How To Fix An iPhone/ iPad That Won’t Connect To Bluetooth

If your iPhone won’t connect to Bluetooth devices, don’t worry, because there are plenty of effective solutions you can try to fix the problem. Bluetooth issues are common, and the question is, what is causing them? Some of the reasons why an iPhone can’t pair with Bluetooth speakers, Apple Watch, or other devices is a software glitch or the issue with a Bluetooth device. We are going to list a variety of solutions that will help you set things in motion in no time.

See also: How To Fix iPhone/iPad won’t download or update apps 

Before you start fixing the problem:

  • Make sure the Bluetooth is enabled. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Charge your iPhone/iPad and a device you are trying to pair with.
  • Your iPhone and a Bluetooth device should be close to each other.
  • Don’t stand too close to USB ports and a Wi-Fi router because the router and USB ports can cause Bluetooth interference.
  • Was your Bluetooth device recently paired with some other gadget? If yes, turn off that device, or disable Bluetooth on it. Many Bluetooth devices will first try to pair with a device they were recently connected to.

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Things to try if iPhone/iPad won’t connect or pair to Bluetooth devices

Toggle Bluetooth

We are going to start with the simplest thing that often solves the issue. All you need to do is turn off the Bluetooth, wait for a couple of seconds, and then enable it again.

Open the control center by swiping up from the bottom of any screen, tap on the Bluetooth icon and turn the Bluetooth off. Tap on the icon again to turn it on.

Or, go to Settings > Bluetooth, turn it off, wait and turn it back on.

Hopefully, a Bluetooth connection between devices will be established after this.



Toggle Wi-Fi and Airplane mode

Many times, you can fix the issue just by toggling the Wi-Fi and Airplane mode. Give it a try. Open the control center on your iPhone by swiping up from the bottom of any screen.

First, tap on the Wi-Fi icon and turn it off. Tap on it again to turn it back on. If this doesn’t work, turn off Wi-Fi and try pairing again.

If toggling and turning off Wi-Fi didn’t fix the problem, open the control center and tap on the Airplane icon. Leave the Airplane mode ON for a minute and turn it back off by tapping on the icon again.

airplane mode


Restart your iPhone/iPad and your Bluetooth accessory

The next step is to restart your iPhone.

  • Press and hold the sleep/wake button
  • When “Slide to power off” appears, drag the slider
  • Once your iPhone is off press and hold the sleep/wake button until you see the Apple logo.

Restart your Bluetooth accessory as well.

After doing this, try to pair the Bluetooth device and your iPhone.


Hard reset

You’ve tried the above-mentioned solutions and Bluetooth not working? Go for a hard reset.

  • Press and hold the sleep/wake button and the Home button at the same time
  • Keep holding the buttons for at least 20 seconds
  • You will see the Apple logo
  • Go to Settings. Tap Bluetooth. Turn it off and then turn it on again.


Forget a device

We said at the beginning that Bluetooth problems are common. No matter which iPhone or iPad you own, you may experience Bluetooth connection issues. One of the things that may solve the problem when Bluetooth not connecting is to forget a device and pair again. It is a lot simpler than it may sound. Here is what you need to do:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Bluetooth.
  • You will see the list of Bluetooth devices.
  • Find the one you can’t connect with and tap on the info button (i).
  • Tap Forget this device.
  • Now pair Bluetooth device and your iPhone.


Reset network settings

When experiencing Bluetooth connection problems, and nothing seems to work, then reset network settings. What you need to keep in mind is that you will have to connect to reconnect to Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks again.

  • Open the iPhone Settings app
  • Tap General
  • Next, tap Reset
  • Select the option Reset network settings
  • Enter your passcode
  • Tap Reset network settings.

reset network settings


Update the software

In most cases, iPhone and iPad Bluetooth issues can be fixed with the software update. We can take iPhone SE as an example. Many of its owners experienced phone call audio quality issues whenever they made calls over Bluetooth devices. This issue can be solved with iOS 9.3.2 update which addresses the problem “Fixes an issue where some Bluetooth accessories could experience audio quality issues when paired to the iPhone SE”.

  • Connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network and a power source (or make sure your iPhone has at least 50% battery)
  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update
  • Tap Install Now

Update the Software steps


Update the software using iTunes

You can update your iPhone/iPad to the latest version of iOS using iTunes. Before you connect your iPhone to your computer, install the latest version of iTunes to avoid errors and other problems.

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer
  • Launch iTunes
  • Select your iPhone in iTunes
  • Click “Check for Update”
  • Click Download and Update

Update iOS iTunes


Upgrade the firmware on your Bluetooth device

We can’t provide you the exact guide on how to upgrade the firmware on your Bluetooth device. It depends on the gadget. See the manual if you still have it, or visit the manufacturer’s website and look for the Firmware or Download section. Find your device and follow the given instructions.


Reset all settings/Erase all content and settings

Reset all settings – by doing this, all iPad or iPhone settings you have adjusted to your needs and desires will be restored to factory defaults. This will not delete any of your data.

  • Go to Settings
  • Next, tap General
  • Tap Reset
  • Select the option Reset all settings
  • Enter your passcode and tap Reset all settings

resel all settings

Erase all content and settings – this option gives your device a fresh start, and that can be exactly what you need. Unlike the previous solution, this will wipe your iPhone/iPad, not just the settings but your apps and data. Backup your files.

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap General
  • Tap Reset
  • Select the option Erase all content and settings
  • Enter your passcode
  • Tap Erase iPhone/Erase iPad
  • Once the erasing of your iPhone is completed, set it up as a new device.

erase iPhone steps


Restore your iPhone to factory settings using iTunes

Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed.

  • Launch iTunes software
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer
  • Select your device once it appears in iTunes
  • In the summary panel, select the “Restore iPhone” or “Restore iPad” option
  • Click “Restore” to confirm your action
  • iTunes will wipe your iPhone/iPad and will install the latest iOS
  • Your device will restart
  • Set it up as new.

Restore iPhone using iTunes


How to connect to Bluetooth

  • Navigate to  settings
  • Select Bluetooth
  • Toggle on

What to do if iPad or iPhone won’t connect to Bluetooth after iOS update?

We have talked about iOS many times and explained why it is so important to upgrade your device to the latest version. A new version brings bug fixes and improves the security and the performance of your iPhone or iPad. But, sometimes, a new version can cause some issues. Users often report the problems that occurred right after the iOS update, and Bluetooth connection issues are among them.

Let your device settle after the update, for 24-48 hours, and during that time, you can try the solutions listed in this article. Toggle Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the Airplane mode restart your iPhone or go for a hard reset, forget the network and reset network settings. You can also reset all settings or erase your content and settings.

If you updated iOS right after its release, you still have time to downgrade. If not, you will have to wait for the next version.

You can always contact Apple or visit one of their stores.


These problems/solutions are found and effective on iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.