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How to connect AirPods to a Chromebook


Chromebooks and AirPods may not seem like allies, but don’t worry: They’re compatible thanks to the AirPod’s universal Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth allows your AirPods to connect to a variety of devices for basic audio purposes, and that includes your Chromebook.

From listening to podcasts and online lessons to playing music while you work, your AirPods are ready to help out. Here’s how to connect AirPods to a Chromebook.

Check your Bluetooth settings

First, complete basic steps like making sure your Chromebook and AirPods are both charged and logging onto your Chromebook. If you have never used these AirPods before and have an Apple device handy, we suggest you pair them with that Apple device first and complete the full AirPods naming/setup process so you won’t have to worry about that later.

Step 1: Look at the bottom-right of your Chrome OS home screen, where you’ll find the clock and a group of settings icons. This will have the network icon with the radar symbol called Quick Settings.

Head to Chrome's Quick Settings menu.

Step 2: Select Quick Settings to open a settings menu that shows a variety of information, including your wireless connections. Right in the middle, up at the top, should be the Bluetooth button. Check on the button to make sure it’s lit blue and says “on.” If, for whatever reason, your Chrome OS Bluetooth is off, select the small dropdown menu below the button to turn it on before you begin.

Search for your AirPods

Again, have your AirPods nearby for this part! Make sure the case is charged and both your AirPods are in the case.

Step 1: Select Chrome’s Bluetooth button. The Bluetooth tool will run a search for any nearby, compatible devices. Let the search complete, and it should have picked up your AirPods and will list them as a pairing option, signified by a headphone icon. If you’ve already set up your AirPods, they’ll also be labeled with your name.

Chrome's Bluetooth searching for devices.

Step 2: If your AirPods are close by and your Chromebook isn’t picking them up, flip your AirPod case over and look for the button on the back, Apple’s Setup button. Press it once, and this should encourage your Chromebook to pick it up as a connectable device.

Connect your AirPods to your Chromebook

Step 1: Once you find your AirPods on the list, select them, and your Chromebook will automatically start connect with the earbuds. This may take several seconds.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 on a table.

Step 2: You should get a pop-up indicating that your AirPods are now connected with your Chromebook, and the status icon in the Bluetooth section will change accordingly. You may have to confirm your connection if this is the first time trying it.

Step 3: Take a moment to play a quick audio clip and adjust your Chromebook audio to a fitting level for your AirPod use. You should be good to go! You can select your AirPods from the same list at any time to disconnect them if you want, or press and hold the Setup button on your case for the same effect.

HP Chromebook x2 11 display in tablet mode.


Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Chromebook limitations with AirPods

While the AirPods are happy to connect via Bluetooth, the results won’t be the same as connecting them to an Apple device like an iPhone or MacBook. There are a number of AirPod features that are only supported on Apple’s own device. You won’t be able to activate and use Siri directly from the AirPods as you would on iOS, and related features like AirPod battery detection will also be disabled.

If you’ve got AirPods that support Spatial Audio via Dolby Atmos, those Spatial Audio features will not work on devices like Chromebooks, either. Apple is bringing Spatial Audio support to Android devices, but only on certain models and only with wired headphones, not AirPods.

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