AirPods not working in Windows 11? Apply these fixes now

by Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • After upgrading to Windows 11, several users have reported that they are either unable to connect their AirPods or the volume is too low.
  • To fix the problem, try reconnecting to the AirPod, setting it as the default playback device, updating the Bluetooth drivers, amongst other methods listed below.
  • Also, find out how Windows 11 will offer better support to your AirPods and enhance the whole experience.
Fix AirPods not working in Windows 11 problem

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AirPods, wireless earbuds designed by Apple, offer a plethora of advantages over any other similar product in the market. They are durable and deliver better audio output. But, several users have reported that their AirPods are not working in Windows 11.

AirPods are no doubt costlier when compared to other products, but their quality and the Apple tag are the two major reasons that attract buyers. And, when these expensive earbuds stop working, it is certainly a scary situation.

Therefore we have decided to dedicate this guide to list out the possible reasons behind the issue, and the most effective methods to get your AirPods working in Windows 11.

Why are my AirPods not working in Windows 11?

Under optimal settings, the AirPods should be working just fine in Windows 11. However, if there are problems with the connection, or an outdated driver is installed, you might encounter issues with it.

Apart from that, running an older version of the OS is just as likely to cause the error. Many a time, it’s the selection of the audio output device that can lead to issues with AirPods in Windows 11.

  • AirPods not connecting to Windows 11 – follow the solutions below to reconnect and troubleshoot.
  • AirPods keep disconnecting from Windows 11 – this is due to faulty drivers, and can be easily fixed by updating Bluetooth drivers (solution below). Find out more about audio drivers for Windows 11.
  • AirPods microphone not working – this can be a problem on both Mac and PC and we covered the solutions in depth.

No matter which of the issues listed above cause the problem in your case, the fixes listed below would eliminate it. Also, these would fix problems with the output, in case you have the AirPods connected but no sound in Windows 11.

What can I do if the AirPods are not working in Windows 11?

1. Reconnect the AirPods

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Device Manager in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result.Launch Device Manager to fix airpods not working windows 11
  2. Double-click on the Bluetooth entry to expand and view the devices under it.Bluetooth
  3. Locate all the devices that start with AirPods, right-click on them, and select Uninstall device from the context menu.Uninstall device to fix airpods not working windows 11
  4. Click Uninstall in the confirmation box that pops up.Confirm uninstall
  5. Now, open the AirPods case, and hold the button on the its back for around 10 seconds until the amber light appears and then turns white.Reset airpods to fix airpods not working windows 11
  6. Now, restart the computer. Once it’s turned on, press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and select Bluetooth & devices from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Bluetooth & devices
  7. Click on the Add device option.Add device to fix airpods not working windows 11
  8. Next, select Bluetooth from the three options listed here.Bluetooth
  9. Wait for your AirPods to appear here, and then click on them to connect.Connect to fix airpods not working windows 11

2. Set AirPods as default device

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Control Panel in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Control Panel
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound from the options listed here.Hardware and sound to fix airpods not working windows 11
  3. Next, click on Sound.Sounds
  4. Now, under the Playback tab, select AirPods (likely listed as a headphone) entry and click on Set Default.Set default device to fix airpods not working windows 11
  5. Finally, click on OK at the bottom to save the changes and close the window.Save changes

If you have the AirPods connected in Windows 11 but there’s no sound, it could be likely that the playback device selection is misconfigured. Setting your AirPods as the default device should fix the issue.

3. Run the Bluetooth troubleshooter

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and click on Troubleshoot on the right in the System tab.Troubleshoot to fix airpods not working windows 11
  2. Next, click on Other troubleshooters.Other troubleshooters
  3. Locate the Bluetooth troubleshooter and click on the Run button next to it.Run Bluetooth troubleshooter to fix airpods not working windows 11
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and make the recommended changes, if any, to eliminate the problem.

Whenever facing a problem in Windows, it’s recommended that you look for a built-in troubleshooter. Microsoft offers several of these to diagnose and eliminate problems with the system and connected devices.

