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How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Apple's new software can automatically switch your AirPods earbuds between devices as you move between them.

For example, if you're listening to music on your iPhone, then walk to the living room and pick up your iPad to watch a video, the AirPods can automatically switch to the iPad without making you do anything.

At least that's the way it's supposed to work. But it can be a little finicky.

Sometimes when I'm sitting at my desk, for example, my AirPods randomly switch over from my iPhone, where I'm playing music, to a nearby iPad, which isn't playing anything.

So I've found I prefer to just use the old method of manually choosing my AirPods when I switch devices. If you're having similar issues, here's how to turn off the auto-switch and go back to the old method.

  • Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad as you normally would.
  • Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Choose Bluetooth.
  • Tap the "i" (information) button next to the name of your AirPods.
  • Scroll down to "Connect to this iPhone'" and tap it.
  • Change the option from "Automatically" to "When Last Connected to This iPhone."
  • Repeat these instructions on your other devices.

That's it. Now your AirPods should stay connected to the last device you used. But you'll have to open Bluetooth and tap your AirPods to manually connect them each time you change gadgets.

Apple AirPods support automatic switching between devices and while helpful, it can be a problem when using an iPhone and an iPad together.

When running the newest version of Apple‘s operating system, AirPods have been enhanced with several new features, depending on the generation and model. One of the favorites is automatic device switching. However, there may be times this isn’t beneficial. For example, shared devices can lead to confusion when auto-switching takes place unexpectedly.

Apple’s iOS 14 brought so many changes that it may take months for users to find all of the new benefits and adjustments possible. Home Screen Widgets, for example, have exploded in popularity on the iPhone. The App Library automatically categorizes and allows easy access to an alphabetical list of all installed apps. Siri has improved conversational skills and a smaller on-screen presence. AirPods, depending on the generation and model, now offer spatial audio, battery notifications, adjustments for those with hearing impairments and automatic device switching.

Apple AirPods Pro and second-generation AirPods support automatic switching between iPhone and iPad. This is meant to be a helpful feature and in most cases is very convenient. When sharing devices with another or using two devices at once, it can cause problems. For example, it may be a common activity to listen to music with AirPods or AirPods Pro that plays from an iPhone or Apple Watch, then open an exercise video on an iPad to follow along with the activity. If automatic switching is on, the AirPods may switch to the iPad in a jarring replacement of workout music by an instructor speaking. Worse, a favorite song may be interrupted by some uninspiring production music supplied by the video.

How To Stop Automatic Switching

Thankfully, Apple made it easy to override the automatic switching on AirPods and it can be switched off and on for each device. Starting with the iPhone or iPad that the user does not want to be switched to automatically, connect the AirPods. In the Settings app on that device, tap Bluetooth and find the AirPods in the list of devices. Then by tapping the small ‘i’ button to the right and ‘Connect to this iPhone/iPad’, the automatic option is revealed. Switch from ‘Automatically’ to ‘When Last Connected to This iPhone/iPad.’ That will prevent auto-switching. This same process can be repeated for multiple devices, but for most households there is a particular iPad or iPhone that results in an incorrect auto-switch.

This applies only to Apple AirPods Pro, second-generation AirPods, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro and Solo Pro. The first generation AirPods do not support automatic switching, so no need to take any actions. Apple continues to try to improve its mobile products with iOS, iPadOS and watchOS updates. In most cases, these changes are welcome. In some instances, a little corrective step for over-helpful tech is needed to restore control to the user. Returning AirPods to the normal manual mode is fairly easy and Apple’s automatic switching can be turned back on if the user’s needs change.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Without any doubt, iOS 14 is one of the most exciting releases of Apple’s mobile operating system. It brings a highly customizable interface (yes, we’re talking about App Library), the ability to change default apps, and a plethora of other features. However, as you’ve surely noticed, your AirPods have received an interesting treatment from iOS 14 as well: the ability to switch between devices automatically.

While this feature is incredibly useful, what if you listen to music on one device and watch videos on another? Learn how you can prevent your AirPods from automatically switching between devices.

