How to Stop AirPods Automatically Switching Between Devices

Airpods Automatic Switching Featured

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.

Airpods Automatic Switching Bluetooth Settings Ios

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.”

Airpods Automatic Switching Bluetooth Preferences

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.”

Airpods Automatic Switching System Preferences Mac

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.”

Airpods Automatic Switching System Preferences Bluetooth

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!

Airpods Automatic Switching Disable Mac

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 Norman
Isaac Norman

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.

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