How to Prevent AirPods Pro From “switching Quickly” Between Devices

I’m a big fan of iOS 14, and since I have a pair of AirPods Pros, I also love the new Fast Switching enhancement, which creates smooth transitions when I use fancy headphones with a variety of Apple devices. I no longer need to fiddle with Bluetooth settings to make sure my AirPods are connected to the correct device; they just automatically switch to the one I’m using.

But here’s the thing. While this feature is incredibly handy, I can definitely see times when you might not want your AirPods Pro to switch back and forth. Perhaps you are streaming music from your iPhone and want to read the article on iPad, but autoplaying the video distracts from the audio streaming from phone to tablet. Or maybe you just want to quickly watch a YouTube video with subtitles enabled. With fast switching, that means goodbye to audio streaming from your iPhone.

There are two ways to bypass this treatment. One is quick and easy, with caveats, and the other is slightly less straightforward but permanent.

The easy way to return sound from AirPods Pro to its original device

If you are using one device, say an iPhone, and you take another device that is logged in with the same Apple ID as the first and start playing sound on it, you should see this little popup appear on your first device … :

Clicking on that blue return arrow will restore audio to your previous device, but not always. I changed AirPods Pro many times between iPhone and iPad and I only saw this little blue icon when using the Music app on my iPhone. For example, if I listen to Spotify, I don’t get any notifications on my iPhone that the audio has moved to another device – just a notification on my iPad and no quick way to “send” the audio stream. return to the original device.

This little feature probably only works (for now?) When you’re listening to content through Apple apps. Otherwise, if you want to block automatic switching, you have to dig a little deeper.

A permanent way to keep AirPods Pro from switching devices

If you need a break from the handy device switching feature on AirPods Pro, you can always manually turn it off. With AirPods Pro in your ears (one or both, it doesn’t matter), tap Settings> Bluetooth> the i icon next to the AirPods Pro. From there, scroll down a bit until you see “Connect to this iPhone” and click on it.

You will then see this screen, which will be set to Automatic by default. Switch it to “When I last connected to this iPhone” to disable Fast Switching:

You will now have to manually switch AirPods Pro between Apple devices (via their Bluetooth menu), but you can always change the setting back as soon as you’re ready for Apple to take control of the transfer again.

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