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How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems

by on January 26, 2017
in Phones and Mobile, Computers and Software, Phone Accessories, Tips & How-Tos :: 355 comments

14 Tips for Solving Bluetooth Pairing Problems

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 3 billion Bluetooth products that were expected to ship last year 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 backwards compatible: Bluetooth devices supporting the Bluetooth 4.2 standard, announced last year, 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, it can potentially recognize both Bluetooth Smart and Classic. If it does, it's officially labelled Bluetooth Smart Ready.

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.

iPhones running iOS 7 and newer should be Bluetooth Smart Ready as should 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. 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. Power down likely interferers. 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 activate its usual connection. 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.

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 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,” Powell says.

10. Move away from a USB 3.0 port. “Interference from USB 3.0 is also possible,” Powell says. 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.

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 1/26/2017

[ Bluetooth devices with phone via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

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Never mind- I got it!I

From Diana Smith Hill on May 31, 2016 :: 7:51 am

Never mind- I got it!

I figured it out

Once you pair your speakers you have to choose the sound player just like you would have to choose your default music player. Right click on the speakers on the taskbar bottom right, choose playback devices, select the device you want to playback your music. Right click it and select make default.

Reply

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car blue tooth continues attempting to "pair" with phone but can't

From christina on June 07, 2016 :: 10:12 am

Hello, I’ve had my phone for about 6 months and it was working fine with my blue tooth in my car but all of a sudden it won’t work and the car continues to searching for it.  This is interrupting my radio every 1 minute.  It is so frustrating.  At this point, I don’t care if I ever use it again, I just want the radio to not get interrupted every minute.  To operate the blue tooth in the car, I have to push a ceiling button, but that is not working, I am unable to ask it to delete phones.  I did that once and repaired phones and that worked for one call and then went back to not working and now I am unable to delete phones.  Any ideas?  The dealer says $2000 to replace system.  Ouch!

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Paired Iphone6 win 10 pc will not reconnect

From joseph putz on June 11, 2016 :: 2:20 pm

go to bluetooth icon on pc, select setting, select options, select Allow bluetooth devices to discover this pc, go to com ports, select, add device, select make incoming sinal discoverable

Then repair. Good Luck this wasn’t obviouse, using bluetooth 4.0 usb connect

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Trouble connecting lg g3 phone bluetooth with car

From Chloe on June 18, 2016 :: 1:39 am

My phone’s blue tooth was working perfectly with my Ford Fiesta but then all of a sudden a couple days ago it wasn’t connected and it won’t reconnect. I’ve tried restarting both devices. I reset the blue tooth in my car. Every time I try to connect them, my car immediately says “Failed Pairing” and returns to the previous screen. Neither of the devices will recognize each other. Help! This is very frustrating!

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bluetooth

From bryan jonathan on June 18, 2016 :: 8:21 am

thank you techlicious.com ur advice was helpful had such a problem couldnt connect my samsung j2 to my radio before i had no prob but after ...i did a rediscover and it is now working..thank u be blessed

Reply

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Blue Tiger Elite Headset Won't Pair to Computer

From Ken Tennen on June 28, 2016 :: 1:58 pm

Rather expensive Blue Tiger Elite Dual Camo etc. headset will pair to my cell phone but not to my computer. My computer guy says talk to Blue Tiger and Blue Tiger says talk to my computer guy. I now have a $115 dust collector.

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Found a solution to "missing driver" !

From Noam on June 30, 2016 :: 9:54 am

Go here and choose a driver package according to your operating system:
http://www.broadcom.com/support/bluetooth

Worked great for me!

Reply

UE Boom Pairs but won't play music

From Craig Cowan on July 03, 2016 :: 9:43 pm

My UE Boom has been playing music of Asus Laptop for while via “listen to music” option.  However, yesterday it will not allow me to do that.

The process used to be; Start Spotify and play music.  Turn on UE and it automatically connects to “Voip calls and handsfree”.  The sound plays poor quality so I disconnect that option and connect via “listen to music”.  Within music it is playing music again at superior quality sound. 

Problem: it connects as per normal to voip but when i disconnect and reconnect via listen to music it connects but continues to play the sound via the laptop speaker.

I’ve reset the device and deleted from PC and started fresh, same problem.
Any ideas??

