How to fix Apple AirPods not connecting to Mac

One of the driving forces behind the creation of the Apple AirPods was the delivery of epic sound across multiple devices. As long as the device is registered with iTunes, you can pair them with your AirPods and follow any music that moves you.

Not necessarily the ultimate goal, but something that can make the consumer feel that the purchase is worthwhile.

Of course, nothing is perfect no matter how much cash you throw at it, and AirPods are no exception. After spending a lot of your earnings on a product, you should expect it to function smoothly, delivering the promised premium audio experience. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.

While playback was good enough, there were troubles where the AirPods didn’t connect as expected. One such complication occurs that your AirPods don’t connect to your Mac. This may not be a constantly recurring problem but it is still a problem.

Therefore, we have revealed a bit of information on how you can ensure that your AirPods make the necessary connection.

How to fix Apple AirPods not connecting to Mac

Apple AirPods with case

There are a few things you can do when your AirPods don’t connect to your Mac as originally intended.

Understand that with some tweaking, almost everything we’ll discuss here can also be used to pair AirPods with other devices that are having connectivity issues. There is no single fix that guarantees a positive result, so we will need to look at each of them until we arrive at a solution.

Charge your AirPods

Your AirPods need to be fully charged if they are to work. Even though it’s 2019, most of us are still new to using wireless headphones. Making sure to keep them charged hasn’t become second nature yet. You’ll want to get in the habit of charging your AirPods whenever they’re not in use.

Charge your AirPods

It’s also possible that the battery in the AirPods charging case is running low or dying. Obviously, without the battery, it is not possible to charge your AirPods. Instead, you can plug the AirPods charging case into your Mac to maintain a consistent charging station for your AirPods.

Always keep macOS up to date

To connect AirPods to your Mac, you need to update macOS to the latest version. Not only that, but you should get into the habit of keeping everything up to date. This ensures that all devices run properly. You should check that your Mac is currently running on the latest version of macOS.

Keep macOS up to date
  • To see the latest version, open the App Store and select Update at top.
  • Select the option to Download all updates.
  • Allow your Mac to restart if prompted to do so for the changes to take effect.

Maybe you have updated to the latest version. Most of us tend to download updates as soon as they are made available. This is just a precaution and there is a chance to fix your connection problems if you haven’t downloaded the updates yet. It’s also good to get rid of it because moving forward will require macOS to be updated.

Turn on Bluetooth on Mac

Bluetooth must be enabled on your Mac to pair it with your AirPods. Most will know this but it’s one of the more common mistakes people make.

Turn on Bluetooth on Mac

Sometimes you forget things you did hundreds of times before, do you remember but Bluetooth decided not to work correctly or this is your first time trying to connect and you don’t know how to activate it. Regardless, we have a solution.

  • While using your Mac, you can enable Bluetooth by opening System Preferences, selecting Bluetooth, and seeing if it’s currently set to ABOVE.
Bluetooth in System Preferences
  • If it is currently set to ON, switch to TURN OFF then come back ABOVE again. Technology is great, but sometimes the “sorry” isn’t on you. You will know if this is a problem with your AirPods because you should now be able to connect them.

AirPods may need re-pairing

Your AirPods may already be paired with your Mac, but sometimes complications arise that make it necessary to do it again. This could be one of those times and is causing your AirPods to not connect to your Mac. Doing so may cause a connection reset so that your AirPods can connect to your Mac again.

Re-Pair Your AirPods
  • Place the AirPods back in their charging case by opening the lid. Do this so you can see a blinking white light indicating that your AirPods are pairing with your other device.
  • If you followed the instructions exactly, Bluetooth is enabled on your Mac. If not, do so now.
  • Next, press and hold Establish found on the back of the AirPods case and wait for the white light to flash.
Drawing of an AirPod case with a designated Install button
  • When the light flashes, your AirPods will be paired with your Mac.
    • If your AirPods have trouble pairing this way, you’ll need to do it manually in the Bluetooth window on your Mac. You can right click and select Link.
AirPods in Bluetooth menu and Connect button
  • You may need your Mac forget your AirPods if re-pairing doesn’t go as planned. Choose X to the right of the AirPods in the Bluetooth window and retry the pairing process.

AirPods need to appear as an output device

This type will automatically when making a connection from AirPods to Mac. AirPods, by default, must be set as the output device. In rare cases this doesn’t happen, and if it does, you’ll need to do it manually.

AirPods as output device
  • From a Mac computer, navigate to System Preferences and choose Sound.
Sound in the System Preferences window
  • Click the Output tab and select AirPods as the output device.
  • After the change, check your AirPods again.

Perform Reset

Still no connection? As a last-ditch effort to find one, we’ll need to reset your AirPods. However, it’s possible that the firmware found in a set of AirPods could be causing the problem. Since everything else on this list has been tried, factory reset might just be what helps your AirPods and Mac make that desired connection.

Perform a factor reset on your AirPods

Doing so may mean re-pairing the AirPods with all devices they were previously connected to.

  • Start by placing the AirPods back in their charging case.
  • Hold Establish found on the back and keep doing so until you see the amber flash. It will then quickly turn white, indicating that the reset is over.
  • Next, place the case (which comes with AirPods) near your phone to set everything up.
  • Wait for the setup animation to appear on the screen, select LinkAnd after that Accomplished.
  • Pair your AirPods with your Mac again and make a connection.

AirBuddy To The Rescue

AirBuddy icon

Everything in this article so far has let you down. Nothing works and you’ve reached a bit of a letdown. A connection feels impossible. Not necessarily. We still have one more trick left, though this one will make you $5.

Introducing AirBuddy, a small $5 utility app for Mac that will solve your connection problems. All you need to do is have your AirPods by your side and you will have access to a control panel. The dashboard will contain a drop-down window that lists your AirPods and their current battery percentage.

Click Click to connect and your AirPods will be instantly connected every time.

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