How to Connect AirPods to PC Windows 10

Use Bluetooth to pair Apple's wireless headphones

Apple AirPods in a charging case.

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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 and many other devices.

Can AirPods Connect to 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 their tap controls.

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. It requires no downloading of additional software or any hacking of the Windows 10 operating system.

  1. Turn on your Windows 10 PC and select the notifications icon in the lower-right corner of the screen to open the Action Center.

    Windows 10 fullscreen Start Menu.
  2. Select All settings.

    Windows 10 Action Center.

    While you have the Action Center open, check to make sure Bluetooth is enabled. Its tile should be brighter than the others if it’s on. If it’s off, select it to turn it on.

  3. Select Devices.

    Windows 10 Settings app.
  4. Select Add Bluetooth or other devices.

    Windows 10 Bluetooth and device settings.
  5. A small window will pop up. Select Bluetooth.

    Adding a device in Windows 10.
  6. Your Apple AirPods should appear on the list as AirPods. Select them to begin the pairing process.

    Adding Apple AirPods in Windows 10.

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

  7. Immediately after selecting their name in the list, firmly press the circle button on the rear of the Apple AirPod charging case while having the lid open. This will send a signal to your Windows 10 PC to connect. The charging case’s light should change from green to white while the pairing is happening.

    If you encounter an error message while trying to connect AirPods to Windows 10, press the sync button on the charging case before you select the AirPods’ name on the Bluetooth device list. Make sure to continue firmly pressing the sync button until the pairing is complete.

  8. If paired correctly, you should be shown 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

While well-made Apple AirPods can stop working properly on a Windows 10 PC even after properly pairing them via the method above. Here are some fixes worth trying if you encounter any issues:

  • Disable Bluetooth on other devices: If you’ve also paired your AirPods with your iPhone or other device, they can sometimes refuse to work with a Windows 10 PC even if they’ve been paired. Temporarily turning off Bluetooth on these other devices can help them connect to Windows 10 more easily.
  • 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 the two above tips don’t work, try performing the following actions exactly as described.

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

  2. Place your Apple AirPods back in their charging case and close the lid.

  3. Wait a few seconds.

  4. Open the Action Center, then select All settings > Devices. Make sure your AirPods are on the list of paired devices.

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

  6. Quickly select AirPods in the device list, then select Connect. The AirPods should connect and the audio should being playing through them.

    Apple AirPods paired to a Windows 10 PC.
  7. If your Apple AirPods still won't play sound, as a last resort, open All settings > Devices, then select Remove Device beneath the AirPods’ name. Repeat the pairing process as explained above.