How to Stop AirPods from Automatically Connecting to a Mac

Mac User Disabling Auto-Connect Feature for AirPods and AirPods Pro on Mac

For the most part, AirPods provide a pretty magical listening experience. But at the time of writing, the auto-connect feature isn’t reliable on the Mac. If you find your AirPods randomly connecting or disconnecting from your Mac, it’s best to turn off this feature.

Starting with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur, Apple rolled out the auto-connect feature for AirPods and AirPods Pro. As long as you’re using the same Apple account on all your devices, the feature is enabled by default.

When it comes to the iPhone and iPad, the feature works as advertised. But if you regularly use your iPhone and your Mac together, this feature turns into a bit of a mess. Sometimes AirPods automatically switch to the Mac when you’re using them on your iPad, or they refuse to switch back to the iPhone even when you get a call.

For Mac users, it’s best to disable the auto-connect feature and use the manual approach to connecting to Mac.

RELATED: How to Manually Switch AirPods Between Mac, iPhone, and iPad

On your Mac, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the menu bar, then choose the “System Preferences” option.

Select System Preferences from Apple Menu in Big Sur

Here, choose the “Bluetooth” menu.

Choose Bluetooth from System Preferences

Now, make sure that your AirPods are paired and connected to your Mac. From the “Devices” section, choose your AirPods and click the “Options” button.

Click Options from AirPods

From the “Connect to This Mac” menu, choose the “When Last Connected To This Mac” option from the drop-down. Then, click the “Done” button to save the settings.

Disable Auto-Connect Feature for AirPods on Mac

The auto-connect feature for AirPods will now be disabled on your Mac, and you’ll go back to the previous method.

There are many ways to manually connect your AirPods or AirPods Pro to your Mac. You can even use third-party tools like ToothFairy ($5.99) for a fast and reliable approach.

On macOS Big Sur and higher, you can also use the Control Center to quickly connect to your AirPods. From the menu bar, click the Control Center button and choose the “Bluetooth” option.

Open Bluetooth from Control Center

Here, select your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Instantly, your AirPods will be connected to your Mac.

Select AirPods from Bluetooth Menu

Once your AirPods are connected, you can switch between different noise cancellation modes right from the Bluetooth menu.

Change Noise Cancellation Mode in AirPods

RELATED: How to Enable Noise Cancellation for AirPods Pro on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

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