Keep this in Mind When Disabling AirPods’ Automated Switching

Keep in mind that you can prevent your AirPods from switching automatically without a lot of tinkering. However, also know that this a per-device feature. In other words, this feature comes from your individual devices and not from your AirPods.

To fully disable the automatic switching of your AirPods, you will need to do so on every device you own. That could be your iPhone, iPad, or your Mac.

How to Turn Off AirPods Automatic Switching on iOS

Here are the steps you need to take to prevent your AirPods from switching automatically between your iPhone and/or iPad.

1. First, make sure to connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. This means that you need to take them out of their housing, put them in your ears, and wait until you hear the sound indicating that pairing is done.

2. Open the Settings app and tap on “Bluetooth.” You don’t have to scroll down, as you’ll find this option right at the top.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

3. Find your AirPods among the connected devices on your iPhone/iPad. Make sure to click on the small “i” icon on the right side of your device’s screen.

4. Scroll down a bit until you see an option that reads “Connect to This iPhone – Automatically” and tap on it. Once you do so, you will encounter two options: tap on “When Last Connected to This iPhone.”

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

We do have to note that Apple uses somewhat confusing terms in this case. Keep in mind that once you tap on “When Last Connected to This iPhone,” your AirPods will connect to your iPhone automatically only if they were previously connected. In other words, they’ll return to working just like in the past, before iOS 14 became available.

How to Turn Off AirPods Automatic Switching on macOS Big Sur

As you can guess, this feature is available on macOS Big Sur only (earlier versions don’t support it). Follow the below steps to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on your Mac.

1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, then click on “System Preferences” and make sure to select “Bluetooth.”

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

2. If you have your AirPods in your ears, they should appear among the connected devices. Make sure to connect to them by pressing “Connect.” If they’re already connected, click on “Options.”

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

3. A small pop-up should appear at this point. You need to find the option that reads “Connect to This Mac.” Click on the right side (to reveal a drop-down menu), then select “When Last Connected to This Mac.” That’s it!

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

From this moment on, your AirPods will only connect to your Mac if they’ve been previously connected. If you’ve used them with another device, you will need to connect them manually. You can do this by clicking on “Control Center” in your menu bar, selecting “Bluetooth,” and clicking on your AirPods.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to prevent your AirPods from automatically switching between devices, you can also easily find your lost AirPods and learn how to properly clean your AirPods and AirPods Pro. And lastly, don’t forget to check our guide to the best tips and tricks on using Apple’s AirPods.

Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today’s digital world intertwines with our everyday life.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipadWilliam Gallagher | Apr 02, 2021

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

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Having your AirPods, or AirPods Pro switch from your iPhone to your Mac as you sit down at your desk is a brilliant idea, and really frustrating in practice. Here’s how to stop it.

Sometimes it does seem as if Apple staff live in a slightly different world to the rest of us. It’s definitely a world where the Wi-Fi is always on and always working at the speed of light, but now it’s also a world with perfect Bluetooth.

Introduced with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, AirPods and can tell over Bluetooth what devices are nearby. And they will switch to the one you want to listen to.

It is a marvellous idea and truly exemplifies all that isAirPods Pro great about Apple’s determination to make everything work. Unfortunately in practice, it’s really about all that is far from great with this idea.

So yes, if you are listening to music on your iPhone when you walk up to your Mac, your AirPods can automatically switch. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Apple that you were enjoying that track and nothing is playing on the Mac.

And if we are being unfair, if we are sounding frustrated, we’re now — this moment — also a little embarrassed. For our iPhone rang, the AirPods switched over to it and we took the call without even realising what we were doing.

So, okay, it’s a good feature, but it uses Bluetooth and that is equal parts technology and alchemy. Consequently, we’ve equally had situations where we’ve not been able to use AirPods for a Zoom call on our Macs because something kept making it switch to the iPhone.

