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Hate Automatic Switching on Your AirPods? Here's How to Turn It Off


Apple’s AirPods are a breeze to set up; just pop them out of the box, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your device, and you’ll be rocking out to your Spotify playlist or making a dent in your podcast backlog in no time.

Until recently, switching the audio between devices—music on iPhone to Netflix on iPad, for example—required you to connect your AirPods manually on each gadget. With the launch of iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, however, the audio will automatically switch between Apple devices if those machines detect that a video or music is playing.

airpods connection alert on iphone screen

It’s helpful in some circumstances. If you were connected to your phone earlier for a phone call, and move to your iPad to watch some YouTube or your Mac to connect to a Zoom call, your AirPods will make the transition seamlessly; no need to navigate to your Bluetooth settings.

In a world of multi-tasking web users, though, automatic switching can be annoying. If you’re streaming Netflix on the iPad with AirPods connected, for instance, and pick up your phone to scroll Twitter or Instagram, the audio might switch to a video that auto-plays on your feed. It’s 100% a first-world problem, but can be irritating nonetheless. Luckily, there is a way to turn off automatic switching. Here’s how.


Turn Off Auto-Switching on iOS or iPadOS

Navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the information icon for your AirPods.

settings > bluetooth menu on ipadOS” src=”https://i.pcmag.com/imagery/articles/028jMLnPH9gSU2j6UOVyUqp-2.png” viewbox=”0 0 16 9″/></p>
<p>Scroll down and tap<strong> Connect to This iPad / iPhone</strong>. (If this menu doesn’t appear, make sure your AirPods are connected to the device in question.)</p>
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Automatically is selected by default. To turn that off, tap When Last Connected to This iPad / iPhone. With this setting enabled, you’ll now have to proactively connect your AirPods to this device by navigating to Settings > Bluetooth > [your AirPods].

When Last Connected to This iPad / iPhone


Turn Off Auto-Switching on Mac

The process for turning off auto-switching on Mac is similar to iPhone and iPad. Open System Preferences > Bluetooth and click Options next to your AirPods. Click the drop-down menu next to Connect to This Mac, select When Last Connected to This Mac, and click Done.

Turn Off Auto-Switching on Mac

For more, here are our top tips and tricks to get the most out of Apple’s wireless earbuds.


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