Bluetooth Not Pairing? Here Are 20 Things to Try

Ever faced Bluetooth pairing frustration despite its wireless convenience? You're not alone. This article explores common Bluetooth pairing issues and offers potential solutions. With the right steps, it's possible to address Bluetooth connectivity challenges and enjoy a smoother wireless experience.

Why Bluetooth Is Not Pairing?

Bluetooth relies on a harmonious blend of both hardware and software to establish successful connections. When devices aren't aligned in terms of Bluetooth communication standards, pairing may be unsuccessful.

Broadly speaking, Bluetooth technology maintains backward compatibility. In theory, devices equipped with Bluetooth 5 or higher should be compatible with older Bluetooth versions, such as Bluetooth 2.1 from 2007.

Furthermore, devices bring along their unique Bluetooth profiles. These profiles can be likened to distinct dialects, each tailored to serve a particular purpose. For instance, don't expect to link your computer mouse with your car, as your vehicle likely doesn't support the Human Interface Device Profile. However, if you're pairing your smartphone with a wireless headset, both should adhere to the Hands-Free Profile, facilitating a successful connection.

Typically, Bluetooth devices establish connections with one device at a time. Nevertheless, there are exceptions, such as headphones featuring multipoint pairing functionality. This advanced feature permits a single pair of headphones to simultaneously connect to two different devices.

In the following sections, we'll explore the steps you can take to promote seamless communication between your Bluetooth devices, even addressing issues related to Bluetooth not pairing. Additionally, if you happen to own a multipoint Bluetooth device, we'll delve into troubleshooting tips specifically designed to tackle challenges associated with Bluetooth multipoint pairing.

How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing?

Activate Bluetooth on Both Devices

To conserve battery life, many people disable Bluetooth when it's not in use. For a successful connection, activate Bluetooth on both of your devices, including their settings.

On your Android device, you can spot the small Bluetooth symbol located in the upper-right corner of your screen. If you're using iOS or iPadOS, enabling or disabling Bluetooth requires changing the settings. Windows users can access Bluetooth through Settings > Devices > Bluetooth, or you might find a handy shortcut on your taskbar. Meanwhile, Mac users will notice a Bluetooth status icon conveniently placed on the menu bar.

bluetooth not pairing

Double-Check the Power

While it might sound obvious, overlooking this step can lead to unnecessary headaches. Sometimes, power-saving modes or sleep settings can deactivate a device that should be active. Before attempting to pair your devices, make sure both of them are powered on and ready to connect.

Disable Airplane and Power-Saving Modes

To prevent interference with Bluetooth functionality, make sure that Airplane mode and power-saving modes are turned off.

Confirm Bluetooth Compatibility

Even if both of your devices have Bluetooth capabilities, they may not necessarily support the same version of Bluetooth. While Bluetooth is designed to be backward compatible, newer protocols like Bluetooth Smart may not sync up with older devices. Consult your device manuals or information screens to ensure compatibility.

Power Bluetooth off and back on

If you encounter pairing issues, try turning off Bluetooth on both devices and then turning it back on. This simple reset can resolve many connectivity problems.

Perform a Reboot

Rebooting your devices can be a quick fix for many Bluetooth problems. Turn both devices off and then on again to give them a fresh start.

Keep Battery Level

Bluetooth relies on sufficient battery power. Ensure that both devices have at least a 50% charge to establish a strong connection.

Delete and Re-Discover Devices

If the device discovery process isn't working correctly, try deleting the devices you're attempting to pair from your device's list. Then, restart both devices and initiate the pairing process again.

Keep Software Updated

Ensure that both of your devices have up-to-date operating systems. Software updates often include bug fixes that can resolve Bluetooth issues.

Check for Driver and Firmware Updates

Don't forget to check for driver and firmware updates on your devices. These updates can address obscure problems and compatibility issues. You can obtain driver and firmware updates through various methods, including manual downloads from the manufacturer's website, as well as using dedicated driver updater software.

Here's how to update them manually on various devices:

Windows PC:

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Choose "Device Manager."
  3. Expand the relevant device category.
  4. Right-click the device and select "Update driver."
  5. Follow on-screen instructions for the latest driver installation.

bluetooth not pairing issue


  1. Click the Apple menu and select "System Preferences."
  2. Choose "Software Update" to check for macOS updates, which may include driver updates.

bluetooth not pairing

  1. For specific device drivers, visit the manufacturer's website.

Clear Stored Settings

If you continue to experience issues, consider deleting saved settings on your devices. Sometimes, corrupted files can cause problems, and starting fresh may resolve the issue.

Limit Data Shared Between Devices

On Android and Windows devices, you can select which types of data are shared between devices during Bluetooth pairing. Deselect unnecessary data types to simplify the pairing process.

Identify Your Device's Pairing Process

Different devices may have different pairing processes. Consult your device's user guide or documentation to understand the specific steps required.

Turn On Discoverable Mode

When connecting to certain devices like car infotainment systems, ensure your device is in "discoverable" mode. This allows the device to locate and connect to your phone. You may need to input a numeric code for confirmation.

Ensure Devices Are Close

Bluetooth connections are most reliable when devices are within a short distance from each other, typically a few feet. To help you gauge this distance more precisely, you can use the Bluetooth Range Estimator available on the official Bluetooth website. It calculates the expected range between two Bluetooth devices, enhancing your understanding of their optimal proximity for a stable connection.

Remove Old Bluetooth Connections

If your device struggles to connect, it might be trying to pair with a previously connected device. Unpair it from the old device to avoid interference.

Move Away from the Wi-Fi Router and Smart Home Devices

Both wireless routers and smart home devices can operate on frequencies that interfere with Bluetooth connections. To ensure a smooth pairing process, it's advisable to create distance between your Bluetooth devices and these potential sources of interference.

Move Away from USB 3.0 or USB-C Ports

USB ports, especially USB 3.0 and USB-C, can generate interference. Pair your Bluetooth devices away from these ports.

Clear the Bluetooth Cache

In case apps interfere with Bluetooth, you can clear the Bluetooth cache in your device's settings. This may help resolve connection issues.

Visit Manufacturer Websites

If you're facing persistent Bluetooth issues, visit the official websites of both device manufacturers. They often provide solutions or updates for known problems.


In conclusion, addressing Bluetooth pairing challenges can sometimes be complex. However, armed with these 20 practical tips, you can troubleshoot and overcome most problems. By consistently following these steps and maintaining your devices, you ensure a seamless, hassle-free Bluetooth connection between your gadgets. Embrace wireless technology without allowing minor hiccups to disrupt your experience.

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Randy Nashleans
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