How to Connect AirPods to a Windows 10 PC

Use Bluetooth to pair Apple's wireless headphones

Apple AirPods in a charging case.

Seremin/iStockEditorial/GettyImagesPlus

Apple’s AirPods are the company’s first-party wireless earphones designed to work with a wide range of Apple hardware, from Macs to iPhones, iPods, and iPads. While they're heavily promoted as being made exclusively for Apple devices, they don’t use any proprietary technology, so you can use Bluetooth to connect AirPods to a PC.

Instructions in this article apply to all Apple AirPods and Windows PCs with wireless capabilities.

Can AirPods Connect to a PC?

Apple AirPods can connect to any PC, from laptops and traditional desktop computers to modern Windows 10 devices like the Surface Pro, provided they feature Bluetooth connectivity. Once connected to a Windows 10 PC, Apple AirPods can be used to listen to audio, input audio via their built-in mic, and to control audio volume or pause sound via tap controls.

AirPods are compatible with most devices that support Bluetooth including Android tablets and smartphones.

How to Connect AirPods to Windows 10 Computers

The method for connecting Apple AirPods is exactly the same process as adding any other Bluetooth speaker or headphones to a Windows computer:

  1. Select the notifications icon in the bottom-right corner of the Windows taskbar to open Windows Action Center.

    Select the notifications icon in the bottom-right corner of the Windows taskbar to open Windows Action Center.
  2. Select All settings in the Windows Action Center.

    While you have the Action Center open, check to make sure Bluetooth is enabled. The Bluetooth tile should be highlighted; if it’s not, select the tile to turn it on.

    Select All settings in the Windows Action Center.
  3. Select Devices in the Windows Settings.

    Select Devices in the Windows Settings.
  4. Select the Bluetooth & other devices tab on the left side, then select Add Bluetooth or other devices.

    Select the Bluetooth & other devices tab on the left side, then select Add Bluetooth or other device.
  5. Select Bluetooth in the Add a device window.

    Select Bluetooth in the Add a device window.
  6. Your Apple AirPods should appear on the list as AirPods. Select AirPods to begin the pairing process.

    If your AirPods aren’t showing up, open the lid of their charging case.

    Select AirPods to begin the pairing process.
  7. Press the circle button on the rear of the Apple AirPod charging case while having the lid open. The charging case’s light should change from green to white.

    Continue firmly pressing the sync button until the pairing is complete. If you encounter an error message, press the sync button on the charging case before you select the AirPods on the Bluetooth device list.

    Press the circle button on the rear of the Apple AirPod charging case.
     Apple
  8. If paired correctly, you should see a "Your device is ready to go!" message. Select Done to close the message.

    AirPods paired on a Windows 10 PC

How to Fix Windows 10 Apple AirPod Sync Problems

If your Apple AirPods stop working on your Windows PC, try these fixes:

  • Disable Bluetooth on other devices. If you’ve paired your AirPods with your iPhone, it could interfere with the connection to your PC, so try temporarily turning off Bluetooth on other devices.
  • Open the charging case lid. Apple AirPods connect to devices when the charging case’s lid is opened and its light turns green. Try opening the lid for a few seconds before removing the AirPods and putting them in your ears.

If you're still having problems, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Open an app such as Spotify on your Windows 10 PC and begin playing some music.

    Spotify login screen
  2. Place your Apple AirPods back in their charging case and close the lid, then wait a few seconds.

    Place your Apple AirPods back in their charging case and close the lid, then wait a few seconds.
    Seremin / Getty Images 
  3. Open the Action Center and select All settings.

    Select All settings in the Windows Action Center.
  4. Select Devices in the Windows Settings.

    Select Devices in the Windows Settings.
  5. Make sure your AirPods are on the list of paired devices.

    Apple AirPods paired to a Windows 10 PC.
  6. Open the charging case’s lid, remove the AirPods, and place them in each ear.

    An AppleAir pod sits in a man's ear.
     John Edelson / Getty Images
  7. Select AirPods in the device list, then select Connect. The AirPods should connect, and the audio should being playing through them.

If your Apple AirPods still won't play sound, open All settings > Devices, then select Remove Device under AirPods and repeat the pairing process.

Apple AirPods paired to a Windows 10 PC.