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How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems

by on December 26, 2018
in Phones and Mobile, Computers and Software, Phone Accessories, Tips & How-Tos :: 489 comments

Bluetooth is a popular method of wirelessly transferring data between two devices such as your phone and your headphones, your media player and a speaker, or your iPad and a keyboard. It’s one of the most widely used wireless technology in the world, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. More than 4 billion Bluetooth products are expected to ship last in 2018 alone, and that number will likely almost double within the next three years.

Bluetooth is all great when it works. But if you’re someone who likes to play around with these kinds of connected gadgets, you know it can be frustrating when there’s a hang-up pairing the two. Here are some common causes of pairing problems as well as advice on what you can do about them.

Why Bluetooth pairings fail

Bluetooth depends on both hardware and software to work properly. So if your devices can't speak a common Bluetooth language, they won’t be able to connect.

In general, Bluetooth is backward compatible: Bluetooth devices supporting the Bluetooth 5 standard should still be able to pair with devices using, say, the ancient Bluetooth 2.1, launched back in 2007.

The exceptions are gadgets that use a low-energy version called Bluetooth Smart, which works on a different protocol than older, or "Classic" Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth Smart devices are not backward compatible and won't recognize (or pair with) older devices that support Classic Bluetooth. (For example, an old Sony Ericsson phone sporting Bluetooth 3.0 won't be able to connect to a Bluetooth Smart device.)

However, if a device supports Bluetooth 4.0 (in some cases), 4.2 (in most cases) or 5.0 (in most cases), it should recognize both Bluetooth Smart and Classic. Bluetooth 4.0 devices will be officially labeled Bluetooth Smart Ready. In the case of Bluetooth 4.2 and 5, it's expected.

Gadgets that commonly use Bluetooth Smart include personal health gadgets such as fitness bands or heart-rate monitors. These gadgets will only pair with a smartphone or tablet that also uses Bluetooth Smart – or are Bluetooth Smart Ready.

Most smartphones are Bluetooth Smart compatible. That includes iPhones running iOS 7 and newer, Android phones running 4.3 or newer, Windows Phone 8.1 devices, and all BlackBerry 10 devices. Ensure your phone is running the latest version of its operating system – but if your device isn't new enough to run relatively current software, you may not be able to pair it with that fitness band.

Devices also come with specific Bluetooth profiles. If Bluetooth is the common language connecting devices, you can think of a profile as a dialect associated with a certain use. For example, you probably aren't going to be able to connect a mouse and a camera because a camera doesn’t support the Human Interface Device Profile. But if both a mobile phone and a wireless headset support the Hands-Free Profile, you should be able to pair them.

However, if the pairing failure is a matter of user error, there are steps you can take to get your devices happily communicating with each other.

What you can do about pairing failures

1. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. You should see the little Bluetooth symbol at the top of your phone’s screen. If you don’t, go into the settings to enable it.

2. Determine which pairing process your device employs. The process for pairing devices can vary. Sometimes, for example, it involves tapping a code into your phone. Other times, you can just physically touch your phone to the device you want to pair it with (you'll see this option with phones and devices that have NFC, or Near Field Communications, as a feature. It's commonly found on Android phones). Or in the case of the Bose SoundLink, you only have to hold down a button on the speaker to pair it with a phone.

If you’re not sure how to pair a device, refer to its user guide; you can usually find one by searching online.

3. Turn on discoverable mode. Let’s say you want to pair your phone with your car’s infotainment system so you can enjoy hands-free calling, texting and navigation. First, go into your phone’s settings and tap on Bluetooth; doing so makes the phone visible to the car. Then depress the buttons on your car's infotainment system, usually on the steering wheel or center stack, to get it looking for the device.

Once it finds your phone, the car may ask for a numeric code you need to confirm or input on your phone. After you do so, the devices should be paired. Keep in mind your phone or your car may only stay in discoverable mode for a few minutes; if you take too long, you’ll need to start over.

4. Make sure the two devices are in close enough proximity to one another. While you wouldn’t think someone might try to pair an iPad with a keyboard if the two weren’t sitting right next to each other, it’s probably worth noting that you should make sure any devices you're trying to pair are within five feet of one other.

