Although AirPods doesn’t work as seamlessly with Windows laptop/ PC as Macs, you can still connect them and listen to audio. If you are wondering ‘how?’, we have got you covered. Below is an easy step-by-step on how to pair/ unpair AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max with a Windows laptop/ PC and disconnect them. But, before we get to that, here’s a quick look at the AirPods’ features that you won’t get on Windows:
- Tap to access Siri – The AirPods won’t summon Siri when tapping or pressing on the stem
- Double tap functionality – You lose out on the double tap functionality to play/pause a song and go to the next or previous track
- Automatic ear detection – AirPods will not pause the music once you remove them from your ears
- Spatial Audio – Users will also miss out on Spatial Audio when connected to a Windows laptop. This feature provides an immersive theatre-like music-listening experience
How to connect AirPods to a Windows 11 laptop
Even though you may not get access to all the features AirPods to have to offer with an iPhone or MacBook, connecting them to a Windows laptop is just as pairing any other audio device via Bluetooth. Here’s how.
- Firstly, ensure the AirPods are in their case and have at least 20% battery
- Now open the case and proceed with the further steps on your laptop
- Click on the ‘Windows’ logo from the bottom taskbar and search “Settings”. Alternatively, Settings can also be found on the quick settings panel
- Open Settings and go to the ‘Bluetooth & devices’ section
- Grab your AirPods and press and hold the setup button present on the backside of the charging case. Hold it until the LED lights start flashing, which indicates the AirPods are in pairing mode
- On your Windows 11 laptop, click on ‘Add device’
- A popup window with several options will appear. Choose ‘Bluetooth’
- The laptop will start searching for Bluetooth devices nearby so make sure to bring your AirPods up close to the laptop
- Now click on ‘AirPods’ once it appears in the list
- Click ‘Done’ and you are all set to use AirPods with your Windows laptop
How to connect AirPods to a Windows 10 laptop
On Windows 10, the Bluetooth settings are present at a slightly different location than in Windows 11. However, the process to connect AirPods or any other Bluetooth device is fairly similar. Take a look.
- Once the AirPods are in their charging case, open the lid
- Now on your Windows 10 laptop, click the ‘Windows’ logo at the bottom right corner and search ‘Settings’. Alternatively, Settings can also be found in the quick settings panel
- Once you are in Settings, select ‘Devices’
- Then select ‘Bluetooth & devices’ from the left column
- Now go back to your AirPods and press and hold the setup button until the LED starts flashing
- On the next screen click ‘Add Bluetooth to other devices’ and a popup window shall appear
- Select ‘Bluetooth’ among the several other options
- Choose ‘AirPods’ and your AirPods will be paired to your Windows 10 laptop
How to disconnect AirPods from Windows laptop
In case you want to switch to other paired or unpaired earphones on your Windows laptop, here’s how to quickly disconnect the AirPods.
- Go to the Bluetooth settings as guided in the above-mentioned steps
- Now find other paired devices from the list and hit ‘Connect’
- Your AirPods will be automatically disconnected
- To pair new audio devices, follow the same procedure of connecting AirPods
How to remove AirPods from Bluetooth on a Windows laptop
Unpairing your AirPods from the Bluetooth settings can be done in the following way:
- Open Settings on your Windows laptop
- Head over to the Bluetooth section
- From here, find your AirPods and click ‘Remove device’ on Windows 10. As for Windows 11, select the vertical three dots and click ‘Remove device’
- This will completely unpair your AirPods and won’t automatically connect to the Windows laptop unless you pair them again
1. What to do when AirPods are unable to connect to a Windows laptop?
In case the AirPods are unable to connect and pair with a Windows laptop, there are several troubleshooting methods you can perform.
- Enough battery – Ensure the AirPods have at least 20 to 30 percent charge
- Reset AirPods – Reset the AirPods by pressing and holding the setup button on the back of the charging case for 30 seconds while keeping the lid open
- Latest software version – If your AirPods are connecting and pairing with other devices, it may have something to do with your Windows laptop. Ensure it is running on the latest version by going into the update section within the Settings
- Latest Bluetooth drivers – At times, audio drivers on Windows laptops become outdated which may result in connectivity issues with Bluetooth devices. To solve this, head over to Google and download the latest drivers specifically for your laptop’s model.