Connection issues can be a real pain, so it’s best to learn how to reset Bluetooth on a Mac. For example, you might find your Mac’s wireless Keyboard, Mouse Or the trackpad suddenly becomes unresponsive, making it very difficult to operate your computer and complete your work. If you’re having trouble with speakers, headphones, wireless controllers and more, you can stop enjoying your Apple computer.
Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to solve, so before you can completely reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module (we’ll cover that), it may help to have some troubleshooting techniques to call first, as this can solve your problem in less fuss.
Here we are going to look at some of the best ways to fix the problems you have with pairing Bluetooth devices with your Mac. If the problems remain unresolved after each step, it is a good idea to start from the top and work from the bottom as the instructions are more involved.
Looking for a new Mac? Over our range of tutorials, we also have a lot of helpful buying guides to help you make the right purchase. Check out our guide to Best MacBooks Before you buy.
How to troubleshoot and reset Bluetooth on Mac
- Turn off Bluetooth and turn it on again
- Check if your Bluetooth device is working
- Unpack and re-pair the device
- Update and reboot your Mac
- Prevent wireless interference
- Delete PLIST files
- Reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module
Read on to see detailed instructions for each step.
Turn off Bluetooth and turn it on again
Let’s start with a quick time-tested solution to many technical problems: turning things on and off again. In the first instance, we are simply going to disable Bluetooth and then enable it again.
1. Click on the Bluetooth icon In the menu bar on your Mac.
2. Toggle the button next to the Bluetooth To the off position. Then Click it again To back it up again.
Sometimes the Bluetooth device you are trying to connect to may not work properly, so let’s reset it as well.
1. When you Click the Bluetooth icon In the menu bar, you should See your device listed.
2. If it doesn’t, then Make sure your Bluetooth device is in charge.
3. You can Physically turn your device on and off By finding the button on the device.
4. If it still doesn’t work, just Check that the device settings are correct. For example, if you are connected to an audio device, have you increased the volume or is your Mac outputting to the right speakers or headphones? If all goes well, Connect it to another device. If it works, the problem may be on your Mac and you should read on. If this doesn’t work on the second machine, you may have to Contact the manufacturer of the device For more support.
Unpack and re-pair the Bluetooth device
If Bluetooth is active, your device is charged, turned on, and operated on a second device, then you may have a pairing problem. Pairing refers to the connection between your Mac and the device.
1. Click the Bluetooth icon In the menu bar and Select Bluetooth Preferences.
2. In the window that appears, Hover your mouse over the device You want to assemble and Click on X Beside it.
3. Select Remove When prompted and the device is forgotten. It’s a good time Double-check that your device is not already paired to another computer or phone. If it is, Unpack the Bluetooth device accordingly.
4. You now need to re-attach your device. How you do this varies from device to device but in the case of a magic keyboard, magic mouse or magic trackpad, for example, you can Use a USB cable to connect the device to your Mac. It should appear in the window and show as connected.
You can Right click On any device found in the Devices menu and Select the connection. If in doubt, Consult the instructions that came with your device.
Update and reboot your Mac
Is there nothing more? Maybe the ultimate “turn it on and off” method is needed and it’s time to reboot your Mac. First, let’s see if you need to update macOS. This requires a restart, so it makes sense to check for updates before rebooting.
1. Before you do, Click on the Apple icon In the upper left corner and Select About This Mac.
2. Click Software Update. If you do not need an upgrade, Skip to step 3. If an update is available, Follow the instructions to update MacOS. When your Mac starts to reboot after the update, Unplug and then reconnect all USB devices.
3. If you don’t need an upgrade, Remove any USB devices And Click the Apple icon again. This time, Select Restart. After rebooting your Mac, Re-try the other steps mentioned so far. Once power is down you can plug in your USB devices again.
Prevent any wireless interference
Interference from other devices may prevent the Bluetooth device from pairing and working properly. There are a few steps you can take.
1. Bring your Bluetooth device as close to your Mac as possible.
2. Set up your router to use the 5-GHz band For Wi-Fi instead of the more standard 2.4-GHz band, if possible – and if all your devices are compatible. Bluetooth uses a 2.4-GHz band and is in danger of being sunk by several connected devices.
You can usually do this Finding the IP Address of Your Router And Entering it into the browser. Login to your accountThen Open the Wireless tab And Replace the band. Check your router’s instructions for more details.
3. Clear objects that cause interference. According to Apple, these include microwave ovens, wireless video cameras, cordless phones, power cables and fluorescent lights.
4. Turn off USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 devices that are not needed. For anything you need to use, Keep them away from your Bluetooth devices and your Mac. You can also try Make sure they are connected using a protected cableIf possible.
Delete your Mac’s PLIST priority files
There are two Bluetooth-related files on your Mac. Both can be removed to help resolve the Bluetooth problem – and when you go to reboot your machine, they are recreated from scratch.
1. Start Finder And Click Go In the menu bar, then Go to Folder and select.
2. Type “/ Library / Preferences” And Tap the Enter key On your keyboard.
3. Find the file “com.apple/Bluetooth.plist” And Pull it into the trash Icon in the dock.
4. Now Click Go Back at the bar and Go to Folder and select. This time Type “/ Users /[yourname]/ Library / Preferences / ByHost “ (Of course, you are not typing “your name” – replace this bit with your username).
To find your username, Click Go In the top bar, then Select Home Page. Your username will be at the top of the Finder window.
5. Look for another PLIST file called “com.apple/Bluetooth”. It will have letters and numbers after it. Again, Pull it into the trash. Now Reboot your computer Follow the instructions above.
Reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module
This is a little nuclear option and a last resort but it does no harm so don’t worry. When resetting your Mac’s Bluetooth module, keep in mind that any connected Bluetooth devices are disconnected and that includes your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. This is a great time to grab a USB keyboard and mouse!
1. If you are using MacOS Big Sur or earlier, Hold down the select and shift keys on your keyboard And Click the Bluetooth icon In the menu bar. Holding down the selection and shift brings up the hidden options menu, which you wouldn’t normally see by clicking on the Bluetooth icon. Then you can Click Reset Bluetooth Module And Click OK To confirm.
2. If you are using MacOS Monterey or later, the process is more technical. Open the terminal (Click Launchpad in the dock Or Go to Finder, Then in the left-hand menu, click Applications. Once in the apps, Select Utilities And Select Terminal From the visible folder).
3. Type “sudo pkill bluetoothd” And Press Enter On your keyboard. Now Reboot your Mac Follow the instructions above and re-assemble your equipment.
Hopefully, you should be running with your Bluetooth devices again now. If not, make sure you contact the manufacturer of the Bluetooth device. If you think this is your Mac problem or if the Bluetooth device is an Apple one, you should get in touch with Apple Support or follow our guide on how to make a Genius Bar appointment and the Apple Store. If you are experiencing some connectivity issues and AirDrop is also playing, make sure you consult our guide on how to fix AirDrop if it doesn’t work. If you’re backing up and running on your Mac, we have plenty of handy Apple-themed guides to help you get the most out of your machine, including how to use Hot Corners on Mac, how to change folder colors, and more. How to change the icons on your Mac and your Apple ID email address.