How to Connect AirPods to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

Make use of Apple's popular wireless AirPods by pairing them with your favorite iOS device.


The Modojo @ Shacknews crew knows the appeal of Apple-designed products. After all, the iPhone has long been the apex of mobile phone design, and the company's drive for clean aesthetics and simple functionality has garnered countless fans for the global brand. Among other slick technology like the HomePod or the iPad, many mobile users are currently using Apple's own wireless AirPod headphones as their go-to choice for music consumption. However, not all users are entirely clear on how to connect or pair their AirPods to their Apple devices. Fear not, for we've got everything mobile enthusiasts need to know to connect AirPods to the iPhone, iPad, or even the Apple Watch.

How To Pair AirPods to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

Part of the reason why so many people use regular old headphones with standard 3.5mm connections is for simplicity's sake. These types of headphones and earbuds are abundant, and putting them to use is as simple as sliding the plug into the device's port. Of course, such is not possible with iPhone devices that lack the typical 3.5mm connection; fortunately, Apple has made pairing the wireless-enabled AirPods a procedure that's nearly as simple.

To connect AirPods to an iPhone, simply open the AirPods case in close proximity to the iPhone. Once the AirPods Control Center prompt opens on-screen, users only need to tap the Connect button pair the earbuds. This process will not only allow the AirPods to be used with the iPhone, it will also automatically pair the AirPods with every other compatible Apple device registered to the user's iCloud, including their iPad or even their Apple Watch, assuming it's running watchOS 3.

If users are trying to pair their AirPods to a different iPhone, the procedure is only slightly more complicated. First, open the AirPods case in close proximity to the phone they should be paired to. When the AirPods Control Center menu appears, tap on Connect, then press and hold the pairing button found on the back of the AirPods case. If done correctly, the Command Center menu will show that the connection is being made.

Unpairing AirPods is a different procedure, but it's thankfully still straightforward. To unpair AirPods from an iPhone or iPad, head to the Settings application, tap on Bluetooth, then look for the menu option for the user's AirPods. Tap on it, then tap on Forget This Device once, then a second time to confirm the selection. At this time, users running an iPhone can also tap on Forget Device to remove the AirPod connection from the user's iCloud account, which will deactivate them across other Apple devices.

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Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at

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