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
86 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
86 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
86 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
86 months ago
.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
86 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
86 months ago
Tough crowd.

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

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
bsod

Crowdstrike Says Global IT Outage Impacting Windows PCs, But Mac and Linux Hosts Not Affected

Friday July 19, 2024 3:12 am PDT by
A widespread system failure is currently affecting numerous Windows devices globally, causing critical boot failures across various industries, including banks, rail networks, airlines, retailers, broadcasters, healthcare, and many more sectors. The issue, manifesting as a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), is preventing computers from starting up properly and forcing them into continuous recovery...
iphone 14 lineup

Cellebrite Unable to Unlock iPhones on iOS 17.4 or Later, Leak Reveals

Thursday July 18, 2024 4:18 am PDT by
Israel-based mobile forensics company Cellebrite is unable to unlock iPhones running iOS 17.4 or later, according to leaked documents verified by 404 Media. The documents provide a rare glimpse into the capabilities of the company's mobile forensics tools and highlight the ongoing security improvements in Apple's latest devices. The leaked "Cellebrite iOS Support Matrix" obtained by 404 Media...
Apple Watch Series 9

2024 Apple Watch Lineup: Key Changes We're Expecting

Tuesday July 16, 2024 7:59 am PDT by
Apple is seemingly planning a rework of the Apple Watch lineup for 2024, according to a range of reports from over the past year. Here's everything we know so far. Apple is expected to continue to offer three different Apple Watch models in five casing sizes, but the various display sizes will allegedly grow by up to 12% and the casings will get taller. Based on all of the latest rumors,...
tinypod apple watch

TinyPod Turns Your Apple Watch Into an iPod

Wednesday July 17, 2024 3:18 pm PDT by
If you have an old Apple Watch and you're not sure what to do with it, a new product called TinyPod might be the answer. Priced at $79, the TinyPod is a silicone case with a built-in scroll wheel that houses the Apple Watch chassis. When an Apple Watch is placed inside the TinyPod, the click wheel on the case is able to be used to scroll through the Apple Watch interface. The feature works...