How to Connect AirPods to MacBook?

Want to listen to audio on your MacBook without disturbing anyone in your periphery but don’t know how to connect AirPods to MacBook? Don’t feel embarrassed. A while ago, I didn’t either. Connecting AirPods to a MacBook is very easy. If your MacBook is showing the message, “AirPods connection rejected,” use the following steps to overcome this roadblock. 

Do you have a particular question about how to connect AirPods to MacBook? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

How to Connect AirPods To Mac? 

There are two ways to pair AirPods with Mac. How you choose depends on how you’re already using your AirPods. If you don’t use them on your iPhone, take the following steps to connect them directly to your MacBook: 

  1. Keep your AirPods in the charging case
  2. Open the lid of the charging case while the AirPods are still inside 
  3. On the back of the charging case, find a button 
  4. Press and hold this button until the status light starts flashing 
  5. On your MacBook, open the Apple menu (click the Apple icon in the top region of your menu bar)
  6. Select “System Preferences”
  7. In the “System Preferences” page, select “Bluetooth” 
  8. A list of available devices will be displayed on your screen 
  9. Find your AirPods on this list & click on them 
  10. Click Connect

If your MacBook can’t find AirPods, try the process again. This time, place your AirPods a bit closer to the MacBook. Once the pairing is complete, your AirPods will appear on top of the list of “Devices” ready to be used.

But, what if your AirPods are not connecting to your Mac because you already use them with your iPhone? Then, take the following steps:

  1. Open your AirPods charging case 
  2. Click the Volume icon on your Mac
  3. A menu bar will pop up at the top region of your MacBook’s screen
  4. On this menu, go to the “Output Device” section
  5. Here, select your AirPods

Hopefully, your AirPods will be paired with your MacBook once you complete this process. But what if your AirPods not connecting to MacBook after these steps? Then, you need to check whether you’ve enabled a few settings on your MacBook. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click the Apple icon in your MacBook’s menu bar
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the pop-up menu that appears
  3. Verify whether your MacBook is currently logged into the same Apple ID as your current iPhone
  4. Return to the System Preferences window
  5. Select “General”
  6. Inside the “General” window, find an option titled “Allow Handoff”
  7. There should be a checkmark next to the “Allow Handoff” option 

By activating the “Allow Handoff” option, you’re telling your MacBook that it’s allowed to pair with other Apple & iCloud devices that feature your Apple ID. For most users, their AirPods connect to their Mac devices automatically when they’re using the same Apple IDs. 

If your iPhone AirPods are not working with Mac, it’s probably because you still need to correct these preference settings. 

Why Won’t My AirPods Connect to My Mac?

If you’ve tried out all the steps mentioned above & your AirPods still won’t connect to your Mac, don’t worry. Just do what I did & ask yourself, “Why AirPods won’t connect to Mac?” What should the answer be? Here are some possible culprits:

Your AirPods Are Not Charged

If your AirPods aren’t charged, they won’t be able to pair with any device, let alone a MacBook. So, before you try out any of the steps I’ve mentioned above, ensure your AirPods are fully charged. Place them in their charging case & charge them for 2-3 hours before pairing them with your Mac.

Your Mac Is Not Up to Date

Trying to pair second-generation AirPods with an outdated MacBook? It’s impossible. You will only be able to pair first or second-generation AirPods with your Mac if you have macOS Sierra or any of the later versions of the OS. To fix this, just get the latest Mac update. Once your MacBook has macOS 10.14.4, it can pair with all AirPods.

Your AirPods are Glitching

Can AirPods pick up glitches that make them harder to use? Absolutely. Whenever that happens to my AirPods, I reset them by pressing and holding the button on the back of their charging case for 10-20 seconds. Let go of this button as soon as the status light starts flashing. Here’s a helpful video guide on this process. Check it out: 

Your AirPods Aren’t Up to Date

Can AirPods be updated? Not directly. But missed software updates on your iPhone, iPad, & MacBook can cause your AirPods to malfunction. To ensure your AirPods are operating with the latest version of iOS on your iPhone & Mac, backup your devices. Then, connect them to power. 

Make sure they’re connected to the Wi-Fi. Then, go to Settings. Enter “General” & then click on “Software Update.” Here, you’ll see if any updates are pending for your Apple devices. If there is, download & install the updates. Then, try connecting your AirPods to your MacBook again.

Your Bluetooth Isn’t Activated

Is your Mac’s Bluetooth activated & working? To check, go to the Apple menu on your Mac. In the menu, find & select an option titled “System Preferences.” Inside this menu, you’ll find your Mac’s Bluetooth option. Click on it to open a pop-up window. If this pop-up window states that your Bluetooth is turned off, turn it on. Then, try re-connecting your AirPods to your MacBook again. 

Tried all these solutions but still can’t connect AirPods to Mac? Then, it would help if you visit your nearest Apple store. If you show up at an Apple store with your AirPods & Mac, one of the technicians will help you pair the two. 

Even if they don’t directly help you pair your AirPods with your Mac, they’ll at least provide some additional information on what could be going wrong. Listen to their advice & try the pairing process again. Hopefully, the steps mentioned in this guide will work out long before you need to visit an Apple store! 

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

ipoki tech blog - ending separator

At we only mention the products that we’ve researched and considered worthy. But it’s important to mention that we are a participant of several affiliate programs, including Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.