For the moment, then, this is one iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur feature that we’re switching off. To go back to switching devices entirely manually, you need to do this on all your devices.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

How to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on iOS 14

  1. Go to Settings, Bluetooth
  2. With your AirPods or AirPods Pro connected, tap the i button next to their name
  3. Scroll down to Connect to This Phone (or iPad)
  4. Tap to select When Last Connected to This iPhone (or iPad)
  5. Tap Back

How to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on macOS Big Sur

  1. Click on Control Center in your menubar
  2. Click on Bluetooth
  3. Choose to connect to the AirPods or AirPods Pro
  4. Click on Bluetooth Preferences. at the bottom of your list of devices
  5. Find your device in the list that appears
  6. It will have a button marked Options, click on that
  7. Click on the dropdown menu next to Connect to this Mac
  8. Choose When Last Connected to this Mac

You could skip the Control Center and go straight to the Bluetooth section of Settings. However, you have to connect to the AirPods before you get the Options button, and it’s handy to do that right there in Control Center.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

How to turn automatic switching back on

If you find you miss the feature, you can turn it back on for all of your devices by reversing the steps above. What might be more likely is that you’ll find you like having your iPhone switch to your Mac — and you don’t like it turning to your iPad.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Once you’ve switched the feature off everywhere, you can experiment. Turn it back on for any two of your devices, and see if it behaves itself then.

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How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Tired of seeing your AirPods switching between your iPhone, iPad or Mac automatically? Follow these steps to disable automatic AirPods switching feature of iOS 14 or later.

With the release of iOS 14 Apple has made the life of AirPods users easier by making AirPods automatically switch connections between various devices. The Automatic Switching feature, which is enabled by default allows AirPods to connect to the iOS device and transfer the audio route to a device the user is actively using.

AirPods can automatically switch between iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac provided they are all paired with the same iCloud account.

For example, if your AirPods are connected to your iPhone and playing a song, and you pick up your iPad and start watching a video on it, your AirPods will automatically route the audio from the iPad, pausing the music on iPhone. Similarly if your AirPods are connected to iPad and a video is playing, and you pick up a call on your iPhone, the AirPods playback will automatically switch to iPhone and the video on iPad will be paused. In addition to iPhone and iPad, AirPods can also switch to Mac running macOS Big Sur or later.

This feature is designed to make the life of AirPods users easy and eliminate the need of manually switching AirPods between devices. However the new feature can also get annoying for people who want more control over their AirPods and disable Automatic Switching AirPods feature.

How to disable Automatic device switching for AirPods

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Thankfully iOS allows users to easily disable the AirPods Automatic Switching feature on iOS 14 or iPadOS 14. All you have to do is follow the simple steps below. These steps apply to AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro.

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad by wearing them.
  2. Go to Settings and tap on Bluetooth.
  3. From the next screen tap on the ‘i‘ button located next to your AirPods.
  4. Tap on ‘Connect to This iPhone‘ option.
  5. From the next screen select ‘When Last Connected to This iPhone‘.

Repeat these steps for all iOS devices that you use your AirPods with.

There you have it, this is how you can disable automatic device switching for AirPods, and stop AirPods from automatically switching between devices.

You’re watching a YouTube video on your Mac, then go to check something on your iPhone. Of course, because you had a video queued on iOS, your AirPods automatically switch from your Mac to your iPhone. Now, your Mac’s YouTube video is playing out loud, and you have to reroute your AirPods back over to macOS. Luckily, there’s a hidden setting you can change that fixes this whole issue.

This annoyance is actually supposed to be a helpful feature.

Apple introduced AirPods automatic switching with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur as a seamless way to shift your AirPods between multiple Apple devices. In theory, it should work great — if you’re productive on your Mac with a podcast running in the background, then pick up your iPhone to go for a run, your AirPods can automatically join you as you blast some workout tunes.

  • Don’t Miss: Switch the Default AirPods Mic to Stick to Your Preferred Ear

The problem is, we don’t work like this most of the time. What ends up happening more often than not is we use multiple devices at once, and as we use those devices, our AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Pro Max annoyingly switch between them. If you’re trying to watch something on your iPad and check an app that has audio on your iPhone, your AirPods are going to switch on their own, even though you don’t want your iPad experience interrupted.

