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'Cannot Verify AirPods' in iOS 16? Your Earbuds Might Be to Blame

Don't worry, you can still connect your earbuds if you see this alert.

white AirPods Pro 2nd generation earbuds next to their case on a white table
You may want to question your AirPods' authenticity if you receive a "cannot verify AirPods" alert.
David Carnoy/CNET

Apple's iOS 16 update brings a number of features to your iPhone. This includes a verification step for AirPods. If you're connecting official AirPods -- such as the new AirPod Pro 2 earbuds or the sleek, neutral-toned Kim Kardashian Beats Fit Pro, or other compatible Bluetooth headphone devices -- you likely won't notice a difference.

On the other hand, if you're attempting to connect earbuds that are fraudulently parading as AirPods, you may get a "cannot verify AirPods" message, indicating the earbuds are possibly a knockoff of official AirPods. A prominent "Don't Connect" button appears below the alert, but you should still be able to connect via the Bluetooth settings. 

Read more: iPhone 14 Models Compared: Every New Apple Phone Compared, From Price to Size

Apple does warn, however, that the unverified devices may not perform as expected. It's unclear what performance issues users may experience when connecting unofficial AirPods.

Along with the AirPod verification, new features of Apple's latest operating system for iPhones, iPads and the like include the ability to edit and "unsend" messages, a customizable lock screen and upgrades to Focus Mode, among others. 

If you haven't downloaded the update yet, set aside an hour or so for it, but keep in mind that not all devices are compatible with iOS 16. Here's how to check if your iPhone is compatible with iOS 16 and how to download the update.