It’s incredibly frustrating when your iPhone won’t connect to a Bluetooth device. Whether it’s a set of wireless headphones, a smart speaker, or your car stereo, we expect our Bluetooth accessories to work seamlessly, but that isn’t always what happens.
There is nothing new about iPhone Bluetooth connection problem as it has been experienced on almost all iPhone models. The issue has affected many iPhone models, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone SE.
In this article, we’ll walk you through all the best ways to fix Bluetooth problems on your iPhone. Most of the time, these iPhone Bluetooth problems are the result of a software issue, which means you can usually fix them yourself for free.
How to Fix iPhone Bluetooth connection problems
We’ve discussed a few of the most common fixes below, which should hopefully solve Bluetooth connection problem on your iPhone.
1. Toggle Bluetooth on Your iPhone
The first solution you should try when you face Bluetooth connection issues on your iPhone is to give Bluetooth a fresh restart. It has always been my go-to trick whenever I encounter Bluetooth problems on my iPhone. More often than not, it gets the job done. That’s why I have put it right at the top. To do so, follow the steps below:
- Open Settings app on your iPhone.
- Go into Bluetooth.
- Turn off the bluetooth switch.
Please note: that turning Bluetooth off from Control center doesn’t work so you have to go to Settings to do that.
Now, go back to Settings > Bluetooth and then turn on the switch. Now, try using Bluetooth as usual. If you are able to get the better of the problem, rejoice. But if the success is yet to smile, move on to the next solution.
2. Turn Off/On Bluetooth accessory
Still unable to fix Bluetooth connectivity issues on your iPhone? Don’t worry, the problem could be with your Bluetooth accessory. So, try resetting the Bluetooth device. Most Bluetooth devices come with a power switch to let you enable/disable them with ease. So, look for the power switch and then press it to turn off the Bluetooth accessory. After that, press the power button again to turn it on.
3. Make Sure Your Bluetooth Device is Charged
Ensure that your Bluetooth accessory is fully charged or connected to a power source. If the accessory comes with a rechargeable battery, check if the battery needs to be replaced.
If you are able to pair your accessory with some devices but not your iPhone, unpair the accessory from your other devices. After that, try to pair it with your device again. Besides, also contact the accessory manufacturer to make sure that your accessory supports iOS.
4. Make sure your Bluetooth device isn’t connected to another device
The biggest pain in the neck regarding Bluetooth is that if a device is already paired with another device, you have to unpair it before using it with something else.
The biggest Bluetooth connection problem is headphones. If you’re listening with headphones to something on your iPad and decide to listen to something on your iPhone, you have to unpair the headphones from your iPad first. Until you do, your iPhone won’t detect the headphones. Not the most seamless of experiences.
So if your iPhone is not finding the Bluetooth device, check your other gadgets to see if one of them is paired with it instead. If so, unpair it, and you should be good to go (hopefully.) You can unpair the devices by tapping the Forget this Device setting.
5. Make sure your Bluetooth device is within range
The maximum range for Bluetooth is 30 feet (10 meters.) That means you can’t connect your headphones to your iPhone if you are too far away. You also can’t allow anything like walls and other obstacles to get in the way of a Bluetooth connection.
So make sure the devices are very close to one another, and ensure there are no big thick obstacles getting in the way.
6. Enable Bluetooth for Third-Party Apps
If you can pair with a Bluetooth accessory, but you still can’t use it with any apps on your iPhone 14 Pro, you might need to change your Bluetooth Privacy settings. Follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Privacy & Security.
- Tap Bluetooth.
- Tap the toggle to enable Bluetooth for any apps you’re trying to use your accessory with.
Note: Developers can use Bluetooth access to gather information about you, so you should only enable it for apps you trust.
7. Forget Your Bluetooth Accessory and Pair Again
Even if your iPhone won’t connect with a Bluetooth accessory right now, it still remembers information about the accessory from the last time it connected. Sometimes, you need to delete this data to fix your iPhone Bluetooth problems.
You can do that by telling your iPhone to Forget a device. Here’s how:
- Start the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap Bluetooth.
- Tap the i icon next to a Bluetooth accessory to reveal more data about it.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Forget This Device.
- Confirm you want to Forget Device.
After telling your iPhone to forget a Bluetooth accessory, follow the instructions above to pair them again, like you did the first time you used it.
8. Install the Latest iOS Update
It’s possible the Bluetooth isn’t working on your iPhone due to a bug in iOS. When this is the case, all you need to do is install the latest iOS update to fix it—provided Apple has released a patch for that bug already.
- Start the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Go into General.
- Tap Software Update to check for new updates.
- If an update is available, tap Download and install.
9. Update Your Bluetooth Accessory
To improve performance and also fix common issues, accessory makers often release software updates. So, if you haven’t updated your Bluetooth device for a while, there is a high chance that the problem could be due to outdated software. Most Bluetooth devices come with a companion app that lets you customize the settings.
Updating AirPods are pretty straightforward. The earphones are automatically updated to the latest firmware versions when they are connected via Bluetooth to your iPhone and iPad.
10. Reset Network Settings
Don’t give up just yet. Common networking issues with your iPhone could also likely be the reason why you’re unable to connect one of your Bluetooth devices. However, this can be easily resolved by resetting your network settings. Be mindful that you’ll lose your saved Bluetooth connections, Wi-Fi networks and passwords once you reset these settings. You can do this by following the steps below:
- Go to Settings.
- Select General.
- Choose Transfer or reset iPhone.
- Tap Reset.
- Select Reset Network Settings and type in your passcode. Then your iPhone will turn off and restart. After that, try to pair a Bluetooth device once more.
11. Make sure your bluetooth accessory isn’t broken
The next troubleshooting step when you find your iPhone bluetooth not working is an obvious one. It’s entirely possible that there’s nothing wrong with the iPhone and that the bluetooth accessory is the problem. You can check this out quickly just by pairing your bluetooth accessory to another device. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an iPhone. A laptop, TV, or any other device that supports bluetooth will do.
If your bluetooth accessory is not working when paired to a different device, you’ve found the source of the problem. If they’re working fine with a different device, something else is to blame. It’s time to try out the other fix explained below.
We also recommend pairing a different bluetooth device into your iPhone before moving forward. Although it’s rare, there’s still a chance that your original accessory isn’t compatible with your iPhone, even if it work with other devices.
12. Get a Hardware Repair
If you bought your iPhone recently, and it’s still under warranty, or you purchased AppleCare with your iPhone, you should make a Genius Bar appointment. An Apple technician will look at your iPhone Bluetooth problem and fix it for free. This could be indicative of a broader hardware issue with your device, so it’s worth a shot.
Successfully fixed iPhone Bluetooth connection problem
While it’s never fun to troubleshoot, hopefully these solutions will help get your iPhone Bluetooth connected again. Have you faced Bluetooth connectivity problems on your iPhone? Which of the troubleshooting methods we discussed here worked for you? If not, did you contact Apple support for help with hardware-related problems? Do share your valuable experience in the comments section down below.