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I have an Apple TV. The main Apple account that is used to set-up the TV is mine. Without pairing my AirPods, it shows up on the TV when I want to use it while watching something.

Sometimes, someone in the house would use the TV and they have a different Apple ID than me. They have paired their AirPods to their phone. However I couldn't figure out how to have another AirPods that belongs to another Apple ID to connect to this TV.

What I've tried:

  • Opened Settings app > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. The AirPods does not show up because it's already paired to someone's Apple ID.
  • Created a new account on the Apple TV by going to Settings > Users & Accounts > Add new users. This is linked to the Airpods owner's Apple ID. The Airpods still does not show up.

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You need to put the AirPods into pairing mode before they will show up in the Bluetooth devices list.

Set up AirPods with your Mac and other Bluetooth devices (Apple):

  1. Put both AirPods in the charging case and open the lid.
  2. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white.

Note: Do not hold the setup button longer than 15 seconds (at which point the light should flash amber before returning to white), or else the AirPods will reset.

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  • Wouldn't this unpair the airpods from the other person's phone though? Mar 20 at 1:07
  • Nope. Unpairing is done explicitly in Bluetooth settings using “Forget this device”. Connecting to the Apple TV with a different Apple ID should function similar to connecting to a non-apple device, where the AirPods connect just like any other Bluetooth device.
    – JBallin
    Mar 20 at 3:47
  • Ah, got it thank you. So the automatic switching/pairing with Apple ID thing is not something that works on Apple TV. With iPad/Mac/iPhone I didn't have to pair the Airpod with each device separately. Mar 20 at 12:44
  • TBH I’m not positive about Apple TV not supporting automatic switching with the same Apple ID. Some further clarification - you’re right that holding the button too long may “reset” the AirPods. In your case you wouldn’t want to hold it past the light turning white, as after 15 seconds it should flash amber and then back to white - which would be a “reset”.
    – JBallin
    Mar 20 at 15:51
  • It may depend on the account settings. For family sharing, manually pairing doesn’t seem necessary. We set up AirPods with ours, and aside from adding my wife’s account to the AppleTV I don’t recall having to pair the AirPods. Her AirPods show as available to connect even watching under my profile.
    – dr.nixon
    Mar 20 at 17:56

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