What to Do When Bluetooth Doesn't Work [Android]
Bluetooth is a very handy feature that allows us to do all sorts of things such as sync with peripherals like a keyboard or even transfer files from device to another. Unfortunately, this feature doesn't always behave and has the tendency to cause us problems right when you need it the most. With this guide on how to deal with Bluetooth problems on your Android device, you'll finally be able to put those problematic days behind you.
Bluetooth Pairing Isn't Working
The good news about Bluetooth pairing is that your device with Bluetooth 4.2 should still be able to sync with another device that has Bluetooth 2.1. The bad news is those devices that feature a low-energy Bluetooth called Bluetooth Smart are the ones that are left out since they function on a different protocol than a device that doesn't have the feature.
So, if you have an Android device that features Bluetooth 3.0, you won't be able to sync with another device that has Bluetooth Smart. There are exceptions with devices supporting Bluetooth 4.0 that can pair with another device with Bluetooth Smart; you will know if you have such a device since the phone is usually labeled Bluetooth Smart Ready.
How to Fix Bluetooth Problems on Android
If you have been experiencing problems with your device's Bluetooth after an update, looks like you're going to have to re-pair them all over again. Start fresh and erase all the devices from your known Bluetooth device's list. You can do this by going to Settings > Bluetooth > Turn on Bluetooth > Select gear icon right beside the name of the device you're paired with > Unpair.
Rebooting your device has been known to work, so try and fix your Bluetooth problems by restarting your Android device. It's shocking what a simple reboot can do.
Clear Bluetooth Cache
When too much Cache accumulates, it could cause some problems, so it's always a good idea to clear it from time to time. You can do this by going to Settings > Apps or Application Manager > More > Show System Apps > Bluetooth Share > Storage > Clear Cache. You can also try erasing the Bluetooth Data by following these same steps but instead of tapping on Clear Cache, tap on Clear Data.
Pull Out The battery
If restarting your Android device didn't work, you can try a soft reset by pulling out the battery. First, you need to properly turn off your phone and then pull out the battery like you normally would. Once the battery is out, wait for a minute or two and put the battery back in. Turn your phone on and try using your Bluetooth like you normally would. If your Android device doesn't have a removable battery, you can simulate a battery pull by pressing the volume down, and the power button and this will hard reset your phone.
Don't worry, this isn't going to delete any data since a hard reset is not the same as a factory reset that will indeed erase everything on your phone.
Make Sure The Device in Discovery Mode
Just because the Bluetooth devices are near each other, that doesn't mean that they will be able to detect each other to pair up. To be discovered, the devices need to be in discovery mode and the way this is done going to depend on the device that you are using. How this is done will be in the manual that came with your device.
Boot Your Phone Into Safe Mode
Apps aren't always perfectly made, and when they are poorly coded, they can cause problems, and that includes Bluetooth issues. How you get into safe mode may depend on what device you are using, but you can try some methods that have been known to work on almost every phone.
For example, you can try pressing the power button until you see the power off option. Long-press on the power off button until you see the option to boot into safe mode and then tap OK. If this doesn't work, you can try turning off your phone like you normally would and when you turn in back on press the Volume down and Volume up at the same time until it turns on with the words Safe Mode towards the bottom of the display.
Pairing With the Wrong Device?
Do your Bluetooth speakers keep pairing up with another device and not yours? Sometimes devices try to turn on their standard connection and connect to the last device they paired up with. This can easily be fixed by just turning off that device so your Bluetooth speakers can pair with your phone and not someone else's.
Are the devices fully charged? If the battery is too low on either device's that could explain why you're having such a hard time pairing them.
USB 3.0 is great and is something I use every single day, but it can also be the culprit as to why some devices can't pair up. USB 3.0 could be interfering with your Bluetooth device's and trying to pair them up again but this time away from your computer could be the solution.
Are your Bluetooth devices up to date? Even if you have the slightest doubt, make sure that the firmware is up to date and that way if it's a bug that is causing you problems, the problems will go away with the update.
Other Possible Solutions
Every device has its particular profile that tells you what it's able to connect with, so make sure that the devices you are trying to pair can be paired with each other.
Don't forget that not every device uses Bluetooth to connect to another device. You may instead need to use technology such as NFC, Wireless HD, ANT+, etc. Some of us may be accustomed to using Bluetooth that we forget that other techniques exist.
How to Get the Best Bluetooth Experience Possible
Not all devices are created equal, but if your device allows you to use Bluetooth for different things, try unselecting the thing you're not going to be using them for. For example, let's say that your phone is paired with a tablet, but the connection allows you to use the Bluetooth connection for either Media Audio, Phone audio, Message Access or Contact Sharing, disable the options you're not going to need.
Make sure that the firmware is always up to date, sometimes the problems you experience are because of a bug and unfortunately that is only something an update can fix.
The Last Resort
You've tried everything, and nothing is working. Before you throw your Android device out the windows, you can try a factory reset. If you reset your device, don't forget to backup all your information since it will wipe your phone clean of everything you ever added when you first took it out of the box.
You can perform a factory reset by going to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device.
Bluetooth problems can appear at any time, but hopefully, you don't have to wait for an update from the manufacturer to get a solution. Hopefully, the tips in this article have helped you to put your Bluetooth issues in the past. What Bluetooth problems are you having with your device? Let me know what they are in the comments.
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I can never get enough of tech in general, whether it's Android or web apps, but helping others solve their tech problems also brings great satisfaction. I carry a device wherever I go and I'm always connected. Life without Internet just sounds too scary to me. :-).