How to Connect Airpods to a Mac

Connect Airpods To Mac Featured

Apple’s AirPods have quickly gone from a funny fashion item to one of the hottest tech products. If you are an Apple product owner, they are undeniably one of the best products around. They are incredibly easy to connect to Apple devices like the Mac, which makes them all the more enjoyable to own. While the sync process is easy, it still requires a little bit of learning. If Apple’s own sync method does not work, third-party applications are ready to rescue you from endless AirPod sync frustration.

Brand New AirPods

Oddly enough, the sync process differs slightly between AirPods that have already been synced on iOS and those that have not. This process walks you through AirPods that are either brand new or never synced with an iPhone or iPad.

1. Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu or on your dock, then choose Bluetooth.

Connect Airpods To Mac Step One

2. Once you are in the Bluetooth menu, look underneath the big blue Bluetooth icon and make sure “Turn Bluetooth Off” is selected. If it isn’t and instead says “Turn Bluetooth On,” go ahead and switch it on.

Connect Airpods To Mac Step Two

3. Now, grab your AirPod case and open the lid for the Bluetooth to show itself. Turn the case around and look for the button toward the bottom on the rear of the case.

Connect Airpods To Mac Case

4. Press the button for its initial setup. This button essentially turns on Bluetooth so it is discoverable by nearby devices.

5. Look at the Bluetooth screen on the Mac, and find the AirPods listed among the devices. A blue button will say “connect.” Click on that button to be paired and ready to go.

Connect Airpods To Mac Step Five

AirPods Already Paired with iOS

For whatever reason Apple deemed it so, pairing AirPods that have already been paired with iOS are a little more involved. In a perfect world, it should actually be an easier process, but there is a caveat to this statement. If your AirPods are connected to the same iCloud account between the Mac and iPhone with the same Apple ID, you are good to go. Otherwise, you might need to set up as new, then follow the instructions below.

1. Put your AirPods into your ears so they are on and can be recognized by the Mac.

2. Look at the Bluetooth settings on your Mac, either through System Preferences or by the Bluetooth button in the menu bar.

Connect Airpods To Mac Bluetooth

3. If you are using the Bluetooth button in the menu bar (and you should), look for your AirPods name in the dropdown list. If you can see it, this means your Mac recognizes your AirPods and they are using the same iCloud ID.

Conect Airpods To Mac Dropdown

4. Click on the AirPods and try to connect. If this step works, you should hear a chime when they are properly synced.

Connect Airpods To Mac Connect

Using AirBuddy

There is no question that the Mac process can feel a little cumbersome, and admittedly it doesn’t always work well. Fortunately, third-party developers are coming to the rescue. Such is the case with the five-dollar app AirBuddy, a one-click interface for connecting AirPods to Mac. Here is how it works.

1. The first and most important step is to download AirBuddy.

Upon launching AirBuddy the first time, a pop-up asks what device you want to connect. Along with AirPods, AirBuddy supports any other W1-enabled devices, including a few Beats headphones.

Connect Airpods To Mac Airbuddy Support

2. Select where on your screen you want the AirBuddy pop-up to appear. You can choose from left, center or right.

3. Open your AirPods as you would with Bluetooth on and AirBuddy should recognize them with a popup screen. Click on “click to connect” and that is it.

Connect Airpods To Mac Airbuddy Connect

One additional benefit of AirBuddy that the Mac does not offer by default is that you can see the battery level. That includes both the case and each individual AirPod, just as you would see on your iOS devices. The app requires macOS Mojave 10.14 as well as a Mac that supports Bluetooth LE technology.


Apple AirPods are already among the most popular headphones on the market, and they continue to grow in popularity. Their sharp looks and great audio quality have helped make them must-own devices for Apple fans around the world. While syncing them isn’t always as seamless as Apple promises, rest assured there is always an easier way as AirBuddy proves. Do you have trouble syncing your AirPods to your Mac? We’d love to hear how you solved your connectivity issues in the comments below.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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