'Why won't my Bluetooth device connect?': How to fix common Bluetooth connection issues

BoseIt’s easy to fix Bluetooth devices that won’t connect once you’ve diagnosed the issue.
  • If your Bluetooth devices won’t connect, it’s likely because the devices are out of range, or aren’t in pairing mode.
  • If you’re having persistent Bluetooth connection problems, try resetting your devices, or having your phone or tablet “forget” the connection.
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Bluetooth connectivity issues can range from mild annoyance – like when your earbuds won’t pair with your phone – to immensely inconvenient – like when your computer won’t pair with a printer, and you’re on a deadline.

Fortunately, Bluetooth issues are easy to fix.

Here’s what you need to know.


How to fix common Bluetooth connection issues

Let’s deal with the simplest issues first, then move on to more difficult fixes.


Make sure the devices are ready to be connected

Bluetooth devices aren’t always ready to connect. Most dedicated Bluetooth devices – speakers, headphones, and more – need to be put into pairing mode. You should check your device’s manual to see how to turn on pairing mode.

On a phone, tablet, or computer, just make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. You can do this by going into your device’s settings, opening the BLUBluetooth menu, and toggling it on. If you can’t find this menu, try searching for it using your device’s search feature.


Make sure the devices are in range

In general, Bluetooth devices need to be within at least 20 feet of each other to connect well. If you’re having issues, try bringing the devices closer together.


Make sure the devices aren’t already synced

Quite often when you can’t connect to one device via Bluetooth, it’s because your phone (or tablet) is already connected to another device. The device you’re trying to connect to might also be connected to another.

Because most Bluetooth devices can only connect to one other device at a time, you’ll have to disrupt any current connection before you can link up.


Reset the connection

If none of these approaches work, it’s time to break and then re-establish the Bluetooth connection.

Go to your phone, tablet, or computer’s Bluetooth section, and then find the troublesome device. Tap or right-click it and select “Forget this Device.”

Now place the device in pairing mode and reconnect.


Reset your devices

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If all else fails, you might need a reset.

Turn all of your devices off, and then on again. Try connecting once more.

If it still isn’t working, we’ll need some harder resets.

Look up how to factory reset your Bluetooth device. You’ll likely have to press a button for a certain amount of time. Once you have, try connecting again.

If you find that the reset device can connect to everything but your phone, tablet, or computer, it means that they will need to be reset to. This can be done through your phone, tablet, or computer’s dedicated “Reset” menu – however, be aware that this will erase all your data.

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