How to connect AirPods to Microsoft Surface

Updated: February 17, 2023
6 min read
How to connect AirPods to Microsoft Surface
by Vitalii Yovko
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Apple devices work perfectly within its ecosystem, but there can be some interference when it comes to Windows or Android. We’ve gathered 3 working ways to connect AirPods to a Microsoft Surface laptop. Try them one by one until you find the perfect solution!

Before we start

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Pair with Bluetooth

It’s a fast and easy way to connect these devices. Beware that you won’t be able to use Siri voice assistant. But this type of connection will still allow you to listen to music, make Zoom calls, and adjust the volume. If it’s OK, stick to these instructions on connecting AirPods to Surface:

  1. Click on the Windows logo.
  2. Open Settings. It looks like the tiny gear.
  3. Choose the Devices.
  4. Turn on the Bluetooth toggle.
AirPods and Windows sync

Now it’s time to put the earbuds into pairing (sync) mode. Instruction depends on the headphone model:

  • AirPods with the case. Open the lead of the case, but leave buds inside. Then, hold the button located on the back of the case for several seconds – until you see the cold white flashing light.
  • AirPods Max. Hold the noise control button (tiny button on the left cup) until you detect the flashing light. Then come back to the PC.
Airpods with the case

From now, both of your devices will be ready to sync. Stick to this guide:

  1. Select Add Bluetooth in the same window.
  2. Choose the Bluetooth or Anything else option. Wait for 10-20 seconds until the laptop finds the headphones.
  3. Select the Airpods option and follow the instructions on the screen.

After that, Windows will recognize your AirPods as regularly Bluetooth headphones.

Connect AirPods to the Microsoft Surface laptop via cable

Sometimes Windows can’t recognize Apple earbuds, so you need to install drivers. Use the lightning cable to connect your headphones case to your Microsoft Surface laptop.

You will see a pop-up notification when Windows detects a new device. You may also see a few new notifications within the next 2-3 minutes as Windows will search and install new drivers.  Then you will be able to connect Airpods to the Surface laptop wirelessly because, after this procedure, your computer will have the necessary headphone drivers.

Then do the following:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth on your laptop and put the buds into sync mode.
  2. Click on Add Bluetooth in the Bluetooth menu.
  3. Choose Bluetooth or Another device option.
  4. Find your headphones inside the list and click on them.

There may be some additional instructions on the screen. Follow them strictly.

Update the laptop drivers and connect with the wire

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It’s a rare case, but sometimes laptops can’t identify headphones even after a physical connection. It’s a minor bug caused by the old software.

Usually, Windows keep track of its drivers and update them in time. But sometimes, it keeps software outdated for some reason. Look for up-to-date drivers and install them.

It could also happen if the user turns off the automatic updates, so the system can’t download it from the manufacturer’s server.  In this case, you should update some drivers manually if you want your AirPods to connect to the Microsoft laptop.

Open the Device Manager to get to your hardware. You have three ways how to do it:

  • Type the app's name in the search box near the windows logo.
  • Press the Win + X combo. Hold both keys simultaneously, and you will see the menu. Find the needed app in there.
  • Press the Win + Pause combo. Surface Pro laptops don’t have a Pause key, but if you have an external keyboard, you can use this shortcut.

After you open the manager, you need to look for Bluetooth and audio devices. Usually, it’s Dynamics (Realtek), Microsoft Bluetooth Emulators, and Qualcomm Bluetooth drivers. You should look for updates to all of them. That’s how you can do that:

  1. Right-click on the device in the list.
  2. Select Update Search Automatically.
  3. When the system finds new suitable drivers online, it will launch a wizard. You will see the “Drivers are already installed” notification when your software becomes up-to-date.

But if it doesn’t help you connect your AirPods, look for professional help. It could be some serious hardware problem. Visit the service or write to the Howly team. Our experts will give you a customized guide to resolve your issue.

Summing up

Connecting AirPods to the Microsoft Surface laptop, don’t expect a top-tier level of user experience. Remember that this is a product of two different ecosystems. You still can use AirPods as usual wireless headphones, but there won’t be Siri voice assistant or Double Atmos audio effects. These features are only available only if you connect headphones to other Apple devices.

But you can still change minor settings with any equalizer app. They can boost bass or make slight changes in microphone quality.

Turn on the Bluetooth on the laptop and put the headphones into sync mode. Connect them wirelessly. If this doesn’t work, connect gadgets via cord — this action may help you download AirPods drivers to your PC.

But if this doesn’t help either, consider updating the audio and Bluetooth drivers. This action should resolve your issue.

If nothing from this list helps you pair Apple AirPods and Microsoft Surface laptops, it could be some serious hardware problems or counterfeit headphones. So turn to a professional to fix this issue.

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