If you have recently picked up a pair of AirPods and are wondering how to pair them with your iPhone then you’re at the right place.
This article will answer every question you might have about how to make AirPods discoverable. I will take you through how to do so step by step and by the time you’re done you would be able to pair your AirPods with a range of different devices.
In order for your new AirPods to work, you will have to pair them with your iPhone or any other device that offers Bluetooth playback capabilities.
To pair your AirPods with any device of your choice, the first thing you need to do is make your AirPods discoverable (Turn on Bluetooth pairing mode). You will need to place both the AirPods in the charging case and with the lid open, press and hold the Setup button at the back of the case till the LED indicator blinks Amber notifying you that your AirPods are now discoverable.
Over this article we’ll take you through how you can make your AirPods discoverable and how to pair them with different devices including non-Apple products. Later on, I’ll cover a couple of troubleshooting tips that you can use in case you face a problem while pairing your AirPods.
Recommended Read: How To Make Your AirPods Pro Sound Louder
Table of Contents
How to Make AirPods Discoverable
Enable Bluetooth Pairing Mode on your AirPods
As with any Bluetooth device, you will need to pair them with a host so that you will be able to play music or answer calls hands-free. Different devices follow different pairing protocols and with the AirPods, these are the steps you must follow in order to make the AirPods discoverable.
- First step is to make sure that the device you’re connecting to is up to date.
- Then proceed to place both the AirPods earbuds into the charging case (making sure the charging case has ample battery life).
- Once the AirPods are in the case, leave the lid open and make sure not to close the case.
- Turn the charging case around and at the back you would find the “Setup” button. Press and hold the button till the LED indicator begins flashing white.
- Now your AirPods have entered the Bluetooth pairing mode / discoverable mode and you can pair them with any device of your liking.
Set up AirPods with iPhone/iPad
If this is the first time you’re pairing your AirPods with your iPhone/iPad then there are a few steps you’d have to follow. Before doing so, you will need to ensure that your iPhone/iPad and AirPods are running on the latest firmware.
Here’s how you pair AirPods with your iPhone/iPad
- First unlock your iPhone/iPad and navigate to the Home screen. Once you’re there, place your AirPods in the case and hold it close to the iPhone.
- Now, you will see a setup animation that appears on your iPhone’s screen. Tap on Connect to pair both the devices with each other.
If you have either the AirPods Pro or the second-generation AirPods, you can complete the setup by enabling “Siri”.
With AirPods (2nd Gen) and AirPods Pro make sure you complete the following steps.
- Once you have paired the devices and if you have not set up Hey Siri, then you will be taken through the remaining steps to enable Siri voice assistant.
- Finally tap on Done to save the setup.
Set up AirPods with Mac and other Bluetooth Devices
This section of the article will teach you how to set up and pair your AirPods with your Mac, Android devices and other Bluetooth devices so you can listen to music, answer calls and more.
Pair AirPods with Mac
The first thing to note is that different models of the AirPods will require different OS to run.
For example, if you’re using the AirPods (2nd Gen) then they would require your Mac to run on macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. Whereas, if you have the AirPods Pro then your Mac would have to run on macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.
If you have set up your AirPods with an iPhone earlier and if your Mac and iPhone are synced with the same iCloud account, then you may be able to use the AirPods straight out of the charging case without any prior manual set up on your Mac.
However, if you see that your AirPods are not connected with your Mac then you will have to manually pair them both together.
- On your Mac, open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple Menu and then tap on Bluetooth.
- Make sure the AirPods are in their charging case and you have enabled the Bluetooth pairing mode. (Remember to keep the lid of the charging case open).
- Once the white LED starts blinking rapidly, select the AirPods from the list of Devices on your Mac and click on Connect.
- Now that your AirPods and Mac are connected, you can start using the AirPods as the selected sound output device.
Pair AirPods with non-Apple devices
The AirPods can be used with any device that supports Bluetooth transmission. You can pair them with an Android smartphone, a tab, an MP3 player, AV receiver and more. The only drawback is that you will not be able to access your voice assistant “Siri”.
Here’s how you can pair your AirPods with any non-Apple device
- On your non-Apple device, open the System settings and navigate to Wireless Connections and tap on Bluetooth.
- Here, enable Bluetooth pairing mode on the device.
- Proceed to place both the AirPods in the charging case and leave the lid open.
- Press and hold the Setup button at the back of the case and wait till the LED indicator begins to flash White.
- On the Android/non-Apple device, locate the AirPods from the list of available devices and tap on Pair. Once done you will be able to use your AirPods to listen to music and even answer calls on a non-Apple device.
Switch Devices Automatically with AirPods
Now that you have understood how to make AirPods discoverable, I would like to inform you that you would be able to switch devices automatically if you’ve paired the AirPods with multiple devices. This feature only works with Apple devices in the Apple Ecosystem.
