3 Steps to Solve Bluetooth Wireless Problems on Mac

3 Steps to Solve Bluetooth Wireless Problems on Mac

Have you encountered any of these Bluetooth connection problems on Mac? 

  • The device loses Bluetooth connection and stops working
  • The device is listed as connected but it doesn’t work
  • The device isn’t displayed in a list of connected devices

Let's find out what you can do to resolve these issues!


Before we start


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Step 1. Restart your wireless device

Just like every other system, wireless devices might require a quick restart to work properly. Surprisingly, sometimes it’s the only way to resolve your wireless connection issue. If restarting doesn’t help, try restarting your Mac’s Bluetooth system:

  • Open System Preferences and go to the Bluetooth preference pane.
  • Click Turn Bluetooth Off.
  • Wait until the button name changes to Turn Bluetooth On and click it.

Now the wireless device should connect properly. For faster access, place the Bluetooth icon right at the top menu bar for a quicker access. You can do so by checking the Show Bluetooth in menu bar box in the Bluetooth preference pane.

Step 2. Reconnect your wireless device

Bluetooth connection problems often arise after macOS upgrades or after the device battery replacement. You may try re-pairing your devices as a hotfix. Simply disconnect your Mac from the device and then pair them again.

Wireless device still not working? Then there must be an issue with the Bluetooth preference list. It tends to get corrupted over time, hindering your smooth wireless connection. If this is your case, you’ll need to find and remove the Bluetooth preference list, the file that apparently has been corrupted and is affecting your wireless connection.

Here’s how to remove the Bluetooth preference list from your Mac:

  • Go to Finder and open /YourStartupDrive/Library/Preferences. Type the name of your startup drive instead of YourStartupDrive.
  • Scroll down to find the file named com.apple.Bluetooth.plist.
  • Drag this file to the desktop to create its copy. This is important for future backups as you are trying to delete a piece of software.
  • Go back to Finder and move com.apple.Bluetooth.plist to Trash.
  • Confirm removing that file by entering your Mac password.
  • Restart your Mac.

Now retry connecting your Bluetooth device to your Mac. This will create a new preference file, so when you open the Bluetooth preference pane in System Preferences your device should be listed there. If your wireless device is now working fine, you no longer need the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file on your desktop, so remove it.

In most cases, the first two steps are enough to fix the malfunctioning Bluetooth connection. But if you have a hard case, there’s one more step for advanced macOS users.

Step 3. Reset your Mac’s Bluetooth system

The very last thing to try is to make your Mac forget all the Bluetooth devices you’ve ever used and configure them again. Tread carefully with this one. If you’re lacking computer skills, then it’s better to ask a technician to perform this step for you.


Here’s how to reset the Mac’s Bluetooth system.

  • Open the Bluetooth menu from System Preferences.
  • Remove all the devices from the list of known Bluetooth devices.
  • Hold down the Shift and Option keys until you see the hidden items menu. Click the Bluetooth menu item.
  • Select Debug > Remove All Devices.
  • Reset the Bluetooth system using the instruction from the step 3.
  • Select Debug > Reset the Bluetooth Module.

Once you complete this, you’ll have a fresh, clean Bluetooth system. Now use the first two steps to pair Bluetooth devices with your Mac.

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