AirPods Not Connecting to Your Mac? Try These Fixes
If you are an Apple user, you probably swear by AirPods. They make listening to music, watching videos, and hands-free calls a pleasant experience, regarding their lightweight dress and sound quality. They are easy to use and connect to your device automatically. Plus, of course, probably the main reason why people choose Apple products over others – they are reliable.
But what should you do when they let you down and don’t connect to your Mac? In this article, we will troubleshoot this problem and help you fix it properly, step by step.
AirPods Not Connecting – Connection Failed or Rejected
You have an important video conference call incoming, for which you need the best sound quality. You put in your AirPods, expecting them to connect as soon as you put them out of the case. And suddenly, an error message appears on the screen of your Mac: “Connection failed.” The call starts very soon, and you have little time to fix the issue.
For sure, this is frustrating. Luckily, there are a few quick ways to find and solve the problem. Here are the most common reasons your AirPods might fail to connect to your Mac.
Check if Bluetooth Is On
AirPods work by connecting to your Mac via Bluetooth. And if it is not on, they will not be able to connect to your AirPods. To see if your Bluetooth options are enabled, do the following:
- Go to the menu bar on the upper right toolbar on the Desktop screen and find “Bluetooth options.”
- See if Bluetooth connections are enabled.
If you can’t see the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, here is how to add it back there:
- Go to “Apple menu.”
- Go to “System Preferences.”
- Click “Bluetooth.”
- Select “Show Bluetooth in the menu bar.”
Check if You Have Charged Your AirPods Battery
If your AirPods have a low battery, you will not be able to connect them to your device. In this case, check the battery levels and ensure the earbuds have enough energy to work. Here’s how to do this:
- Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your Mac.
- Open the AirPods case, leave the earbuds inside, and place it close to your Mac.
- In the upper part of the screen of your Mac, find the Bluetooth icon.
- Enter the Bluetooth menu, and you will see the energy levels of both the earbuds and the charging case.
If it turns out that your AirPods battery levels are too low to connect successfully to your Mac, leave them in their case to charge for some time. It usually takes a couple of hours for them to charge to their full capacity. You might need to charge the case as well.
Reset Your AirPods
Sometimes, it’s best to start over. If everything on your Mac seems to work properly, it may be an option to reset your AirPods and see if the connection is there after you have done that. Resetting your AirPods both by software and hardware will give them a new and cleaner opportunity to reconnect.
Here are steps to that:
- Put your AirPods back into their case and close the lid.
- Leave them inside for 30 seconds.
- Open the lid of the charging case.
You may also need to forget your AirPods as a Bluetooth device on your Mac to reset the connection:
- Click the Apple logo in the upper left of your Mac’s desktop.
- Go to “System Preferences”.
- Select “Bluetooth.”
- In the Bluetooth menu, find “Devices.”
- Hover over your AirPods or select them, and click on the circular “X” button.
- Click on “Remove” to confirm.
- Try reconnecting your AirPods to your Mac after a few minutes.
Restart Your Mac
If resetting the AirPods didn’t yield results, your Mac may be causing the issue. Restarting the device may fix minor problems, such as cleaning the cache, temporary files, and RAM. Sometimes, those can cause your Mac to become congested with junk files, which can also cause problems with connectivity.
Check if You Have Updated Your OS
If none of the above fixes the issue, you should check for a system update. Make sure that the OS version on your Mac is up to date, as this may be the underlying issue otherwise. It may happen that either your Mac or your AirPods have updated, which can affect the connection to each other. AirPods work only with newer versions of iOS, and for them to work well, you need to have updated your Mac.
AirPods of different generations require different OS versions:
- AirPods first generation: iOS 10 or newer.
- AirPods second generation: iOS 12.2 or newer.
Here is how to update your Mac to the latest version of iOS:
- Go to the menu bar and find “System Preferences.”
- Find “Software update” and click. It will search for new system updates automatically.
- If there is a new update, click “Update now.”
AirPods Not Connecting to Mac Automatically
AirPods are loved because from the moment you pull them out of the charging case, they are supposed to connect automatically to the nearest Apple device.
Unfortunately, this can malfunction for several reasons, most of them being issues with Bluetooth connection or lack thereof. Here are some ways you can fix this issue.
Connect the AirPods to Mac Manually
If the AirPods don’t connect to your Mac automatically, do not worry – you can still do this the old way. Manually connecting them via Bluetooth is always an option; you simply need to ensure your Bluetooth is enabled. Find your AirPods on the list of Bluetooth devices nearby and click to enable the connection.
Sometimes, your Mac may be streaming sound to another device via Bluetooth and won’t accept your AirPods. You can fix this easily by switching between the connected devices and selecting your AirPods.
Here is how to do that:
- Find the list of the output devices on your Mac and select your AirPods.
- Go to the “System preferences” menu in the menu bar.
- Go to “Sound”.
- Then select the “Output tab.”
- Select your AirPods.
Maybe It Is Time for Service
AirPods are designed to connect automatically but occasionally need a little push.
However, sometimes it does happen that they fail. If none of the solutions above help reconnect your AirPods to your Mac, you may need to visit the nearest Apple store to professionally troubleshoot and, if needed, repair them.
What was the issue with your AirPods, and did you find a better way to fix it? Tell us in the comments section below!