Fixing this issue is actually pretty simple, although it requires action on all the Apple devices connected to your AirPods. Let’s check it out.

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

With your AirPods model connected to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, head to Settings –> Bluetooth. Select the info (i) button next to your AirPods model, then check out “Connect to This iPhone,” “Connect to This iPad,” or “Connect to This iPod,” depending on the device you’re currently using.

Finally, choose “When Last Connected to This [Your Device]” to fix the issue.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad alt=”Stop AirPods from Annoyingly Auto-Switching Between iPhone, iPad & Mac So They Stick to One Device” width=”532″ height=”532″ />

MacBook, Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, Etc.

With your AirPods model connected to your Mac, head to System Preferences –> Bluetooth. Find your AirPods model, then click “Options.” Now, click the drop-down menu next to “Connect to This Mac” and choose “When Last Connected to This Mac.”

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Enjoy Non-Auto-Switching AirPods

With the setting changed for each device type you have, your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max will only connect to a device if it was the last device those AirPods were connected to. For example, you switch your AirPods to your iPhone, then disconnect. The next time you pop your AirPods in your ears, they’ll automatically connect to that iPhone if in range.

Of course, the best part is that if your AirPods are currently occupied on one device, starting a video or audio source on another device won’t trigger your AirPods to be diverted without warning, as you can see in the GIFs below.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad alt=”Stop AirPods from Annoyingly Auto-Switching Between iPhone, iPad & Mac So They Stick to One Device” width=”270″ height=”270″ />

Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more.

Apple in 2020 issued an update for AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and some Beats-branded headphones that allows them to automatically switch between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac depending on which device you want to listen to.

alt=”AirPods” width=”1325″ height=”494″ />
Say you’re listening to another device with your ‌AirPods‌ but you want to listen to your ‌‌iPhone‌‌ instead. If you start playing music, a podcast, or other audio on your ‌‌iPhone‌‌, the ‌AirPods‌ will switch to ‌‌iPhone‌‌ automatically. They ‌‌can also switch to ‌‌iPhone‌‌ when you make or answer a call on your ‌‌iPhone‌‌.

You can see that Apple intended this feature to be convenient, but it can also be highly annoying. Say for instance you’re enjoying listening to something on your ‌iPhone‌, and then a family member picks up your ‌iPad‌ in the same room and starts watching a video on it. Whether you like it or not, your AirPods will connect to the ‌iPad‌ and you’ll be treated to the audio of the video that they’re viewing.

Fortunately, Apple had the foresight to make automatic device switching an option for its earphones and headphones, rather than a locked-in necessity. All you have to do is turn off the feature by following the steps outlined below.

How to stop AirPods Switching to Other Devices

  1. Make sure your AirPods or ‌AirPods Pro‌ are connected to your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. Launch the Settings app.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
  4. Tap the encircled info (i) button next to your AirPods in the list.
    alt=”settings” width=”2710″ height=”2616″ />

The Automatically option shown in the last screenshot above makes your AirPods search for active playback on a device and connect to it. This is the source of frustration for many users who experience their AirPods switching between devices, so if you’re experiencing the same thing, then the option When Last Connected to This iPhone is what you want.

With the latter option selected, your AirPods will automatically try to connect to the last connected device. In other words, if you last listened to something on your ‌iPhone‌ using your AirPods and then wear them again at a later time, they’ll attempt to connect to your ‌iPhone‌.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Having your AirPods , or AirPods Pro, switch from your iPhone to your Mac as you sit down at your desk is a brilliant idea, and really frustrating in practice. Here's how to stop it.

Sometimes it does seem as if Apple staff live in a slightly different world to the rest of us. It's definitely a world where the Wi-Fi is always on and always working at the speed of light, but now it's also a world with perfect Bluetooth.

Introduced with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, AirPods and can tell over Bluetooth what devices are nearby. And they will switch to the one you want to listen to.

It is a marvellous idea and truly exemplifies all that isAirPods Pro great about Apple's determination to make everything work. Unfortunately in practice, it's really about all that is far from great with this idea.

