This article explains how you can fix if your AirPods won’t connect to your Mac. It appears that connection problems are not common but still a lot of users seem to experience them from time to time. Your AirPods connect to other devices, like your Mac, using Bluetooth. And Bluetooth devices can suffer from a lot of pairing failures. This problem may affect AirPods, AirPods 2, and AirPods Pro.
If your Mac cannot connect to one or both of your AirPods, getting them to connect again will only take a couple of steps.
Please try these troubleshooting steps in order. Please also note that after trying each step below, test your Airpods again to see if they are now working.
We’re living the planet of wireless. AirPods are the wireless headphones from Apple. AirPods can easily be paired with most iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, Macbook, etc. You will easily connect AirPods to your iPhone just by opening the case of earbuds and clicking on the connect appear on your iPhone screen.But what if you would like to connect your AirPods to your Mac. Apr 13, 2020 AirPods: Automatically and instantly switch between iPhone, Mac & iPad. 13 April 2020, 05:19. The instructions below detail two tricks: iPhone/iPad: If you open an app you normally use with AirPods, your iPhone or iPad will automatically connect to your AirPods if they’re in your ears – essentially, “stealing” them from whatever they’re currently connected to (for example, your Mac).
Battery Stats for AirPods displays the battery charge percentage for the left and right AirPods that are connected to your Mac via bluetooth. The app also provides alerts when battery charge drops below a pre-set percentage and allows you to connect and disconnect from your AirPods with a click of a button via its menubar icon. Nov 28, 2019 Your AirPods (2nd generation) can connect automatically with your Mac that uses macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. Your AirPods (1st generation) can connect automatically with your Mac that uses macOS Sierra or later. The features of your AirPods might be limited, depending on the Bluetooth device that they're connected to.
Table of contents:
1. Restart your Mac
This is a simple but effective tip. Simply restarting your Mac may resolve your problem. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > Restart.
Some users have reported that they had to restart their devices twice before getting their AirPods to work again.
2. Bluetooth and charge
After restarting, make sure that Bluetooth is turned on on your Mac. You can click the Bluetooth status icon in the menu bar to turn it on. If you do not see the Bluetooth icon, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and select the “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” box.
The first tip you may try, in fact, turn off Bluetooth on your Mac, wait for 10 seconds and then turn it on.
Furthermore, place your AirPods in the charging case. And ensure that they are charging. Also do not forget that your AirPods will appear only when they’re nearby and ready to use.
3. Update your Mac
Please note that if your AirPods are second-generation or later, make sure that your Mac has macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. If your AirPods are first-generation, make sure that your Mac has macOS Sierra or later. And if you have AirPods Pro, make sure that your Mac has macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.
If you are not sure, you can identify which generation of AirPods you have:
- Find its model number. If they are connected to an iOS device, you can find your AirPod’s model number by going to Settings > General > About > your AirPods.
- You can also find the number on either of your AirPods. The numbers are tiny you may want to get a magnifying glass.
- Model numbers A1523/A1722 are first-gen AirPods.
- Model numbers A2032/A2031 are second-gen AirPods.
Make sure that your Mac has the latest version of macOS. Here is how you can update your Mac:
- If your Mac currently has macOS Mojave or later: Click the System Preferences from the Apple menu and then click Software Update. If there is an update available, follow the onscreen instructions to update your Mac.
- If your Mac currently has macOS High Sierra or earlier: Open the App Store on your Mac and click the Updates tab. Click the Update button if there is an update.
4. Remove your AirPods from Mac’s list of Bluetooth devices
Please follow the steps below. These steps will help you first remove your AirPods from the list of Bluetooth devices and then re-add.
- Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Click Bluetooth.
- You will see the list of your Bluetooth devices.
- Do you see your AirPods on the list? If your AirPods do not appear, you may need to set up your AirPods with your Mac. See the next tip.
- if your AirPods are in the list of devices (as Not Connected), click to select it.
- A delete (X) icon will appear.
- Click the X to remove your AirPods.
Now we will re-add again:
- Put your AirPods in the charging case.
