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Mac Bluetooth Not Turning On? Try These 11 Best Fixes

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Are you facing the frustrating issue of your Mac Bluetooth not turning on? If yes, you’re not alone. Bluetooth connectivity problems can be a real headache, leaving you disconnected from your favorite wireless devices. But I’ve got you covered.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through some tried and tested fixes to get your Mac’s Bluetooth back up and running in no time. From simple troubleshooting steps to more advanced solutions, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you fix this common issue.

Before We Begin

Malicious software can wreak havoc on your system, leading to various connectivity problems, including Bluetooth issues. That’s where MacKeeper’s Antivirus comes to the rescue. With its robust malware detection and removal capabilities, MacKeeper can safeguard your Mac from harmful threats, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted Bluetooth experience.

Possible Reasons for Mac Bluetooth Not Turning On

There are several reasons for your Mac’s Bluetooth not turning on. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

  • 🔍 Software Conflicts: Sometimes, the software installed on your Mac may interfere with Bluetooth connectivity, leading to issues with turning on Bluetooth.
  • 🔙 Outdated Drivers: Outdated drivers can cause issues with Bluetooth connectivity, leading to the inability to turn on Bluetooth.
  • 💻 Hardware Issues: If your Mac has hardware issues, such as a damaged Bluetooth module, it may be unable to turn on Bluetooth.
  • 🗃️ Corrupted System Files: Corrupted system files can prevent Bluetooth from turning on, leading to issues with connectivity.
  • 🔋 Battery Drain: If your Mac’s battery is low or drained, Bluetooth may be unable to turn on.
  • 📶 Interference: Bluetooth connectivity can be affected by interference from other wireless devices or even physical objects.

Run A Virus Scan on Your Mac to Prevent Bluetooth Connectivity Issues

Before proceeding with the troubleshooting steps, I strongly recommend to scan your Mac for potential viruses or malware that may be causing disruptions in your MacBook’s components, including Bluetooth.

MacKeeper, a trusted Mac optimization software, offers a reliable Antivirus feature to thoroughly scan your system and ensure it remains free from any malicious programs.

To perform a malware scan using MacKeeper, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  1. Launch MacKeeper and navigate to the Antivirus tab in the left sidebar.
click antivirus under the security section 6
  1. Initiate an instant virus scan by clicking the Start Scan button.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus 6
  1. If any viruses are detected during the scan, click the Fix Items button to resolve the issues.
  2. Enable real-time antivirus protection to safeguard your Mac from future threats by clicking the Enable button.
click enable to allow real time protection

Once you have configured your security settings, MacKeeper will continue to operate in the background, diligently scanning for threats and actively blocking any malicious activity.

Basic Troubleshooting to Fix Mac Bluetooth Not Turning On

Before diving into extensive troubleshooting for Mac Bluetooth, consider the following checklist:

  1. 🔋 Check the battery level: Low battery can hinder device connectivity, and the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar will indicate this as well.
  2. Ensure Bluetooth is turned on: This is a simple step, but it is often overlooked.
  3. 📍 Positioning and interference: Place the device within a 30-foot range of your Mac and ensure there are no obstructions or interference from household devices (such as cordless phones, microwaves, or wireless networks operating on the 2.4 GHz band) and metal objects.

If the issue persists, you can attempt the following tips to reset Bluetooth on your Mac.

How to Fix Mac Bluetooth Not Turning On

If basic troubleshooting didn’t help, you can try advances troubleshooting to fix Bluetooth connectivity issues on your Mac. Below, I’ve shared some easy and quick methods to get your Bluetooth working again.

1. Turn Your Bluetooth Off and On

It may sound trivial but by toggling Bluetooth off and back on, you can refresh the Bluetooth connection and address any minor issues causing connectivity problems.

To turn Bluetooth off and back on on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar at the top-right corner of your Mac’s screen.
click control center in the menu bar
  1. In the drop-down menu, select Bluetooth to disable/enable Bluetooth.
click bluetooth in control center
  1. Toggle off Bluetooth.
toggle on bluetooth in control center
  1. Wait for a few seconds and toggle on the Bluetooth again.
  2. It will re-enable Bluetooth. Now, check to see if the Bluetooth connectivity has restored.

2. Check Bluetooth Settings

By checking your Bluetooth settings and ensuring Bluetooth is turned on and properly paired with your device, you can eliminate settings issues causing your Mac Bluetooth not turning on.

Follow these steps to check your Bluetooth settings on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Bluetooth.
click bluetooth in system settings
  1. Ensure the Bluetooth toggle is on and your device is listed as Connected.
bluetooth toggle on and device connected

3. Disconnect All Bluetooth and USB Devices

If your Mac still doesn’t turn on Bluetooth, you may need to remove any devices currently paired with your Mac. Removing idle Bluetooth devices can resolve Bluetooth connectivity issues by freeing up space in the device’s memory and reducing the likelihood of conflicts between devices.

There is a limit to the number of connected Bluetooth devices on Mac. The maximum number is seven, but sometimes you may experience issues when exceeding three or four devices.

Follow these steps to remove Bluetooth devices:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Bluetooth.
click bluetooth in system settings
  1. Find the device causing the issue and click the Disconnect button next to it to remove it.
click disconnect to remove a bluetooth device
  1. Repeat this process for all Bluetooth devices currently paired with your Mac.

