Phone Bluetooth Not Working – How to fix it

Quick overview:

From an actual blue-lighted tooth-shaped device to an invisible part of our phones, over the years Bluetooth proved itself to be tricky at times. Being dependent on two or more devices, their connectivity levels and location proximity - often times intimidate the less tech savvy of us. But even those with lots of experience using Bluetooth can encounter issues.  

Is your iPhone having Bluetooth problems? It's not just you. The iPhone 12 series has been experiencing some Bluetooth issues among its owners. There are a number of issues, such as difficulty connecting to Bluetooth devices, stuttering audio, and connection drops intermittently.

Here are some tips you can try if you're having Bluetooth problems on your phone (with specifications for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max)

Turn Bluetooth on and off

A minor software glitch can sometimes be easily fixed by turning off and then turning back on Bluetooth. If the issue remains, turn the Bluetooth back on again.

  • You can bring up the Control Center by swiping down in the upper-right corner
  • Turn off Bluetooth by tapping the icon.
  • Tap it again to restore Bluetooth.

Forget Device and Reconnect Bluetooth

For iPhone 12 Bluetooth issues that aren't resolved by the previous tips, you can try forgetting the device from the Settings app, then reconnect:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • You can connect to the device by tapping the "i" icon.
  • You will be prompted to “Forget This Device” for confirmation.
  • If you're still having trouble, try pairing your iPhone with the device again.

Switch to Airplane Mode

Aside from Bluetooth, airplane mode also solves many network-related problems. Sometimes switching from airplane mode to normal mode can help fix slow cellular connections. Similarly, Bluetooth glitches can be resolved by switching to airplane mode. When the phone is switched to airplane mode, it resets all its active network services, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data.

Change the device you're pairing with

Are you sure your phone or tablet is really the cause of this issue? Try pairing your iPhone with another Bluetooth accessory, and see if it works. You can also try connecting the problematic Bluetooth device to another phone, tablet or computer. If it fails, maybe the problem is not with your phone.
Alternatively, if the problem still persists even with another Bluetooth device, your iPhone may be the culprit and you will need to continue troubleshooting it.

Reboot your Phone

If you are facing iPhone 12 Bluetooth issues, the initial step you have to do is rebooting your device. Follow the following steps to reboot your iPhone 12:

  • Hold down the Volume Up button for a few seconds and release it quickly.
  • Then press and release the Volume Down button.
  • You should see the Apple logo on your phone once you hold the power button down for a few seconds.
  • Wait until the phone restarts after the logo appears.

Test the Bluetooth connection again after the device has been rebooted.

Reset Network Settings

The last but not the least option when all the other solutions fail is to reset your network. You will not only affect Bluetooth connectivity, but also Wi-Fi and cellular data if you reset the network to default. This action automatically deletes all the iPhone Bluetooth links, along with any other services such as Wi-Fi networks, eliminating any potential conflict or glitch on the network that may have led to the malfunction.

Follow these steps to reset your network settings to resolve iPhone 12 Bluetooth issues:

  • Select Settings from the home screen.
  • Open the General section.
  • Scroll down to Reset Network Settings.
  • Fill out the required information.
  • You'll be done in seconds after you confirm everything.
  • You can now use Bluetooth again.

Update your iOS/Android Version

 You should update your device every time you have a chance because every update includes a number of fixes. Follow these steps to update your device to the latest iOS:

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Click General.
  • Select Software Update.
  • You will see an indication if an update is available.
  • You can start the update by clicking it.

Check if the Bluetooth works after the device restarts.

Reset your phone

When none of the above solutions work, you can perform a factory reset, but be sure to make a backup of all your data and contacts before doing so since the factory restoration will erase everything. Follow these steps to perform a factory reset:

  • This will wipe your phone clean, so it's probably best to create a backup of your phone first.
  • Navigate to "Settings" > then click "General"
  • Click "Reset"
    Make sure you click "Erase All Content and Settings"

Contact Apple

If you've reached this point, your Bluetooth device has failed all the suggested fixes, and the only solution is to have it checked by a technician at your Apple store. You can then determine whether the Bluetooth problems are related to the hardware or the software. As long as you're covered by warranty, you won't have to pay for a simple diagnostic because there's no physical damage.

If you're out of warranty you might want to look into other solutions as well and make your decision, since Apple's repair get pricey when out of warranty with no AppleCare.

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