How to Pause Audio on Apple AirPods

Person using the touch controls on Apple AirPods
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If you use Apple’s AirPods, you don’t have to reach for your phone to play or pause your music. You can use your AirPods’ built-in music controls to do that, and we’ll show you how.

With Apple’s AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd generation, you can play and pause music out of the box (without having to configure anything). On the AirPods 1st and 2nd generation, you’ll have to configure an option before you can use the play/pause function.

RELATED: How to Use Your AirPods and AirPods Pro: The Complete Guide

Pause Music Using AirPods Pro or AirPods 3rd Generation

If you use Apple’s AirPods Pro or AirPods 3rd generation, all you have to do is press your AirPods to pause or play your music.

To use it, while you’re playing a music file on your phone, press the force sensor on the stem of your AirPod.

Press the force sensor on the stem of AirPod.
Apple Support

Your music will pause. To resume it, press the same force sensor again.

And that’s all. Very handy!

Pause Music on AirPods 1st and 2nd Generation

With AirPods 1st and 2nd generation, you can pause and play music by just tapping your AirPods. Before you can do that, though, you’ll have to configure the tap action for your AirPods from your iPhone.

To do that, while your AirPods are connected to your iPhone, launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

In Settings, tap “Bluetooth” to access your devices.

Tap "Bluetooth" in Settings.

On the “Bluetooth” page, next to your AirPods, select the “i” icon.

Select "i" next to the AirPods.

On the AirPods page, in the “Double-Tap AirPod” section, choose the AirPod that you’d like to use to play or pause your music. You can select either AirPod.

Select the "Left" or "Right" AirPod.

On the following screen, select the “Play/Pause” option. This assigns the play-and-pause action to the double-tap gesture on your AirPod.

Then, go back to the previous screen by tapping “Back” in the top-left corner.

Choose "Play/Pause" and tap "Back."

And you’re all set. From now on, whenever you need to pause or play your music, all you have to do is double-tap your selected AirPod. Enjoy!


Like this, there are other AirPods settings that you may want to change to get the most out of your Bluetooth earbuds. Check out our guide to discover what those options are.

RELATED: How to Change Your AirPods and AirPods Pro Settings

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