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lg tone pro 800 won't pair to zte phone

From james jenkins on July 05, 2016 :: 8:42 pm

My zte phone finds/pairs/connects to lg tone pro 760 headphones, and can find every other bt around, but can’t find lg 800 hdphns. My moto e phone connects with both, no problems. lg and zte had no solutions.

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Pairing Issues of phone and wireless headphone

From Kelvin XY on July 07, 2016 :: 1:24 pm

I’d just bought my new wireless headphone for my phone, but after pairing the both devices, my phone’s keypad is disabled, what should I do?

Reply

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Pairing iPhone 62 with JBL Charge 2+ speaker

From Tom Bushery on July 11, 2016 :: 3:11 pm

As far as I can tell, my iPhone 6s runs Bluetooth 4.2. I have a JBL Charge 2+ bluetooth speaker, that according to the specs, runs Bluetooth 3.0.  I can pair the two, but when I try to play iTunes music from my phone through the speaker, no sound comes out.  Is this a compatibility issue?  I have the same problem with my Dell Inspiron 11 3152, which apparently runs Bluetooth 4.0.  Any help will be appreciated.

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Most useless article I've ever read

From Anonymous on July 25, 2016 :: 11:26 am

I request the author to write something useful instead

Reply

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Thanks for the awesome feedback!

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 11:41 am

Given the number of people in the comments who were helped by this article, we thought we had finally produced something useful. Apparently not.  We apologize that we couldn’t do a better job serving your unexpressed needs (where you instead looking for an article on how to be a better gardener? If so, I agree, this article would be the most useless article you’ve ever read). In any regard, we will get right to work on an article that may have a greater amount of usefulness, as per your request.

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Samsung Tab media audio won't play on Plantronics Bluetooth

From Gee on July 04, 2017 :: 7:56 am

The call audio works but not media with the Plantronics M165

Reply

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Don't Be A Hater

From Zero-Effect on January 23, 2017 :: 6:12 am

I have scan this forum looking for a resolution to my issue, and from I can tell they have helped well over 2 dozen people so far. So if you don’t have a legit Bluetooth issue or question, go troll some place else.

Reply

Thank you

From Deac Mirela on July 30, 2016 :: 6:38 am

Nr.7 rezolved my problem. I had economy power on, and could not connect trough bluetooth.

Reply

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Glad it helped!

From Josh Kirschner on August 01, 2016 :: 10:53 am

Sometimes the fix is really simple, but finding what that simple thing is can be a real pain. Glad the article helped.

Reply

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about ZEB-BH498 version 3.0+EDR

From chandrashekar on August 04, 2016 :: 11:18 pm

I purchase from cart a Bluetooth wireless above from zebronics compny, my (android device is rio R_201),  while paring device do not shown headset name longtime, and finally not swon . whts wrong with me . please tell me it possible to connecte or unsupported.

My android 4.4.2 kitkat version

Reply

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my skullcandy smokin buds 2 bluetooth headphones wont connect

From emily on August 08, 2016 :: 7:38 pm

Ive tried everything on this list and nothing has worked, my headphones refuse to connect to any of my devices (iPhone 4, Samsung galaxy tab) help!! I can’t return them to target because I lost my receipt. I tried everything please help!

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Please Help: An update stops my Samsung Note GT 8020 and Belkins bluetooth Keyboard from connecting

From Ryno Lawson on August 11, 2016 :: 2:21 am

So when I hard reset my Samsung galaxy Note GT8020 the belkins keyboard connects fine. But there is a software update that later updates and then they can no longer communicate. I had blocked the all auto updating of my apps as I think it was the Samsung All share dongle app update which I am conscience not to update but foolishly I went and updated my other none related apps(like kindle and twitter) and I think one of them snuck in a bluetooth update because now my tablet and my belkins keyboard are not finding each again. I don’t want to reset my tablet each time this bluetooth update happens. How can I get around this? Is there a way I can block or uninstall the bluetooth update? Can I update the belkins firmware to be compatable with the new samung/android bluetooth updates. I had update my tablet android firmware to 4.4.2 to use the keyboard which worked initial. Any suggestions would be appreciated as this keyboard is critical to me typing in Swedish. Thanks in advance

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Invitation For My Website

From Status Wish on August 13, 2016 :: 8:17 am

Hello Buddies My Name Is Alissa And I Am A SEO Optimizer I Believe In Team Work So On That Basis I Started A Website With Lots Of Status And Wishes And Many More If You Want To See Then Visit Our Homepage And I Am Damn Sure You Will Fine Best Qualities Of Status And Wishes On There.

