How to Connect AirPods to a Microsoft Surface

And what to do if they won't connect

What to Know

  • Open Settings and select Devices > Add Bluetooth & other devices > Bluetooth.
  • Open the AirPods case and then select its name from the list of devices on your Surface.
  • Press the sync button on the AirPods case until the sync process is complete.

This article will walk you through the steps for how to connect your Apple AirPods to your Microsoft Surface and what to do when they aren’t detected or don’t pair correctly.

These instructions apply to all Microsoft Surface models from the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro to the Surface Studio. 

How to Pair Apple AirPods to a Microsoft Surface

Here’s what you need to do to make the initial pairing between your Surface and AirPods.

  1. Open the Windows 10 Action Center on your Surface.

    Windows 10 desktop on a Microsoft Surface Pro with Action Center icon highlighted

    You can do this by swiping in from the right side of the screen or by selecting its icon in the Windows 10 taskbar.

  2. Check that Bluetooth is turned on. If Bluetooth’s turned off, select its icon from the Action Center, so it’s highlighted.

    Windows 10 Action Center with Bluetooth highlighted
  3. Select All settings.

    Windows 10 Action Center on a Surface Pro with Bluetooth turned on and All Settings highlighted
  4. Select Devices.

    Windows 10 Settings with Devices highlighted
  5. Select Add Bluetooth & other device.

    Windows 10 Bluetooth device settings with "Add Bluetooth or other device" highlighted
  6. Select Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth device settings in Windows 10 with Bluetooth highlighted
  7. Open the AirPods’ case (keep the AirPods inside). Firmly press the button on the back of the AirPods’ case until the light on its front begins to flash. Doing this will make them discoverable by your Surface.

    An open Apple Airpods case with the Sync button showing with a Microsoft Surface Pro in the background..
  8. Select your AirPods from the list of Bluetooth devices.

    Apple Airpods highlighted in a list of Bluetooth devices on a Surface Pro.

    If you've previously given your AirPods a custom name, that name should appear on this list.

  9. Select Done.

    Apple Airpods paired with a Surface Pro running Windows 10 with Done highlighted

Why Won't My AirPods Connect to My Surface Pro?

There are several potential reasons your Apple AirPods aren’t connecting to your Surface Pro or other Surface devices properly.

  • Bluetooth is disabled on your Surface. Turn Bluetooth back on via the Windows 10 Action Center.
  • You connected the AirPods to something else. Apple AirPods often stay connected to the first synced device they detect when activated. Remove them from the other device or turn that device’s Bluetooth off to disconnect them.
  • You connected your Surface to something else. Your Surface Pro might already be streaming audio to a speaker or pair of headphones. Disconnect that other device or turn it off. 
  • The batteries may be flat. Make sure to charge your AirPods daily, so they have plenty of battery life, and place them back in their case so they don’t accidentally turn on and use all their power when not in use.
  • Your Surface isn’t seeing your AirPods. To fix this, place your AirPods in their case, close the lid, and then open it again.
  • Windows 10 is glitching. Restart your Surface and run the Bluetooth troubleshooter. Go to All Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters to fix any potential Bluetooth problems. If that doesn’t work, there are some additional Windows 10 Bluetooth tips worth trying.
  • Your AirPods could be fake. The chances of this happening are slim if you bought your AirPods from an Apple Store, but if you got them from a reseller, your AirPods could be fake or damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How would I connect AirPods to my Surface Pro 6? Connecting AirPods to a Surface Pro 6 involves the same steps as connecting AirPods to all other Surface models. Open Settings and select Devices > Add Bluetooth & other devices > Bluetooth. Open the AirPods case, and then select its name from the list. Press the sync button on the AirPods case until the sync process is complete. This article explains the process in detail.
  • Can I connect my AirPods to a Windows tablet? Yes. The process is the same as connecting a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Open your AirPods charging case, press and hold the pairing button, launch Bluetooth on your device, select your AirPods, and then confirm the pairing. Learn more about pairing and connecting AirPods to a Windows 10 PC.
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