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9 ways to disconnect your iPhone from a Mac

You don't need to mix iPhones and Macs.
By
December 12, 2023

Apple devices are deeply interconnected. This makes for a seamless flow between devices, but we know it’s not always ideal. Some of us prefer to keep our computers and phones separate. Let’s talk about how to disconnect iPhone from Mac.

QUICK ANSWER

You can disconnect your iPhone from a Mac, but you must change settings in multiple areas. These include Bluetooth, hotspot, AirDrop, Handoff, Continuity Camera,  Messages, iCloud, and more.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

End a Bluetooth connection on iPhone and Mac

If you connected your Mac and iPhone over Bluetooth, disconnecting them is a pretty simple process.

How to disconnect Bluetooth from an iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into Bluetooth.
  3. Find the connected Bluetooth device and tap the i icon next to it.
  4. Tap on Disconnect.
  5. If you want to completely unlink the iPhone from the Mac, select Forget This Device.

How to disconnect Bluetooth from a Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Go into System Settings.
  3. Select Bluetooth.
  4. Hover the pointer over the Bluetooth device and hit Disconnect.
  5. If you want to completely unlink the iPhone from the Mac, press Control while you click on the Bluetooth device and hit Forget.
  6. Hit Remove when asked to confirm.

How to turn off the iPhone hotspot

You might be using your iPhone as a hotspot for your Mac. You could just turn off the hotspot from the iPhone, but maybe you want to keep it on to provide internet to other devices.

How to disconnect Mac from a Wi-Fi connection:

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Go into System Settings.
  3. Select Wi-Fi.
  4. Find the network, in this case, your iPhone, and click on Details next to it.
  5. Pick Forget This Network.
  6. Confirm by hitting Remove.

Turning off AirDrop

AirDrop makes it easy to transfer files between Apple devices. You can turn it off on both iPhones and Mac computers.

How to turn off AirDrop on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Select AirDrop.
  4. Tap on Receiving Off.

How to turn off AirDrop on Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Go into System Settings.
  3. Select General.
  4. Go into Airdrop & Handoff.
  5. Click on the Airdrop drop-down menu.
  6. Select No One.

How to turn off Apple Handoff

Apple’s Handoff feature makes it easy to work with different devices. You can start a document on your Mac, and then continue working on your iPad or iPhone. If you want to separate your workflows, you can turn off the feature.

How to turn off Handoff on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Tap on Airplay & Handoff.
  4. Toggle off Handoff.

How to turn off Handoff on Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Go into System Settings.
  3. Select General.
  4. Pick AirDrop & Handoff.
  5. Turn off Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
  6. Click Don’t Allow Handoff to confirm.

Disable Continuity Camera

Continuity Camera makes it possible to use your iPhone as a Mac webcam. While it offers much better quality, it’s not always convenient to be setting up your iPhone for calls. Turn off Continuity Camera if you feel your Mac’s integrated webcam is enough.

How to turn off Continuity Camera on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Tap on Airplay & Handoff.
  4. Toffle off Continuity Camera.

Turn off Messages sync on Mac

I dislike getting my iPhone messages on my computer. These are very distracting, especially when I am trying to focus on work. You can turn off Messages sync between your iPhone and Mac if you feel the same.

How to turn off Messages sync on your Mac:

  1. Launch the Messages app.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Click on the iMessage tab.
  5. Uncheck Enable Messages in iCloud.
  6. Hit Disable This Device.

Stop receiving calls on your Mac

You can also get iPhone calls on your Mac. Again, this can be very distracting. Turn this feature off.

How to turn off iPhone calls on a Mac:

  1. Launch the Facetime app.
  2. Click on Facetime.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Uncheck Calls from iPhone.

Get rid of iCloud sync

iCloud will sync a bunch of apps between your iPhone and Mac if you allow it.

How to turn off iCloud sync on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID, which is labeled as your name.
  3. Go into the iCloud option.
  4. Under Apps Using iCloud, select Show All.
  5. Scroll down, and you will see a list of iCloud apps. Toggle them all off.

How to turn off iCloud sync on Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Go into System Settings.
  3. Click on your Apple ID, which is labeled as your name.
  4. Go into the iCloud option.
  5. Scroll down, and you will see a list of iCloud apps. Toggle them all off.
  6. Some apps ask if you want to download the data. Do as you prefer.

How to sign out of your Apple ID

This is a bit of an extreme solution. Removing a device from your Apple ID account will also remove access to many features and services. It’s definitely an easy way to disconnect your iPhone from a Mac, though.

How to sign devices out of Apple ID using an iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID, which is labeled as your name.
  3. Find your Mac or any other device you want to remove from your Apple ID. Tap on it.
  4. Select Remove from Account.
  5. If you want to remove your iPhone from your Apple ID account, return to the Apple ID settings and select Sign Out.

FAQs

Apple assumes most of its sync features will be convenient for users, so it will have most sync features on by default.

You can use two different Apple ID accounts for each product, but this will create some inconveniences. Purchases will be separate, as will cloud storage and any other subscriptions to Apple services or third-party apps.