So yes, if you are listening to music on your iPhone when you walk up to your Mac, your AirPods can automatically switch. It doesn't seem to have occurred to Apple that you were enjoying that track and nothing is playing on the Mac.

And if we are being unfair, if we are sounding frustrated, we're now — this moment — also a little embarrassed. For our iPhone rang, the AirPods switched over to it and we took the call without even realising what we were doing.

So, okay, it's a good feature, but it uses Bluetooth and that is equal parts technology and alchemy. Consequently, we've equally had situations where we've not been able to use AirPods for a Zoom call on our Macs because something kept making it switch to the iPhone.

For the moment, then, this is one iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur feature that we're switching off. To go back to switching devices entirely manually, you need to do this on all your devices.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Connect to your AirPods and then select Bluetooth Preferences

How to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on iOS 14

Go to Settings, Bluetooth

With your AirPods or AirPods Pro connected, tap the i button next to their name

Scroll down to Connect to This Phone (or iPad)

Tap to select When Last Connected to This iPhone (or iPad)

How to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on macOS Big Sur

Click on Control Center in your menubar

Click on Bluetooth

Choose to connect to the AirPods or AirPods Pro

Click on Bluetooth Preferences. at the bottom of your list of devices

Find your device in the list that appears

It will have a button marked Options, click on that

Click on the dropdown menu next to Connect to this Mac

Choose When Last Connected to this Mac

You could skip the Control Center and go straight to the Bluetooth section of Settings. However, you have to connect to the AirPods before you get the Options button, and it's handy to do that right there in Control Center.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Click on Options next to your connected AirPods.

How to turn automatic switching back on

If you find you miss the feature, you can turn it back on for all of your devices by reversing the steps above. What might be more likely is that you'll find you like having your iPhone switch to your Mac — and you don't like it turning to your iPad.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

Connect to your AirPods, then tap through to their settings in Bluetooth

Once you've switched the feature off everywhere, you can experiment. Turn it back on for any two of your devices, and see if it behaves itself then.

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

With iOS 14, Apple has added a new automatic switching feature to the AirPods and AirPods Pro earbuds. This feature is meant as a convenience; when you start playing content on another Apple device, the AirPods connection automatically switches in unison. However, some people don’t like this behavior and would rather connect to each device manually, just like how it worked in iOS 13 and earlier. Good news! There is a way to get the old behaviour back …

Why would you want to disable automatic switching?

If you use the iPhone and iPad in a standard way, AirPods automatic switching is very convenient and probably what you want. If you are someone who is often using your devices simultaneously, like listening to music on your phone whilst playing a video on the iPad, the automatic behavior can instead be a nuisance.

How to turn off AirPods automatic switching?

How to stop airpods automatically switching between iphone and ipad

The automatic switch setting can be changed on a per-device basis. For instance, if you want to prevent your AirPods from automatically connecting to your phone, follow these steps:

  • Connect your AirPods to the iPhone.
  • Open Settings.
  • Tap Bluetooth.
  • Find your AirPods in the connected devices list and press the small (i) button on the right of the row.
  • Tap ‘Connect to this iPhone’ setting.
  • Change the setting from ‘Automatically’ to ‘When Last Connected to This iPhone’.

Repeat these steps for each device you own and want to disable AirPods automatic switching for. Automatic switching is supported on any iPhone and iPad running iOS 14 and Macs running Big Sur.

‘When Last Connected to This iPhone’ means that the AirPods only connect to the device if they were previously connected to that same device. For instance, if you were using your AirPods before bed with your phone, in the morning when you put your AirPods in your ears they will try to automatically connect to the iPhone again. This is how AirPods have worked since the beginning and is the old default behaviour.

‘Automatic’ is the new default behavior which allows the AirPods to transiently switch between devices. For example, if your AirPods are connected to your iPad, and then you press Play on your iPhone’s Music app, the AirPods will connect to the iPhone instead so you can hear the music in your ears. If you were watching a video on your iPad when the AirPods switch over, the video will be automatically paused.

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