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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

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

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

BT makes butt itch

From IDtenT Error on January 15, 2017 :: 3:59 pm

When I turn my BT on, my bottom get numb.


I founnd this helpful --Thanks!

From Stewart Vriesinga on January 21, 2017 :: 9:05 pm

I was almost at the point of returning my JLAB Eclipse Supra Fit as defective because it couldn’t see Bluetooth devices. It wouldn’t list them, much less pair with them and repeatedly told my there were no Bluetooth device to connect to. I was frustrated and, in part because the store I bought it from was about to close, I looked on line. I found the manual and was following all the instructions correctly, and other devices—my laptop, my phone, my hearing aids,my tablet—were all connecting without problems. Or at least they WERE connecting, albeit not always to the device I wanted.

After reading your tips I moved away from the router and laptop, and made sure all devices other than the speaker I wanted to connect to were turned off, and it found the speaker and I was able to pair/connect it! Thanks!


Glad it worked!

From Josh Kirschner on January 22, 2017 :: 5:45 pm

These connection issues can be very frustrating so glad you got things working!


htc one s with a sony wireless MDR-RF811R STEREO HEADPHONES

From nambasi emmanuel on November 22, 2017 :: 10:46 am

I am quite confused with these headphones I just bought from my friend who also does not know how to connect them. The power button is a left to right switch which cannot be held to light blue like other divices I have been familiar with. Pliz help me with my excitement. Emah.


Car Bluetooth

From Marie on January 07, 2018 :: 11:04 pm


All of a sudden my husbands handsfree in the car is giving an interference sound on outgoing calls. Hard for google voice to hear his phone request but once connected it is normal connection. It’s a Samsung S5 and has just starting doing it in the last week or so. Have unpaired etc but doesn’t fix the noice. Can you think of what it could be plllleeeasse

Cheers Marie


Is this common or a setting issue

From Zero-Effect on January 23, 2017 :: 6:26 am

I just went out and got a Sentry B400 B.T. headset, and paired it with my laptop running Win 10 Pro.  The issue I am having come from when I have to recharge the blue tooth headset or laptop.  I power them off and charge them up then when I power them back on the headset automatically goes into pairing mode even though according to the laptop it states they are connected.  I cant get anything out of the headset, unless I delete the pairing and re-pair the headset back to the laptop every time I need to power down either the headset, the laptop or both…Any thoughts?


Try Airplane Mode

From Chris on January 23, 2017 :: 8:05 pm

I’ve been having trouble pairing since I came back from a trip. I forgot the device and then did all of the troubleshooting. None of it worked. I took a trip recently and had to use airplane mode, so I tried turning on airplane mode, and it worked! I then turned airplane mode off, and I’m still connected. I don’t know why, but this worked for me, and it might work for someone else.


Cannot get my Galaxy Luna to even find my Uproar Wireless Headphones

From Tracey Hagemo on January 27, 2017 :: 9:30 am

Seriously making me mad!  What the heck am I doing wrong?  Cannot even find them to pair.


JBL headphones to iPhone

From Ryan Jones on January 27, 2017 :: 5:08 pm

So I bought pretty decent wireless headphones that work great when the phone or headset isnt in motion. (which is what I didnt check when buying them) as soon as i move they cut out and in. Its constant like every time i move my head or the phone. Isnt the point to be so you can move??? I havnt updated my iphone 6 in over a year which Im seeing could possibly be the problem but probably not. Any ideas?



From Phu tran on March 17, 2022 :: 12:54 pm

Help me fit my heart to come my speaker can not heart too they call me


HiI have this problem with

From John Julius Casio on January 30, 2017 :: 4:51 pm

I have this problem with my ueboom2.
For some reason when I try to connect to my device when pairing it only says that error pin number or pass key. So i try my sister’s phone it work. What is my problem with my phone (im using 5.1 andoid).And I notice in the pairing the logo of my speaker is not a headset. What do I fix this


Having issue my speaker

From Meohmyoh on October 29, 2017 :: 6:45 pm

Ok when I told my bluetooth to forget speaker other night I thought when I do the search I could


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Cast not woking on W10

From Samantha on February 02, 2017 :: 7:27 pm

I can pair my HP laptop running Windows 10 with my Motorola android phone, but when I try to cast music in Windows media player it shows the available device as my neighbour’s unpaired TV instead of my paired phone, any ideas how to fix it? I have tried all combinations of restarting and repairing and am really fed up with it. Thanks


Skull Candy wireless

From Aimee Lawson on February 02, 2017 :: 8:53 pm

I have a pair of wireless skullcandy headphones and i also got a memorex boom box that has bt, however i cannot get these two to pair up, i have tried everything, what do i do?


