Bluetooth technology isn’t new. Tired of wires and corded devices, we were quick to jump at the chance of devices that got rid of cords and worked wirelessly. But every technology has its shortcomings and Bluetooth may have a few issues that can be easily solved too. If your Android phone won’t connect or pair with Bluetooth and you are looking for the solutions to fix it, then we have some tips for you. We will identify the reasons for Bluetooth issues and look at the solutions that can help you fix the problem.
Getting the Obvious Out of The Way
To begin with, let us get the basics straight and the most obvious things sorted. Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to connect two devices wirelessly so that data and information can flow between the two devices. An important step to connect the devices is known as pairing. When you pair the Bluetooth devices successfully, data can be transferred easily from one to another. But if the pairing is unsuccessful or you are not able to pair the devices, then there is a problem with either the hardware or software of any of the two devices.
An important thing to realize is that your phone or the device you are going to pair it with is not always in pairing mode. Let us take the example of connecting a headset to your phone using Bluetooth. You have to make sure that the headset is in the mode where it can be paired. That is, your headset should be in pairing mode. And your phone should be ready to scan the Bluetooth devices around it.
If they are not in the right mode, the devices won’t be able to connect. This is the most obvious and the very basic step to pair two Bluetooth devices. So when you are going to use Bluetooth to pair your phone with another device, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your smartphone and in the device you want to pair with your phone.
With the obvious out of the way, we can now concentrate on troubleshooting steps that will help you fix problems even after you have tried establishing a Bluetooth connection by switching on Bluetooth in both the devices.
Solution 1: Toggle the Bluetooth Connection
If the Bluetooth connection could not be established or if you fail to pair two devices then the first and the most basic step of troubleshooting is to toggle the Bluetooth connection. Pull down the notification shade of your phone and look for the Bluetooth icon. Switch Off the Bluetooth connection, wait for 10 seconds and switch it On once again. Now try to check if the phone is able to pair with the Bluetooth device or not
Solution 2: Rule out Problems Related to the Device You Are Connecting To
Before we begin troubleshooting the phone or the tablet, it is important to rule out the fact that the device is not the cause of the problem. To check if the device is working or not, connect it to another device like a different phone or a laptop and check if it works properly on the other devices. If the Bluetooth device is working fine on other phones or tablets then the problem lies in your phone and further troubleshooting should be done on the phone. But if the device does not connect on a different phone or another device either then the problem lies with the device and you may have to follow the device manual for troubleshooting the device or you must take it to the manufacturer to get it checked or replaced. This is an important step to ensure that further troubleshooting of the phone becomes a sensible step when trying to look for solutions for Bluetooth problems like why won’t my Bluetooth connect.
Solution 3: Restart Your Phone and the Device
Begin with restarting your phone. A restart fixes simple errors and helps your phone start afresh. Switch on Bluetooth by pulling down the notification shade of your phone and tapping on the Bluetooth icon after your phone restarts. Make sure that the device is in pairing mode. Keep it close to your phone and give your phone some time to scan all the nearby devices.
Once your phone shows the name of a device on the screen, tap on it and connect. If the connection is successful and the pairing works, then the problem is fixed, but if the problem persists, try restarting the device you are trying to connect. Restart the device and put it in pairing mode and check if the connection is established and if your problem is fixed.
Solution 5 : Remove All Paired Devices
Allow your phone or table to get a fresh start by removing all the devices that had been paired before. Chances are that you are looking at a list which has devices which you paired with just once and you would never be pairing again. It is best to remove such devices from your list and allow your phone to try and pair with the device all over again. To remove all paired devices, follow these steps:
- Head into the Settings menu of your phone
- Tap on Bluetooth
- When your Bluetooth is On you will see a list of devices that you had paired it with
- There is a settings icon next to the name of each device, tap on the icon and unpair the device
- Do this for all the devices till you have no devices on your list
Once all the devices are removed, your phone will begin scanning again for devices that it can connect to. It should show the device you want to connect to. Try pairing now and check if it works.
Solution 6: Clear the Bluetooth cache and data
If the Bluetooth on your phone has worked properly before but you have started noticing Bluetooth problems very recently then you must consider clearing the cache files of your phone’s Bluetooth. The cache files can get corrupt over a period of time or as a result of certain system tweaks. Removing these files is harmless because they only contain data which helps your phone make your Bluetooth experience smooth. These files are automatically created once again when you use Bluetooth. To delete the Bluetooth cache follow these steps:
- Head to the Settings menu of your Phone from the notification’s shade
- Tap on Application Manager
- You will find a whole list of applications on the next screen. From the top tabs, swipe to ‘All’ so that all applications are displayed.
- Look for Bluetooth and tap on it
- On the next screen, stop the application forcefully by tapping on Force Stop
- Next tap on Clear Cache and confirm your selection by tapping OK
Once the cache is cleared, restart your phone and try connecting once again. Check if your phone is able to establish the connection and if the connection works properly or not.
While clearing cache removes cache files only, clearing the Bluetooth data is somewhat like resetting your Bluetooth connection so that it starts anew. None of the previous details of Bluetooth will be saved after a data reset so if you had any Bluetooth connections or pairings on the Bluetooth’s list of paired devices, all of those connections will be lost completely. You will have to pair the devices all over again after the data is cleared. We clear the data so that any corrupt file will be removed and the Bluetooth will get a chance to start just like it was starting for the first time. Follow these steps to clear the Bluetooth data:
- Go to the Settings menu of your device by tapping on the Settings icon from the notification shade of your phone
- Tap on Applications Manager and head into the tab that says ‘All’
- Look for Bluetooth and tap on it
- Now tap on the option that says Clear Data.
