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.

AirPods
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 the name of your AirPods just below your Apple ID. Alternatively, tap Bluetooth, then tap the encircled info (i) button next to your AirPods in the list.
    settings

  4. Tap Connect to This iPhone.
  5. Select When Last Connected to This iPhone.
    settings

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.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max
Related Forum: AirPods

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...