Ultimately, you will be able to automatically switch between your Mac running on macOS Big Sur, iPhone running on iOS 14 and iPad with ipadOS 14 or later. This feature would not work on older models of the macOS, iOS or ipadOS.
There are some instances where you will see a notification about your AirPods on your Mac’s display. When you hold the mouse cursor over the notification, you will receive a connection request. Accepting this request will connect your AirPods with your Mac.
Troubleshooting Your AirPods (Connection Failure)
It’s good to note the following tips because there are chances that you may not be able to pair your AirPods with either your iPhone or Mac.
These troubleshooting tips will help you reduce the time spent pairing your AirPods and they wouldn’t take much time.
If you’re unable to connect the AirPods to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
There can be a number of reasons as to why you can’t pair your new AirPods with your iPhone. These are the best solutions available out there and by the end, you will be able to successfully pair your AirPods with your iPhone/iPad.
- First step is to make sure the operating system running on the iPhone/iPad is the latest version.
- Now, proceed to place both the AirPods in the charging case and make sure that both units are charging.
- Open the Bluetooth settings page on your iPad/iPhone and check if Bluetooth has been enabled.
- Close the lid of the charging case for around 15-20 seconds and then open it up again.
- Proceed to press and hold the setup button for 10 seconds till the light flashes white.
- Now, hold the AirPods within the case near your iPhone/iPad. (Make sure the lid is open)
- Follow the setup instructions on your iPhone’s screen to complete the setup procedure.
If you’re unable to connect the AirPods to your Mac
As I mentioned earlier, the AirPods (1st and 2nd Gen) would require different base macOS running in order for them to work properly on your Mac. If you have macOS 10.14.4 or later then you would be able to run the AirPods 2nd Gen model and if you have macOS Sierra or later, you’d be able to connect the AirPods 1st Gen model.
What you can do if your base requirements are met is to click on the Apple menu button followed by System Preferences and then Bluetooth.
- If your AirPods do not connect even after appearing in the device list, proceed to remove the device by selecting the AirPods and then clicking on the “X” next to the name of the AirPods.
Now that you have removed the AirPods from the device list,
- Place both AirPods in the charging case and place it near the Mac with the charging case lid open.
- Enable Bluetooth pairing by pressing the Setup button at the back of the AirPods case.
- Locate the AirPods from the list on your Mac and click on Connect to pair the devices.
If neither of these solutions work for you, then the final option would be to reset the AirPods and follow the steps again.
Reset your AirPods and AirPods Pro
Resetting your AirPods should be considered as the final option and not done haphazardly. In order to do so, you will need to follow these steps.
- Start by placing your AirPods in the charging case and close the lid for 30 seconds.
- Open the lid and leave the AirPods (along with the charging case) at the side and head to your iPhone.
- Head to the Settings App on your iPhone and open Bluetooth. Tap on the (i) icon next to your AirPods and then click on Forget this Device.
- Tap Confirm to disconnect the AirPods from your iPhone.
- Now with the lid open, press and hold the Setup button located at the back of the charging case for around 15-20 seconds till the LED indicator flashes Amber.
- Hold the case near your iPhone and proceed to reconnect the device by following the instructions on the screen.
Why are my AirPods not discoverable?
You need to ensure that both your AirPods and your iPhone/iPad are running on the latest operating system. If you have tried pairing the devices and the connection fails, try restarting your iPhone and your AirPods and try again.
How do I enable Bluetooth pairing on my AirPods?
Enabling Bluetooth pairing on your AirPods is easy. Simply press and hold the button at the back of the charging case till you see the light flash a couple of times (make sure the AirPods are in the case). Now hold the case near the iPhone and open the lid to enable Bluetooth pairing.
Can I use the AirPods even if the charging case has died?
Yes, you can use your AirPods even if the charging case has died. However, you will have to make sure that your AirPods are charged and have been paired with your iPhone prior to this.
Why are my AirPods not connecting with my Mac?
It is important you know that using AirPods with your Mac may not work properly if you’re running incompatible operating system. You will want to check to make sure your operating system is up-to-date. This way, you can be sure your Mac is compatible with the AirPods. If you are using an older model of the AirPods, they will require macOS Sierra or later. For newer models, they’ll require at least 10.14.4
Well, there you have it. The complete process on how to make AirPods discoverable in under 10 minutes. It’s everything you need to know and a little bit more.
I hope this guide helped you while trying to pair your AirPods with your iPhone, iPad, Mac or any other Bluetooth device out there.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment.
- How To Make Your AirPods Pro Sound Louder
- How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable
- How to Pair Audio-Technica Bluetooth Earbuds and Headphones
Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.
I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.
Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.