One of the driving forces behind the creation of Apple AirPods was the distribution of epic sound across multiple devices. As long as the device has been registered with iTunes, you can pair it with AirPods and enjoy whatever music has moved you.

Not necessarily the highest of goals, but something that might make consumers think the purchase is worth the price.

How to fix AirPods not connecting to Mac

Of course, nothing is perfect no matter how much money you put in, and AirPods are no exception. After spending so much of your earnings on a product, you’d expect that product to work flawlessly, delivering the promised premium audio experience. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.

While playback is decent enough, there have been noises that the AirPods didn’t connect as expected. One of these complications comes in the form of AirPods not connecting to the Mac. This may not be a recurring problem, but a problem nonetheless.

Therefore, we have disclosed some information on how you can make sure 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 aren’t connecting to the Mac as originally intended.

Understand that with a few adaptations, most of everything we will discuss here can also be used for pairing AirPods with other devices facing connectivity issues. There is no single solution that guarantees positive results, so we will have to go through them all until we reach a resolution.

Charge your AirPods

Your AirPods need to be properly charged if they’re working. Even though it’s 2019, most of us haven’t gotten used to using wireless headphones yet. Making sure you keep them charged hasn’t become second nature yet. We recommend that you develop a habit of charging your AirPods whenever they are not in use.

Charge your AirPods

There is also a possibility that the battery in the AirPod’s charging case has run out or is dead. Of course, without battery power, there can be no charge for your AirPods. Instead, you can keep the AirPod charging case connected to your Mac to maintain a consistent charging station for your AirPods.

Keep macOS up to date

To connect your AirPods to your Mac, macOS will need to be updated with the latest version. Not only that, but it’s a good idea to get in the habit of keeping things up to date. This ensures that all devices are working properly. It might be a good idea to check if your Mac is currently running on the latest version of macOS.

Keep MacOS updated
  • To see the latest version, open the App Store and select the Updates button at the top.
  • Select the option for download all updates.
  • Allow your Mac computer to restart if prompted for the changes to take effect.

You’ve probably already updated to the latest version. Most of us tend to download updates as soon as they are provided. This is precautionary only and has a chance to fix your connection problem if you haven’t been able to download updates yet. It’s also helpful to get this out of the way as future steps will require macOS to be updated.

Bluetooth enabled on Mac

Bluetooth must be enabled on your Mac to pair it with your AirPods. Most will already know this, but it is one of the most common mistakes people tend to make.

Bluetooth enabled on Mac

Sometimes you forget things you did a hundred times before, you remember but Bluetooth has decided not to work properly or, this is the first time you are trying to connect and you don’t know how to enable it. Either way, we have a solution.

  • On the Mac, you can enable Bluetooth by opening System Preferences, selecting Bluetooth, and checking if it is currently set to ON.
Bluetooth in System Preferences
  • If it is currently set to ON, go to TURNED OFF then back ON still. The technology is great, but sometimes the “baby” isn’t about you. You will know if this was the problem with your AirPods as you should now be able to connect them.

AirPods may need a new pairing

Your AirPods may already be paired with your Mac, but sometimes complications arise where you will have to do it again. This could be one of those times and it’s causing your AirPods to not connect to your Mac. This could cause a connection reset so your AirPods can connect to your Mac again.

Re-pair your AirPods
  • Store the AirPods in the charging case with the lid ajar. Do this so that you can see the flashing white light indicating that the AirPods are pairing with the other device.
  • If you followed the instructions, Bluetooth should already be enabled on your Mac. If it isn’t, do so now.
  • Then, hold down the key Setting up button located on the back of the AirPods case and wait for the flashing white light.
Drawing of the AirPod case with the configuration button shown
  • Once the light flashes, your AirPods should be paired with your Mac.
    • If the AirPods have trouble pairing this way, you’ll need to do this manually in the Bluetooth window on the Mac. You can right-click and select Connect.
AirPods in the Bluetooth menu and Connect button
  • You may need to have your own Mac forget your AirPods if re-pairing isn’t going according to plan. Select the X button to the right of the AirPods in the Bluetooth window and retry the pairing process.

The AirPods must appear as an output device

This sort of thing should be automatic when making a connection from AirPods to Mac. AirPods, by default, should be set as the output device. On very rare occasions this is not the case and if so, you will have to do it manually.

AirPods as an output device
  • From the Mac computer, go to System Preferences and select Sound.
Sound in the System Preferences window
  • Click the Output tab and select AirPods as the output device.
  • Once changed, test your AirPods again.

Performing a reset

Still no connection? As a last resort to find one, we’ll need to reset your AirPods. It’s possible that firmware found in a set of AirPods can cause problems, albeit rare ones. Since everything else on this list has been tried, a factory reset might be just the thing to get your AirPods and Macs to establish the coveted connection.

Perform a factor reset on your AirPods

This will likely mean re-pairing the AirPods with all the devices they were previously connected to.

  • Start by putting the AirPods back into their charging case.
  • Press and hold the Setting up button on the back and keep doing it until you see an amber flash. It should then quickly turn white, indicating that the reset is complete.
  • Then, place the case (with AirPods included) near the phone to set things up.
  • Wait for the setup animation to appear on the screen, select Connectthen Done.
  • Re-pair the AirPods with your Mac and establish a connection.

AirBuddy to the rescue

AirBuddy icon

Everything in this article has so far disappointed you. Nothing worked and you reached a point of frustration. A connection seems almost impossible. Not really. We still have an ace up our sleeve, even if this will cost you $ 5.

Introducing AirBuddy, a small $ 5 utility app for your Mac that will solve your connection problem. All you need to do is have your AirPods nearby and you’ll have access to a panel. The panel will contain a drop-down window listing your AirPods and their current battery percentage.

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

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