Top Stories
Top Stories
Tech Guide

How to quickly switch your AirPods between your iPhone, Mac and iPad

Key Points
  • AirPods can seamlessly switch between an iPhone, iPad and Mac.
  • You don't have to repair them once they've been set up with an iPhone.
  • The second generation model switches devices faster, too.
Simone Marchetti wears Apple AirPods during Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy.
Melodie Jeng | Getty Images

I recently spoke with Apple about its second-generation AirPods and, during the conversation, Apple told me something I never knew: once connected to your iPhone, they're paired with your Apple account. That means, as long as you're logged-in to other devices like your Mac or iPad, you can easily switch to using your AirPods for audio.

You don't have to manually re-pair them with each device. Instead, you just need to pop into the Bluetooth settings on each device and choose the AirPods. And the second-generation AirPods do this faster than the first model, allowing you to switch from music on one device to audio on another in less than two seconds.

This is extremely simple, and will save you some time and fumbling with menus and the AirPods, as I had been doing.

Just make sure you've paired them with an iPhone first, by opening the AirPods case and tapping the pop-up menu. After that, follow these simple steps to switch to a Mac or iPad.

Here's how to use your AirPods with a Mac:
The screen is finally nice and sharp on the new MacBook Air
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Tap Command + Spacebar at the same time.
  • Search "Bluetooth."
  • Tap Enter to select the Bluetooth option that appears.
  • Check the box that says "Show Bluetooth in menu bar."
  • Now, whenever you want to connect your AirPods, just tap the Bluetooth icon at the top-right of your screen and choose your AirPods. They'll connect every time.
Here's how to use your AirPods with the iPad
The new 11-inch iPad Pro
Magdalena Petrova | CNBC
  • Open Settings.
  • Choose Bluetooth.
  • Select your AirPods from the list.

That's it!

VIDEO3:2303:23
Why Samsung's Galaxy Buds are the best alternative to Apple's AirPods