Why Do My AirPods Keep Pausing?

If you’ve ever had trouble with your airpods pausing you understand well how frustrating this can be. Many things can cause this to happen such as being too far away from your iphone. 

However, if you want to make sure your AirPods are working properly, you don’t necessarily need to move them closer to your iPhone (see also ‘Why Is One Of My Airpods Louder Than The Other?‘).

Why Do My Airpods Keep Pausing?

You can simply try connecting them again. Just hold down the side button until you see “Connected.” If they still won’t connect, you may  need to take them apart and clean them.

Let’s look in more detail at some other reasons why your ipods may be pausing and possible fixes. 

Automatic Ear Detection (AED)

AirPods have built-in sensors that allow them to detect whether or not they’re in your ears.

Once they do, they start playing whatever audio is stored on your device. But what happens if you accidentally pull them out while listening to music?

AirPods (see also ‘How To Stop AirPods From Reading Messages‘) will pause your music when they realize they’re no longer in your ears. This feature is called “automatic ear detection.” And according to Apple, it works well 99% of the time.

But if your AirPods aren’t detecting that they’re in your ears correctly,it may cause erratic pausing, here’s how to fix it.

  1. Open up the iPhone XR app.
  2. Tap the gear icon in the upper left corner.
  3. Select “Bluetooth & Wi-Fi”.
  4. Scroll down to “Settings” and tap it.
  5. Now scroll down to “AirPods,” then tap it.
  6. Finally, select “Ear Detection.”
  7. Turn off “Automatic Ear Detection.”
  8. Restart your AirPods by holding down the side button for a few seconds (see also ‘What Does The Button On The Back Of AirPods Do?‘).
  9. Reopen the Settings app and turn on “Automatic Ear Detection” again.
  10. Restart your Airpods once more.
  11. Your AirPods should now work as expected.

Double Tapping 

Apple introduced the double tapping feature in iOS 11.2.1, where it lets you control how your AirPods respond to double taps.

With this update, you can change the way the headphones react to being tapped twice. For example, you could turn off the “play/pause” button altogether, or even use it to skip tracks.

It is possible that you are accidentally double tapping and pausing your Ipods so check this before embarking on anything more complex to fix the problem. 

Bluetooth Connection Issues

Apple has acknowledged a bug affecting some people with Apple Watch Series 4 devices where the wireless headphones won’t connect to the watch.

Users are reporting that the issue seems to occur randomly, including getting stuck on pause without rhyme or reason.

Some say it happens immediately upon connecting the AirPods to the device while others report having had no problems whatsoever for months and then suddenly happening. 

The problem appears to affect both iPhone and iPad users, though Apple says there are no reports of cases where the AirPods stopped working entirely.

The company suggests that users restart their phones and/or iPads, put the AirPods into the charging case for around 20-25 seconds, and reconnect them. As always, we recommend backing up your data before doing anything else.

If this doesn’t work, the problem might just be with your phone. Try resetting everything by holding down the side button and home button simultaneously for 10 seconds.

Check Other Connections 

If you use your AirPods to listen to music on your MacBook, or watch movies on your iPad, they may be attempting to connect with both devices at the same time.

They are meant to seamlessly transition between your device and your earbuds, but what often happens is that the AirPods will pause seemingly at random, especially if you’re doing something else like typing on your keyboard or browsing Facebook on your computer.

What causes this issue? It can happen because Apple hasn’t fully implemented Bluetooth 5 into macOS Sierra, so the software doesn’t know how to handle multiple connections.

You might try unplugging your AirPods and reconnecting them again, or resetting your network settings.

You can also check other devices that connect to your AirPods, such as your TV, speakers, or car stereo, to see if they’re causing the problem.


As mentioned earlier, some people are experiencing issues with Apple AirPods because they aren’t near enough to the source.

In a support document shared by 9to5Mac, Apple explains that.

“the distance and orientation of the devices relative to each other affects how well they communicate.”


The issue seems to occur when a wall or another obstacle is blocking the connection between the iPhone and the AirPods.

To mitigate the problem, Apple recommends that you move closer to your phone. You’ll also want to ensure that the AirPods are facing the same direction as the iPhone.


If you do experience problems with your AirPods, Apple also suggests taking a look at the battery level indicator on the bottom of the earbuds. If you see a low battery warning, you’ll want to charge the buds up immediately.

Physical Damage 

While some people report that the problem occurs sporadically, others have had issues with it happening frequently enough to make it seem like there might be a hardware defect.

The most common cause of the issue seems to be exposure to extreme temperatures, such as being left in a hot car.

Other causes include dropping the device or getting it wet (see also ‘How To Get Water Out Of AirPods‘). But what about physical damage? Could that actually be making the AirPods pause?

In a post on Reddit, a user shared his story about how he dropped his AirPods into a bowl of ice cream. He says that after doing so, the headphones began to malfunction. One day later, he noticed that they stopped working entirely.

In another case, a user wrote that his AirPods began to randomly stop working after he accidentally stepped on them.

If you’re having problems with your AirPods, here’s what you should look out for:

  • Your AirPods might stop working after being exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • You might notice that the volume buttons don’t work, even though the sound still plays.
  • When you turn off the AirPods, they might keep playing audio after turning them back on again.

The above issues may indicate a hardware issue so you should take it to a specialist shop to get fixed. 


If your AirPods keep pausing on you (see also ‘How To Pause AirPods‘), there are several things you can do to fix it. Some of them won’t work for everyone, but hopefully, this guide has helped you find a solution.

Garrett Jones

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