Once the data has been wiped, restart your phone and then switch on the Bluetooth connection. With the other device in pairing mode, let your phone or tablet search for the device and establish the connection. Once the pairing is complete, check if the connection is working smoothly and if the problem is fixed.
Solution 7: Update the software
Your Android device may be due an update which can include updates for certain applications that may be causing a problem for the Bluetooth. There are a lot of things that can be fixed with the help of an update. Update your phone’s software to ensure that your Bluetooth works as expected. To manually check for updates follow these steps:
- Head to the Settings menu of your phone
- Scroll down to find About Device and tap on it
- Tap on Software Update (System Update) and then Update the software of your phone
Once the update is complete, your phone will restart. After the phone restarts, try to use Bluetooth and check if the problem is fixed.
Also, check for updates for the Bluetooth device that you are trying to connect to your phone or tablet. There is a possibility that the device may not be updated and it may be causing problems because of this. Try establishing the connection and check if it works as expected.
Solution 8: Safe Mode
When you use your phone in Safe Mode, it disables all third party apps and works in the most basic way. This helps you identify problems that may be related to third party applications. Sometimes third party apps can be the culprit when it comes to the malfunctioning of your device. The Bluetooth may be affected by one of the third-party applications and the best way to identify the problem is to use the phone in Safe Mode and check if the Bluetooth works in Safe Mode.
To use your device in Safe Mode, follow these steps for Jellybean 4.1 or later:
- Long press the power button to bring up the power options on your screen
- Now press the Power Off option on your screen till you see a pop-up that will ask you if you want to reboot your phone is Safe Mode
- Tap on Ok and allow your phone to restart
- When your phone restarts it will show Safe Mode in the bottom of the screen.
For phones that are using a software older than Jellybean 4.1, you simply need to reboot your phone and make sure that when the phone restarts you press and hold the Volume Up and the Volume Down keys together. When the phone or tablet restarts, you will see Safe mode on the screen.
Try using the Bluetooth in Safe Mode and check if it works. If you are successful in doing so then there is an application on your device that may be interfering with the Bluetooth connection. To find the application you can restart your phone, and it will go back to normal mode. Then you can begin uninstalling the apps that you think may be causing the problem.
Solution 9: Factory Reset
Resetting the phone to factory settings is a way of starting with a clean slate. This removes all data and all third party applications from your phone. It is important that all data is backed up when you reset your device to factory settings. Android devices already have the option to back up the phone data but it is always preferable to transfer all important photos, videos, and files to a computer before you choose to reset your phone.
- Go to the Settings menu of your phone.
- Tap on Backup and Reset.
- You can check the option Backup and Reset if you would like to backup your data before resetting the device.
- Tap on Factory Reset.
Your phone will begin the process of resetting your device by deleting all information and data stored on your device. Once the process of reset completes, you can try using the Bluetooth to check if it works. If your problem is fixed then you can restore all the data to your device.
On the other hand, if your Bluetooth problem persists then chances are that there may be a problem in the physical connections which can be causing the issue. To solve the problem, take your phone to a professional or to the manufacturer. For phones that are under warranty, you may be able to get a replacement.
What to do when my Bluetooth connect to the device but the Bluetooth shared has stopped ?
This was a common problem when users had updated to Android Jellybean 4.3. When the software added support for BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), a bug caused the Bluetooth connection to drop with an error that said: “Unfortunately Bluetooth Share has Stopped”. The resolution for this issue was to use an app by the name of Bluetooth Crash Resolver.
On the other hand, for users who would want to use a different solution, they can reset the device to Factory settings. An update fixed the bug. So if you are using Jellybean 4.3 then you must consider updating the software to ensure that Bluetooth works as expected.
Why won’t my Bluetooth turn on?
Sometimes, the Bluetooth will not switch on. In times like these, it is suggested that you reboot your phone and try to switch on the Bluetooth. While the problem is generally fixed with a reboot, if it appears again, consider deleting the cache and data of Bluetooth and restarting the device to fix the problem.
What to do when my Bluetooth won’t connect to my car?
If you find that the Bluetooth is unable to pair with the car then make sure that the car kit is fine by trying to connect a different device. Now you must understand that Bluetooth protocols and standards are revised very often. New protocols are added and you have one of the latest smartphones, but your car’s Bluetooth kit is very old then there may be compatibility problems between the two.
If you started facing the problem after a recent update of your phone’s firmware, then you may want to check if your car’s Bluetooth kit is still compatible or not.
If it is, then try to delete the cache partition of the phone and connect again. To do so follow these steps:
- Switch off your phone
- Press and Hold the Power button and the Volume Up and Home button together
- Once the Android icon appears on the screen, release the Power button but continue to hold the other two till you see the screen for the Recovery mode.
- Once the phone has the recovery menu, release all the buttons and use the volume key to navigate to the option that says ‘Wipe Cache Partition’
- Use the Power key to confirm your selection
Your device will confirm that the cache partition has been wiped and it will return to the same screen. Now use the Volume button to highlight the option to reboot the device and press the power key to confirm the reboot.
Once the device reboots, try connecting again to check if the problem is solved.
All these solutions will work to fix any Android phone or tablet that won’t connect or pair with Bluetooth, including Samsung S5, Samsung S6 and S6 Edge, LG G3, LG G4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, HTC One, HTC One M7, HTC One M8, etc. If you continue facing the problem even after trying all these solutions, contact the manufacturer, the store or your carrier. For phones that are under warranty, the manufacturer may also be able to replace the phone.