What to Do When Your Bluetooth Will Not Connect

Bluetooth is not a new technology. From the beginning we loved the idea of not having to deal with all the wires when we wanted to connect devices. However, Bluetooth is not perfect and does have its issues and limitations. So, what do you do when it doesn’t connect?

Why is my Bluetooth not working?

Bluetooth connects two devices wirelessly so data can flow between the devices. To connect devices by Bluetooth, you must first pair them to each other.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-connection

If you cannot pair them, there is most likely a software problem. There are quite a few things you can try to get the connection to work again.

Before going forward, make sure both your smartphone and the other device are powered on with the Bluetooth enabled. If they are both ready to pair, but it still doesn’t work, move on through this list to see if one of these options will fix your connectivity issue.

Toggle the Bluetooth connection

The easiest thing to try first is to toggle the Bluetooth connection on and off. Wait at least ten seconds to turn it back on.

Restart phone and other device

One of the most useful things to do whenever a device is not working is to restart it. Restarting fixes simple errors on your phone.

After you restart, give the phone time to locate the nearby devices and attempt the connection again. You may need to restart the other device as well.

Disable NFC and Wi-Fi

The frequencies of the other wireless data transfer methods, NFC and Wi-Fi, can affect Bluetooth. This is not usually the problem, but it is so easy to do, it’s worth a try.

1. Go into Settings.

2. Click on Connections.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-connections-settings

3. Turn off the NFC and the Wi-Fi and attempt to connect again.

Remove paired devices

Give your phone’s Bluetooth a fresh start by removing all devices you have previously paired with the phone.

1. Tap the Connections option in Settings.

2. Tap on Bluetooth.

3. When your Bluetooth is on, you see a list of devices paired to that device.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-remove-paired-devices

4. Tap on the gear icon next to a paired device.

5. Select Unpair.

6. Repeat for all the devices on the list.

Reset connections

There’s not much that can go wrong with your network settings, but you can try to reset the connections to their factory settings just in case something happened. Doing this makes your phone forget any connections and their passwords.

1. Tap General management in Settings.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-general-management-settings

2. Click the Reset button.

3. Select Reset network settings.

4. Click the Reset button.

Clear Bluetooth cache

If your Bluetooth has worked before, the Bluetooth cache may have become corrupted. Clearing the temporary files in the cache can remove corrupted files and allow the Bluetooth to connect again. This process will not affect any of the other data on your phone.

1. Select the Application manager in Settings.

2. Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner.

3. Select Show system apps.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-system-apps

4. Tap Bluetooth.

5. Click Storage.

6. Tap Clear cache.

Wipe the Cache partition

The internal storage of your phone has a particular partition for temporary files. Sometimes the cache files can pile up and break your Bluetooth. Like clearing the Bluetooth cache, wiping the cache partition will not affect any of your other data.

1. Turn device off.

2. Press and hold three buttons together: Power, Home (or Bixby on a Samsung), and Volume down until the logo screen appears.

3. Use the volume keys to navigate to “Wipe cache partition” in the recovery menu.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-wipe-cache-partition

4. Use the Power button to select.

5. Choose “yes” and press the Power button again.

6. After the phone restarts, try the Bluetooth connection again.

Safe mode

Other apps you install can affect Bluetooth. If you start your phone in safe mode, you can more easily identify if one of those apps is causing the problem. Safe mode disables all third-party apps and forces the phone to function on its most simple level. To get into safe mode, check your phone’s manual.

bluetooth-troubleshooting-safe-mode

Once you are in safe mode, try to connect the Bluetooth. If it works, then one of your installed apps is interfering with the Bluetooth.

To find the app that is causing the problem, restart your phone, remove apps one at a time and then see if the Bluetooth connects.

Factory reset

If you have tried everything, and your Bluetooth is still not connecting, you may need to reset your phone to its original factory settings.

Complete a backup of your phone’s data before resorting to this option.

1. Tap General Management in Settings.

2. Select Reset.

3. Tap Factory Data Reset.

Your phone will delete all files and reset. After, test the Bluetooth one more time.

If this last-ditch effort doesn’t fix the problem, it is probably a problem with the physical connections inside your phone. You’ll need to contact the manufacturer. If your phone is still under warranty, you might get a replacement phone.

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