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iOS 14: How to stop your AirPods from automatically switching from iPhone to iPad

With iOS 14, Apple added a new auto-toggle feature to the AirPods and AirPods Pro earbuds. This feature is intended as a convenience. When you play content on another Apple device, the AirPods connection is automatically switched at the same time. However, some people don’t like this behavior and prefer to manually connect to each device just like it did in iOS 13 and earlier. Good news! There is a way to get the old behavior back …

Why should you turn off automatic switching?

If you use the iPhone and iPad by default, AirPods auto-switching comes in very handy and is probably just what you want. If you often use your devices at the same time, e.g. For example, listening to music on your phone while playing a video on iPad, the automatic behavior can instead be annoying.

How do I turn off automatic switching on AirPods?

The automatic switch setting can be changed by device. For example, if you want to prevent your AirPods from automatically connecting to your phone, here’s what to do:

  • Connect your AirPods to the iPhone.
  • Open settings.
  • Tap on bluetooth.
  • Find your AirPods in the list of connected devices and press the small button (i) on the right of the line.
  • Tap Connect to This iPhone.
  • Change the setting from “Automatic” to “When last connected to this iPhone”.

Repeat these steps for each device you own and want to turn off AirPods from auto-switching. Automatic switching is supported on every iPhone and iPad with iOS 14 and Macs with Big Sur.

“When was last connected to this iPhone” means the AirPods will only connect to the device if they were previously connected to the same device. For example, if you’ve used your AirPods with your phone before bed, then in the morning when you put your AirPods in your ears, they’ll try to reconnect to iPhone automatically. This is how AirPods have worked from the start and are the old default behavior.

‘Automatic’ is the new default behavior that AirPods can use to temporarily switch between devices. For example, if your AirPods are connected to your iPad and then you press play in your iPhone’s Music app, the AirPods will instead connect to the iPhone so you can hear the music in your eyes. If you were watching a video on your iPad while switching the AirPods, the video will automatically pause.

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