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How to connect AirPods to a Chromebook

Enjoy the cord-cutting bliss of Bluetooth earbuds on your Chromebook.
By

Published onMarch 10, 2023

Chromebooks have come a great way. While they may not be the same as Mac or Windows laptops, they can still do all the basic functions including Bluetooth audio. Like connecting AirPods to a PlayStation 5, you can connect your AirPods to a Chromebook in a few quick steps. Without further ado, here’s how to connect your AirPods or AirPods Pro to a Chromebook.

QUICK ANSWER

To connect your AirPods to a Chromebook, press the setup button on the back of the AirPods case until the case light blinks. Then, navigate to your Chromebook's Bluetooth settings. Under the Unpaired devices section, click your AirPods.


KEY SECTIONS

How to pair AirPods to a Chromebook

To connect AirPods to your Chromebook, follow these steps.

  1. With your AirPods in the case and the case lid open, press the setup button on the back of the case until the LED blinks white.
  2. Use the Search box to open your Chromebook’s Settings.
  3. Click Bluetooth in the left navigation pane.
  4. On the Bluetooth tab, click the arrow to the right to expand the section.
  5. Make sure Bluetooth is toggled On, i.e. to the right.
  6. Your AirPods will show up under the Unpaired devices section.
  7. Once your AirPods or AirPods Pro show up on the list, click them to connect them to your Chromebook.

These AirPods pairing steps work with any Chromebook.

How to disconnect AirPods from a Chromebook

To disconnect your AirPods from your Chromebook, follow these steps.

  1. Click the Search box, and type “settings” to open the Chromebook’s Settings app.
  2. Click Bluetooth in the navigation panel to the left.
  3. From the Bluetooth tab, click the arrow to the right to see more details.
  4. The Paired devices section will list your AirPods.
  5. Click the three-dot menu button on the right side, and then click Disconnect.

What features do you miss out on when using the AirPods with a Chromebook?

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) case open with the earbuds next to an iPhone 12 mini.

Pairing the AirPods to a Chromebook gives you access to certain features like noise-cancelling on the AirPods Pro or Max, but you miss out on features native to iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. There are workarounds for accessing some of these AirPods features on a Chromebook, though.

Direct voice access to Siri

When using the AirPods with a Chromebook, you won’t get hands-free access to Siri. You won’t be able to access Siri whatsoever from a Chromebook, even with the AirPods. You can, however, set up Google Assistant voice access directly through your Chromebook by opening Settings > Search and Assistant > Google Assistant.

One-step pairing

When pairing the AirPods to an iPhone, a notification card appears on the iPhone screen as soon as you open the AirPods case nearby. This is not the case with the AirPods and a Chromebook. As discussed above, you need to click through your Chromebook’s Bluetooth settings to pair the AirPods.

Automatic device switching

You get automatic device switching when pairing the AirPods to an iPhone. Once connected, the AirPods will be able to switch between all of your Apple devices associated with your iCloud account. The AirPods can’t automatically switch between Google devices like various Chromebooks, tablets, or phones.

In order to switch between various Google devices with the AirPods, you’ll need to go through the designated device’s Bluetooth settings menu. For access to audio switching on compatible Chrome and Android devices, we recommend the Google Pixel Buds Pro.

Apple’s Find My network

Apple’s Find My network lets you locate your lost AirPods or case, but you need an iCloud to access it. If you use an iPhone and own a Chromebook, you can access Apple’s Find My network. Simply log into your iCloud account online and open the Find My option. From here, you view your AirPods’ last-known location on a map and play a tone to help locate them.

Custom controls

iPhone owners can customize the double-press function of the AirPods to skip a track, play/pause media, and access Siri. With a Chromebook, double-pressing an AirPods stem will just pause or play media. If you have an Android phone, you can set custom controls with the AirPods via the Assistant Trigger app.

Personalized spatial audio with head tracking

Chromebook users do not get access to Apple Spatial Audio, even with the AirPods. In order to take advantage of spatial audio with head tracking through the AirPods, you’ll need an iPhone or iPad.

Firmware updates

Finally, you cannot update your AirPods’ firmware with a Chromebook. To access updates, you’ll need an iPhone or iPad, or borrow a friend’s.


Top AirPods and Chromebook questions and answers

To disconnect your AirPods from a Chromebook, go to the paired devices menu and click the “unpair” option. This will delete the memory of your AirPods from your device. You’ll have to go through the pairing process again if you want to reconnect the AirPods to a Chromebook in the future.

You can connect any pair of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds to a Chromebook. The steps above work for headsets beyond AirPods. If your product doesn’t have a pairing button, consult the product’s manual to find out how to activate pairing mode. Chromebooks will work with any Bluetooth audio device.

You may need to reset your AirPods if they’re not pairing to your Chromebook.

Try resetting the AirPods by holding the setup button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds. The case will cycle through orange and green until the reset is complete. Then, try pairing again via the process above. If you’re still having trouble with your AirPods, read our guide on solving AirPods Pro problems. You may also need to restart your Chromebook.