iPhone and iPad

4 Ways to Pause Your AirPods

Dan Helyer 23-07-2020

AirPods are all about convenience. They seamlessly pair with your iPhone, the charging case offers 24 hours of listening time, and you never need to worry about getting a headphone cable tangled. AirPods even make it easy to pause your music, podcasts, or whatever else you’re listening to.


Here’s how to pause whatever’s playing on your AirPods, no matter which device they’re paired with.

1. Remove an AirPod From Your Ear

One AirPod removed to pause music

This might be the best AirPod feature. Simply remove an AirPod from your ear to pause whatever you’re listening to. After you’ve heard what you want to hear, pop the AirPod back in your ear to play your music again.

It’s such an intuitive feature that it’s easy to take for granted. It works exactly the same on both AirPods and AirPods Pro Apple AirPods vs. AirPods Pro: Which Is Right for You? Should you buy the base AirPods or opt for Apple's premium AirPods Pro? We compare them to help you decide. Read More .

Your AirPods won’t pause music, podcasts, or any other apps if Automatic Ear Detection is turned off. If this trick isn’t working, connect your AirPods to an iPhone or iPad and check the Bluetooth settings to enable this feature:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the i button next to your AirPods.
  3. Scroll down and enable Automatic Ear Detection.

2. Double-Tap or Squeeze the Force Sensor to Pause

Squeezing Force Sensor on AirPods Pro

You can use sensors on your AirPods to control your music. Depending on your settings, these sensors might let you pause, activate Siri, or even skip tracks.

On the AirPods Pro, quickly squeeze the Force Sensor on the stem of either AirPod to pause your music. Squeeze the stem again to play your music. If you squeeze too long, you’ll change the noise cancellation mode instead.

On the AirPods (2nd generation), double-tap either AirPod while it’s in your ear to pause your music. You can do this with original AirPods as well, but by default, the double-tap activates Siri instead. Use your connected iPhone or iPad to change this in the settings:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the i button next to your AirPods.
  3. Beneath Double-Tap On AirPods, select the Play/Pause option.

3. Ask Siri to Pause Your AirPods

Siri screen pausing music on iPhone

You can ask Siri to do any number of different tasks for you, including pausing the music in your AirPods. If you have AirPods (2nd generation) or AirPods Pro, use “Hey Siri” and tell it to “Pause” or “Play” whatever you’re listening to.

Alternatively, change the double-tap or press-and-hold settings for your AirPods and use the sensor to activate Siri instead. You can do this using a connected iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the i button next to your AirPods.
  3. Beneath where it says Double-Tap On AirPod or Press and Hold AirPods, tap the Left or Right AirPod.
  4. Select Siri from the list of functions to make this AirPod activate Siri.

The original AirPods don’t work with “Hey Siri,” so you need to double-tap an AirPod to activate Siri instead. This is the default function for the double-tap on the original AirPods.


4. Use the Pause Button on Your Connected Device

Control Center on iPhone with pause button

Sometimes the quickest and easiest way to pause your AirPods is using your connected device. For example, if you’re using AirPods to listen to music while looking at another app on your iPhone, you may as well use the iPhone itself to pause what you’re listening to.

The quickest way to pause music on an iPhone or iPad is to open the Control Center. Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen (or swipe up from the bottom of the screen if your iPhone has a Home button). Then tap the Pause button in the playback section.

On a Mac, press F8 on the keyboard to pause your music or podcasts.


Find Out All There Is to Know About Your AirPods

Learning how to pause music or podcasts on your AirPods is only the first step to mastering Apple’s wireless earbuds. You also need to learn how to change your AirPods settings, how to understand the Status light, and how to accessorize your AirPods to fit your lifestyle.

You probably spent a lot of money on your AirPods, so it makes sense to make the most of them. Find out all there is to know in our list of the best AirPods tips 8 Apple AirPods Tips for Maximum Enjoyment Want to get more out of your Apple AirPods? These tips will help you customize and get more enjoyment out of AirPods. Read More .

Related topics: Apple AirPods, Bluetooth, iPhone Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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