AirPods don't connect, 8 solutions

Nothing beats AirPods when they work well. And nothing is worse than when your AirPods aren't connecting to your iPhone, iPad, or computer. Fortunately, getting AirPods to connect to your devices is easy enough. Read on for our solutions for when AirPods won't connect.

This article can be used on all AirPods models and devices running iOS 12 and later, as well as macOS. It is assumed that you have already set up your AirPods. AirPods also work with Android phones and other devices that support Bluetooth headphones. If this is the device you want to connect, read how to connect Bluetooth headphones with an Android phone.

Why are the AirPods not connecting to the phone?

Are the AirPods in range of your iPhone? This is simple to understand, but it's also very important to check if your AirPods aren't connecting to your phone. AirPods connect to your iPhone and other devices via Bluetooth. 

Bluetooth devices must be within 20/25 meters of each other to connect. So, if your iPhone is indoors and you're mowing the lawn 60 meters away, your AirPods won't be able to connect. Try keeping the two devices relatively close together for a better connection.

Check the battery charge of the AirPods

The second reason your AirPods won't connect to your iPhone or other device is that they have a low battery. AirPods need to be charged to connect and function. The quickest thing to do in this case is to put your AirPods in their case.

Then, plug the cable that came with the AirPods into the case and plug the other end into a USB port (on a computer or wall adapter). Wait about 15 minutes for the AirPods to charge, then try to connect them again.

How to connect AirPods to Android

How to connect AirPods to PS4

How to connect AirPods to PS5

Won't the AirPods go into pairing mode? Check the Bluetooth

AirPods connect to iPhones, iPads, and other devices via Bluetooth. This means that your devices need to turn on Bluetooth for your AirPods to connect. Check if Bluetooth is turned on by following these steps:

  1. Open Control Center (on iPhone X and later, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. On older models, swipe up from the bottom).
  2. In Control Center, look for the Bluetooth icon in the upper left corner.
  3. If the Bluetooth icon is on, it is enabled. If there is a line through the icon or it is white, Bluetooth is turned off.
  4. Tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it on, then try to connect your AirPods again.

Bluetooth active but no connection?

If Bluetooth is already on but your AirPods still won't connect, you may need to reset Bluetooth on your phone. To do this, follow the steps in the last section to view the Bluetooth status in the Control Center. Then, tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it off and tap it again to turn it on. Try to reconnect your AirPods.

AirPods connected but there is no sound?

Now we need to know if we are sending audio to the AirPods. If you don't hear audio through your AirPods and are thinking they may not be connected, you may be wrong. You may be sending audio to the wrong output source (such as a Bluetooth speaker or other set of headphones). To confirm that you are sending audio to the AirPods, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Center using the techniques mentioned above.
  2. Tap the controls Music in the upper right corner.
  3. In the controls Music expanded, you will see a list of all possible audio outputs. If the AirPods aren't selected, tap them.
  4. Try playing the music again and see if the AirPods are working now.

Maybe it's the software - restart iPhone

Sometimes the only way to fix problems with your iPhone and its accessories is to restart. If it's a small problem with the software, which can also occur during normal use, a restart will fix it. Find out how to restart any type of iPhone.

Is your iOS version up to date?

Even if a restart didn't reconnect your AirPods, the problem could still be the software on your iPhone. Make sure you are running the latest version of the operating system for your device, as it may have crucial software changes or bug fixes. To know how to update your device to the latest operating system, take a look at:

How to update the iPhone operating system

Start Over: Reconnect AirPods to iPhone or Mac

If you've tried all these steps and your AirPods still aren't connecting, you need to reconnect them to your devices. If you are looking to connect them to an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps.

  1. Your iPhone must be running the latest operating system.
  2. Bluetooth must be activated.
  3. The AirPods must be in their case and the battery must be charged.

Make sure you have done all of the following. With the AirPods inside, close the AirPod case.

  1. Wait 15 seconds.
  2. Open the case lid again. If the status light is flashing white, your AirPods are ready to connect and everything should be fine.
  3. If the light isn't blinking white or your AirPods aren't connecting, press and hold the setup button on the AirPods case.
  4. Continue holding the button until the status light flashes white, then orange, and then white.
  5. Open the case of the AirPods and follow the instructions on the screen of your iPhone or iPad.

If that doesn't work, move on to the next section.

Start Over, Round 2: Reset the connection between your iPhone and AirPods

If your AirPods still don't connect, you may need to unplug them from your iPhone or other device and set them up again as if they were brand new. On an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the app Settings to open it.
  2. Toccata Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the icon i next to your AirPods.
  4. Toccata Forget this device.
  5. Toccata Forget device in the pop-up menu to confirm the removal.
  6. Close the lid of the AirPods.
  7. Wait about 30 seconds and then reopen the lid.
  8. Press and hold the setup button on the AirPods case and follow the directions on your device's screen.

    Reset the connection between your MAC and AirPods

    To set up your AirPods on Mac again, follow these steps:

    1. Click on the menu Apple in the upper left corner.
    2. click on System Preference.
    3. click on Bluetooth.
    4. Click on your AirPods.
    5. Click on X next to them.
    6. In the pop-up window, click Forget device.

    This removes the AirPods from your Mac. Set them up again the same way you connected them for the first time.

    Still not solved? Contact Apple for further assistance

    If you've followed all these steps and your AirPods still aren't connecting to your iPhone, Mac, or other device, you need the help of the experts: Apple. You can get support from Apple online or in person at your nearest Apple Store.

      Further Reading:

      • How to connect AirPods to iPhone and iPad
      • How to connect AirPods to Apple Watch
      • AirPods flashing orange? Here's how to fix it
      • 7 solutions for when AirPods won't connect to Mac
      • How to connect AirPods to PS4
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