Connecting Blue Piston speaker

From Brian on February 04, 2017 :: 10:07 am


Have to thank you! I couldn’t connect my Blue Piston speaker to my Mac. But it worked great on my iPhone so as I read through your article you said to make sure you were away from the WIFI source. So I tried turning off my WIFI on my Mac and boom the speaker appeared!



Happy Valentines day

From Apna happy on February 07, 2017 :: 3:58 am



From Carenician on February 07, 2017 :: 11:14 am

my note 2 pairs with my Lg cm 9530 but streams delayed broken sound,it pair and plays clear on other Hoofers what can be the problem?


Blue tooth issue on iPhone 6+

From Tracy on February 07, 2017 :: 11:15 am

My iPhone will pair up with my Apple Watch and my car through Bluetooth but I cannot get it to pair with speakers or Bluetooth headphones .  The little Bluetooth thing just keeps spinning I’ve tried shutting the phone completely off I’ve turn the Bluetooth on and off and he suggestIons?



From Chamba on February 07, 2017 :: 12:26 pm

My mobile samsung glaxay j7 prime bluetooth is not connect any device plz tell me how to fix the problem any idea


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Connecting my A5 with my 2016 Escape

From Megan Regnier on February 21, 2017 :: 3:51 am

I recently purchased a 2016 Ford Escape and while my Escape recognizes my phone, my phone won’t allow my Escape to connect via bluetooth. I’d love to fix that because I’m on call a lot for work and need to be able to respond to calls


connecting phone to stereo problem

From shawn michael on May 09, 2020 :: 1:08 pm

following are different suggestions
hopefully you have it fixed by now, since thats been 3 years when you sent out the question.

turn off the BT on the phone, and back on after a few seconds
turn off your phone and turn back on.
delete the pairing to the item you have and re pair.

those are my suggestions.


android tablet 4.4.2

From Veronica on February 22, 2017 :: 6:37 am

HI I have tried to pair my generic bluetooh to the android tablet 4.4.2 and butbit continues to give me the message no nearby device found can someone please help me the bluetooh is 4.1 generic brand thanks


#8 worked

From Tamaresque on February 24, 2017 :: 8:26 pm




From ian on February 25, 2017 :: 5:22 pm

My phone and laptop are paired but won’t connect saying pan server fault?


You need to make sure

From Suzanne Kantra on March 03, 2017 :: 12:16 pm

You need to make sure that Bluetooth tethering is turned on. You should find this on your phone under Settings > Wireless & Networks > More > Tetherng & portable hotspot. Then select Bluetooth tethering to turn it on. Once tethering is on, you should be able to connect to the Internet with your laptop.


They can't hear me

From Ceanna on March 03, 2017 :: 5:23 am

When I connect my phone to my jvc car Bluetooth I can play music just find but if I receive or make calls they can’t hear me but I Can hear them and I have to switch phone to speaker or headset. I have paired 3 different phones and its always the same, plays music but if I make a call the person on the other end can’t hear me but I hear them .Can you please help me its driving me crazy.


Since you can hear callers,

From Suzanne Kantra on March 03, 2017 :: 12:24 pm

Since you can hear callers, it sounds like the microphone on the receiver could be physically blocked or malfunctioning.

Which model of JVC in-dash receiver is it? And what type of phones have you paired?


They can't hear me

From CEANNA on March 03, 2017 :: 4:10 pm

I have a JVC Arsenal KW-V200BTand I have tried connecting a HTC phone,BLU phone,and rite now I have an Alcatel phone. While connected to car Bluetooth it recognizes the dial of numbers like call my voicemail and add password people just can’t hear me


Here are a few things

From Suzanne Kantra on March 03, 2017 :: 5:28 pm

Here are a few things to try:

Locate the microphone and make sure it isn’t being physically blocked. (It’s also possible the mic became unplugged or was never plugged into the back during installation.)

Test the mic to see if your receiver hears your voice commands.

When you’re taking a call, have you tried boosting the microphone level on the display? I see in the manual that there is a volume level adjustment for the microphone in the lower right—which is only available when you’re in a call.