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Thanks!

From Greg DeFrancesco on August 18, 2016 :: 3:05 am

After an hour looking at Samsung’s help and downloading 2 apps which didn’t help, I hit Google and came across your tips.

I tried two of them - move away from the router and use airplane mode.

Bam, the phone recognized the bluetooth headphones and I was connected in seconds.

Thanks for being a problem-solver.

Reply

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Targus Bluetooth speaker mid#2550913 pairs ok, but not audio sound

From Lázaro on August 21, 2016 :: 3:01 am

My Targus speaker pairs with my iPhone, also pairs with my Macbookpro and with my Samsung tablet, the only problem is that the speaker lights work perfectly, the speaker also output sound when pairs and when it disconnects from whatever device is connected to, but it does not output any sound from audio or video players, thanks in advance for any help

Reply

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Targus Bluetooth speaker mid#2550913 outputs phone audio but not media players audio

From Lázaro on August 21, 2016 :: 3:21 am

Misteriously my Targus Bluetooth speaker reproduces sound from phone calls but not from any of my iPhone 6 Plus media players, everything was working fine when I begin playing around with the speaker connecting it to my Macbookpro and a Samsung tablet I have, suddenly the speaker stopped working with all the devices, with the three devices I get the same result, the speaker pairs with no problem, speaker lights work perfect, you can hear the notification sound of the speaker pairing and also when it gets disconnected, you can also hear the play and the stop sound but not sound at all from media players, again, on a phone call, I can hear the phone dialing , I can talk and hear the caller but that is all, thanks for help

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bluetooth passkey / pairing problem solved

From Joseph Collins on August 26, 2016 :: 3:00 am

I had the problem that my phone wouldn’t connect to my car system due to incorrect pin or passkey.
I downloaded an App from Play store (free) which is a multiplayer client - Click,Link,Compete.
Set your car Bluetooth to on and tell it to “pair new device”
Set your phone bluetooth to on.
Click on the App and it will ask to allow a Bluetooth connection - allow and then backspace to the menu and try to start the ‘Air Hockey client’ this will then try to connect to any blutooth device present and request a pin / passkey - select your car system and enter your pin - you will then be connected - its worked for me for two different car systems.

Reply

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iPhone 5s pairing with Polaroid pogo printer

From Jen on August 26, 2016 :: 10:59 pm

How do I pair my iPhone 5s with the Polaroid Pogo Bluetooth printer? Is there an app I could use?

Reply

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showing keyboard icon

From prince on August 29, 2016 :: 1:37 pm

I’m trying to connect my Bluetooth headset S530 with my phone iball andi 4.5 enigma+. But when I’m switching on both the device. The Bluetooth device is showing on my phone but a keyboard icon is shown with it not the headset icon. What should I do?

Reply

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http://attitudestatus.co.in/best-attitude-shayari/

From Attitude Shayari on August 31, 2016 :: 4:07 am

You can solve you problem with EL83s softwear that you easily help you to solve your problem.

Reply

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EL83s

From prince on September 20, 2016 :: 11:33 am

hi can you please tell me where can i find this software as i searched on Google and I’m not getting satisfied results. so if you may please share a link and tell me more about it. thanks..

Reply

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Bluetooth pairing/passkey problems

From Joseph Collins on September 20, 2016 :: 2:47 pm

The software is to be found in the “App Store”
Search for “Click Link Compete”

Reply

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What is Bluetooth? When was it discovered?

From yash on September 18, 2016 :: 5:03 am

This Bluetooth is commonly used to share the data between two different electronic devices. This is one of the most common integration in every phone in our daily life. Based on the working of this system many new inventions are come in these days. For example Bluetooth speakers, Wireless headset, Selfie stick etc..,. The latest […] learn more..

Answer link: http://howwhywhat.net/what-is-bluetooth-when-was-it-discovered/

Reply

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bbcpak

From bbcpak.com on September 20, 2016 :: 7:49 am

The first time you use your iPhone with a Bluetooth headset, you need to sync the devices using a process called “Pairing.”
Here I found a usefull article on Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems in Iphone
http://bbcpak.com/2016/09/fix-bluetooth-pairing-problems/

Reply

bloetooth

From Tim Podkrižnik on September 24, 2016 :: 3:34 am

My bluetooth deesnt iven turn on . any help

Reply

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:Pairing

From Ron on September 30, 2016 :: 8:04 pm

Cannot get my Bluetooth Scanner to pair with my Samsung S4, tried everything, including calling the TI, and suggestions?

