When it’s working smoothly, bluetooth is great. Use your computer or smartphone to power a bunch of peripherals like wireless speakers, phone headsets, keyboards, and other devices. But while your Bluetooth-enabled devices can talk to each other, they don’t always converse willingly.
Here are twelve troubleshooting tips for bluetooth pairing problems.
- Is The Device Turned On? (DUH)
You’d be surprised how many technical problems can be solved by turning the device on. Don’t laugh: you know it’s happened to you.
- Turn Off The Device
Yes, you just checked to see if it was on. If it was, turn it off and then back on. That’s called a “soft reset” and often takes care of the problem. If your device has an “airplane mode,” you can try something even easier first: toggle airplane mode on and off before. That may fix the problem without a power down.
- Are Your Devices Feeling Powerful?
Even though your devices are working, they may not be running on full power and that can cause pairing problems. Some devices have a power saving mode that turns off bluetooth automatically to conserve battery power. Check the battery levels and charge the device if needed.
- Move In Closer
Bluetooth communicates, but it doesn’t shout. Make sure you’re close enough for the devices to pair. Typically, the far range is 30 feet, but it varies by device. Check the range on your device first. The solution could be just a short stroll away.
- Find Who Is Causing The Problem
Is the problem with your smartphone or the bluetooth device?
- Try pairing with a different device.
- Confirm that your device is bluetooth enabled. Not all wireless devices have that capability.
- If you’re connecting a speaker, make sure “mute” is turned off on your computer and that the sound is turned up on the speaker.
- Check For Interference
Wifi routers, USB 3.0 ports, and even cordless phones can interfere with bluetooth connections. You don’t have to turn them off; just move away from them when you’re trying to pair your devices.
- Bluetooth Is a One-To-One Conversation
Check to see if the device is already paired with another smartphone or tablet. For instance, if your bluetooth speaker is connected to your tablet, you can’t connect it to your phone until you break the first connection.
- Matchmaker, Matchmaker…. Are You Pairing Correctly?
There are different methods for bluetooth pairing. Some devices pair automatically while others require a code or other sort of user intervention. For example, many bluetooth adapters have a “wake up” button that turns bluetooth on. Check your user’s manual to verify which method you should use.
- Maybe It’s Not A Good Match
A bluetooth device is designed for a particular purpose, and that defines what type of peripherals it can communicate with. If you’re trying to pair a wireless keyboard with a speaker, that’s not likely to work. The two simply have nothing to say to each other. Check the user manual to see what types of devices are compatible.
- Hit The Reset Button
Sometimes two devices can “see” each other – meaning that they appear to be connected – but aren’t communicating. You’ll have to restart the pairing process.
- Tell your device to “forget” the peripheral.
- Put the device into “discover” mode so it can find the peripheral again.
- Go through the steps to pair the two devices.
- Maybe You Have The Wrong Driver
This could be your problem if you’re trying to pair your device with a PC – especially if the two have never paired before. It’s easy to check online for drivers and driver updates. The problem could also be in the peripheral if the Bluetooth driver can only connect with certain versions of Bluetooth.
- Update Your Operating System
This is certainly the last resort, but sometimes you just have to do it. Some of the newer Bluetooth devices can’t communicate with older operating systems. Updating may be the only way to access the great new features offered with these devices.