Why Your AirPods Keep Pausing And How To Fix It

Do your AirPods keep pausing, and you don't know why? You could be enjoying your favorite music track or a new web show when suddenly, the AirPods pause. Confused, you try to resume playback, only to figure out that the earbuds keep pausing repeatedly. That is when you know something is wrong with Apple's premium, truly wireless earphones. Usually, the earbuds offer a seamless listening experience, even when paired with an Android phone. However, like any other electronic device, they could pick up on a glitch or physical damage. 

The reasons for the issue are usually simple: you could be standing too far from your iPhone, for example, or perhaps the ear-detection sensors of the device have gone haywire. While determining the exact cause of the problem can be tedious, you can usually fix it at home by trying a few different things. Before discussing how to fix AirPods, let's go through two basic ways to confirm whether the AirPods are causing trouble.

Come closer to your iPhone and check internet speed

First things first, come closer to your iPhone or the connected Apple device and try playing something again. Usually, AirPods function up to 60 feet from the iPhone or iPad. However, if there are too many obstacles or interference in between, such as walls or other wireless networks, your earbuds might struggle to maintain the Bluetooth connection, which could pause the playback. 

If your AirPods keep pausing even after you reduce the distance between them and the connected device, quickly check your internet speed. Sometimes, what we think is a problem with the earphones could be a poor or unstable internet connection that isn't providing enough bandwidth for the song or video to load. 

Last but not least, put the AirPods back in the case, let them rest for a good minute or so, and wear them again to see if the problem still exists. More than fixing your earbuds, these things help you confirm whether something is wrong.

Disable touch inputs

The AirPods (1st or 2nd Generation) feature a touch-sensitive area that registers inputs and allows you to control playback using the on-stem touch or tap controls. Even when you get used to these controls, they are prone to accidental touch inputs, which might pause the device. If you're not used to handling the music from the earbuds, you might want to turn off the double tap touch gesture

  1. Open the AirPods' charging case and put them in your ears.
  2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and select Bluetooth.
  3. From the list of available options, tap the information button beside the device's name.
  4. Under Double Tap on AirPods, hit Left, and select Off from the list of options. Similarly, turn off the touch gesture for the right earbud.

Since the AirPods Pro and Pro (2nd Generation) feature a force sensor, there's a lesser chance of accidental touch inputs that could mess up the playback. Nonetheless, if this method doesn't solve the earbuds pausing issue, resetting them might do the trick.

Disable Automatic Ear Detection

Once you've eliminated other possibilities, let's fix your earbuds. All AirPods, from the 1st generation to the latest AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), come with in-ear detection. This feature lets the earbuds detect when you remove them from your ears and pause playback. To make this work, Apple equips the earlier models with a proximity sensor, and the recent models, including the AirPods (3rd Generation) and AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), with a skin-detection sensor.

Under normal circumstances, these sensors work like a charm. However, if you've dropped your earbuds from tall heights or anywhere else where the delicate sensors could take some damage, they could malfunction and pause your earbuds randomly. Although this is not ideal, disabling the Automatic Ear Detection feature may be the only option to address the problem.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Bluetooth, then hit the information button next to the device's name.
  3. Scroll down and tap the toggle beside Automatic Ear Detection to turn the feature off.

This method should fix the AirPods issue if it's due to malfunctioning sensors. However, you might want to be more careful about pausing music manually when you put down the AirPods.

Reset your AirPods

Now that you've tested all the other workarounds, you should try resetting your AirPods. To do this, put the earbuds in their charging case, wait for about 30 seconds, and then follow the instructions below.

  1. Open the charging case's lid and put the earbuds in the ears.
  2. Head to Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods and tap the information button.
  3. Select Forget This Device and confirm.
  4. Now, while keeping the lid open, put the earbuds back in the charging case and press and hold the reset/setup button for about 15 seconds. The reset button is located on the rear side of the AirPods charging case.
  5. Once the status light on the case flashes amber and turns white, bring the AirPods closer to your iPhone or iPad. You should see a pop-up on the screen: follow the instructions to reconnect with the earphones and check whether the pausing problem exists.

If resetting your AirPods doesn't seem to help either, you can contact Apple support or take them to the nearest Genius bar to get them fixed by a professional.