How can I prevent devices from connecting automatically when enabling bluetooth?

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Android Central Question

Hello all,

I am using a Motorolla G-Power running Android 11.

I have multiple bluetooth devices including a bluetooth speaker, a bluetooth headset, and my car. I have all three paired to my phone. When I initially turn Bluetooth on, if any of those three devices is on and in range it will automatically grab the bluetooth connection and start routing my audio through that device. This is extremely annoying and also a security and privacy concern.

I would like to disable this automatic connection feature, so that when I enable bluetooth I then need to tap on a device in order for the phone to connect.
For instance, sometimes I may enable bluetooth on my phone while my bluetooth speaker is on and in range, but I want to connect to my headset. The phone will automatically connect to the speaker, and I then need to manually disconnect from the speaker and connect to my headset.

I did review this thread whose OP had a similar issue, however the solution suggested in this thread will not work for me, as restricting bluetooth connections to 1 device will not stop whatever device is online and in range from grabbing the connection when bluetooth is enabled:

I would like to avoid unpairing and re-pairing devices every single time I want to use them.

Thank you everyone for your help.

B. Diddy

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Mar 9, 2012
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May 8, 2021
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This has always bugged me that it is assumed that the user only has one BT source device and one BT playback device. My bedroom alarm clock / BT speaker does not have anyway of turning off BT separately from unplugging it which also turns of the clock so I have to pair / unpair my phone for each session of use. I have five other playback devices and have learnt to be careful powering then on and off when switching from one to another. I don't know how families manage to share playback devices without grabbing control unintentionally. At work I need to make sure only the work van I am using that day is paired otherwise other vans in the yard can grab the connection and I sometimes have to deauthurise other driver's phones from the van I am on.

By comparison there is a setting for wi-fi connections to allow or deny automatic reconnection. On the face of it the same should work and be made available for BT connections. Why is it not?

J Dubbs

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Jun 4, 2016
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Welcome to Android Central! I don't think there's a setting for that. Are the Bluetooth headset and speakers always on? One workaround would be keep those devices powered off until you actually want to use them.

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That's what I do... it can be a pain but I don't think there's any other options?

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