How to connect AirPods to an iPhone or iPad

AirPods Pro 2
(Image credit: Future)

Knowing how to connect AirPods to an iPhone or iPad is a vital skill for any Apple user. After all, one of the primary benefits of buying AirPods — other than the fact that they're some of the best headphones — is the seamless integration they give you with other devices in Apple's ecosystem. 

Thankfully, it's that very same integration that also makes learning how to pair AirPods with an iPhone or iPad super easy. All you'll need are your AirPods (make sure they're charged) and either an iPhone or iPad. The steps should be exactly the same on both devices, so all you now need to do is read on.

How to connect AirPods to an iPhone or iPad

1. Open your AirPods charging case near your iPhone or iPad. When a pop up appears on the screen of your iOS device, tap Connect.

A screenshot showing the steps required to connect AirPods to an iPhone or iPad

(Image credit: Future)

2. Hold down the button on the back of your AirPods charging case.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Wait for the AirPods to connect.

(Image credit: Future)

4. If you'd like your calls and notifications to be announced through your headphones, tap Announce Calls & Notifications. This can get annoying, so tap Customize to tailor this to your liking or disable the feature completely.

(Image credit: Future)

5. Finally, tap Done.

(Image credit: Future)

There you have it. Your AirPods are now connected. They'll now pair automatically with your Apple devices as soon as you open the charging case. To turn them on, simply take them out and put them in your ears. When they're fully connected and ready to go, you'll hear a validation sound.

Want more AirPods tips? Check out how to connect AirPods to a Windows PC, how to pair AirPods with Apple TV, how to clean AirPods and how to clean an AirPods case.

Peter Wolinski
Editor, How To & Cameras

Peter is Editor of the How To and Camera sections at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.