5. Power the devices off and back on. A soft reset sometimes can resolve an issue. With phones, an easy way to do this is by going into and out of airplane mode.

6. Remove old Bluetooth connections.

Say that faithful Bluetooth speaker usually connects to your partner's smartphone instead of yours. If you're having trouble pairing your phone with the speaker, it could be because the speaker is trying to connect to the old device. Some older devices are very simple. They just try to connect with the last thing they paired with. If a Bluetooth device was previously paired with something else, turn off that other gadget. And if you are no longer planning on using that other gadget, unpair it from your Bluetooth device to prevent future issues. In iOS settings, you can remove a device by tapping on its name and then Forget this Device. In Android settings, tap on a device’s name, then Unpair. After removing a device, start at step 1 on this list.

You can also reset Bluetooth on devices that can pair to more than one device. This clears all pairings from the device so you can start fresh. Search "reset" device name to instructions from the manufacturer.

7. Charge up both devices you're trying to pair. Some devices have smart power management that may turn off Bluetooth if the battery level is too low. If your phone or tablet isn't pairing, make sure it and the device you're trying to pair with have enough juice.

8. Delete a device from a phone and rediscover it. If your phone sees a device but isn’t receiving data from it, sometimes it helps to start from scratch. In iOS settings, you can remove a device by tapping on its name and then Forget this Device. In Android settings, tap on a device’s name, then Unpair. After removing a device, start at step 1 on this list.

9. Get away from the Wi-Fi router. Another potential obstacle to successful pairing is interference from devices that use the same spectrum, such as your Wi-Fi router. Wi-Fi has been designed to cope with this, but it might not be a good idea to have your devices directly on top of the router.

10. Move away from a USB 3.0 port. Interference from USB 3.0 is also possible. Newer laptops, for example, often have the higher-speed USB 3.0 port, so if the connection isn't happening, try pairing your Bluetooth gadgets away from the computer.

11. Make sure the devices you want to pair are designed to connect with each other. Whether it’s a headset, speaker, mouse, keyboard, camera or something else, your device has a specific profile that spells out what it can connect with. If you’re not sure, check the user manual.

12. Download a driver. If you’re having problems pairing something with your PC, you might be lacking the correct driver. The simplest way to figure this out is to do an online search for the name of the device you’re trying to pair along with the word “driver.”

13. Update the hardware’s firmware. Some automotive audio systems have been known to not pair with phones because the Bluetooth drivers in these systems didn’t work with Bluetooth 4.0. If you’re not sure how to get the latest firmware for your hardware, check with the device manufacturer.

14. Limit data shared between devices. Android and Windows devices let you choose the information you share between devices. So, for instance, you can choose to share phone audio, media audio, contacts and text messages with your car. If you don't need to share all of the data, deselecting one or more of the types of information may enable the devices to pair. 

For Android devices, go to Settings > Bluetooth and select the device. If there are options to select, they will appear. For Windows, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers and right click on the Bluetooth device in question. Then select the Services tab to choose which types of information to share.

15. Clear the Blutooth cache (Android only). Sometimes apps will interfere with Bluetooth operation and clearing the cache can solve the problem. Go Settings > Backup and restart > Reset network settings. 

Not all wireless devices use Bluetooth

Keep in mind that not all wireless devices use Bluetooth. Alternatives include the Wireless Gigabit specification, Wireless HD, ANT+, ZigBee, NFC as well as Wi-Fi Direct. These other technologies typically won’t work with your phone, tablet or PC without some kind of additional hardware.

We hope this guide has helped you with your Bluetooth pairing problems. If you know of any tip we've missed, share in the comments below!