- Make sure that your charging case is close to your Mac so that they are in range.
- Open the case lid.
- On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth.
- In the devices list, do you see your AirPods?
- Select your Airpods and click Connect.
5. Set up AirPods
If your AirPods is not in the list of devices, set up your AirPods. The steps below will help you pair your device with your Mac. Here is how:
- On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth.
- Turn on Bluetooth if it says “Bluetooth: Off”.
- Place your AirPods in the charging case.
- Open the case lid.
- Press and hold the setup button (back of the case). Keep holding the button until you see the status light flash white. Then release the setup button.
- Now on your Mac, your AirPods should appear in the devices list of Bluetooth devices, click Connect.
6. Reset your AirPods
You may have to reset your AirPods if your connection problem continues. Here is how:
- Place your AirPods in the charging case. Make sure that both AirPods and the charging case have enough charge. Make sure that the lid is open.
- Now close the lid, wait 30 seconds, and then open the lid.
- Now, while the lid is open, locate the setup button on the back of the device and then press and hold the button for 15 seconds (the status light will flash white and then amber).
- Now your AirPods have reset.
- Now set up your AirPods with your Mac. See the “Set up AirPods” section above.
7. Reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module
You can try resetting your Mac’s Bluetooth module. Before we start, make sure that the Bluetooth status menu is visible in the menu bar. If not, on your Mac, go to System Preferences, click Bluetooth, then select the “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” option. Here is how:
- On your keyboard, press and hold the Shift + Option (Alt) keys together.
- While holding the keys, click the Bluetooth status icon in the menu bar.
- A new menu will be shown. Select Debug.
- Click Reset the Bluetooth module.
- Now restart your Mac.
Simplify Bluetooth connection
The third generation of AirPods is finally here. Unlike the previous editions, which were humbly called AirPods and AirPods 2, the number three comes with a fancier “Pro” naming. What’s Pro about it? The short answer is a superb noise cancellation feature. But if you dive a bit deeper, you’ll see that every model can be a nice fit if you know the tricks of using it right.
AirPods versus AirPods Pro: What’s the difference?
Let us make it clear that we’re comparing three (and not two) models of Apple Airpods wireless headphones in this guide. The first two are both officially called AirPods, but we’ll be using the colloquial naming — AirPods and Airpods 2 — to differentiate between the two.
The first generation of AirPods emerged in December 2016 and was discontinued with the release of Apple AirPods 2 in March 2019. Both models are compatible with iOS, macOS, and even Android devices — although the Apple ecosystem works way better in terms of automatic switching. AirPods Pro became available end of October 2019, following the releases of iPhone 11 models, iOS 13, and macOS Catalina.
At the launch, the cost of AirPods was $159. AirPods Pro, an enhanced model with the noise cancellation feature, is priced a bit higher — $249.
Use Setapp to simplify everything on Mac
With this toolkit of apps, you’ll be able to easily manage your Bluetooth connections, fix problems, and control Mac’s health.
The Pro functionality of Apple AirPods
Best free floor plan software. Unlike the first version of AirPods using W1 chip, the Pro model — just as Apple AirPods 2 — has a more powerful H1 chip. As Apple calls it, “a chip with serious chop.” The new processor guarantees a faster connection to Apple devices. And best of all, H1 that is a part of Pro headphones covers 10 audio cores, enabling exceptionally low audio processing latency. This is what makes noise cancellation so efficient.
If compared to the old version, AirPods 2 and Pro ensure 30% lower gaming latency. So if you’re excited about Apple Arcade, you’ll appreciate this advantage too.
Plus, AirPods Pro are Apple’s best workout headphones. They are sweat- and water-resistant, and according to Marques Brownlee review — true champions in terms of not falling out of your ears.
AirPods and AirPods 2 look exactly alike. AirPods Pro look similar to the oldies, but with two microphones, softer ear tips, and a bit shorter stems (30mm versus regular 40mm).
