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How to pair AirPods to a Mac

Image result for How to pair AirPods to a MacPerhaps, you have a pair of AirPods ($145 at Walmart) from Apple and you’ve mastered using them with your iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon). But now you want to expand your wireless audio reach, so to speak, and use them with your Mac. Before you do a single thing, here’s where Apple has your back.

If you have already set up your AirPods with your iPhone and your Mac is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, then you should be good to go. To see, place your AirPods in your ears and check either the Bluetooth or volume dropdown menu from the menu bar on your Mac. Then, choose AirPods from the list.

To quote Guns N Roses, “it’s so easy.”

But if you don’t see your AirPods listed, there are a few things you need to do.

1. Charge your AirPods. Make sure those little guys have all the power they need.

2. Open Bluetooth preferences on your Mac. You can either go to the Bluetooth dropdown menu from your menu bar and select Open Bluetooth Preferences… or go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and click Bluetooth.

3. Double-check that Bluetooth is actually on because you never know — things happen.

4. Put both AirPods in their charging case and open the lid.

5. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white.

6. Go back to the Bluetooth preferences window on your Mac and select AirPods from the Devices list.

7. Finally, click Connect.

Sometimes your AirPods might be paired to your Mac, but not actively connected. Go into the Bluetooth dropdown menu and connect your AirPods.

Patrick Holland/CNET

If sound still plays from your Mac speakers, check either the Bluetooth or volume dropdown menu in the menu bar and make sure that your AirPods are selected as the output.

Now you can listen to music from your phone or from your Mac without changing headphones. And that’s how the world is meant to work.

If you still want more nuance and control while using your AirPods on your Mac there are a couple third-party apps that can assist you. Read Better Bluetooth: 2 apps for using AirPods with a Mac.