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11 Ways to Fix Bluetooth Issues on Mac (including macOS 12 Monterey)

Tips • Aug. 4, 2021

If you are an iPhone user, you know how easy it is to pair your AirPods with your iPhone. You do it just by simply opening your AirPods case near your iPhone and let Apple do the magic. The Bluetooth functionality is top-notch for the iPhone, but you can’t say the same when it comes to your Mac, and even with the latest MacOS Monterey, the Bluetooth bug hasn’t yet been fixed. But you don’t need to worry as there are a few ways to solve this problem and enable you to connect with all of your devices on your Mac via Bluetooth.

1) Restarting your Bluetooth devices

Nothing works best as the old school way of turning your Bluetooth off and restarting it.

  • You can do this by finding the Bluetooth icon on the top of your screen in the Menu bar and clicking Turn Bluetooth Off.
  • Wait for a few seconds and click Turn Bluetooth On, which will start your Bluetooth connection.

If you can’t find it on the Menu bar, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Bluetooth, then select “Show Bluetooth in Menu bar“. Now you will be able to see the Bluetooth icon on your Menu bar.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, try restarting your Mac and repeat the process.

2) Removing your Bluetooth devices

There could be another reason as to why you might face trouble connecting to your Bluetooth. If there are too many devices connected to your Mac, then it can cause connection problems. The official Bluetooth specification given by Apple states that the maximum number of devices that can be connected via Bluetooth is seven, but connecting more than three devices can cause troubles as some devices need more data than the rest of the device. So check the number of Bluetooth devices that are connected with your computer and try to remove some to see if it solves the issue.

3) Reconnecting your Bluetooth device

If all of the other devices connected with your Bluetooth works appropriately and only one of your devices faces connectivity issues, then try to remove it and then pair.

  • You can do this by opening System Preferences > Bluetooth
  • Check for the name of the device that you want to remove.
  • Remove it by clicking on the X next to it.

  • Restart your computer and wait for a few seconds before trying to pair the device again with your computer.

4) Resetting the Bluetooth module

If neither restarting your computer nor reconnecting your Bluetooth device works, then it’s time to take a different approach. You can try to reset your Bluetooth module by

  • Clicking the Bluetooth icon on the top of your screen while holding the Shift + Option (Alt)
  • You will find the Debugoption on the menu.
  • Click Reset the Bluetooth module from the submenu.

Note that all of your connected Bluetooth devices will be disconnected, so use a wired input device before trying this method.

5) Looking out for interference

If your computer is surrounded by any other devices that are also using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections, try shutting them off to see if it helps.

This is because Bluetooth works on the same 2.4 GHz wireless band as many Wi-Fi systems, and by removing devices that can cause interference, you can make sure that there isn’t a problem with your Bluetooth device.

6) Deleting the Bluetooth preference files

There is also the option of deleting the Bluetooth.plist file, which sounds insecure but trust me, it is safe. You can save the file before deleting it just in case if something goes wrong (but don’t worry, it won’t).

  • You can find the plistfile in the user library folder, which you can access by opening Finder > Go while pressing the Option key.
  • Click on the Library option, which will open the user library folder and search for the apple.Bluetooth.plistfile

  • After finding the correct file, remove it from the user library folder, paste it into a folder on your desktop, and restart your computer.

The reason why we are deleting this file is that sometimes it can get corrupted, and that may be one of the reasons as to why your Bluetooth isn’t working so by deleting this file and restarting your computer will force your Mac to regenerate this file which hopefully will fix the issue.

7) Disabling the Handoff

This is one of the popular methods and is highly effective to solve the Bluetooth connectivity issue. You can do this by

  • Opening System Preferences > General
  • Select Allow Handoff between Mac and your iCloud device

  • Turn it off by unchecking it, which will then disable it.

Note that if you don’t see a Handoff option, then that means that it doesn’t work on your device.

8) Resetting the NVRAM or PRAM

This is a quick and easy method to troubleshoot problems in your Mac. It doesn’t delete any files or data from your storage drive. When you reset the Non -Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) or Parameter Random Access Memory (PRAM), your Mac will restore your hardware’s default settings, which can sometimes solve the Bluetooth issue.

You can do this by shutting down your Mac and then turning it on while holding Option+Command+P+R keys together. You can release it after around 20 seconds, by which your Mac will start to reboot itself.

9) Reinstalling the MacOS

You might face issues if you haven’t updated or installed your MacOS properly. Checking if your computer is updated to the latest patch might help since Monterey is the latest release of MacOS and is still in the beta version. You can do this by opening System Preferences and clicking Software Update.

[ Related: How to Upgrade to (and Downgrade from) the macOS Monterey ]

10) Contacting Apple Help Desk Support

If none of the above methods worked and you are fed up trying to fix this all by yourself, then you can always contact Apple support and ask them for their help.

You can guide them through the steps you have already taken to help them in servicing your Mac.  The final step is to see and repair any issue with the hardware, which in rare cases could be the problem as this is primarily a bug in the software.

Some of the other bluetooth problems…

So now that your Bluetooth connection is fixed, there comes the other problem of reduced sound quality when listening to music after you pick up a call. This is because your Mac uses one of the two types of connections:

  • Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)is a higher quality connection that Apple music uses to provide a high-quality music experience.
  • Simultaneous Connection Optimized (SCO) is a lower quality connection. It is used for balancing Bluetooth audio output and Bluetooth audio input, which is used when you pick up a call or face time.

The problem is Apple doesn’t know when to switch between these two connections leaving you with a poor quality sound experience after you end up your call.

There is also no way of knowing if your Bluetooth devices are even connected in the first place or the battery percentage of your Bluetooth devices unless you go to the Bluetooth submenu and check it out manually.

11) Toothfairy to the rescue…

If these are some of the things that make you regret as to why you are even using a Bluetooth device when you can simply connect a wired headphone or a mouse to solve these problems, then it’s time to introduce you to Toothfairy.

No, this isn’t the tooth fairy that leaves you a coin under the pillow for your tooth but a one-step solution to solving all your Bluetooth problems.

It is a utility app that is available for your Mac for just under $5.99. It has features like quick connect, enabling you to connect or disconnect to any Bluetooth device by simply pressing the Toothfairy icon in the menu bar. You can also use global hotkeys to switch between your Bluetooth devices such as headphones, gamepad controllers, keyboards, mice, etc.

There is also the option of choosing icons and hotkeys for each of your Bluetooth devices, allowing you to easily click on the device’s icon that you want to switch. You can tell if your device is connected by looking at the icon. If the icon is filled, it means connected and if it is hollow then it is disconnected.

It solves the problem of switching from SCO to AAC whenever you hang up your call, ensuring that you get the best audio experience when listening to Spotify or Apple Music. It also has the battery level indicator that displays the battery percentage right in the menu bar to help you make sure that you never run out of juice.

[ Related: ToothFairy: A Mac App that Makes Connecting AirPods Easier ]

Note that the battery indicator works only with devices that display the battery level in the Bluetooth menu under System Preferences, so make sure that the device that you are connecting does come under this condition.

Conclusion

Bluetooth is one of the best ways to solve the problem of tangled wires and broken cords, but the Apple MacBook still faces issues in Bluetooth connectivity which makes it harder for the users and questions us to start using wired mice and keyboards.

Toothfairy has a simple user interface and power-packed features, making your life a lot easier and improving your comfort when using Bluetooth devices. We hope that this article helped you solve all your Bluetooth problems and made you understand about Toothfairy.