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How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems

by on December 30, 2022
in Phones and Mobile, Computers and Software, Phone Accessories, Tips & How-Tos :: 841 comments

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Updated on 12/30/2022 with USB-C conflict information and additional multipoint pairing information.

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 4.6 billion Bluetooth products are expected to ship this year alone, and that number will likely increase to more than 6 billion per year by 2024.

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 logo - white logo on blue backgroundBluetooth 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 Bluetooth 5 or higher should still be able to pair with devices using, say, the ancient Bluetooth 2.1, launched back in 2007.

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 your car because your car doesn’t support the Human Interface Device Profile. But a phone and a wireless headset should both support the Hands-Free Profile, you should be able to pair them.

Usually, Bluetooth devices connect with one device at a time. However, some headphones support multipoint pairing – a feature that lets one pair of headphones connect to two devices simultaneously.

I take you through the steps you can take to get your devices to happily communicate with each other. And if you have a multipoint Bluetooth device, check out my tips on solving problems with Bluetooth multipoint pairing.

What you can do about Bluetooth pairing failures

Smarphone and Bluetooth earbuds on a table

1. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on

You should see the little Bluetooth symbol at the top right of the screen if you have an Android device. For iOS and iPadOS, you'll need to go into the settings to enable and disable Bluetooth. Windows users will find Bluetooth in Settings > Devices > Bluetooth (or you may have a shortcut on your taskbar). Mac users will find a Bluetooth status icon on the menu bar.

2. Determine which pairing process your device employs

The process for pairing devices can vary. Sometimes, it involves tapping a code into your phone or computer. Other times, you can 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).

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 to 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 that you'll need to confirm or input on your phone. After you do so, the devices should be paired. Remember that your phone or car may only stay in discoverable mode for a few minutes; if you take too long, you’ll need to start over.

If your device is new, it will often be in pairing mode when you first turn it on. A good indicator that a device is in pair mode is if it blinks.

You'll need to turn on pairing mode if the device has been paired with another device. To find instructions search for: put [product name] into pairing mode. We have guides for Jabra, JBL, JLab Audio, Onn, Mpow, and Sony.

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 another.

5. Power Bluetooth off and back on

A soft reset of Bluetooth can sometimes resolve an issue. With phones, an easy way to do this is by going into and out of airplane mode. For other devices, turn off the power and restart them.

6. Remove old Bluetooth connections

If you're having trouble pairing your phone with the speaker, it could be because the speaker is trying to connect with another device. While your laptop, tablet, or phone may be the obvious choices, there are other possibilities. For instance, you may have paired your speaker to your TV or streaming media player.

Some older speakers and headphones are very simple; they just try to connect with the last thing they are paired with. If your headphones or speaker were previously paired with another phone, laptop, or tablet, turn off that other device or turn off the device's Bluetooth. And if you are no longer planning on using your headphones or speaker with that device, unpair it 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.

Some speakers and headphones can store pairing for multiple devices (this is different from multipoint when they connect simultaneously to devices). However, there is a limit to the number of devices' pairing information that they can store. If you're having trouble pairing headphones or a speaker that have been paired to many devices in the past, you may need to reset your headphones or speakers to clear out all of the pairings so you can start fresh. For instructions from the manufacturer on your specific model, search: reset [device name].

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.

If you're deleting the device from your car, you may need to turn off your car after deleting the device, open and close the car door, and wait a couple of minutes before trying to pair the device again.

After removing a device, start at step 1 on this list.

9. Move away from the WiFi router

Another potential obstacle to successful pairing is interference from devices that use the same spectrum, such as your WiFi router. WiFi has been designed to cope with this, but it might not be a good idea to have your devices next to your router.

10. Move away from your smart home devices

Some smart home devices use a wireless technology called Zigbee. You find Zigbee in smart home hubs, including Amazon's Echo Show and Echo Plus, as well as a wide range of smart door locks, light bulbs, in-wall switches, open/close sensors, plugs, and more. Like WiFi, Zigbee devices use the same spectrum as Bluetooth devices and can interfere with pairing. Move away from your Zigbee devices when attempting to pair.