Reply

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Pairing with TV Bluetooth transmitter.

From Rajesh on October 02, 2016 :: 10:14 pm

Just bought a Sharper Image Bluetooth transmitter for my TV but am unable to pair it with my Samsung android mobile as no device seen by mobile. Will it work with a mobile or only with bluetooth earphones? Any other solutions?

Reply

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pairing won't stay

From Don Shelton on October 05, 2016 :: 6:09 pm

I have a AT&T flip phone with B/T pairing to a new 2016 Chevy Malibu.  I am able to pair and use the B/T but the next time I get in the car I have to pair my cell phone to the car again. Why won’t my cell phone stay paired?

Reply

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Canton dm75/ ideausa atomic headphones

From Brian Willam on October 06, 2016 :: 4:09 pm

Why can’t I connect my headphones to the soundbox even though both are ” Bluetooth” enabled.The headphones connect to my iPad etc,Are you able to offer some advice to help solve this problem

Reply

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Did you try the steps above?

From Josh Kirschner on October 07, 2016 :: 11:11 am

The steps in the article will resolve most issues.

Reply

FINALLY - figured out why my phone wouldn't pair

From Surie Bonvee on October 14, 2016 :: 7:23 pm

Auvio bluetooth speaker.  My laptop was already auto-pairing and can’t have 2 devices paired at once, so my phone could never pair!!  The list of things to check should include - un-pair other devices….

Reply

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Mobile unable to communicate with soundbar

From Sandra on October 15, 2016 :: 10:21 am

I have a Goodmans GDSB04BT50 soundbar. The bluetooth worked with my iphone4 but I now have a SAmsung Galaxy S6 and it wont pair. The error message showing on my mobile states ‘unable to communicate with GDSB04BT50’.  It is not the soundbar as it pairs with other devices. Is this simply a bluetooth incompatability issue or a common fault that I dont know how to fix? Do you know how to fix it?

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TDK Boombox pairing

From Lucien Fender on October 18, 2016 :: 3:21 pm

I have a 2 spkr TDK Boombox that works in Windows, but not in OSX. In OSX I can pair the speaker successfully, but when I switch the sound to output through the paired device, nada.

Reply

very simple

From Durai Sami on October 20, 2016 :: 12:38 am

Just do simple method connect your bluetooth headset with usb charging and push power on button now the headset pair will reset (note: the red light will blink red blue red blue red) and disconnect usb charger now turn on headset and easily pair with your phone

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just do this method

From Durai Sami on October 20, 2016 :: 12:39 am

Just do simple method connect your bluetooth headset with usb charging and push power on button now the headset pair will reset (note: the red light will blink red blue red blue red) and disconnect usb charger now turn on headset and easily pair with your phone

Reply

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Bluetooth of Huawei Y6 Pro

From Hewyear on November 05, 2016 :: 1:34 am

I have same problem with y mobile Huawei Y6 pro where i can not connect my wireless bluetooth device and i am unable to connect it.Screen shots of this error are given at http://hnewyear.com/interesting-and-cool-new-year-status-2017-quotes-for-friends/

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HALP PLZ

From Spojen on November 16, 2016 :: 11:02 am

So i have a MX Anywhere 2 mouse that dont show up on my computer after i “forgot” it. Is it a way to make it appear again? I`m using Windows 10 btw.

Reply

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about blue tooth

From Muhammad Usama Akram on November 19, 2016 :: 6:00 am

Hello! I use blue tooth adapter and when I use Bluetooth thearting to PC so my connection is on .after some moment automatic threatening off why

Reply

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ear buds

From David on November 22, 2016 :: 12:39 pm

I have Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 ear buds that worked on my old Nokia phone but my new Samsung J36V doesn’t recognize it.  It recognizes my fitbit watch.

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Paired to car unit but audio not connected.

From PohLin Ho on November 26, 2016 :: 9:05 am

I recently bought a Huawei Mate 9. I paired it with my new VW Passat Variant. The phone works. I can make and receive calls from the car unit. However the media cannot work. It says"Device not connected”. The sound does not come out of my phone when played and neither does it come from the car unit.
HELP!!!
Poh Lin

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