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How Do I Connect AirPods to a Windows PC?

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Tech 911Tech 911Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? We’d love to answer it! Email david.murphy@lifehacker.com with “Tech 911” in the subject line.

I’m going to cheat a little bit for this week’s Tech 911 Q&A at Lifehacker. I didn’t get this question sent in via email, as is typical, but I was asked it by a friend, since AirPods Pro are the talk of the town this week thanks to Apple’s big iOS 14/iPadOS 14 update.

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I’ll paraphrase my friend, who basically asked a simple query that’s probably on a number of peoples’ minds: How the heck do I use AirPods with Windows? 

Here’s the good news: It’s easy. It’s unconventional—or, at least, it might feel that way, since AirPods are typically easiest to configure and use within Apple’s ecosystem. It is possible though, just don’t tell Tim that you’re trying them out on that other platform.

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To get started, make sure your AirPods are hanging out in their charging case. On your Windows PC, click on the Start Menu and pull up the Settings app. Click on “Devices,” and then make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your Windows desktop or laptop.

Illustration for article titled How Do I Connect AirPods to a Windows PC?

Screenshot: David Murphy

Next, click on “Add Bluetooth or other device,” and select “Bluetooth” in the screen that appears. While your Windows PC searches for new Bluetooth devices, grab your AirPods charging case, open it up, and hold the button on the back, below the hinge, until you see a white light start blinking. (Once you do, let go.)

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Soon, you should see said AirPods pop up on the list of available devices. When they do, click on them.

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Screenshot: David Murphy

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They should connect almost immediately:

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Screenshot: David Murphy

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Click on “Done” to exit the window, and then pop your AirPods in your ears and give them a whirl. Once you’re done rocking out, and assuming you want to use them with your iPad, iPhone, or Mac again, you’ll need to go into that device’s Bluetooth menu to reestablish the connection.

(If you have iOS 14, iPadOS 14, or macOS Big Sur and the latest AirPods Pro firmware, you’ll be able to “quick switch” between your Apple devices if you’re using the same Apple ID on each.)

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To reconnect your AirPods with your Windows PC, pull up your Bluetooth menu in your taskbar, click on “Show Bluetooth devices,” select your AirPods once again, and click on “Connect.”

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Any settings you enable on your AirPods via your Apple devices (such as noise cancellation, transparency mode, or spatial audio) should persist when you connect your AirPods to a Windows PC. You won’t be able to change these settings, since there’s no option for you to do so in Windows, so you’ll have to re-connect them on your Apple device to make any adjustments.

That’s it! Yes, your AirPods are cross-platform, and it’s super convenient to use them with Windows if you’re, well, already using them for everything Apple.

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Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? Tired of troubleshooting your Windows or Mac? Looking for advice on apps, browser extensions, or utilities to accomplish a particular task? Let us know! Tell us in the comments below or email david.murphy@lifehacker.com.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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