Tech Tip: Can’t Pair Bluetooth Headphones With An Apple Watch

By |2017-06-14T19:57:49-05:00June 14th, 2017|Categories: Gadgets, Mobile, Tech Tips|Tags: , |10 Comments
Share This Article:

As the owner of an Apple Watch, you probably know that you can pair bluetooth headphones with it and sync a music playlist so that you can enjoy music without being near your phone. This is particularly handy if you want to go for a walk or run without your iPhone since the newer Apple Watch Series 2 includes GPS. What happens if you can’t pair bluetooth headphones with an Apple Watch?

I recently ran into this issue. I previously used the Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones without a problem, but more recently I tried pairing other brands of headphones and would always run into a problem. While the headphones would show up on the Apple Watch, it would try to pair them then show the message “Make sure headphone_name is turned on, in range and ready to pair”.

Step 1: Turn Off Bluetooth On iPhone

If you have your headphones paired with your iPhone, turn off bluetooth on your iPhone so that the headphones don’t automatically pair with it. You can also turn on Airplane Mode on your iPhone. Head over to Settings > Bluetooth > Turn Off Bluetooth or go to Settings > Turn On Airplane Mode. You can also slide up on your screen and turn it off from the Control Center.

Step 2: Turn On Airplane Mode On Apple Watch

This may seem odd, but if you’re having difficulty pairing your headphones with your Apple Watch, turn on Airplane Mode. On your Apple Watch, push the Digital Crown > Click Settings > Click Airplane Mode > Turn On Airplane Mode.

Step 3: Turn On Bluetooth On Apple Watch

While still having Airplane Mode on, head back into Settings on your Apple Watch > Click Bluetooth > Click Turn On Bluetooth.

Step 4: Pair Your Bluetooth Headphones

Now that you turned on bluetooth on the Apple Watch, turn on your bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and they should appear on the watch. Follow the normal instructions to pair the headphones. Once they’re successfully paired, you can turn off Airplane Mode.

Final Steps

In my experience, sometimes I’ll continue to have issues connecting the headphones to the Apple Watch, even after they’re successfully paired. If you follow these same steps, you should be able to successfully connect the bluetooth headphones. Turn off bluetooth on your iPhone if the headphones are paired with it, then turn on Airplane Mode on your Apple Watch and turn on Bluetooth on your Apple Watch. Since the headphones are already paired, just tap them and they should connect. Then you can turn off Airplane Mode again.

It can be a bit tedious, but it has worked for me every time with multiple brands of headphones.

Have you had problems pairing your bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

Share This Article:


Related Content


  1. JB September 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you!!! That worked perfectly!

  2. Brad January 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Didn’t work for me. Very frustrating. Apple watch 3, just searches, never finds or pairs.

  3. Barb January 13, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Thank You it’s working great !

  4. Shahida January 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Not working for me. Apple Watch 3 just searches but never pairs.

  5. James January 20, 2018 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Same problem with the Apple Watch 3. Still will not find the headphones

  6. George March 6, 2018 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I’ve got a similar problem with a Windows Laptop. Airplane mode doesn’t change anything. The computer pairs with the headphones, but doesn’t connect with them. My Android phone connects flawlessly. And for the record, other audio Bluetooth devices are working just fine with the computer. Any help would be appreciated.

  7. Michael Dugat March 10, 2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Using Samsung Level U Pro with Apple Watch 3 series, it connects initially and says the pairing is connected but fails whenever music playback is attempted.

  8. Maureen November 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    I have jaybirds and they will not pair no matter what I do

  9. JESSALYN WOODRUFF January 8, 2019 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    unable to connect my sony WH CH500 :( any other tips?

  10. Jessica February 2, 2019 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Wow thank you for these instructions! I was finally able to pair a cheap pair of Otium Bluetooth earbuds IPX7 that I got on Amazon. I’ve owned my Apple Watch 4 for a month and it was driving me crazy that Incoildnt figure it out. This article was such a blessing!

Leave a Comment