Once you pair your AirPods or ‌AirPods‌ 2 to an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or Apple TV, the wireless earphones will attempt to connect to that device again the next time you use them.

airpods apple watch duo
Some Bluetooth headphones are capable of switching automatically between multiple paired devices depending on which one is playing audio. However, ‌AirPods‌ will only perform this function between your ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch. In all other cases, ‌AirPods‌ will simply attempt to link up to the last-connected device.

If you want your ‌AirPods‌ to connect to another Apple device they've paired up with in the past, you have to do it manually. Keep reading to learn how.

Before you begin, make sure you've paired your ‌AirPods‌ to at least one of the devices you want to switch between. ‌AirPods‌ sync pairing information through your iCloud account, enabling them to be connected to your other Apple devices without the need for any additional pairing.

If you aren't already wearing your ‌AirPods‌, make sure to at least flip the lid open on the charging case before continuing.

How to Switch AirPods Output to an iOS Device

To connect your ‌AirPods‌ to an iOS device, launch the Control Center: On ‌iPad‌, swipe down from the right corner of the screen; on ‌iPhone‌ 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; or on ‌iPhone‌ X or later, swipe down from the upper right "ear".

connect airpods to iphone
Next, tap the small AirPlay icon in the upper right corner of the playback controls panel, and in the next screen, select your ‌AirPods‌ from the devices list.

How to Switch AirPods Output to a Mac

To connect your ‌AirPods‌ to your Mac, click the Volume icon or the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, select your ‌AirPods‌ in the dropdown list, and click Connect.

how to pair airpods with your mac
Note: If you don't see the volume or Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, launch System Preferences and click the Sound or Bluetooth pane, then tick the checkbox next to Show volume in menu bar or Show Bluetooth in menu bar.

How to Switch AirPods Output to Apple TV

To connect your ‌AirPods‌ to ‌Apple TV‌, navigate to the ‌Apple TV‌ Home screen, hold the Play/Pause button on your ‌Apple TV‌ Remote, and then select your ‌AirPods‌ from the panel list that appears.

airpodsappletv

How to Switch AirPods Output to Apple Watch

As mentioned above, ‌AirPods‌ connected to your ‌iPhone‌ will automatically switch to your Apple Watch if you play audio directly from the smartwatch. However, you can also manually connect to Apple Watch at any time using the following method.

  1. On your Apple Watch, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Control Center. (If you're in an app, touch and hold the bottom edge of the screen, then drag up the Control Center pane with your finger.)
    apple watch airpods connect

  2. Tap the ‌AirPlay‌ icon (the small triangle with concentric circles on top).
  3. Select your ‌AirPods‌ from the list of devices.
Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...