How to reset Bluetooth on a Mac

4 min read

Without realizing it, these days, we rely heavily on Bluetooth technology; just think about your headphones, fitness band, keyboard, and mouse. It's undoubtedly a useful technology until of course; it stops working. 

Do any of these pesky issues sound familiar?

  • Devices keep disconnecting

  • Connected devices not working or are unresponsive

  • You’re unable to connect your device with Mac’s Bluetooth

Although the majority of connectivity issues can often be solved by unpairing and reconnecting a device, in some cases, this doesn't work and you might need a full reset. In this article, we'll show you how to reset Bluetooth on a Mac, but first, let's start with the absolute basics. 

Where is Bluetooth on a Mac?

If you're new to Mac, you might be wondering how to access the Bluetooth settings?

The quickest way to access Bluetooth on a MacBook is by selecting the Bluetooth icon from the top menu bar. 

If you discover you don't have the Bluetooth icon, no problem; you can access it from the main Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth. 

Bluetooth settings on Mac

Select the “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” option to enable the top menu Bluetooth menu shortcut. 

From here, you'll be able to connect and pair new devices and turn your Bluetooth on and off.

Why does Bluetooth fail?

There can be multiple reasons why suddenly Bluetooth is not available on your Mac, from outdated macOS to corrupted apps and hardware failure. 

Make sure you've tried these basic fixes before anything else.

Restart your Mac

It's the most obvious tip in the book, but surprisingly a quick restart can solve a multitude of errors and bugs. 

Restarting a Mac

Give it a quick try. Select the main Apple Menu > Restart.

Unpair and reconnect your device

Unpair and reconnect the device you're having issues with; here's how:

Removing a Bluetooth device

  1. Select the Bluetooth icon from the top menu bar.

  2. Press Bluetooth preferences.

  3. Select your troublesome device from the list and press the 'X' to disconnect.

  4. Select Remove from the confirmation prompt.

  5. To reconnect, turn on and off the Bluetooth from the device and wait for it to reappear in your Bluetooth list, select it to reconnect.

If these standard fixes don't seem to help, then it's time to reset Bluetooth on your Mac. Jump to the next step, and I'll walk you through the simple process. 

How to reset Bluetooth module on Mac 

Resetting the Bluetooth module on a Mac essentially wipes all of your current Mac Bluetooth configuration settings, disconnects all connected devices, and resets the Bluetooth hardware.

It sounds complex, but it's actually pretty simple; let's take a look.

Reset Bluetooth on macOS Big Sur or earlier

To reset Bluetooth on macOS Big Sur or earlier macOS: 

  1. Hold down the Shift-Option keys simultaneously and select the Bluetooth menu icon from the top menu bar.

  2. Select “Reset the Bluetooth module.”

  3. And press OK on the confirmation prompt.

All of your Bluetooth devices will now disconnect while the module resets. They should automatically reconnect once complete.

Reset Bluetooth on macOS Monterey

If you're running macOS Monterey, it's unlikely the Shift and Option trick will work for you. Instead, run a Terminal command; here's how:

How to reset Bluetooth on macOS Monterey

  • Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

  • Enter the below command and press the Return key.

sudo pkill bluetoothd

  • Enter your password when prompted.

  • Finally, restart your Mac from the main Apple Menu.

If your devices haven't automatically reconnected when you restart your Mac, don't worry; I'll show you how later in the article how to reconnect them.

If you're still having issues after resetting the Bluetooth module, head to the next step for my final tip. 

MacBook Bluetooth not turning on

If you're still encountering annoying problems after resetting the Bluetooth module, like Bluetooth not connecting or turning on, try running some Mac maintenance scripts to solve the issue.

Maintenance scripts help keep your Mac running smoothly by fixing errors and removing unnecessary temporary system files and logs. 

I personally use CleanMyMac X; it has an easy-to-use Maintenance module, which can quickly run Maintenance scripts and resolve multiple Mac issues, including Bluetooth problems.

Here's how to run maintenance scripts the easy way: 

Maintenance Scripts in CleanMyMac X

  1. Launch CleanMyMac X — get the free version here.

  2. Select Maintenance from the sidebar and press View All Tasks.

  3. From the list, select Run Maintenance Scripts and press Run.

Congratulations, you've not only saved a considerable amount of time but optimized your Mac too.

How to reconnect a Bluetooth device to Mac

If you've successfully reset your Bluetooth using one of the helpful tips above, only to discover that your devices didn't automatically reconnect; no problem, I'll quickly show you how to reconnect all your devices.

How to reconnect a Bluetooth device to Mac

  1. Make sure the device you want to connect is turned on.

  2. Open your Bluetooth settings by selecting the Bluetooth icon from the top menu.

  3. Select Bluetooth preferences.

  4. Select the device in the list, then click Connect.

Considering just how much we use Bluetooth technology daily, there's nothing more frustrating when Bluetooth is not available on a Mac. Hopefully, these tips have solved all of your issues, and your favorite headphones are working again.

Join us again soon for more useful Mac tricks and tips.

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