From Thanhkhuu on March 17, 2022 :: 12:50 pm

Fit my iPhone they can heart me


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Download any game from this play and enjoy


This is the wonderful website

From Danial on March 12, 2017 :: 6:29 am

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JBL Charge fixed

From Leo on March 18, 2017 :: 2:42 pm

Thanks for tip #8: delete device fr phone and rediscover.  Had tried everything (I thought) and had now pried it apart and was about to do a reboot by disconnecting battery. Last ditch research and your tips appeared. Thx again


My Handfree bluethooth mobil not paier and not connet plece sultion plece frainds

From Anas Jan Anas Jan on March 22, 2017 :: 5:31 am

Plece fast me frainds


pairing QCY-Q29_L

From Hilary on March 27, 2017 :: 11:02 am

Keep getting an error message from my Samsung tablet :unable to communicate with QCY-Q29_L….can someone help me? This is a first time pair with the tablet.


ya but none of it is working

From saif on March 28, 2017 :: 12:50 pm

al my bluetooth drivers are uptodate as well as on my android device…...any ide


As far as driver updates,

From Suzanne Kantra on March 29, 2017 :: 5:13 pm

As far as driver updates, that’s only relevant for computers. What are you trying to pair with your android device? What version of Android are you running?


Looks like you have the

From Suzanne Kantra on March 29, 2017 :: 5:10 pm

Looks like you have the pair the right ear piece out of the case to pair and then remove the left ear piece for it to connect to the right ear piece. If you’ve done that, I’d try forgetting the QCY Q29 on your Bluetooth list and put the headphones into pair mode again for a second try.


Bunch of BS

From Bryn on April 04, 2017 :: 3:04 pm

This doesn’t do anything to fix actual connection issues.


Bluetooth connectivity issues.

From Oscar on April 04, 2017 :: 11:12 pm

I recently purchased a new car stereo that supports bluetooth but when I attempt to connect my galaxy7 phone to it and play music, it registers as conected but no audio comes out. Then when I try to connect my phone to other bluetooth devices, the problem caries over to the devices that woeked previous to the pairing with the car stereo. I thought it was my phone but I tried two different brands and the same issue. Can a car stereo ruin my bluetooth? Only after doing a factory data reset on my phone was I able to connect to the Bluetooth devices and get audio again but not the car stereo.


BT paired,connected(no phone) with av receiver

From Ashim Kr Hore on April 18, 2017 :: 9:26 am

My mobile phone was nicely paired and connected wih onkyo av receiver and was playing music in mobile and streaming the audio thorough onkyo music system.But since last five days while trying to play music in my mobile no audio was heard in my system.AV receiver shows’ connected’ but in my mobile while connected with av receiver after pairing it becomes silent as it should be but no audio streaming in music system.While checked in mobile bluetooth connection it shows"connected (no phone)”.Tried by restarting, by clearing cache files but no positive result.While tried to play by pairing and connecting av receiver with another mobile it played smoothly in music system.while connecting my mobile with another mobile it connected fine data transfer is done smoothly.But couldn’t transfer audio to av receiver.Being myself a audiophile it’s a great trouble for me.Av receiver is working fine with my tv ,desktop,usb drive or even with other mobile phone.Any guidance to fix this is welcome.


For me restarting smartphone did

From Pedro s. on April 26, 2017 :: 6:57 am

For me restarting smartphone did the trick wink


Sure way to not get ripped off by bluetooth hype.

From Grinder on April 29, 2017 :: 9:17 pm

Make the salesman pair your device as a condition of sale. The land fills are full of discarded Bluetooth stuff. Trump tweets in bluetooth.


I can connect my phone

From facebook10155630950182971 on April 30, 2017 :: 9:18 am

I can connect my phone with my onkyo AV receiver via Bluetooth and play music from my phone easily and smoothly but since last few days while trying to connect the same pair, in my phone it shows ‘connected(no phone)’ and in the av receiver it is showing’ connect’ as earlier. In the phone the music continues to play but it’s speaker goes off but speaker systems fails to play. Tried by soft resetting but failed. Any guidance to rectify the same will be cordially accepted.


Bluetooth headphones show paired to iphone, but can't hear

From Judy Beach on May 09, 2017 :: 12:43 pm

Everything indicates my bluetooth headset is connected to my Iphone 7 properly. It shows connected on my phone, and the headset says it is connected. Once I make a phone call or try to receive a call, I hear nothing. :(


Even if you have everything

From Suzanne Kantra on May 09, 2017 :: 3:08 pm

Even if you have everything connected properly, the iPhone won’t necessarily select your headset when you make/receive a call. When you make or receive a call, tap on the Audio button on the screen (after you place a call, it’s to the right of the keypad button on the top row). When you tap the Audio button, you should see a white window slide up from the bottom that lets you select from the headset, your iPhone and the speaker. Selecting the headset should let you hear and turn on the headset’s microphone. Let me know if that doesn’t work.



From Judy Beach on May 17, 2017 :: 10:42 am

Thanks Suzanne, although I had tried that too. Turns out the only thing that worked was shutting down my iphone, and restarting it. It works fine now.


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