Connecting AirPods to a Windows laptop is a pretty straightforward process.
It may not be as instant as connecting AirPods to other Apple devices. But it certainly won’t take you that much longer.
You should be able to enjoy streaming music and videos from your laptop in no time.
Read on to learn:
- How to update your AirPods’ firmware.
- Why you may have to disable the Windows Swift Pair feature.
- An easy way to unpair and re-pair your Airpods to your laptop.
- A quick guide on how to connect your Airpods to a Windows Laptop.
- And so much more…
How to connect AirPods to a laptop (Windows)?
To connect AirPods to a Windows laptop, place the AirPods back in the charging case while keeping the lid open, then press and hold the button on the case until the light starts blinking. You should be able to see your AirPods under your PC’s Bluetooth “Add a Device” window. Click that to connect.
9 steps to connect AirPods to a laptop (Windows)
#1: Place your AirPods back in the charging case
To begin the process of connecting, put your AirPods back in its case.
Make sure to keep the lid open.
It’s also best that you charge your AirPods first before using. Or at least have its battery percentage at no less than around 20%.
#2: Press and hold the button on the case until the light starts blinking
The small button at the back is also called the Setup button. Apple users probably don’t use it that much. But it does come in handy when connecting AirPods to a non-Apple device.
Press and hold that for a few seconds. You should then see the LED light blinking white.
If you own a Generation 1 case, the light should be inside, between the AirPods holders.
For Generation 2 cases or AirPod Pros, the light is in the front.
Blinking is an indication that your AirPods are now ready for connecting.
#3: On your Windows laptop, select Settings
There are several ways to pull up the Settings menu.
One way is to simply click on the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen. Once the menu pops up, you should see the Settings option. It’s the one with a gear icon.
There’s an even faster way. Simultaneously press the Windows button on your keyboard plus the letter i.
#4: On the Settings menu, click Devices
Once you’re on the Settings window, you should find the Devices option on the top row.
This is where you go when you need to connect to Bluetooth, printers, and other gadgets.
#5: Click “Bluetooth and other devices”
On the left sidebar of the Devices window, you’ll see the “Bluetooth and other devices” at the top of the list. Click that.
You should see a toggle indicating your laptop’s Bluetooth. Make sure that it’s on.
There should be a note below the toggle indicating that your laptop is “Now discoverable as your PC’s name”.
#6: Click “Add Bluetooth or other device”
On the “Bluetooth and other devices” menu, click the plus sign. It’s beside the “Add Bluetooth or other device” option.
#7: In the “Add a device” window, select Bluetooth
Once the “Add a device” window pops up, it’ll give you several options. Select Bluetooth.
#8: Find your AirPods from the list and click it
With your AirPods in the case. The light is still blinking. You should be able to find it in the list of devices.
In some instances, your AirPods might appear as Headphones in the list. Wait for a few seconds. Your AirPods’ specific name should then appear.
Click it to connect to your laptop.
#9: Click Done
When successful, you should see a message that says “Your device is ready to go!”.
Click the Done button. You may now remove your AirPods from the case. And you can start using them. That’s it!
If you’d like a visual guide on how to do it, you may watch this short Youtube video below:
“Wait, I just did all these steps. Why am I still having a hard time connecting?!”
The actual process to connect is really easy. However, it’s not uncommon for users to still encounter issues.
If you followed all our steps but failed to connect, fret not.
In this next section, we’ll cover the most common issues and fixes in connecting your AirPods to your laptop.
Why won’t my AirPods connect to my laptop (Windows)? 5 causes & fixes
Just one gentle reminder before going through the troubleshooting steps. It’s important to make sure that your AirPods themselves are working fine.
You may try using it with your other devices. If you’re also having issues, then perhaps a repair may be in order.
We’d advise you to visit your nearest Apple store. They’ll provide you with the best technical support.
You might also be interested in: 5 Reasons Why Your AirPods Are Dying So Fast + Fixes
But for mostly Windows-related problems, we got you. Here are the common issues and resolutions.
#1: General Bluetooth connectivity glitches
As with any gadget, your laptop’s Bluetooth feature can also be prone to glitches.
There isn’t exactly anything wrong. It’s just that, from time to time, it may briefly malfunction. Just like with any other electronic device.
It’s why sometimes you can connect your AirPods in an instant. Yet sometimes it may take a couple of tries.
At times you can connect but then you get disconnected after a few seconds. And in some cases, you may not be able to connect at all.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this happens. But don’t worry. We have several options to fix these sporadic glitches.
How to fix it:
There are easy ways to resolve your Windows laptop’s Bluetooth glitch. We’ll discuss them below. And we’ll provide steps on how you can do it.
Toggle your Bluetooth on and off
The quickest fix is to simply turn your laptop’s Bluetooth off and on.
Remember how we’re always told to perform power cycles when our gadgets are acting weird?
Sometimes a quick reset will do the trick.
There are several ways to toggle your laptop’s Bluetooth off and on.