Updated on 12/26/2018

[Image credits: Bluetooth searching for networks vis BigStockPhoto, Bluetooth devices with phone via Shutterstock]

Discussion loading



From Amélie on November 20, 2018 :: 10:37 am

If you’ve accidentally disconnected your phone connected to your headphones and your phone won’t re-connect, here’s a tip:
All the articles I read were unhelpful, and through a lot of frustration I found this out on my own. While trying to turn off my headphones, I accidentally disconnected my phone from them. If you hold down both the menu button and the volume down button on your headphones, your headphones will forget and disconnect any connected bluetooth devices. When this happens, the headphones say “ready to pair”, but when you try to reconnect them to your phone, your phone states it cannot connect. So I found out the reason it does this is because it has a connect automatically setting, so that every time you turn on your headphones you don’t have to connect them manually to your phone. The way to solve this is actually relatively simple, but you will need a second device.
On your phone, go to “settings”, then to “bluetooth”, then find the “Monster Achieve” device. Tap it, then tap “forget device” and confirm your decision. Now turn on your headphones. It should say “power on. Battery high/medium/low. Ready to pair.” Using your other phone or maybe your friend’s phone or something, go to their “bluetooth” in “settings” and connect your headphones. From here, push and hold the menu and volume down button on your headphones. Wait until you hear “ready to pair” from your headphones. Now on your friend’s phone, tap “Monster Achieve” under “bluetooth” in “settings” on their phone, and tap “forget device”. Now connect to your headphones on your own phone, it should work now. Once connected, your headphones should say “device connected” and will now connect automatically.
Forgive me for this being a really stupid problem, but I swear I really just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my headphones and wish I had of found the answer somewhere online, so I hope this helps somebody!!



Bluetooth problems

From Jenn on November 28, 2018 :: 7:01 am

I have found that is you have any Bluetooth turned on other devices, paring will not be enabled on the device you want…I had Bluetooth turned on my iPad and was paring my phone…could not get it to pair..turned off Bluetooth on my iPad and it paired just fine to my phone…
Just thought I would put this out there just in case…



My radio in my 2003

From Krissy on November 29, 2018 :: 10:47 am

My radio in my 2003 Nissan Altima will not let me clear my Bluetooth devices. All other options are light up except my Bluetooth button on my radio. PLEASE help me fix this problem. I need to connect my new phone to my car and it won’t let me. Please help me!!



Tzumi earbuds

From Elizabeth on November 30, 2018 :: 1:47 pm

Would like to know to what phone it can be paired up to. Also I tried it with moto E3 an we could only hear it on one side of the ear buds.



Network settings under Settings>Genl Mgmt>

From Eric on December 02, 2018 :: 3:25 am

I wanted to add that on my Samsung Galaxy S7, the network reset on my particular phone is under Settings> General Management > Reset > Reset Network Settings. I bought some cheap (Senso) earbuds that my Android Samsung S7 could no see. I cleared the cache and it worked perfectly thereafter. Many thanks.



Charging cable

From Debra Gackle on December 04, 2018 :: 4:47 pm

Where would u get a new charging cable. I lost mine




From peter kenny on December 06, 2018 :: 6:18 am

followed instuctions to the letter to no avail i have a new hisense tv along with a panasonic home theater audio box to which i would like to connect my power locus bluetooth headphones howeverthe box just says pairing and thats as far as it goes this so important to me hence the reason for buying everything new



Can you elaborate?

From Josh Kirschner on December 06, 2018 :: 9:00 am

What is a Panasonic Home Theater “audio box”? Are you talking about a stereo receiver or something else? How old/what is the model of this “audio box”?

If you’re talking about the pairing with a Panasonic SC-UA3, did you follow these steps?



You can't connect headphones to that soundbar

From Josh Kirschner on December 06, 2018 :: 1:17 pm

From the email you sent me, you say you have a Panasonic SC-HTE80, which is a soundbar. Soundbars are intended to output sound from a source, not stream sound to another device (like Bluetooth headphones). The Bluetooth pairing function on that soundbar is simply intended to let you stream from a smartphone or computer to the soundbar.

However, you’re not completely out of luck. We have another article directly focused on ways to connect headphones to your TV.



My Jabra Halo smart Bluetooth

From Ramacharyulu on December 13, 2018 :: 7:42 am

My Jabra Halo smart Bluetooth while calling it’s automatically disconnecting .



One doesn't pair

From Preaben on December 13, 2018 :: 11:37 am

I’ve got earphones and I can only connect one at a time with my iPhone 6. It’s really annoying, since both work, but my iPhone just can’t send music to both at the same time, help please!



You should only need to connect one.

From Josh Kirschner on December 26, 2018 :: 3:45 pm

Individual earbuds are designed so that you connect one to your phone and then that one sends signal to the other one - you shouldn’t need to connect both to your phone. If you only get music out of one, it means that the two earbuds aren’t properly paired to each other. To do that, check the settings in your earbuds’ owner’s manual/set up guide.


