click the plus (+) icon and select Add Other Item.
  4. Your iPhone will start searching for additional devices.
  5. Once you see your AirPods, click to add them. adding AirPods to find my on iPhone

How to find my AirPods

Follow these steps to find your AirPods using your Mac:

  1. Open the Find My app from the Launchpad.
  2. Switch to the Devices tab.
  3. Select your AirPods.
  4. View the location of your AirPods on the map.
Find My app showing AirPods on Mac

FAQs about AirPods

Why won’t my AirPods connect to my Mac?
Can I connect two or more AirPods to my Mac?
Where is Bluetooth on a Mac?
How do I check my AirPods’ battery on a Mac?
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