Tech Guide: How To Connect AirPods To An iPhone

Luke Fitzpatrick

Apple has gone all out when it comes to the technical capabilities of their AirPods. It's easier than ever to connect your AirPods to your iPhone, and Apple has designed them to connect much more quickly than other kinds of BlueTooth devices. If you can't get your AirPods to work and they won't connect to your iPhone, here's what you need to do.

Step 1: Enable BlueTooth

Your AirPods cannot connect with your iPhone if you don't have the BlueTooth turned on. Navigate to the Settings menu and select the BlueTooth option. You'll see a toggle switch next to it, which you need to slide so that it turns green.

Step 2: Open your home screen

Ensure that your AirPods are in their case and that the case is closed. Grab your iPhone and go to the home screen. You can get to the home screen on older iPhones by pressing the Home button, which you'll find at the base of the phone's screen. If you have a newer iPhone, you'll need to swipe up as you usually do.

Step 3: Open the AirPods case

Once your home screen is open, all you have to do is open your AirPod case, whether it’s one of the Apple cases or an Airpod case that’s a little cuter. Ideally, you want to hold the AirPod case as close to the iPhone as possible (one or two inches is ideal).

Remember that your AirPods won't connect if you have not charged them. So please make sure that they fully charge before attempting connection.

Once charged, opening your AirPods case next to your phone will result in a setup prompt on your iPhone screen. Follow the steps until you get to the point where you have to hit 'connect.'

Step 4: Follow the onscreen prompts

If you've never connected your AirPods to your iPhone, you'll have a series of prompts to follow, which are quick and straightforward to understand.

One of the steps will even walk you through setting up 'Hey Siri,' as this will be the case even if you have previously had a pair of AirPods but have replaced a lost pair. Fortunately, losing AirPods isn’t as common as you might think.

Step 5: Tap ‘done’

In most cases, once you hit the 'done' prompt, your AirPods will be connected to your iPhone. They will now connect whenever you use them, so you won't have to go through the connections and setup process every time you listen to your favorite playlist or the latest podcast.

If the setup has been successful, you'll see a notification at the top of your iPhone screen whenever you use your AirPods. It's also worth remembering that once you've successfully connected your AirPods to your iPhone, they will automatically work with any other device that you've got connected to your iCloud account.


If your AirPods aren’t connecting to your iPhone despite following the proper steps, there are a few things you can try.

Manual connection: You might have to connect your AirPods manually, which is a lot easier than it sounds. All you have to do is start by following steps 1 and 2 as standard.

In step 3, press the button on the rear of the AirPods case instead of waiting for the prompt. If you hold it down long enough, you’ll see a white light start blinking on the body of the case (on the front if you’ve chosen the AirPod Pros, and on the inside of the case with older models). Then, you should see the ‘connect’ prompt on your home screen. Tap ‘connect’ and follow any additional prompts.

Quick fixes: If manually connecting your AirPods to your iPhone doesn’t help, there are a few quick fixes to try. First, try the classic IT fix of turning your BlueTooth off, leaving it for 60 seconds, and then turning it back on again.

You can also try disabling Low Power Mode, which occasionally affects connected devices. Finally, check your phone’s settings. Look at the audio output and ensure that your soundtrack isn’t playing on another speaker or a set of BlueTooth-connected headphones. If so, disconnect them and walk back through the connection steps.

Last step

If none of the above has worked, your next step is to reset your AirPods to their factory settings. This will disconnect if you've already connected your AirPods to your other Apple devices. You’ll have to reconnect them, and you won’t be able to use the Find My feature until you do.

Finally, if resetting the AirPods doesn’t work, your phone may need to be updated. If you have AirPods Pro, you need iOS 13.2 or something newer. Head to your settings menu, click 'General,' and then click 'Software Update.' If an update has been made available, hit the 'Download and Install' prompt. Your AirPods should now connect to your iPhone.

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Academic Speaker | Freelance Journalist | I have contributed to a variety of publications such as Forbes, Tech In Asia, and The Next Web. I cover a variety of topics ranging from fintech, big data, AI, blockchain, to lifestyle and breaking news stories.


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