How to Pair and Connect AirPods to a Windows 11 PC

Connect Apple's wireless headphones with Bluetooth

What to Know

  • Put your AirPods in the case, open the case, and press the button on the case until the LED flashes white to place them in pairing mode.
  • On your Windows 11 PC: Open Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Add device > Bluetooth, and select your AirPods.
  • Your AirPods can be paired to your Windows 11 PC, iPhone, and other devices at the same time, but can only work with one device at a time.

This article explains how to pair and connect AirPods to a Windows 11 PC, including how to perform the initial Bluetooth pairing and how to connect and select the AirPods later after you’ve used them with another device.

Do Apple AirPods Work With Windows 11 PC?

AirPods are designed to work seamlessly with iPhones and other Apple devices, but you can pair and connect AirPods to any Windows 11 PC with Bluetooth. Your AirPods can even remember your Windows 11 PC, your iPhone, and other devices as well, allowing you to switch between them whenever you want.

How Do I Connect My AirPods to My Windows 11 PC?

To connect your AirPods to your Windows 11 PC, you need to put the AirPods in pairing mode, enable Bluetooth on the PC, and then initiate the connection through the PC. Your AirPods will remember the PC from then on, allowing you to reconnect whenever you want.

Here’s how to connect your AirPods to a Windows 11 PC:

  1. Right click the Windows icon on the taskbar.

    The Windows icon highlighted on the Window 11 taskbar
  2. Click Settings.

    Settings highlighted in the Windows 11 taskbar
  3. Click Bluetooth & devices.

    Bluetooth & devices highlighted in the Windows 11 settings menu
  4. Click the Bluetooth toggle if it isn’t already on.

    The disabled Bluetooth toggle highlighted in Bluetooth & devices in Windows 11.
  5. Click + Add device.

    + Add device highlighted in Bluetooth & devices in Windows 11
  6. Place the AirPods in their case, and open the case.

    AirPods in an open case.
     Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
  7. Press and hold the button on your AirPods case.

    The button on an AirPods case.
    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
  8. When the light on the case flashes white, release the button.

    The flashing white light on an AirPods case indicating it's ready to pair.
    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

    The light may be inside the case or on the front of the case depending on the version of AirPods you have.

  9. Return to your Windows 11 PC, and click Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth highlighted in the add a device menu in Windows 11
  10. Wait for your PC to search for devices, then click your AirPods when they appear in the list.

    Jeremy Laukkonen's AirPods Pro highlighted in the Windows 11 add a device menu
  11. Wait for the connection to be established, then click Done.

    Done highlighted in the Windows 11 add a device menu
  12. Your AirPods are now connected and ready to use.

How to Use AirPods With a Windows 11 PC

AirPods will automatically connect to your iPhone when you open the case in close proximity to your phone, and you’ll also get an automatic popup on your Mac asking you to connect if your Mac senses your AirPods. Using AirPods with a Windows 11 PC is a little more complicated, but it’s easy to reestablish a connection and use them with your PC whenever you want.

If you’ve been using your AirPods with another device, here’s how to use them with your Windows 11 PC again:

  1. Take your AirPods out of the case, and place them near your Windows 11 PC.

    AirPods and case sitting on a Windows 11 laptop.
    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
  2. Click the Speaker icon on the taskbar.

    The speaker icon highlighted on the Windows 11 taskbar
  3. Click the > icon to the right of the volume control.

    The > icon to the right of the volume control highlighted in Windows 11

    If the Bluetooth button is grayed out, it means Bluetooth has been turned off. you’ll need to click the Bluetooth button before clicking the > button.

  4. Click Headphones (AirPods) in the list of devices.

    Headphones (AirPods Pro) highlighted in the Windows 11 audio device menu
  5. When your AirPods are selected in this menu, it means they’re connected, ready to use, and set as the default audio source on your Windows 11 PC.

FAQ
  • How do I disconnect my AirPods on Windows 11?

    Select the Speaker icon in the taskbar and choose the default speakers to disable the headphones. To unpair your headphones from your PC, go to the Bluetooth settings, choose your Airpods, and select Disconnect.

  • Why do my AirPods keep disconnecting from my PC?

    Your AirPods might be going into power save mode when you pause audio playback. Open the Windows Device Manager, go to your AirPod's Properties, and disable the power management feature.

  • Why won't my AirPods connect to my PC?

    If your AirPods won't connect, it could be due to low battery, or there could be a problem with Windows 11 Bluetooth. If all else fails, reset your AirPods.

  • How do I turn off my AirPods?

    You can't turn off AirPods. They go into power save mode when not in use. To conserve battery life, keep your headphones in the case when you're done using them.

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