11. Move away from a USB 3.0 or USB-C port

Interference between Bluetooth and USB 3.0 Type A or USB-C is also possible. Newer laptops often have higher-speed USB-C and USB 3.0 Type A ports, so if the connection isn't happening, try pairing your Bluetooth gadgets away from the computer.

12. Make sure the devices you want to pair are designed to connect with each other

Whether it’s a headset, speaker, mouse, keyboard, 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.

13. Download a driver

If you’re having problems pairing something with your computer, you might be lacking the correct driver. The simplest way to figure this out is to do an online search for: [product name] driver.

14. 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 later versions of Bluetooth. If you’re not sure how to get the latest firmware for your hardware, check with the device manufacturer.

15. 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 10 devices, go to Settings > Connected devices 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 > right-click on the Bluetooth device in question and select Properties. Then select the Services tab to choose which types of information to share.

16. Clear the Bluetooth cache

Sometimes apps will interfere with Bluetooth operation, and clearing the cache can solve the problem. For Android phones, go to Settings > Apps > and tap the sort icon (the triple bars to the right of "Your apps."). Toggle on "Show system apps" and then select "Bluetooth" from the list. Select "Storage" and then "Clear cache." For iOS and iPadOS devices, you'll have to unpair all of your devices (go to Setting > Bluetooth, select the info icon and choose "Forget This Device" for each device), then restart your phone or tablet.

Solving problems with Bluetooth multipoint pairing

Multipoint is a Bluetooth technology that enables a Bluetooth device to be actively paired with more than one device at a time. That means your headphones could be simultaneously paired with a phone and laptop, or two phones could be paired to a hands-free car kit.

Even though multipoint has been part of the Bluetooth standard for years, there aren’t many products on the market that support multipoint. So if you’re having issues with setting up a multipoint connection, the first thing to do is double-check that your device supports multipoint by searching for “[product name] multipoint Bluetooth” or consulting your product’s manual. Once you’ve confirmed that your device supports multipoint, try these steps.

Trouble adding multipoint devices

If you’re having trouble adding a second device to your multipoint product, follow these steps to ensure you’re adding it correctly.

1. Pair with the first device the way you would with a single-point Bluetooth device. (If you’re having trouble pairing your first device, consult the list of tips above.)

2. Turn off the first paired device and pair the second one.

3. Once you have successfully paired with the second device, turn on the first device. For some products (like the Lenovo Smart Wireless Earbuds and JLab GO Work and PlayPro headphones), that’s all there is to it. Other products (like the Sony WH-1000SM4 headphones, Bose QuietComfort II Earbuds, and Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds) require installing an app and turning on the ability to connect two devices.

If you can’t connect to a previously paired multipoint device

Multipoint Bluetooth devices can connect to two devices simultaneously but can be paired with many devices. If your multipoint Bluetooth product isn’t automatically connecting to your usual two devices, it may be paired with a third device.

If you use an app to select multipoint devices, go into the app and toggle on the two devices you want to be simultaneously connected.

If you don’t use an app to select your multipoint devices, you will need to re-pair the device that has lost its connection. Follow these two simple steps.

1. Use your multipoint device with the Bluetooth device that is still actively paired with multipoint.

2. Re-pair the device that has lost the connection.

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, and Wi-Fi Direct. These other technologies typically won’t work with your phone, tablet, or computer without some kind of additional hardware.

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

[Image credits: Bluetooth headphones with phone via BigStockPhoto]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.

Discussion loading

FitnessClub treadmill

From T Braverman on September 15, 2022 :: 10:14 am

I cannot connect Bluetooth to this treadmill using my IPhone or iPad. I am assured by the seller that it has Bluetooth and it is advertised as such. The treadmill is sold under FitnessClub label.


Kevin Yrie

From Albert Yrie on September 22, 2022 :: 4:13 pm

CR2032-04 Planet Waves CR2032 Lithium Battery (4-Pack) TMR ALM GMT TIME DAL


Paired but no sound

From Debby on September 23, 2022 :: 7:01 pm

I paired my new golrex ear buds with my older mp3 player but I still don’t get any sound.  Any suggestions?


The woman keeps saying Bluetooth melt

From Kimberly McCray on September 25, 2022 :: 12:34 pm

The woman keeps saying Bluetooth melt was wondering what that mean it works and everything and it pair to my phone but she keeps saying it


Bose Solo 5 and Boom3

From Ted on October 31, 2022 :: 6:16 pm

On my iphone 8 I can connect to the Bose Solo 5 or the Boom3 but I cannot get the iphone to play (spotify music) on both speakers at the same time. Are they not compatible? Can this be done?


