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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to use AirPods and AirPods Pro: the complete guide

How to use AirPods and AirPods Pro: the complete guide



New iPhone that learns to use AirPods
Burdun Iliya / Shutterstock

Did you buy yourself or got a new pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro? Welcome to truly wireless headphones. Setting up AirPods is simple, but here̵

7;s how you can customize and get the most out of your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

How to connect your AirPods or AirPods Pro to iPhone and iPad

Pairing your new headphones is as easy as it gets. Once you have removed your AirPods, hold them close to your unlocked iPhone and iPad and hit the case.

Then press the “Setup” button, which is at the back of the AirPods case. In a few seconds you will see a connection prompt on your iPhone or iPad.

If the prompt does not appear automatically, you can try holding the physical button on the back of the item for several moments to activate pairing mode.

AirPods case with Setup button highlighted

Next, all you have to do is press the “Connect” button.

Tap Continue from the AirPods popup

If you use second-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro, you will also be asked if you want to enable the Hey Siri feature or if you want Siri to read messages to you aloud.

When you press the “Done” button, your AirPods will be connected and paired. You should now see the battery life information in the popup message.

Tap Done when AirPods have been paired

If you’re signed in to iCloud, your AirPods will automatically pair with all of your Apple devices (including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch).

How to know your AirPods or AirPods Pro Charge Status

Apple AirPods Open Case
Justin Duino

When you open your AirPods case, you will see a status light between the two AirPods. For AirPods Pro and AirPods wireless charging case, the status light is on the front of the case. Click on the case to see the status.

This light basically tells you what is happening to your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Here is what it all represents:

Amber light (with AirPods attached): AirPods are charging.

Amber light (without AirPods attached): Less than full charge left in AirPods case.

No light: Your AirPods are low on battery power and need to be charged.

Flashing white light: AirPods are ready to connect.

Flashing amber light: There is a pairing error and AirPods may need to be reset.

How to customize your AirPods or AirPods Pro

Once you have paired, connected and started using your AirPods, it’s time to customize them. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> Bluetooth and press the “i” button next to your AirPods.

Click the i-button next to AirPods

First click on the “Name” option to rename AirPods.

Choose your AirPods name

Enter the new name and then press the “Done” button on the keyboard. Press the “Back” button to return to the AirPods menu.

Click the Back button to save the AirPods name

Let’s now customize the AirPod’s double-button gesture. While the default option takes up Siri, you can replace it with Play / Pause, Next Track, Previous Track, or disable it completely.

Click “Left” or “Right” and then select a new action from the menu.

Switch to another action for double-tapping AirPods

If you use AirPods Pro, you have a different set of options. AirPods Pro does not have an earbud feature. Instead, press the trunk on the AirPod to invoke an action.

Under the “Press and hold AirPods” section, select the “Left” or “Right” option to customize it.

From here you can select noise interruption, transparency mode or you can turn off the function completely.

Apple AirPods Pro Touch and hold Customize actions

If you do not like the fact that AirPods automatically stop playback when you remove them from your ear, you can disable the feature by pressing the selector next to “Automatic ear detection.”

Press to switch next to automatic ear detection to deactivate it

RELATED: How to change your AirPods and AirPods Pro settings

How to pair AirPods or AirPods Pro with Mac

If you have already paired your AirPods or AirPods Pro with your iPhone or iPad, they will automatically pair with your Mac as well (as long as you use your iCloud account on all devices).

To connect to AirPods that are already paired, all you have to do is open the Bluetooth menu, select your AirPods and then click “Connect”.

Click Connect from the AirPods menu in Bluetooth

You can also connect AirPods directly to your Mac. To do this, go to System Preferences> Bluetooth. Check here that Bluetooth is activated and then press the “Setup” button on your AirPods charging case.

RELATED: How to connect Apple AirPods to Mac

AirPods case with Setup button highlighted
Apple

After a few seconds, you will see your AirPods in the Devices list. Click the “Connect” button here.

Click Connect to pair AirPods with Mac

You can now connect or disconnect your AirPods from the Bluetooth menu.

How to use AirPods or AirPods Pro with Apple Watch

If you have paired your AirPods with your iPhone, they will also be paired with your Apple Watch.

