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AirPods Pro Automatic Switching Not Working

The AirPods Pro Automatic Switching not working is a common problem that iPhone and iPad users when they try to pair their AirPods to more than one iOS devices. There could be different reasons for this problem with the AirPods Pro Automatic Switching feature so there isn’t one universal solution.

The release of iOS 14 back in September brought several nice improvements and new features for iPhones and iPads, many of which were focused on enhancing the functionality of the users’ AirPods and AirPods Pro. Those improvements and new features include Battery Notifications, Spatial Audio, Headphone Accommodations, and Automatic Device Switching, all of which make using AirPods/AirPods Pro an even more pleasant and streamlined experience.

Automatic Device Switching not working

The AirPods Automatic Switching feature introduced with iOS 14 seems to not be working for some users. The idea of the Automatic Switching is to allow the user to pair their AirPods with more than one device at the same time (for example one’s iPad and iPhone) and then be able to receive audio feedback to the AirPods from either device – whichever one is currently playing any form of audio – without needing to manually disconnect the AirPods from one device and connect them to the other.

For people who have already established for themselves an Apple/iOS ecosystem, this feature could be extremely useful, allowing them to answer calls, listen to music, play videos, etc. without the need to readjust the Bluetooth settings of their devices and AirPods each time they change the device that is currently being used. 

The problem is, however, that this feature doesn’t seem to function for a lot of users who otherwise seem to have everything set up for the way it should be for the Automatic Switching to be active. Here, we will try to explore this common AirPods issue and give you some insight into what its cause may be in your case if you are experiencing it as well as how you may be able to resolve it.

AirPods Automatic Switching prerequisites

Before we give you some possible solutions for this issue, we must first go over the requirements that need to be met before one could benefit from the Automatic Device Switching feature.

First and foremost, to use the Automatic Device Switching for a given iOS device, you must have the latest version of the OS – iOS 14 – installed on said device since this is the version that first introduces the Automatic Switching feature. Automatic Device Switching can also be used with Macs and in that case the Mac’s operating system must have been upgraded to macOS Big Sur – the latest available macOS version.

Next, you must have an AirPods model that supports the feature – not all AirPods models support Automatic Device Switching. The only ones that currently do are AirPods Pro and AirPods (2nd Generation). Three Beats earbud models also support Automatic Device Switching – those models are Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and  Beats Solo Pro. If you don’t have any of those file models, you won’t be able to use the Automatic Device Switching feature.

Thirdly, the firmware of your AirPods must be the latest version. Currently, that version is 3A283. You can check what the firmware version of your AirPods are in the following way:

  1. Pair your AirPods with your iPhone.
  2. Go to the Settings app on the iPhone and then tap on General > About.
  3. Tap on the name of the AirPods – on the page that opens, you will see different information about the AirPods, including the current version of their firmware.

Lastly, you need to make sure that you are logged in to the same Apple ID on all of iOS devices on which you want to use the Automatic Device Switching feature. If a given device isn’t logged in to the same Apple ID account, your AirPods will not switch to it automatically when it starts playing sound.

If all the prerequisites that we mentioned here are met by your devices, then you should technically be able to use the Automatic Switching feature without any problem. Of course, this doesn’t mean that things would be the same in practice, which is why you may still not be able to get this feature to work. If that is your present situation, we suggest you read on and try the next suggested fixing methods.

AirPods Pro Automatic Device Switching not working fix

There’s currently no guaranteed way to fix this problem and in some cases you may just have to wait for Apple to release a patch that will resolve it. However, there are still a couple of things that you can try in the meanwhile that seem to have worked for some users.

Suggested Method 1: Upgrade Apple ID/iCloud security

Since the proper use of Automatic Switching is closely related to your Apple ID account, the reason for any problems with this feature that you may be experiencing could sometimes stem from your Apple ID or iCloud. Some users have reported that upgrading their Apple ID/iCloud security to have two-factor authentication has helped with the problem, so you can try doing this and see if it works for you. To set up your account’s two-factor authentication, follow the next steps:

  1. Open the following link and log in to your Apple ID account: appleid.apple.com
  2. Answer the security questions that show up on your screen to proceed.
  3. When you are prompted to upgrade your account’s security, click/tap on Continue and then select Upgrade Account Security.
  4. Provide a phone number where you will receive the verification codes for the two-factor authentication when you try to log in to your account. You can choose to get the codes via text or phone call.
  5. Select Continue again and when you receive a verification code, enter it to verify the changes.

From now on, every time you try to log in to your Apple ID account after you have been logged out, you will first have to provide your password, and then you will receive a verification code sent to the phone number you provided that you will have to enter on your device in order to log in to the Apple ID account.

Although there doesn’t seem to be any direct relation between Apple ID security and the AirPods Automatic Device Switching feature, for some reason this seems to have fixed the problem for a number of users. After you have set up your Apple ID two-factor authentication, we suggest you disconnect and ten reconnect your AirPods to the iOS devices you want to use them with.

Suggested Method 2: Allow your AirPods to get their firmware updated

If the firmware of your AirPods isn’t the correct (latest) version that it needs to be for the Automatic Device Switching feature will not work. We already explained how to check what the current version of your AirPods’ firmware is but what should you do if it isn’t the correct version? There is no way to manually update the firmware of your AirPods – this update happens automatically.

However, certain prerequisites first need to be met before your AirPods could get automatically updated. If the firmware of your AirPods is currently out-of-date, you could try to provide these needed prerequisites for the automatic update to be initiated and wait some time for it to be performed. Here are the requirements that need to be met before the update could start:

When these requirements are met, the update should occur automatically so leave the AirPods and your iPhone/iPad like that for some time and then come back to check the AirPods’ firmware version once more – if it has been updated to 3A283, the Automatic Switching feature should now work.

Suggested Method 3: Create a new Apple ID account

It seems that the main cause of this problem is in some way related to the users’ Apple ID accounts because, apparently, many who have tried to create a new account for themselves and then use the Automatic Switching feature have managed to get it to work. Of course, it is understandable if you’d like to use the feature with your original account but creating a new one is still a possible temporary solution.

There are many ways to set up a new Apple ID account depending on what device you are using and whether or not that is your first Apple ID account. Below, we have shown you how to create an Apple ID account on the web, which is the most universal method and can be done from pretty much any device:

  1. Go to the Apple ID account login/sign up page and click/tap on Create your Apple ID.
  2. Provide the necessary details (name, birthdate, desired password, email address, etc.). Pick the country that matches the address where you are getting billed according to the selected payment method.
    • Note that the email address you have provided will be the username of your new Apple ID.
  3. Provide a phone number that you always have access to.
  4. If you want (not required), check place a tick in the box for receiving Apple updates such as news, information about new products and services, etc – this does not refer to software updates for your Apple products which are always installed automatically by default.
  5. Select Continue and follow the steps shown on your screen to verify your email and phone number, thus activating the account.
  6. Log in to your new Apple ID account on all iOS devices on which you want to use the Automatic Switching feature, pair those devices with your AirPods and see if the feature has started working.

Final Notes

Hopefully, it won’t be long before Apple releases an official fix for this problem in the form of a software update that patches up whatever is causing the malfunctioning of the Automatic Switching feature. Until then, all you can try are the alternative solutions we and other researchers and users have posted on the Internet. If you have any questions related to the information we’ve shared on this page, you can always hit us up down in the comments, and we will make sure to get back to you.

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