How to Connect Apple AirPods To iPhone and iPad

AirPods are simple to set up and use

What to Know

  • To connect: Activate Bluetooth > hold AirPods close to device > open case > press and hold the button on AirPods.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the connection.

This article explains how to connect original AirPods and AirPods 2 and to iPhone or iPad devices with iOS 10 or higher. There are separate instructions to set up AirPods Pro.

How to Set Up Apple AirPods with iPhone and iPad

The Apple AirPods 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 leave the other in.

One thing that makes the Apple AirPods powerful and 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 more easily than other Bluetooth devices.

You can connect two AirPods to one phone with a slightly different process.

Follow these steps to set up your AirPods on your iPhone or iPad.

  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 the AirPods case—with the AirPods in them—an inch or two away from the iPhone or iPad, 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 are automatically configured to work with every device that is connected to the same iCloud account that is used on the device on which you set them up.

    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.

Requirements for Using AirPods

You can use AirPods with devices other than the iPhone and iPad. AirPods work with Android, can connect to a Mac, and can play sounds from Apple TV. To use Apple AirPods with these devices, you'll need:

  • An Apple Watch running watchOS 3 or higher.
  • A Mac running macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or higher.
  • An Apple TV running tvOS 10.2 or higher.
  • A device from another manufacturer that supports Bluetooth audio.
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