The main distinction is that AirPods Pro have an in-ear, custom-fit design, while the previous two versions come with a universal fit design. In plain language, there’s no human with an ear size that AirPods Pro would not be tailored for. You can choose from among three flexible tips — small, medium, and large — to ensure the headphones fit in. Although Apple says non-Pro versions are extremely adaptable, they are still a one-size-fits-all. So either you’re lucky and your headphones don’t pop out — or you’re not.
To enable more extensive controls, AirPods Pro have a force sensor on them, and a vent system for pressure equalization.
Sound quality and voice control
So the main question is whether AirPods Pro sound better than AirPods. The short answer is yes. In-ear design is not only about convenience — it also produces perfect low-end sound. Thanks to Adaptive EQ, AirPods Pro have the power to tune low- and mid-frequencies, which results in a better sounding. So it’s a huge quality improvement, compared to AirPods and AirPods 2.
Transparency Mode and Active Noise Cancellation are the biggest hits of the Pro version. Both features are pretty straightforward: Noise cancellation blocks out sounds from the surrounding environment to help you focus on listening, while Transparency Mode does exactly the opposite. To switch between the modes, you can use a force sensor on the stems of your headphones — the mechanism is the same as with playing and pausing tracks.
With AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, you can invoke Siri using nothing but your voice. The feature doesn’t work in old headphones that use W1 chips.
If you compare sound environments on AirPods and AirPods 2, they are pretty much the same. The only difference is hands-free Siri invoking on the second version. As for AirPods Pro sounding, it’s way more immersive and lets you interact with the surrounding world without taking the headphones out.
Talking and listening time
AirPods: 2 hours of talking, 5 hours of listening.
AirPods 2: 3 hours of talking, 5 hours of listening.
AirPods Pro: 3,5 hours of talking, 4,5 hours of listening (or 5 hours with Noise Cancellation/Transparency Mode disabled).
Plus, you get 2 extra hours of talking and 3 hours of listening time with a charging case.
Wireless charging case
There are two types of charging cases that you can buy with your AirPods:
- Standard (use Apple’s Lightning port for charging).
- Wireless charging cases.
Standard cases were a part of the first generation of AirPods. Whether you buy AirPods or AirPods Pro today, you’ll get a wireless charging case, although AirPods 2 are compatible with standard cases and old AirPods are compatible with the wireless ones.
The AirPods Pro charging case has a different shape from the one that comes with AirPods. It’s a bit larger in size — and seemingly squatter and wider. No problem for your pockets, though.
Should you upgrade to AirPods Pro?
We’ll say, if you use the first version of AirPods, upgrading totally makes sense. An extra hour of talking, Siri voice control, and a wireless charging case are a huge benefit. Should you get a pricier pro model? The answer pretty much depends on whether you’re ready to pay $50 extra for the benefits of in-ear design.
It’s worth mentioning that noise cancellation and transparency mode are not a novelty, but rather a long-expected feature that Apple has finally implemented. The technology has been around for a while with Bose and Sony over-ear headphones.
How to connect AirPods to Mac
Apple shapes a connected ecosystem that’s incredibly easy to navigate through. From Apple Watch to Mac to iPhone to iPad to AirPods. This is why you win lots of time and convenience when using AirPods inside this ecosystem. It’s not all rosy though — and sometimes you even need an extra tool to upgrade the experience. We’ll tell you the best ways of setting up AirPods and AirPods Pro with every device you use.
Get ToothFairy for quick AirPods connection
Install ToothFairy for free and forget the Bluetooth trouble. You’ll be able to pair AirPods and AirPods Pro to your Mac in a single click.
But first, make sure your device is compatible.
For AirPods (1st generation):
- macOS Sierra or later
- iOS 10 or later
- tvOS 11 or later
- watchOS 3 or later.
For AirPods (2nd generation):
- macOS 10.14.4 or later
- iOS 12.2 or later
- tvOS 12.2 or later
- watchOS 5.2 or later.
For AirPods Pro:
- macOS 10.15.1 or later
- iOS 13.2 or later
- tvOS 12.2 or later
- watchOS 6.1 or later.