4. Restart Your Mac

Restarting your Mac clears the system’s cache, closes all running programs, and can fix minor software issues causing problems with Bluetooth.

Follow these steps to restart your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Restart from the drop-down menu.
click apple icon and select restart
  1. Wait for your Mac to restart.

5. Reset Bluetooth Module

Resetting the Bluetooth module on your Mac can effectively resolve Bluetooth connectivity issues, particularly if there are software conflicts or corrupted files. This method forces your Mac to start the Bluetooth process from scratch, resolving issues causing Bluetooth to malfunction.

Here’s how to reset Bluetooth module on Mac:

In macOS Monterey and Ventura, the Shift⇧+ Option⌥ + click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar no longer displays a Bluetooth reset option. So, to reset Bluetooth, you will need to execute a command in the Terminal.

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
launch terminal from utilities
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo pkill bluetoothd
type a command in terminal to reset bluetooth
  1. Type your password and press Enter to execute the command.
enter your password in terminal
  1. Exit Terminal and restart your Mac.

6. Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) manages a wide range of hardware components, including Bluetooth connectivity. By resetting the SMC, you can clear out any temporary data or settings that may interfere with the Bluetooth connection.

Follow these steps to reset the SMC on your Mac:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  1. Allow your Mac to power off completely.
  2. If your Mac is connected to a power adapter, unplug it from the power source.

Depending on your Mac model, follow the appropriate steps to reset the SMC:

If you’re unsure about your Mac’s processor, consult the Apple Support page.

MacBook With a Non-Removable Battery

  1. Tap the Apple icon and select Shut Down from the drop-down menu.
click apple icon and select shut down
  1. Press and hold the Shift ⇧ + Control ^ + Option ⌥ keys with the Power button for 10 seconds.
macbook air power shift control option keys
    1. Release all the keys and the Power button at the same time.
    2. Then, press the Power button to turn on your Mac.

    MacBook With a Removable Battery

    1. Shut down your Mac. 
    click apple icon and select shut down
    1. Remove your MacBook’s battery.
    remove mac s battery
    1. Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds while the battery is removed.
    press and hold the power button on your mac
    1. Release the Power button and reinstall the battery.
    reinstall macs battery 1
    1. Turn on your Mac by pressing the Power button.
    press and hold the power button on your mac

    MacBook With Apple Silicon

    Apple Silicon Macs don’t have a System Management Controller (SMC) like their Intel-based Mac. So, performing an SMC reset is not possible on Macs powered by Apple Silicon processors.

    7. Uninstall Unnecessary Applications

    By removing unused apps, you can free up system resources and minimize the chances of software conflicts, leading to better Bluetooth performance. Regularly review and uninstall unused apps to optimize your Mac’s performance and ensure smooth Bluetooth connectivity.

    You can use MacKeeper for hassle-free uninstallation of unnecessary applications, related files, and preferences. Here’s how to uninstall any app on Mac using MacKeeper:

    1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
    1. After installation, launch MacKeeper and click the Smart Uninstaller in the left-hand menu.
    click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar 2
    1. Click Start Scan.
    click start scan in smart uninstaller 1
    1. Select the applications you want to delete from the list and click Remove Selected.
    select the applications you want to remove and click remove selected
    1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up to confirm the deletion.
    click remove on the pop up window in smart uninstaller 2
    1. MacKeeper will uninstall the apps and remove associated files and folders. You will get a Removal Completed notification. If you want to scan your Mac again, click Rescan.
    click rescan in smart uninstaller 3

    What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

    Besides uninstalling apps on your Mac, MacKeeper can do other optimisation tasks, too, like removing junk files, deleting duplicates, and getting rid of login items. Check out my detailed MacKeeper review to know more about its features. 

    Wrap Up

    If you are still facing issues with your Mac’s Bluetooth not turning on, there are several solutions available to resolve this issue. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind for the future:

    • Updating your macOS and connected devices can resolve software conflicts and ensure the latest drivers are installed, leading to better Bluetooth connectivity.
    • Keep your Mac and other devices in open spaces, away from physical obstructions. It’ll enhance Bluetooth connectivity and prevent your Mac from overheating
    • Malware can cause a variety of issues, including problems with Bluetooth connectivity. To prevent malware from affecting your system, install reliable antivirus software and run regular virus scans on your Mac.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Why is my Mac unable to detect Bluetooth devices? 

      Your Mac may be unable to detect Bluetooth devices due to several reasons, such as outdated drivers, software conflicts, or interference from other wireless devices. To fix this, reset the Bluetooth module, remove unnecessary apps causing conflicts, update your macOS, or move your Bluetooth device closer to your Mac.

    2. Why does my Bluetooth keep turning off on my Mac? 

      Your Bluetooth may keep turning off on your Mac due to several reasons like outdated drivers, software conflicts, or corrupted system files. Low battery levels or interference from other wireless devices can also cause Bluetooth to turn off.

    3. How do I know if my Mac’s Bluetooth module is damaged?

      To know if your Mac’s Bluetooth module is damaged, check if the Bluetooth option is grayed out or missing in the System Settings. Try restarting your Mac and resetting the Bluetooth module. Test connectivity with different devices. If the issue persists, contact Apple Support or visit an authorized service center for assistance.

    Hashir Ibrahim

    Author

    I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

    Ojash

    Reviewer

    Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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