How to Stop AirPods Automatically Switching Between Devices

Having your AirPods, or AirPods Pro, move from your iPhone to your Mac as you sit down at your desk is a great concept, but it’s a pain to implement. Here’s how to put an end to it.

Apple employees sometimes appear to exist in a parallel universe to the rest of us. It’s undoubtedly a world where Wi-Fi is constantly on and functioning at light speed, but it’s also a world where Bluetooth is flawless.

AirPods, which debuted with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, can detect adjacent Bluetooth devices. And they’ll change to the one you want to hear.

It’s a fantastic concept that epitomizes everything that is excellent about Apple’s desire to make things work. Unfortunately, in actuality, this notion is about everything that isn’t wonderful about it.

Yes, if you walk up to your Mac while listening to music on your iPhone, your AirPods will immediately swap. Apple doesn’t appear to have noticed that you were enjoying the song, and nothing is playing on your Mac.

And if we’re being unjust, if we’re sounding upset, we’re also a bit ashamed right now. When our iPhone rang, the AirPods automatically switched to it, and we answered the call without even noticing it.

Okay, that’s a useful function, but it relies on Bluetooth, which is a mix of technology and alchemy. As a result, we’ve had times when we couldn’t utilize AirPods for a Zoom conversation on our Macs because something kept forcing it to switch to the iPhone.

For the time being, we’re turning off this functionality in iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur. You must do this on all of your devices if you want to go back to manually switching devices.

How to turn off automatic Bluetooth switching on iOS 14

  1. Go to Settings, Bluetooth
  2. Select Bluetooth Preferences after connecting to your AirPods.
  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. Select whether to use AirPods or AirPods Pro to connect.
  4. At the bottom of your list of devices, choose Bluetooth Preferences…
  5. Find your device in the list that displays. It will have an Options button, which you should click.
  6. Select Connect to this Mac from the dropdown option.
  7. When was the last time you were connected to this Mac?

You may bypass the Control Center altogether and go right to the Bluetooth section of Settings. However, before you can obtain the Options button, you must first connect to the AirPods, which you can do directly in Control Center.

Click on Options next to your connected AirPods

How to turn automatic switching back on

If you discover that you miss the functionality, just reverse the instructions above to turn it back on for all of your devices. What’s more likely is that you’ll discover you prefer having your iPhone switch to your Mac to having it switch to your iPad.

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