Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.
Since the end of 2016, Apple AirPods have become one of the popular choices for wireless earbuds among those who tend to favor the company’s products. In fact, it only took them a couple of years to become what is perhaps Apple’s most popular accessory to pair with its devices.
These earbuds are what the company considers its entry-level product in this category, and they are followed by Pro and Max versions. Even so, the basic AirPods still have a microphone, accelerometers, optical sensors, a wireless charging case, long battery life, and MagSafe charging.
The AirPods use different colors of lighting to alert users to different statuses. Sometimes, lights will also flash at certain intervals. There are some users who wonder why the lights on their AirPods might flash white from time to time. We will go over what this might mean in our article below.
Table of Contents
One of the light colors you can see on your AirPod earbuds is white, and this light may flash occasionally. Simply put, flashing white lights are meant to indicate that the accessories are ready for pairing with the device of your choice.
You’ll pair AirPods with something like your iPhone using Bluetooth protocols. A flashing white light means that the AirPods are looking for a compatible device with which to connect, and they are doing so over the Bluetooth radio waves they are detecting in the general vicinity.
You will need a compatible device in order to get the lights to stop flashing and change to a different color. Most modern devices from Apple running the iOS should be sufficient for pairing.
You’ll need to go into the device’s settings and turn on Bluetooth functionality in order to make sure it can find the earbuds, however.
Once done, you can wait a few seconds to see if things pair up and the lights change. There could be cases where this doesn’t happen, and we will address different concerns like these in later sections.
Your AirPods should only need to flash white for a few seconds before connecting to any applicable devices in the vicinity. If they continue to flash white for a long time, it could indicate that there is an issue with the pairing process.
Precisely what issue you are having can vary, and there are different ways you might go about fixing it.
The fixes you use can depend on what is happening with the Apple device you want to use, so we will break things down based on which category of devices you might want to pair with the earbuds.
We will cover how you might fix AirPods that flash white but have trouble connecting in the next section.
Before we do, you should try to turn off Bluetooth on the device your trying to connect and then turn it back on. This can reset the connection that you are trying to make between two devices.
Although Bluetooth is a great wireless protocol, the radio waves can get a bit mixed up on occasion. The fix could be as simple as establishing a fresh connection and trying again. Be sure to check and see if the earbuds are still in pairing mode when you start Bluetooth again.
If a simple restart of Bluetooth did not work, it’s time to figure out what else you can do to fix the AirPods, and the solutions might depend on which kinds of devices you are using. We can start with why AirPods might not connect to portable units.
These would include iPhones, iPads, and iPods, with the latter specifically being of the Touch variety.
If you find that the AirPods will keep flashing white but not connect to any of these, you can try some of these guidelines:
1. Check any devices to make sure they are running the latest version of it’s operating system.
2. Place the earbuds inside their dedicated charging case and make sure the charging phase is active. Earbuds that have more charge may connect via Bluetooth more easily than those that do not.
3. Check the Settings on the device of your choice to make sure Bluetooth is turned on and active.
4. Close the lid on the charging case for the AirPods. Wait at least 15 seconds before opening the lid again. Once done, press and hold the setup button on the case for about 10 seconds.
5. After you’ve done all of this, the lights should flash white again. What we’ve done here is reset the process to see if we can finally pair the earbuds to the device.
6. Keeping the lid open and AirPods inside the case, hold the unit close to the device you want to pair.
7. You should see some instructions on the screen for pairing.
The steps above are fixes for the mobile devices you might want to use with your AirPods.
Fixes for Mac
Some of these steps are the same as the ones you might use for other devices. However, there are a few extra things you will need to check.
1. Like the other devices, make sure that the computer has the latest operating system update. This would be the macOS.
2. To check for Bluetooth activation, go to the apple-shaped icon on the computer and navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ menu. You can check the status of Bluetooth here. You may wish to deactivate and reactivate it.
3. Many of the other steps are similar, but you’ll also need to make sure that your Mac has the AirPods set as the primary audio device that you will be using.
4. Otherwise, you can use the same guidelines for putting the earbuds in the charging case and following the steps to pair them with the instructions on your computer.
Other Potential Fixes
1. If you use your airpods to connect to multiple devices, try disconnecting and “forgetting” the airpods on those devices and then manually try to connect the airpods to the device of your choosing.
2. Aside from disconnecting and forgetting, you can try to turn off bluetooth on devices airpods have connected to in the past. This makes it so the only option for the earbuds to pair with is the device you’re trying to connect it to.
If none of this works, try resetting the AirPods and going through the steps again.
The AirPods connect to the case via contacts that help to detect and charge them. If your earbuds will not flash white at all, or any other color, the most likely issue is that there is a problem with these contacts. To fix the issue, you can try cleaning them.
You shouldn’t need more than a couple of clean, soft swabs of cotton in order to do this. Wipe them across the contacts gently, then put the earbuds back in the case.
See if there are proper lights for charging. Once they are fully charged, try to redo the pairing operation and see if it works.
AirPods are one of the best choices for anyone who likes to listen to audio through their various Apple devices wirelessly. They are made to be compatible with all such products from the company, so you should have an easy time setting up or pairing them.
Based on which lights are flashing, you can try different things to get the problems to go away. For white flashing lights, take advantage of some of your tips above.
However, as with any technology, the earbuds can have some issues from time to time. If you have other problems such as AirPods randomly connecting or making static noises, check out our articles on those topics. We have an in-depth guide on how to solve them!