One way to do that is as follows:
- Pull up your laptop’s Settings menu. Press the Windows key + i for a shortcut.
- Click Devices.
- Click “Bluetooth and other devices”.
- When you see the toggle, switch it off.
- Wait for a few seconds and then toggle it back on.
Another way to turn your Bluetooth off and on is via the Action Center.
It’s located on the bottom right portion of the Windows home screen. Just click it and a pop-up window will appear.
You can find the Bluetooth icon there. Click it to disable. Again, wait for a few seconds. And then enable it.
You may then try to connect your AirPods to your PC once again.
Briefly switch your laptop to Airplane Mode and back
A similar way to temporarily disable your Bluetooth is by going on Airplane Mode.
It’s also located in the Action Center. Its icon is on the right of the Bluetooth function.
You may want to try clicking that as well. Enable it briefly and disable before turning on your Bluetooth.
Note: Going Airplane Mode would also disconnect your Wi-Fi.
Unpair and Re-Pair your AirPods to your laptop
In some cases, your AirPods and laptop may already be paired but you’d still struggle to connect.
Unpairing your AirPods and laptop sometimes fixes that. Basically, you’re telling your PC to stop recognizing your AirPods.
To do that, we’d once again need to go to Settings. Followed by Devices. And then “Bluetooth and other devices”.
Once there, you should be able to see your AirPods under Audio. Click that. Then click the “Remove device” button.
Give it a few seconds or minutes. Then try to re-pair and connect your AirPods. You may refer to our guide at the beginning of the article.
#2: Other devices are trying to connect to your AirPods
One possible reason why you’re struggling to connect is because of the presence of other devices.
Perhaps you have another nearby device with you. Maybe a phone or a tablet. And you may have also paired your AirPods with these devices in the past.
Sometimes, AirPods will disconnect from one device in order to connect to another.
How to fix it:
A simple solution to that is to disable your other devices’ Bluetooth.
For both iOS and Android devices, you may just swipe down from the top of the screen. Then click the Bluetooth icon.
This will remove the conflict as to where your AirPods are supposed to connect.
#3: Your AirPod doesn’t have the latest firmware
It always helps to have the most up-to-date firmware. Of course, this will be a little tricky if you’re a Windows and Android user.
It goes without saying. You’ll need a Mac or an iPhone to update your AirPods.
You may borrow from someone you know who owns Apple devices. Or may simply go to your nearest Apple store. They should be able to help you with the update.
How to fix it:
Updating your AirPods’ firmware is easy. If you have an iPhone or a MacBook, you may follow these steps:
- Place your AirPods back in its case. It’s better if you charge it beforehand.
- Look for the Settings app in your Apple device. As with Windows, it also uses a gear icon.
- Once you’ve clicked Settings, locate the Bluetooth icon.
- Find your AirPods and click the Connect button.
After that, simply leave the AirPods next to your Apple device. It should automatically update.
#4: Your PC’s Bluetooth driver needs an update
As with your AirPods’ firmware, it’s also best to check if your laptop’s Bluetooth driver needs an update.
One of the common causes of driver malfunction is the lack of update.
How to fix it:
You may refer to the following steps to update your laptop’s Bluetooth drive:
- Press the Windows key + R. A search box should pop up.
- Type devmgmt.msc and click OK. The Device Manager should open.
- Look for Bluetooth and click the dropdown arrow beside it.
- You should see the Bluetooth driver. Right-click and select “Update driver”.
Windows should start looking for the latest driver available.
#5: The Swift Pair feature may instead be causing connectivity problems
“What exactly is Swift Pair?”
It’s a feature that’s been available since Windows 10. As the name suggests, it’s primarily for a quick Bluetooth connection. This feature eliminates most of the steps to pair devices.
You only have to turn on your Bluetooth on your laptop and your other device. A notification will pop up. Then you simply click Connect.
It’s enabled by default. But sometimes, it might cause connectivity issues.
How to fix it:
You’ll need to disable the Swift Pair feature.
Go to the “Bluetooth and other devices” menu from the Settings.
Under the device settings, look for “Show notifications to connect using Swift Pair”.
Click the toggle to turn it off. This should disable the Swift Pair option.
Bonus: Issues with Windows Update
There are two possibilities to this issue.
One is that your Windows OS has updates that you need to install. This lack of update may be affecting your laptop’s performance. Including its Bluetooth connection.
Another is that you may have just installed the latest updates. And when you did, it somehow affected the pairing of your AirPods and your laptop.
How to fix it:
It’s always a good practice to install the latest updates. Check if there are available updates for your Windows.
To do that, you’ll once again need to open Settings. Under Settings, look for Update & Security. Then look for Windows Update. Lastly, select the “Check for updates” option.
If there are, you may go ahead and download and install them.
If your latest install is causing Bluetooth problems, you have an option to roll back an update.
Note: Undoing Windows updates should be your last resort. It’s best to exhaust all other troubleshooting steps, first.