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Troubleshooting Tips When Bluetooth Doesn’t Work On Your Computer Or Smartphone

Most modern computers, smartphones, smart gadgets and wireless devices are equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology to help connect them together. Although it is an indispensable part of such devices, it is imperfect and can fail at any time.

Reasons why Bluetooth doesn’t work when you try to pair your devices include proximity between devices, device compatibility, interference from various sources such as Wi-Fi or RF signals, low battery, or simply because it isn’t turned on.

We will show you how to solve when Bluetooth is not working on your computer and smartphone and get them back to working state.

Fix when Bluetooth is not working on Windows PC

Windows computer may experience Bluetooth connection issues due to device compatibility, operating system, or driver and / or software updates. Other reasons include incorrect settings, defective device, or disconnected Bluetooth device.

There are several ways to fix Bluetooth connection problems in Windows. In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix this on a Windows 10 computer.

Turn on Bluetooth

Make sure Bluetooth is turned on by going to Action Center and clicking the notification icon in the lower right corner of your computer screen next to the clock. Find the Bluetooth tile and click to turn it on (it is gray / dim when off).

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Turning Bluetooth on and off also resets the setting and helps resolve any connection issues as your computer has to constantly search for nearby devices.

If you are on board an aircraft and Airplane Mode is turned on, it turns off Bluetooth, so be sure to turn it off after landing by clicking the Windows 10 Airplane Mode tile in the Notification Center.

Bring the Devices located close to each other

If you are using a desktop computer, move the Bluetooth device closer to the computer and try pairing them together. When the distance is not large enough, the Bluetooth connection will be out of range, so make sure they are as close as possible to establish an active connection. If it’s a laptop, move it closer to the Bluetooth device you want to connect to.

Make sure your devices support Bluetooth

You might think that your computer or Bluetooth device supports wireless technology when it really isn’t. Not all devices use Bluetooth or have built-in technology, so check your device packaging or manual to see if it supports Bluetooth or not before trying to connect. Otherwise, you can connect using cable or Wi-Fi.

If your computer does not have Bluetooth, buy a Bluetooth adapter, plug it into one of the USB ports on your computer, and try connecting again.

Turn on Bluetooth device

It is also possible that the Bluetooth device you are trying to connect to your computer is turned off. Check and turn on the device before trying to connect again. Sometimes it can also take a while to scan and detect other devices, so if it turns off, turn it back on and try to connect.

Check for device conflicts

If you have paired your Bluetooth device with multiple computers or other devices, it can cause conflicts and affect the connection. To fix this, turn off Bluetooth on all but one other devices or computers and see if it works again.

For example, if you have a fitness tracker connected to multiple devices, it may interfere with those devices, so try pairing one at a time.

Disconnect nearby devices

If you connect multiple Bluetooth devices to your computer, it may make it difficult to connect a new one. Disconnecting other nearby devices connected to your computer via Bluetooth may help resolve the connection issue.

Make your system discoverable

Restart your computer

Check for Windows Updates

Windows 10 usually has a few updates that can cause the Bluetooth connection to fail, as it would with WiFi.

Updates come with security fixes, as well as the latest features and version of Windows 10, which can also help you connect your device.

Run Windows 10 Bluetooth Troubleshooter

It is a built-in tool that scans your computer for any Bluetooth related problems and solves them.

Canceling and re-pairing a Bluetooth device

Check Bluetooth service status

As a Windows 10 service, Bluetooth should be able to turn on like all other services, but you can always check its service status and click on it to start it if stopped.

Check event log

After Windows 10 June 2019 patch to protect against Bluetooth security vulnerability, some devices have had connectivity issues, but you can check if yours is among them by going to the event log.


Event ID: 22
Event Source: BTHUSB or BTHMINI
Event Message Text: Your Bluetooth device tried to establish a debug connection. The Windows Bluetooth stack does not allow you to debug the connection until it is in debug mode.

Update Bluetooth Drivers

Outdated Bluetooth drivers may cause this feature to not work on your computer, especially if you recently updated Windows 10.

Fix when Bluetooth is not working on Mac

If you are using a Mac, you might be able to fix Bluetooth connection problems using these methods.

Turn Bluetooth off and on

Delete Bluetooth Preference List

If Bluetooth is not working on your Mac, it could be caused by a corrupted preference list that your Mac uses to store devices and their current state – not connected, not connected, successfully paired, or not paired. This damage prevents the computer from reading data from the file or updating data in the file.

The solution is to delete or delete the preference list, but first make sure you back up your data.

Reset Bluetooth

This is another final way to get Bluetooth working on your Mac again. This makes the computer forget about every Bluetooth device you have ever used, after which you need to reconfigure each device.

Fix when bluetooth not working on Android smartphone

If you’ve tried the basics – toggling a Bluetooth connection, turning on a Bluetooth device, restarting your smartphone – and nothing works, here are a few methods to help you fix Bluetooth not working on Android.

Remove paired devices

You can delete all previously paired devices so your Android phone can start over, especially if you are browsing the old list and you no longer need these connections.

Update your phone software

Update your phone software
  • Go to Settings> Software Update and tap on it.

Use your Android phone in Safe Mode

Safe Mode disables third-party applications on your phone that can interfere with Bluetooth and cause connection problems. The steps will differ depending on the Android model or version, but in this tutorial, we’ll be using Android 9 (Pie).

Factory data reset

This is the last method as it removes all data and third party apps from your phone. Back up your device before returning it to factory defaults by going to Settings> Accounts & Backup> Smart Switch. Grant the required permissions and follow the instructions to back up your data.

Fix when Bluetooth is not working on iPhone

If you are experiencing Bluetooth hiccups on your iPhone, try the following steps to fix the problem.

Keep your iPhone software up to date

This is important for security purposes and because it comes with the latest iOS features for your device.

Disable Bluetooth and restart your iPhone

If you have the latest iOS software installed, the next step is to check if Bluetooth is enabled and disable it, then force restart your iPhone.

Disconnect and reconnect to Bluetooth device

If your iPhone is currently connected to the specific problematic Bluetooth device, disconnect it from the device and try to reconnect the devices.

Cancel and re-pair devices

To do this, forget about your Bluetooth device and try connecting it to your iPhone again.

While still pairing, you can try pairing with another iPhone to determine if the Bluetooth issue is with your iPhone or the device you are trying to pair with.

If Bluetooth still doesn’t work with another iPhone, it’s probably a different device, but if so, then the problem is with your iPhone.

Reset network settings

If the Bluetooth problem persists, try resetting your network settings. This will delete all Bluetooth information from your iPhone along with other network settings such as Wi-Fi networks.

Restore your iPhone

This is the last way to try if Bluetooth isn’t working on your iPhone. This includes resetting your phone to factory defaults, which ideally wipes out all of your settings and any content on the phone, so it goes back to the original state it was before you unpacked it.

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