4. Update Bluetooth drivers

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Device Manager in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Open Device Manager
  2. Double-click on the Network adapters entry.Network adapter to fix airpods not working windows 11
  3. Right-click on the Bluetooth adapter, and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver to fix airpods not working windows 11
  4. Next, select Search automatically for drivers from the two options in the Update Drivers window.Search automatically for drivers
  5. Wait for Windows to scan for the best available driver and install it for the Bluetooth adapter.

Drivers are extremely critical for the effective functioning of any device since these are primarily responsible for the relay of commands between the OS and the hardware. Also, it’s imperative that you have the latest version of it installed.

Now, the Device Manager method listed above only scans for the driver versions available on the computer, and in case you haven’t downloaded one previously, the chances of it being updated are bleak.

In which case, you can search for the latest version in Windows Update or manually download the setup from the manufacturer’s website and install it.

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Several users find the process of updating drivers monotonous and tricky, and that’s where third-party apps come to your rescue.

We recommend using DriverFix, a dedicated tool that scans all available sources for updates and keeps the installed drivers up-to-date. After updating the Bluetooth driver, check if the AirPods are now working in Windows 11.

5. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and select Windows Update from the list of tabs in the navigation pane on the left.Windows Update
  2. Click on Check for updates on the right to scan for any available newer versions of the OS.Check for updates to fix airpods not working windows 11
  3. If any are available and listed after the scan, click on Download & install.Download & install

Running an older version of Windows 11 is just as likely to affect the working of AirPods. With each update, Microsoft releases patches for bugs along with various features and performance enhancements. And that’s why we recommend keeping the OS updated.

6. Verify if the Bluetooth Support Service is running

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run command, type services.msc in the text field, and either click on OK or hit Enter to launch the Services app.Launch Services to fix airpods not working windows 11
  2. Locate and double-click on the Bluetooth Support Service. The services here are listed either in the alphabetical or reverse-alphabetical order, so it shouldn’t be difficult finding one.Bluetooth Support service
  3. Click on the Startup type dropdown menu, and select Automatic from the list of options.Set Automatic to fix airpods not working windows 11
  4. Now, click on the Start button under Service status.Start services to fix airpods not working windows 11
  5. Finally, click on OK at the bottom to save the changes and close the Properties window.Ok

7. Disable Wireless iAP service

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Control Panel in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Control panel
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound.select Hardware and Sound to fix airpods not working windows 11
  3. Next, click on Devices and Printers.Devices and printers
  4. Right-click on the AirPods entry under Devices, and select Properties from the context menu.Properties to fix airpods not working windows 11
  5. Navigate to the Services tab.Services
  6. Untick the checkbox for Wireless iAP and click on OK at the bottom to save the changes.Disable iAP service to fix airpods not working windows 11

The Wireless iAP service makes it possible for you to use voice commands in Windows using AirDods, however, it is also known to affect its functioning.

Therefore, if none of the fixes listed above work, disable the service and your AirPods would now be working just fine in Windows 11.

Do AirPods work better in Windows 11?

Yes, Microsoft has been working on the wideband speech feature to enhance the AirPods experience, and it’s finally released for users. The feature works for all available models of AirPods and has gotten users all enthusiastic.

Wideband speech offers a much wider frequency range when it comes to audio output, thus enhancing the sound quality. If you have a pair of AirPods and a Windows PC, you are in for a treat.

At the time of writing this article, the feature was still in the Dev channel, and we expect it to be released in the coming months for all users. Make sure to keep checking for updates and not miss out.

These are all the ways you can eliminate issues preventing your AirPods from working in Windows 11, along with the other relevant information that might come in handy during the troubleshooting process.

If the microphone is not working in your AirPods, check this article to find out the fixes for it. Also, learn how to resolve problems with Bluetooth in Windows 11.

Tell us which fix worked and your experience of AirPods in Windows 11 thus far, in the comments section below.

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