Apple’s AirPods are one of the most popular Bluetooth in-ear headsets around. With their effort to move away from the traditional 8’’ input jack on their phones, more and more people have opted for these convenient Bluetooth devices.
But we don’t always want to connect them with our phone or other dedicated Apple device. Fortunately, AirPods can pair with any device (such as a Dell laptop) as long as it has Bluetooth capability.
But exactly how you do this can confuse some users as the pairing process is a bit different from connecting them with an iPhone. So if you need to find out how to connect your Apple AirPods to a Dell Laptop (or any laptop with Bluetooth), then look no further as we’re going to tell you exactly how to do it!
Why do you need to ‘pair’ AirPods to a Dell laptop?
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Unlike traditional headphones with a cable that carries the signal directly from the device to the headphones via a cable, Apple AirPods use a wireless Bluetooth device signal to transfer the digital audio signal from the machine back to the headphones.
However, with so many devices around these days, your headphones need to know which device to connect to and receive audio from. This is where the ‘pairing’ process comes in.
By pairing your AirPods with your Dell laptop, they can communicate with each other regardless of what other devices are around. So no matter what you plan to do, whether listening to music, watching Netflix, or doing video editing, you will hear the audio from the Dell laptop in your AirPods alone.
This process is also identical between the regular AirPods and the AirPods Pro.
Many users may run into trouble because AirPods Pro is designed specifically for Apple devices. Their ability to pair with your iPhone or iPad is incredibly streamlined and optimized.
However, Apple did at least recognize that now everyone uses devices with the Apple ecosystem exclusively. So they also offer the ability to pair AirPods with other devices. It’s just the process that looks a little differently, which we will explain in-depth today.
How to connect AirPods to Dell laptop
Unlike pairing with an iPhone, where simply opening the lid of the AirPods is enough to bring up the pairing prompt. You will notice a small button on the back of the device that isn’t used during an Apple-to-Apple pairing process.
This button is specifically designed for the Apple to non-Apple device pairing process.
Step-by-step guide to connect AirPods to Dell laptop:
- The first thing to do is ensure your AirPods are in the case, and they also need to be charged to above 25% to pair with the Dell laptop. If they don’t have enough charge, wait 10-15 minutes for them to charge inside the case.
- That’s all we need to do with the AirPods right now. The next thing to do is open the settings icon within the Dell Inspiron laptop’s Windows Interface; this step is universal as Dell laptops run the same Windows 10 as other machines.
- Click the Windows button on the bottom left-hand side and click the settings icon as indicated by the small image of a gear.
- This will bring up the settings menu. Here, we need to navigate to the ‘Devices’ menu as indicated by the image of a Keyboard and Speaker.
- From this menu, you’ll notice right at the top there is a + symbol with the next ‘Add Bluetooth or other device is written next to it.
- This will bring up yet another menu where you must choose the type of device you wish to add. Click ‘Bluetooth.’
- Now we need to open the lid of the AirPods case while simultaneously pressing the circular button on the back of the case for a few seconds.
- After a while, the small LED on the front of the AirPods case should start to blink white.
- The AirPods should appear on the list of available devices menu we opened on the Dell Inspiron laptop. They may first appear as just ‘headphones,’ but if you wait a bit, they should change to ‘AirPods’ so you can be extra sure this is the correct device.
- Once the device appears in the list, click select AirPods
- Give it a few seconds to connect, and the screen should automatically update with the text ‘Your device is ready to go!’ at the top.
And that’s it! Now, all audio played from the Windows PC will make its way directly to your AirPods until they are returned to the case, and the lid is closed. At that point, it will revert to whatever the previously saved device was.
To re-connect the AirPods in the future, opening the lid will be enough to have your Windows PC automatically connect to them, so you won’t need to follow through this process every single time.
Does this same process apply to non-Dell laptops?
Absolutely! The great thing about this is that Dell laptops run the same version of Windows as other laptops.
You can follow the same step-by-step guide to pair your AirPods with another laptop. This process will only differ if you use a custom environment or alternative OS system such as Linux.
How do I connect to a Windows 11 machine?
Although Windows 11 has had many changes and alterations to its user interface. The main ‘start menu is still on the bottom left of the taskbar, but the other icons are now centralized to look more like a Mac.
Once you click the main start menu, you can see the Settings button as the 6th item up from the bottom, although the gear icon no longer indicates it.
From this settings menu, you can follow the same step-by-step guide listed above to see you the rest of the way.