How to Connect Apple AirPods To iPhone and iPad

AirPods are simple to set up and use

Apple unveiled its wireless earbuds, the AirPods, with a lot of fanfare. And with good reason: these earbuds deliver amazing sound, true wirelessness, feel great in your ears, and support advanced features like Siri and automatic balancing of audio when you take one out but the leave the other in.

If you've got AirPods, you're going to love them. However, with so many features, there's a lot to learn. This article covers basics like setting up your AirPods to more advanced features like changing their settings and even using them with non-Apple devices. 

The instructions in this article apply to both the original AirPods and AirPods 2. Got AirPods Pro? Get step-by-step instructions in How to Set Up AirPods Pro.

Requirements for Using AirPods

To use Apple AirPods, you need:

If you meet these requirements, continue on learn how to set up and use your Apple AirPods.

Did you know that you can use AirPods with devices other than the iPhone and iPad? You can! In fact, you can even use them with Android phones. Learn all about it in Do AirPods Work With Android?

How to Set Up Apple AirPods with iPhone and iPad

One of the things that make the Apple AirPods so powerful and so effortlessly useful is the custom-made W1 chip inside them. The W1 supports many features of the AirPods, but one of the most convenient is their setup. Apple designed the AirPods to connect quickly and even more easily than other Bluetooth devices, so this should be simple.

  1. To pair the AirPods, activate Bluetooth on your iOS device by opening Control Center and then tapping the Bluetooth icon to enable it.

  2. Hold your AirPods case — with the AirPods in them — an inch or two away from the iPhone or iPad and then open the case.

  3. Press and hold the button on the AirPods case.

    Bluetooth indicator and AirPod setup on an iPhone
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions. This will likely consist mostly of taping the Connect button.

  5. Your AirPods will be automatically configured to work with every device that is connected to the same iCloud account that is used on the device you set them up on.

    AirPods setup on an iPhone

Are your AirPods still not connecting after following these steps? Get in-depth help by checking out How to Fix It When AirPods Won't Connect.