Spotify only lets you use

From Suzanne Kantra on November 01, 2022 :: 6:40 pm

Spotify only lets you use your account on one streaming device at a time. You can get around this limitation by using the Alexa or Google Home app on your phone to stream Spotify to multiple Alexa or Google Nest devices. You need a device for each of your speakers. Google’s Nest Mini is currently on sale for $19.99.



From Usman Bala on December 15, 2022 :: 4:15 am

My Bluetooth is oliwice on hisevi


Info Helped Me.

From Shasta Stan on December 19, 2022 :: 7:57 pm

I’ve been trying to pair a Christmas present, but the speaker did not show up.  I don’t know which item showed up, but it would not pair.  I read the article and some comments.  We have an Alexa in most rooms and also a router.  To eliminate possible interference, I decided to try pairing out at the Mall while in the car.  That worked just fine! I tried the items again at home and now they work ok also.  Many Thanks for the Info!



From BayouRambler on January 04, 2023 :: 2:40 pm

Thanks so much! Fixed my issue in 2 minutes after I read your article!


WiFi not working

From Dashon Stewart on January 07, 2023 :: 1:33 pm

Last year on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 24,2022 my WiFi is not working on my cellphone because I don’t see no Bluetooth on my cellphone and all of my website apps are missing and still I’m very upset about that since. I tried to get a hold on to somebody else to fix my WiFi on my cellphone. So can you please help me to get my website apps back on my cellphone? Ok? Please and thank you.


From Bernie on January 08, 2023 :: 5:53 pm

how do I get my air piece name if itโ€™s not showing


if you have more than

From mikemont64 on January 12, 2023 :: 11:55 pm

if you have more than one device you sync on w-king you need to turn the others off before you sync.


From Shivcharan sidhu on January 22, 2023 :: 6:18 am


Please advise, if I use a Wireless Transmitter with my Sony android tv KD-49X7500H (bluetooth version 4.2 ) and use it with my Sony headphones WH-1000XM5 (bluetooth version 5.2) , will that work?

( kindly note, my Sony TV: KD-49X7500H does not support Bluetooth/A2DP facility )

I need to use headphones, as my kids are getting disturbed.

If your answer is No, pls advice how do i resolve this issue. Is there any external equipment which can help.

Awaiting your reply

Shivcharan sidhu
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



From kennethvr on January 24, 2023 :: 10:48 am

Androids, including brand new Samsung S-22, pair, but will not “connect” to new HP Envy PC via bluetooth. I tried all the fixes and nothing works. All other bluetooth connections work seamlessly, like ear buds and printer. Help! Again, the devices pair easily, but do not connect. Thx



From donald breen on January 26, 2023 :: 11:57 am

I have a tcl roku t.v. I just purchased a Bluenin intelligeat life BBH-929s neckband speaker.I can not pair my t.v. with my headset. can you give advice


Can't Pair speaker to phone

From Steve on February 18, 2023 :: 6:37 pm

Says that I am out of range when I am standing right next to it.  Others have tried to pair to it and same thing.  I had been able to get in with no issues for a few weeks, but now nobody is able to pair using bluetooth to the speaker.


Dragon technology model dr801

From Cindy on February 21, 2023 :: 2:00 pm

It won’t pair with my Samsung phone please advise


Toyota RAV4 Multimedia

From Adrian on March 01, 2023 :: 12:34 pm

I have a 21 plated RAV4 with the Toyota Multimedia system (not JBL) IPhone pairs and connects to the multimedia system and I can play my music from my phone through the car’s system and also the Google Nav and Waze etc.,..but when i get a call the sound of the call goes to my phone and the music if playing on the car ‘s system doesn’t go off.Also when I check a call I can use the screen in the car but when the answer machine plays the message it again only come through on my phone??And if i try to make a call or receive a call it again comes up on my car’s multimedia screen but goes to my phone?
Any ideas?


i canno t connect my

From tempest kingsly on March 08, 2023 :: 11:19 pm

i canno t connect my power locusp4plus head phones to connect to my device


Bluetooth speaker

From Teri on March 13, 2023 :: 4:11 pm

Thank you, was so simple when I turned the Bluetooth off on my cell! I was trying to connect to the tablet ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


From Jitu Shah on March 15, 2023 :: 12:28 pm

Dear Sir,
I wish to know how to pair two KN 321 BT adapters to each other to make it work like a door phone?
Thank you.


