AirPods, introduced last December, are Apple's completely wire-free earphones that have a W1 chip inside for simple pairing between devices.

AirPods work like magic, and while they're easy to set up, the process may not be intuitive to all users who received AirPods this Christmas, so we thought we'd share some quick, easy to digest instructions.

AirPods duo

  1. Remove the AirPods from the packaging.
  2. Leave the AirPods in AirPods case.
  3. Power on your iPhone or iPad, unlock it, and go to the Home screen (aka the main app screen).
  4. Open up the lid to your AirPods case.
  5. Hold the AirPods case with open lid next to your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  6. Your iOS device will recognize the AirPods and you'll see a popup to connect your AirPods.airpodsnotconnected
  7. Tap "Connect."
  8. You'll be instructed to press and hold on the back button of the AirPods case.airpodsholdbutton
  9. Press it for a few seconds, and the popup on your ‌iPhone‌ will change to "Connecting."
  10. When the connection is complete, the popup will display the battery life for both the AirPods and the case.airpodsconnected

That's all there is to it. Once this setup process has been completed, your AirPods will re-pair to your iOS device whenever you open up the case lid. This re-pairing process takes just a few seconds, so your AirPods are essentially ready to go whenever you pull them out.

Your AirPods are linked to your iCloud account, so once you pair them with one device, your other devices know they exist. You can switch connections between your devices through the standard Bluetooth settings options, where AirPods will be listed on any device that you're signed into with your ‌iCloud‌ account.

airpodsbluetoothmenu
On iOS devices, go to Settings --> Bluetooth and tap "AirPods." On a Mac, click on the Bluetooth icon in the status bar, choose AirPods, and then select "Connect." On Apple TV, open up the Settings app, choose "Video and Audio," scroll down to "Audio," select "Audio Output" and choose AirPods.

On iOS devices, you can also use the Now Playing widget in Control Center to select AirPods, and on ‌Apple TV‌, you can hold down the Home button on the main ‌Apple TV‌ screen to bring up a shortcut to audio options.

Update: As some MacRumors forum members have pointed out, when pairing with an iOS device signed into your ‌iCloud‌ account, the step involving a button press may not be necessary. In this situation, the AirPods should be ready to pair after opening the case near an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

Top Rated Comments

macpanzer Avatar
67 months ago
Do you actually need to hold the button on the AirPods case to connect them initially? I can’t remember I had to press it the first time I connected them with my iPhone. Ever since I performed a reset, I had to press it.
No, it is not needed. The button is there for connecting to non-Apple devices.
The author should read the manual for AirPods first, then write a guide.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pezboy Avatar
67 months ago
Why the hell do we need a set up guide?? This whole article should be, open airpods. Aaaaaannnnd done
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firewire9000 Avatar
67 months ago
I appreciate the article but the information shown here is incorrect. You don’t need to press the button. In fact, these steps are for when the AirPods are previously connected to other devices.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Creepitor Avatar
67 months ago
.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
67 months ago
Eek... will not buy
Never make a purchase decision based on some random guy on a tech forum.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lazyrighteye Avatar
67 months ago
Tough crowd.

Or... Thanks for spending your xmas morn posting these articles, MR. :D
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
maxresdefault

Kuo: Apple to Release Foldable iPad With Carbon Fiber Kickstand in 2024

Monday January 30, 2023 12:55 am PST by
Apple will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand sometime next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In a series of tweets, Kuo said he expects an "all-new design foldable iPad" to be the next big product launch in the iPad lineup, with no other major iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The analyst said he...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
tim cook data privacy day

Apple Violated U.S. Labor Laws With Anti-Leak Email

Monday January 30, 2023 3:43 pm PST by
Apple violated United States labor laws when it sent out an email warning employees about leaking confidential information about the company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said today in a ruling shared by Bloomberg. Rules that Apple has established around leaks "tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees" from the exercise of their rights under the National Labor...