Connecting Airpods To A Mac
Here you can find an information about Why won’t my AirPods connect to my Mac.
Connect AirPods to MacBook
Here’s how you connect a new pair of AirPods to Mac:
- Open the charging case and hold the pairing button to switch on your AirPods.
- Click on the Bluetooth in the menu bar. If it’s not there, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth > On.
- Select AirPods from the list of devices and click Connect.
To enable support for AirPods Pro, Apple released macOS Catalina 10.15.1 update. So if you use the latest operating system, make sure you upgrade before pairing.
Unfortunately, AirPods are not frictionless with macOS. Unlike iOS experience, pairing your wireless headphones with Mac can be troublesome. Random Bluetooth issues, AirPods get disconnected when watching videos — these are only some of the reported issues. There’s help, though.
How to pair AirPods with iPhone
Start your AirPods journey by connecting to mobile. Make sure your iPhone is signed in to iCloud. If you use the account with the same Apple ID across all your Apple devices, the AirPods will be automatically set up with all of them. That’s definitely a huge shortcut.
- Open your charging case and hold it close to the iPhone.
- Tap connect on the screen.
- If you don’t have Siri set up on your iPhone (and you’re using AirPods 2 or AirPods Pro), follow the instructions on the screen to set it up.
In case you’ve paired AirPods with iPhone and now want to switch to another phone, you’ll have to hold the pairing button on the charging case and follow the on-screen instructions.
How to pair AirPods with Android phone
For Android phone owners, the process is a bit more cumbersome:
- Enable Bluetooth on the phone.
- Open your charging case and press the pairing button on the back.
- In the Bluetooth settings, find AirPods and click Pair.
Note that you lose some of the in-built AirPods features when using them with Android phones. For instance, you won’t be able to customize the double tap and pause music when you remove headphones from your ears.
How to fix AirPods not connecting
The easiest way to solve the AirPods connection problem would be to reset the headphones:
- Open System Preferences > Bluetooth.
- Right-click on your AirPods and choose Remove.
- Once your AirPods are reset, pair them with Mac again — just as you do with the new headphones.
As an alternative, you can reset AirPods manually: Press and hold the pairing button on your charging case for about 10 seconds. Once you see the white light, your AirPods are reset. You can proceed connecting them to Mac as usual. You can also try toggling Bluetooth off and on.
If this doesn’t solve the issue, use Terminal to kill Bluetooth daemon on Mac. This will entirely disable Bluetooth functionality, so make sure you don’t have any other active devices connected wirelessly:
- In a Terminal window, type the command sudo pkill blued.
- Hit Enter > your admin password > Enter.
- Try reconnecting your headphones to Mac.
Check out how to reset AirPods
ToothFairy for a better connection experience on Mac
This small Mac app can solve Bluetooth connectivity issues. Even if you encounter no problems, ToothFairy definitely makes the pairing process easier — reducing it all to a single click. So we definitely recommend to use it as an alternative pairing method.
While AirPods make the most common use case, ToothFairy works with any Bluetooth accessory. You can add devices in the app menu — for each of them, ToothFairy will show a toggle in the menu bar. Click on it whenever you want to connect/disconnect and you’re all set. So in fact, the app eliminates the need for going through Bluetooth Settings.
ToothFairy is compatible with every model of Apple AirPods, including AirPods Pro. On the App Store, it will cost you $4.99, or you can use it with your Setapp subscription for free.
Apple AirPods Pro add some top-notch bells and whistles to your talking and listening experience. So if you’re ready to pay a bit more, we totally recommend upgrading. Both macOS and ToothFairy work perfectly well with the Pro model, so you have no reason to hold off upgrading.
Connect Airpods To Mac App Download
AirPods of the 1st generation are worth using only in case price is the most important factor for you — and if you can find them significantly cheaper than AirPods 2. Note that you’ll need to buy a wireless charging case separately.
Connect Airpods To Mac Laptop
If in-ear design doesn’t impress you, AirPods 2 are the most optimal option. With Automatic Ear Detection feature and Siri controls, they are definitely more powerful than the 1st model.