Bluetooth Not Connecting – Troubleshooting

Wireless connectivity is one of the primary features that today’s devices offer to consumers. Devices that connect wirelessly using technology such as Bluetooth are favored on all levels, from professionals whose work depends on wireless peripherals, to consumers who use them every day, for entertainment and leisure.

When Bluetooth devices fail to connect or start losing their connectivity, things can become dire or plainly annoying, depending on the urgency and dependency on that Bluetooth connection. Troubleshooting an unstable Bluetooth connection is easier than might feel. Here are some pointers on how to diagnose a bad Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth Not Connecting – The Basic Problems

Bluetooth connectivity can have problems that have origins in either hardware or software. Hardware issues can have to do with anything from a low battery charge to a bad Bluetooth module. Software issues typically happen when a device gets stuck trying to connect to an already paired device.

Older Bluetooth devices are often simpler and can have issues with attempting to connect to the last device they were paired with. Even newer devices that have Bluetooth 4 can be more problematic than Bluetooth 5 devices. In order not to list all the possible problems, it would be better to list the solutions to the most common problems, categorized by the device.

Bluetooth Connection Troubleshooting by Device Type

Devices can have problematic connections due to a plethora of reasons, and the easiest way to diagnose the problem is to start with every common device that would be used in most consumer applications. Following are likely solutions to the question why is my Bluetooth not connecting, categorized by device type.

Bluetooth Headphones Not Connecting – Standard Issues and Solutions

If your headphones are not connecting to your phone and you are wondering ‘why are my Bluetooth headphones not connecting’, do not worry, you will likely not have to replace them. Most headphones have simple software which controls the Bluetooth module. They will seek the latest device they were connected/paired with. A soft reset should get the headphones to work again. It is always wise to unpair the headphones on your phone and pair them again after a minute or so. This might happen from time to time, but it is the most likely solution and problem, other than a faulty device.

Bluetooth Speaker Not Connecting – Similar Issues, Similar Solutions

Bluetooth speakers work in a very similar way to Bluetooth headphones. They are paired with a device, most likely the last device they were paired with. If you turn the speaker on and it seems dismissive of a new connection, one can restart it, or simply press a dedicated Bluetooth button. This button basically puts the speaker into a discoverable mode where it is ready to receive a new pair, for example, a new phone or other audio sources. Most headphones will have a similar button.

Bluetooth Mouse Not Connecting – Check the Battery

Bluetooth mice have an adapter that is plugged into a USB port in a computer or laptop. The adapter will always have power, due to the USB port supplying it. Yet, the mouse will not. Some Bluetooth mice come with standard AAA batteries, while others have their own lithium-ion batteries.

Check the battery charge on the mouse. If the battery is drained, then the mouse will not be able to connect. If there are other problems, check with the manufacturer to see if there is a driver update for the operating system you are using.

Bluetooth Keyboard Not Connecting – Just Like the Mice

Keyboards work in a very similar way to Bluetooth mice. An adapter is plugged into an USB port in a target computer and the connection is initialized, provided that the keyboard has sufficient battery life. There could be an issue with drivers, just like with the mice, but more often than not, it will be the battery life.

Most Bluetooth adapters for computer peripherals are straightforward and universal when it comes to basic peripheral functions. More advanced functions like RGB control will likely require dedicated software downloads.

Phone Not Connecting To Bluetooth – Various Problems and Solutions

When a phone fails to connect to a Bluetooth device, it is most likely because it is searching for an already paired device to pair with upon Bluetooth activation. The easiest solution to this problem is to unpair the phone with the device that is causing the issue.

If a phone attempts connecting to another phone or device, the other device should be discoverable, something that can be turned on in Bluetooth settings. Some devices require entering a code to initialize the connection.

Bluetooth adapters, for example, for cars, could be low on battery and might require a charge. Typically, for phones, the things to make sure are that the phone is not attempting to connect to an already paired device (which is most likely turned off), and that it is set to being discoverable.

Viruses and Malware? – Bluetooth is Generally Safe

There are stories of people being bluejacked, but nowadays, Bluetooth is much safer and almost impossible to use maliciously. Already present malware might affect Bluetooth connections, but that symptom requires other action such as running antivirus software.

In order not to get malware and other viruses, be mindful of where you use Bluetooth and which devices you connect to. Have antivirus software ready if you assume that malicious software might be responsible for Bluetooth connection issues.

Conclusion and Summary

When Bluetooth connections fail or malfunction, it is often one of three things, dead batteries, a device searching for its last paired device, or traffic congestion (too many devices using Bluetooth in a small area).

Other than complete device failure, these issues will be the most common for most Bluetooth devices, from phones to computer peripherals, to headphones and Bluetooth speakers. A soft reset and unpair will solve most Bluetooth connection issues, while charging peripherals, speakers and headphones will take care of the rest.

About The Author

Milan Zagorac

Milan has always been interested in writing and technology, but managed to pick up a love for music, literature and sports along the way. Essentially a jack of all trades, his interest in all things tech as well as love for the written word, keeps him well occupied.

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