Never forget: How to disconnect from Bluetooth in iOS 9

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You can save yourself from headaches with this subtle new iOS 9 feature.
You can save yourself from headaches with this subtle new iOS 9 feature.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Finally! Apple has added a small yet incredibly useful feature to the way iOS 9 handles Bluetooth devices.

In the past, you’d have to drop into the Bluetooth settings, tap on an offending Bluetooth device, and tell your iPhone or iPad to Forget the device, just to re-pair it or use the built in speakers. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent doing that, especially when I get a call while connected to a speakerphone-capable audio device; I have a lot of Bluetooth speakers.

Now however, Apple’s added a little extra so you can disconnect from a Bluetooth device instead of Forget it entirely, making it much easier to, say, stop using a specific speaker and return to your iPhone’s built-in speaker.

Here’s how.

Launch your Settings app on your iPhone (or iPad) running the beta of iOS 9. Tap into the Bluetooth screen and then tap the little i icon to the right of a Bluetooth device you’d like to disconnect from. Make sure you’re actually already connected to the speaker in question, or you’ll just see the typical “Forget this Device” option.

If you’re connected to a Bluetooth speaker, when you hit the info icon, you’ll see a second button: “Disconnect.” Tap that to just stop sending audio to the speaker.

Now you can hit the Bluetooth button to go back to the main screen and choose a different speaker to send your audio to. It’s perfect when you want to disconnect from an external speaker and then listen through your wireless headphones as you head out the door. The old way, you’d need to forget the device to connect to a different one, which led to having to re-pair all the time. Yikes.

Excellent new feature, Apple; this should save us all some headache and worry in our first world lives.