To use AirPods or AirPods Pro directly with your Apple Watch, go to the portable control center, press the “AirPlay” button, and select your AirPods.

Select AirPlay options in Apple Watch to switch to AirPods

You can also bypass your iPhone and connect your AirPods directly to your Apple Watch from the Settings app.

RELATED: How to pair AirPods with an Apple Watch

How to Find Lost AirPods or AirPods Pro

Apple’s Find My AirPods tool is directly integrated into the new Find My app on iPhone. As long as you use the Find My iPhone feature, you can use it to track your lost AirPods as well (from the Find My app or from the iCloud website).

To find your lost AirPods or AirPods Pro, open the “Find My” app and select your AirPods.

Select AirPods from Find My App

From here you can see the last place where they were connected. If you see a green dot, it means your AirPods are online. A gray dot means they are offline. Either they are out of range or the battery is dead.

If you see a green dot, you can play a sound to look for AirPods nearby. If you can see the last place, click on the “Directions” button to navigate to it.

Find lost AirPods from the Find My app

How to manually connect to AirPods or AirPods Pro on iPhone or iPad

AirPods should work magically. You put them in your ear, and they automatically connect to your iPhone or iPad (depending on your most recently used device).

But sometimes it just does not work. In times like these, when your AirPods or AirPods Pro are already in your ears and the case is back in your pocket, you can use the control center.

Click here on the “AirPlay” shortcut from the now playback control.

Click the AirPlay button from the Control Center

From here, select your AirPods to switch to.

Select your AirPods to connect to it

You can do this from the AirPlay menu anywhere in the operating system, for example from the lock screen widget or the Music app.

How to check AirPods or AirPods Pro Battery life

You can check the battery life of your AirPods from your Apple devices in a few ways.

RELATED: How to check AirPods battery on iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac

The easiest way is to get Siri up and ask the virtual assistant something like “AirPods battery?” and to have read it to you.

Use Siri to check AirPods battery on iPhone

You can also add the battery widget to Today View on your iPhone or iPad. From Today Today (swipe paste the left home screen), scroll to the bottom of the list, and then press the “Edit” button.

Click the Edit button on the widget

From there, press the “+” button next to the “Batteries” option to activate the widget.

Click the Plus button next to the Battery widget

Rearrange the widgets if you want, then press the “Done” button.

Move the widget with the handle icon and tap Done

You can now see the battery life of your AirPods when connected to your iPhone or iPad.

Battery widget that displays AirPods battery on iPhone

How to use two AirPods or AirPods Pro at once

If you are running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 and later, you can use two sets of AirPods or AirPods Pro with your iPhone or iPad at the same time.

There are two ways to do this. The first method is quite simple. All you need to do is connect the second set of AirPods to your iPhone or iPad following the same process explained earlier.

From there, you can select the second pair of AirPods from the AirPlay menu (located in the Control Center) to start playback for both devices.

Click on the other pair of AirPods to connect to it

The second option does not require you to pair the second set of AirPods. With the new audio sharing feature in iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1, you can share audio to a friend’s AirPods via their iPhone or iPad.

To do this, go to the AirPlay menu from the Control Center (or from the media app you are using) and press the “Share audio” button.

Click the Share Audio button

Now take the other iPhone or iPad near your device (with AirPods connected to them). When you see their device, click the “Share audio” button.

Click Share Audio

Once the device is connected, click on the “tick” next to it to start playing audio on both devices.

Click the cross mark to connect to the headphones

RELATED: How to share music with someone else with AirPods

How to update AirPods or AirPods Pro Firmware

To update your AirPods firmware, first connect your AirPods to a power source and then connect them to your iPhone or iPad. As long as your device is nearby, it will automatically download and install any firmware updates in the background.

Unfortunately, there is no interface or confirmation for this process. What you can do is check if your AirPods are running the latest firmware. But to do so, you must first check online for the latest firmware version.

Then go to Settings> General> About and select your AirPods. Here you note the firmware version to see if you have installed the latest version.

Apple iPhone Visa AirPods Firmware Version


When you start using your AirPods regularly, you will notice that they tend to get dirty quite quickly. Here’s how to easily clean your icky AirPods.

RELATED: The ultimate guide to cleaning your Icky AirPods




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