macOS Big Sur AirPods auto-switching feature does not work for some, but there is a possible solution

Some users who have installed the macOS Big Sur update on their devices have noticed that the AirPods auto-switching function does not appear to work as expected.

Apple introduced the auto-switching feature with the iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur updates. It allows the AirPods to automatically switch between iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac based on what the user is using.


This is way more convenient than having to manually switch between connected devices without a doubt. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, some are yet to get the feature working correctly.

According to several reports, users claim that the auto-switching feature works seamlessly with their iPhones and iPads, however, those who have the macOS Big Sur update installed on their Macs claim that they are required to manually switch devices.

We’ve shared a few users complaints below:


Just upgraded to Big Sur and on my 2014 MacBook Air the AirPods auto switching doesn’t appear to be working. Works fine between iPad and iPhone on iOS 14.2, however on MacBook Air it comes up with a notification asking to connect. (Source)

I tried everything but both of my aipods don’t switch automatically between my new MB Air and my iPhone XS. (Source)

Same situation with MacBook Pro 2018+iPhone 11 pro Max+iPad Pro. Seamless switching between iPad and iPhone, but only manual switching with MacBook Pro. (Source)

As you can see, the auto-switching feature for AirPods appears to work as expected on other devices but gives trouble on Macs running macOS Big Sur.


Moreover, the problem persists even after users perform generic actions such as toggling off Bluetooth or rebooting their computers. As highlighted by one user:

The same here with Powerbeats Pro. No automatic switching to the Macbook Pro 16 on Big Sur. I have tried pairing and rebooting devices but have found no improvements. (Source)

Given the fact that this feature was introduced exclusively with the latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates, it’s a shame that some users have to go through the hassle of figuring out how to fix it.

That said, at least one individual who was experiencing the issue appears to have fixed it by logging out of their iCloud account on their Mac and signing in again.


In order to log out from iCloud, follow the steps provided by Apple below:

1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
2. Click Apple ID, then click Overview.
3. Click Sign Out.
4. If you want to a keep a copy of your iCloud data on your Mac before you sign out, make sure that you select the appropriate checkboxes. Then click Keep a Copy.
5. If you want to keep a copy of your Safari passwords on your Mac, click Keep on This Mac.

Once done, all you have to do is sign in to iCloud again and reboot your Mac just for an extra measure. Doing this may fix the issue for you, however, a few have claimed that it does help.

At present, Apple has not acknowledged the problem publicly. Therefore, we cannot predict whether the Cupertino giant is working on a fix for it or not.

We will continue to track the situation and will post an update once more details surface on the matter.

In the meantime, keep an eye out on out dedicated tracker to know more about the status of bugs and issues on macOS Big Sur.

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Dwayne Cubbins

I've been interested in tech for as long as I can remember. And I used to be a Windows Phone enthusiast. When I am not writing about tech, I'm on the couch playing games with my squad. Oh, I also play the guitar and drums.