How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to a Mac

Listen to music through your Mac

What to Know

  • Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth > choose the headphones' name and click Connect.
  • Unpair devices by going to System Preferences > Bluetooth > click the x next to the device name and click Remove.
  • Make sure Bluetooth is activated and in pairing mode beforehand.

This article teaches you how to connect Bluetooth headphones to MacBook and other Mac devices and what to do if you can't connect the headset correctly. It also explains how to remove or unpair a device. 

How to Enable Bluetooth on Mac

To connect Bluetooth headphones to your Mac, you need to make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your MacBook or other Mac device so the two can communicate with each other. Here's what to do. 

Typically, Macs have Bluetooth enabled by default, but it's worth double-checking before pairing devices.

  1. Click the Apple logo on the desktop.

    MacOS desktop with Apple icon highlighted
  2. Click System Preferences.

    Apple Desktop with System Preferences highlighted
  3. Click Bluetooth

    MacOS System Preferences with Bluetooth highlighted
  4. Click Turn Bluetooth On.

    MacOS with Turn Bluetooth On highlighted

How Do I Add Bluetooth Headphones to My Mac?

To connect your MacBook Bluetooth headphones to your Mac, you'll need to place the Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode as well as initiate the search on your Mac. Here's what to do.

  1. On your headphones, press the pairing button or take them out of their wireless charging case.

    Different headphones have different methods of pairing. If the above tip doesn't work, consult the manual for your headphones.

  2. Click the Apple logo on the desktop. 

    MacOS desktop with Apple icon highlighted
  3. Click System Preferences.

    MacOS with System Preferences highlighted
  4. Click Bluetooth.

    MacOS System Preferences with Bluetooth highlighted
  5. Wait for the headphones to appear on the device list, then click Connect.

    MacOS With Bluetooth devices list open and Connect highlighted
  6. Your Bluetooth headphones are now connected to your Mac.

How to Connect Your Bluetooth Headphones via the Control Center

If you'd prefer to connect your Bluetooth headphones via the Control Center menu, you can also use your Mac Bluetooth this way. Here's how to do it.

Control Center requires you to have macOS Big Sur installed or above.

  1. Put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode.

  2. Click Control Center.

    MacOS with Control Center icon highlighted
  3. Click Bluetooth.

    MacOS Control Center with Bluetooth highlighted
  4. Click Bluetooth Preferences.

    MacOS Control Center with Bluetooth Preferences highlighted
  5. Click Connect next to the device name. 

    MacOS with Bluetooth Preferences open and Connect highlighted

Why Won't My Bluetooth Headphones Connect to My Mac?

If your headphones don't connect to your Mac, there are multiple reasons why this might be the case, with many of them being relatively simple fixes. We have a comprehensive guide on fixing headphones, but the key settings to check that you've activated pairing mode and Bluetooth is working on your Mac. It's also worth checking if your Bluetooth headphones are charged and operating correctly with other devices. 

How to Disconnect Your Bluetooth Headphones From Your Mac

If you wish to unpair your Bluetooth headphones from your Mac, the process is fairly simple. Here's what to do.

To temporarily disconnect them, either switch off your Bluetooth headphones or turn Bluetooth off on your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple logo on the desktop.

    MacOS desktop with Apple icon highlighted
  2. Click System Preferences.

    MacOS desktop with System Preferences highlighted
  3. Click Bluetooth.

    MacOS with Bluetooth options highlighted in System Preferences
  4. Click the x next to your Bluetooth headphones' name.

    MacOS Bluetooth options with the disconnect x highlighted next to a Bluetooth speaker

    You may need to hover over the device name for the x to appear.

  5. Click Remove.

    MacOS Bluetooth options with Remove Device highlighted
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