Pairing two KN 321 adapters

From Jitu Shah on March 15, 2023 :: 12:33 pm

Dear Sir,
I wish to know how two KN321 BT adapters to pair to each other.
Thank you.


Police scanner

From Ted on April 06, 2023 :: 7:33 pm

I had my police scanner paired with two different pairs of AirPods Pro for a couple years and after the 16.4 update they no longer work.  For some reason I deleted them from the list and tried to re-pair them and they find them okay but will no longer connect. “Connection to: AirPods Pro failed” is all I get.  So frustrating


Were the AirPods in pairing mode?

From Josh Kirschner on April 07, 2023 :: 10:02 am

When trying to re-pair after deleting the AirPods from the list, did you make sure the AirPods are in pairing mode by holding the button on the back of the case until the lights start blinking (with the airpods in the case ad the cover open)?


Bluetooth connection

From Christine Reidy on May 05, 2023 :: 4:04 pm

Someone in the house I live in accused me of being on their bluetooth surrounded sound system when I was on my bose mini bluetooth system other night and still had my bluetooth on. They said I was on theirs and asked me to shut my bluetooth off on my phone so they could connect so I did and their system said bluetooth disconnected . Can anyone tell me the answer to this please?


Lenovo Ear Pods

From marianna wohlgemuth on May 16, 2023 :: 3:26 pm

I was gifted an iPad Gen 5 for Mothers Day. I use Lenovo Ear Pods and I have tried many times to use them. I can’t seem to connect with Bluetooth to them. Is there a way to do this?


pair two iphones

From Mark on May 30, 2023 :: 10:34 am

I have two iPHone 5S and SE(old) and each has the “WiFI Camera” app from AppleStore.  The app claims you can bluetooth pair the two iPhones together and then view the camera image of the i.e. 5S on the SE real time to use as a backup camera.  I am unable to pair the two iPhones. They never discover each other.
5S is sw ver 12.5.5  
SE is sw ver 15.7.5


Can you confirm app and connection?

From Josh Kirschner on May 30, 2023 :: 5:41 pm

Can you confirm which app you have and what version? Is it the one from Alfred security?

I’m familiar with Alfred and how it works. The connections would be through your WiFi network, not Bluetooth. Bluetooth has a really short range (30 ft or so in the best conditions) so isn’t an effective way of connecting a devices, like a security camera, that you would want to monitor from a distance.


it's not working

From joe on June 11, 2023 :: 12:56 am

no matter wat I do it doesn’t connect but it’s been working fine for ages and all of sudden it stopped working idk why but I’ve tried every meth to get my headphones to connect but they just don’t anymore


PC and headphones

From G WHITLOCK on June 28, 2023 :: 9:43 pm

So, every time I turn on my PC, my headphones (LE-HD 450BT) are paired automatically.  However to connect so I can actually listen, I have to go into settings, then bluetooth devices and muck around to connect.  My phone connects to both my cars automatically, can the same happen with headphones?  On one of my Android phones I need to do the same, go to settings, select bluetooth-the headphones are already paired, but I need to select connect-the other- a very old Android phone, just connects as soon as I power it up.


What OS versions are on your devices?

From Josh Kirschner on June 29, 2023 :: 9:45 am

Can you confirm what brand/model headphones you’re using? I see Sennheiser has the HD 450BT, but those are Bluetooth 5.0 and I don’t see anything about an LE version.

Also, what version of Windows and Android are you running on the devices with the issue?


Bluetooth connection error

From Oyewale on July 02, 2023 :: 10:53 am

My bluetooth connects when I play music directly from my phone, but it does not if I am on a telegram meeting.


This sounds more like a

From Josh Kirschner on July 02, 2023 :: 3:36 pm

This sounds more like a device setting issue than a Bluetooth connection problem. In Telegram, check your “Call Settings” under settings and see what the input and output device is set to.


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