After a long wait, you finally receive your Apple AirPods. And you just can’t wait to test them out on all your Apple products, from your Apple Watch to iPhone and even your mac. But then the inevitable happens and the darn things aren’t pairing to your iDevices, Apple Watch, or to your mac. You’ve run head on into the AirPods not auto-pairing problem and this is the last thing you want to troubleshoot!
- 1 The Basic Requirements
- 2 Setting Your AirPods Up
- 3 Not Seeing the Setup Animation?
- 4 AirPods not auto-pairing on your iDevice?
- 5 AirPods not auto-pairing on your mac? Quick Rescue Tips
- 6 AirPod iCloud Syncing Issues
- 7 Warning: Not Simultaneous
- 8 Wrap-Up
The Basic Requirements
AirPods don’t work with all Apple Products. So first, make sure that you use a compatible Apple device with your new AirPods. If you discover that your software is not compatible, update to the latest iOS, macOS, or watchOS if available. Surprisingly, Apple TV and tvOS are not currently listed as compatible. We hope this changes with the next tvOS updates. It just doesn’t make sense to us that Apple TV isn’t supported, since it’s already so easy to get iCloud on your Apple TV.
AirPod Hardware & Software Requirements
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10.2 or later
- Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later
- Mac with macOS Sierra or later
Setting Your AirPods Up
AirPods are simply cool…very cool. They have a special wireless chip embedded in them that enables them to pair quickly with your iPhone, iDevices, Apple Watch, and most other Apple Products including macs. This technology actually bypasses the normal Bluetooth pairing process. Ideally, you simply open your AirPod case and presto, the AirPods pair and connect with your iPhone or other devices.
There are a couple of things you need to do the very first time you set-up your AirPods. So make sure you do these before moving to more advanced troubleshooting. Before setting up your AirPods, sign into your iCloud account. When you sign into iCloud, your AirPods should be automatically set-up to all your supported devices that are associated with that particular Apple ID.
Before you start, make sure that your AirPods are fully charged. To charge your AirPods, put them in your case and close the lid. The AirPods case holds multiple, full charges for your AirPods, allowing charging when you are on the go.
If you need to charge your case first, plug the Lightning cable into your case and a USB port or charger. The case charges with or without your AirPods inside. The status light is inside the case, between the two spaces for your AirPods. When your AirPods are in the case, the status light indicates the charge status of the AirPods. When the AirPods are not in the case, the status light indicates the charge status of the case itself. Green equals fully charged while amber means that charging is required.
About AirPod Battery Life
- Your AirPods give you up to 5 hours of listening time or 2 hours of talk time on a single charge
- With multiple charges in your case, your AirPods provide more than 24 hours of listening time or up to 11 hours of talk time
- Charging your AirPods for just 15 minutes in your case provides up to 3 hours of listening time or 1 hour of talk time
- The Batteries widget shows the charge status of your AirPods and the AirPod Case, so checking battery life is easy
Before Setting-Up AirPods
Check that your AirPods status light flashes white. This means that your AirPods are ready to set up with one of your devices. The AirPods status light is inside the case, between the two spaces for your AirPods.
If the status light isn’t flashing white, close the case. Wait 15-20 seconds and then reopen the case.
Set-Up AirPods For iPhones
- Confirm your iPhone is running iOS 10.2 or later
- Press the Home button to unlock your iPhone screen
- Open the case—with your AirPods inside—and hold it next to your iPhone
- Follow the setup animation
- Tap Connect, then tap Done
Setting Up AirPods with Other Devices
Follow these steps to set up your AirPods with a device that isn’t logged into your iCloud account, connect to your Apple TV, OR set up AirPods to any non-Apple device
- Put your AirPods in the case
- Open the lid
- Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until you see the status light flash white
- Set up your AirPods as a Bluetooth device with your iPhone or iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, or non-Apple Bluetooth device
Not Seeing the Setup Animation?
If you’re not getting the setup animation when you try to setup your AirPods with your iPhone or other iDevices, try closing the case. Wait at least 15 seconds and then open the case again. Check and see if the status light flashes white.
If the status light still isn’t white, close the case and turn it over to the backside. Find the setup button near the bottom of the back of the AirPod case. Press and hold this button. While holding, open the case and see if the status light now flashes white. If not, keep pressing and holding this setup button until the status light flashes amber a few times and then finally flashes white.
Once the AirPod’s status light flashes white, you are ready to set your AirPods up!
AirPods not auto-pairing on your iDevice?
- Open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen
- Swipe from right to left to control audio
- Tap , then choose the device you want from the list
- Turn Bluetooth OFF and then back ON
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth
- Toggle Bluetooth OFF
- Wait 15-20 seconds
- Toggle Bluetooth back ON
AirPods not auto-pairing on your mac? Quick Rescue Tips
- Turn Bluetooth OFF and then back ON
- Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth
- Turn Bluetooth OFF
- Wait 20-30 seconds
- Turn Bluetooth back ON
- Click in the menu bar and choose your AirPods under Output Device
- On your Mac, go to: System Preferences > Bluetooth
- Wait for a few moments for your Mac to finish searching for Bluetooth devices, including showing your AirPods in the list (as “Not Connected”)
- Do not remove the AirPods from the list or take any other action
- Click on the volume icon in the menu bar and allow a few moments for the list to fully populate
- Select your AirPods if they are now shown
- Wait for the tone to sound in your AirPods, confirming connection
AirPod iCloud Syncing Issues
If you experience trouble getting your AirPods and iCloud to sync on your mac or iDevice, try logging out of iCloud and then log back into iCloud. This usually solves any syncing issue.
Other syncing issues include only getting one AirPod to work at a time. Our readers tell us that their AirPods seem fine for the first 24-48 hours with both working. But then after that short honeymoon, the AirPods start going out of sync and only work individually.
One of our readers reports that holding down the setup button on the case for a very long time worked for him. Press and hold the setup button until the light in the case flashes orange, maintain your hold of this button for an additional 20-30 seconds. After performing these actions, when he turned his AirPods back on everything worked normally. So we say give this a try if you face sync problems!
Warning: Not Simultaneous
A lot of us iFolks want the ability to pair our AirPods on everything simultaneously. Wouldn’t that be nice? Alas, this is currently NOT the case with AirPods. You still need to switch pairing when using non-Apple devices and computers. It’s not automatic pairing. So you still need to use your AirPods like any other normal bluetooth device. Automatic pairing SHOULD work on all Apple devices that meet the AirPod basic requirements.
AirPods usually pair easily with our Apple and non-Apple devices. But sometimes things don’t work as planned. Luckily, fixing these pairing issues in most cases is relatively simple. Most problems appear to be on the connections between AirPods and mac computers, where the pairing isn’t as seamless as advertised. Our readers report that they oftentimes have to click the volume icon and wait a bit. We all hoped and expected this pairing to be be automatic.
Overall, most of our readers are really happy with their AirPods! And of course they are absolutely loving that there are no wires what so ever (and no more unwrapping tangled cords.) And readers tell us that their AirPods provide them with good audio quality and great extended battery life with the slim and trim AirPod case. Plus, AirPods appear extremely quick to charge. The final score is that our readers are pretty darn happy with Apple’s latest modern accessory–the Apple AirPods.