Sony SRS-XB30 wireless speaker pairing question

From Jerry Runnels on December 15, 2018 :: 1:10 pm

I recently bought a Sony XB30 speaker and it was easy to set up, pair to my desktop PC provided sound quality which was more than i need or hoped for for the price. I have never had a bluetooth speaker before. Originally, i started having static problems with the music,but i think i solved it by installing a Wifi Extender. The one problem i cant seem to correct is that the speaker will periodically stop longer appears to be paired…then after a few seconds to a minute it re-pairs itself and the music starts again. I cant figure out why this happens and i cant believe it is “normal” for bluetooth speakers to do this.It happens whether i am playing music, a movie ,YouTube video etc.  I am seriously thinking of going back to a simple pair of USB wired speakers to eliminate the problem, but before i do and give up the beautiful sound of the Sony speaker i hoped someone on this forum could tell me whether this periodic dropping is just something blue tooth speakers or other devices do due to the nature of the technology which i would find hard to believe. Otherwise, what could be causing my problem. I have an excellent desktop pc which i keep totally up to date and maintained so i know that isnt the reason..Thanks for any help anyone can provide. I havent found anything on Sony’s website to help.



Any app guys

From Nama aku wan on December 15, 2018 :: 1:53 pm

Can i change my Bluetooth earphones setting if i plug it to my computer???
Or is there any apps that I can download to start tinkering with my device???



Bluetooth pairing

From Neil Houston on December 26, 2018 :: 2:48 pm

I have recently purchased the Lenovo Tab7 computer tablet. I was using the Amazon Fire HD7 and paired it with my Ministry of Sound Audio M Bluetooth speaker without any problems. However my Lenovo device is not pairing with my speaker. I have checked to see that Bluetooth is turned in. I have also downloaded several Bluetooth pairing apps but done of them detect my Audio M speaker. I would be very grateful if you can help me to sort this out.
Kind regards,



Try resetting the speaker or forgetting on the Amazon tablet

From Josh Kirschner on December 26, 2018 :: 3:40 pm

Hi Neil,

You don’t provide a lot of detail about what is happening when you try to connect, but could it be that the speaker is still connecting to the Fire tablet? Is the Amazon Fire still on?Have you tried “forgetting” the speaker on your Amazon Fire so it won’t automatically try to connect? Alternatively, you can try resetting the Ministry of Sound Audio M speaker by using a pin in the reset hole in the back.




Iphone 7 vs SPH-D002

From Maximo on December 28, 2018 :: 11:35 am

I have a Pioneer radio SPH-D002 recognizes all the equipment and all the computers recognize it.

but my iphone 7 recognizes all the devices and all the devices recognize it less the SPH-D002. your help please



Bluetooth pairing

From Neil Houston on December 29, 2018 :: 9:30 am

Hi Josh,
As requested in putting my comment here. I’m still unable to get my Lenovo Tab7 to find my Ministry of Sound Audio M speaker have reset the speaker I have disabled the Bluetooth on my Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet. I have tried switching on the Bluetooth on my speaker and then switching on my new Lenovo tablet. I then tried paying the devices. My Lenovo tablet still won’t find my speaker. Is there an app I need to download perhaps ?
I hope you can help me.



Have you tried other bluetooth devices?

From Josh Kirschner on December 30, 2018 :: 3:50 pm

To narrow down the issue, have you tried connecting your Lenovo Tab to another Bluetooth device? This will help determine if it is a general problem with the Lenovo or something specific with that speaker/Lenovo combo.



fix bluetooth

From Antonio Tudino on January 04, 2019 :: 9:34 pm





From Antonio Tudino on January 04, 2019 :: 9:39 pm





From LPDK on January 06, 2019 :: 4:04 am

@article writter. Internet should ban you forever.


My headphones or anything else..

From Heidi Greenfield on January 06, 2019 :: 10:59 pm

I have easily Bluetoothed, my headphones to my phone,until recently my daughter Bluetoothed them to her phone. Now I cannot pick up anything..scan brings up nothing,at all!!there is no history either!!what did she do?? Please help



Try resetting the headphones

From Josh Kirschner on January 12, 2019 :: 12:12 pm

Try resetting the headphones and see if that works. If you can’t see them on your phone at all when scanning, it could be a hardware issue with the headphones.



Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 to Monster Clarity HD Bluetooth Issues

From Bob on January 10, 2019 :: 11:28 am

I’m having issues pairing these two devices and hopefully someone might come across this and have a solution.

The Monsters pair to my older Samsung Galaxy but not my current one. When in scan mode, the phone has never been able to pick up the headphones, not once. Yes, the headphones are on. In the manual, it says that the headphones automatically go into pairing mode when it’s turned on so there is nothing else I can do. It would be easier if I knew which device was having the problem.

I went through the list of items above but it didn’t help either. I don’t think it’s something as simple as turning it on and off again or having it fully charged (which I both did). I bought the headphones specifically to use with my new phones at the gym so this has been a let down.

Could always be worse!

Thanks for reading, any tips would be appreciated.



Did you try resetting the headphones/

From Josh Kirschner on January 12, 2019 :: 12:16 pm

Is it possible the headphones are still connecting to your old device, so they aren’t showing up for the new ones? It might be easiest just to reset your Monster headphones and see if that clears things out to pair with your new Galaxy.



What are these devices

From Gavin Regan on January 11, 2019 :: 9:40 pm

When I pair my phone up with my vehicle I receive multiple devices with codes like 71:C7:74:F2:EE:C2.  It says cannot pair when I tap on these devices. I feel like they are govt issued. Not trying to start a conspiracy theory but has anyone ever seen multiple devices with these types of numbers and letters for their name?



Components of your vehicle's electronics system

From Josh Kirschner on January 12, 2019 :: 1:16 pm

The hexadecimal code you see can be used to determine the manufacturer of the device ( In this case, that appears to be from a company called U-Blox that makes automotive and other electronic components. Likely, these components are using bluetooth to communicate with each other for diagnostic and vehicle control purposes.



Hope somebody will put me out of my bluetooth generated misery !

From Jack on January 12, 2019 :: 10:12 am

Have a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and, 
a headphone Sony MDR-ZX330BT

S4 detects the headphone , MDR.. name appears on the phone but…
When I press on this (headphone) name I get,after a few seconds, the message:
“Unable to pair with MDR-ZX330BT.
Incorrect PIN or password”

(By default, the headphone has the code 0000 from factory) .
On this phone model , S4 , there is no way to change a password or PIN, no place where this information could be found and changed!

Does anybody can help me,please?



phone Galaxy S4 do not pair with Sony MDR-ZX330BT headphones

From Jack on January 12, 2019 :: 10:26 am

S4 detects MDR… but pressing on this name I get the error message:
Unable to pair with   MDR-ZX330BT
Incorrect PIN code or password

The headphones have by default, from factory, the password 0000

On this phone model, there is no place where a password could be found and changed !

Could anyone help me please ?



Pairing transmitter bluetooth/ heapdhone discontinues after OFF of headphones

From Jack on January 18, 2019 :: 11:13 am

To the “headphone out” of my music player (has no bluetooth capability) I inserted a “dongle” bluetooth device. It pairs nicely with my headphones bluetooth.

Problem:after each OFF/ON of the headset
I have to redo the pairing ! 

Why ?
Could anything be done , to maintain the pairing after each OFF of the Headphones ?

Jack Cohen



Bluetooth speaker pairing problem

From Gourav on January 21, 2019 :: 7:20 am

I have potronics sound drum first it pair with my phone Honor 7X but now my phone Bluetooth device but not pair always show pairing problems….




From Paul Bruce on January 21, 2019 :: 9:24 am

My new Cubot Max gave me a christmas present
Before Xmas could connect to all my bluetooth items since christmas only one bluetooth in car & nothing else it finds & pairs but only connects to the one .
Have unpaired all forget all but no change




From Betty on January 27, 2019 :: 2:25 pm

Bluetooth will not stay on




From Anonymous on February 06, 2019 :: 7:41 pm

So, I recently broke my bluetooth headphones, so I went to the store and got the SAME brand, and headphones, I have done everything on this page but the new ones won’t connect, anyone know why?


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