Simple Fixes to Resolve iOS 7 Bluetooth Problems

Dec 19, 2013 - 21 Comments

Bluetooth icon A fair amount of users have been experiencing persistent Bluetooth connectivity problems since updating their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches to iOS 7. Though some of the issues relate to hardware like an external keyboard, speakers, or a headset, many of the most frustrating problems pertain to Bluetooth connectivity with cars and iOS devices. This seems to happen regardless of the manufacturer, whether it’s something like a custom Alpine or Pioneer deck or even the built-in Bluetooth receivers that many newer model cars come with, and it can impact both voice and call connectivity, as well as music playing and audio output, steering wheel controls, and turn-by-turn directions from the various mapping services. Troubleshooting every individual device is a huge feat, so instead we’ll focus on some general tips that are likely to fix bluetooth connection problems with iOS 7 devices, whether that’s a car stereo, headset, or speaker system.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth Problems with iOS 7

These should help for any device running iOS 7, be it an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

WAIT: Check the Bluetooth Device Batteries and Power Source

Before going through the troubleshooting steps below, check the power source of the Bluetooth device, speakers, or stereo. Are the batteries charged? Is the item actually plugged in? This may sound silly, but it matters, particularly with battery operated wireless devices. The Bluetooth connection and signal strength will diminish greatly with a weak power source or low battery, and may result in erratic behavior with dropping or failed connectivity.

1: Toggle Bluetooth OFF and back ON

Swipe up to access Control Center and hit the Bluetooth icon, wait at least 30 seconds, then toggle it back on. This simple trick can often repair a device that is experiencing connection issues.

2: Update to the latest version of iOS

This is easy, go to Settings > General > Software Update and make sure you have installed any iOS updates waiting. These often include bug fixes, even for issues that are not listed in the brief release notes, and thus should always be installed.

3: Reset Network & Bluetooth Settings, Clear Device Pairing

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings

This will clear out all Bluetooth pairing of all devices, including every setting and configuration that has been made on the iOS device. You will need to re-add and re-pair any bluetooth hardware to the iOS device after this has finished. If you do nothing else, do this and pair everything from scratch again, it fixed my Bluetooth issues completely.

Next to updating your iOS software, this can be the single most important tip to resolve Bluetooth problems. Note this will also trash any saved wi-fi passwords and custom networking configurations for the iOS device, so you will need to rejoin wi-fi routers again.

Bluetooth Still Not Working?

  • Confirm the bluetooth device has an adequate power source and/or charged batteries
  • Confirm the devices are within adequate range (10 feet or less is ideal)
  • Turn the Bluetooth device OFF and ON again
  • Turn the iPhone/iPad/iPod off and then back on again

You can also try some desktop and Mac focused Bluetooth resolutions, like monitoring for interference by connecting the device to the Mac and using OS X tools to watch the connection strength. If the device connects to the Mac but fails to connect with iOS, this suggests the issue could be related to the iOS mobile device, thus you may want to try syncing a wireless keyboard to the iPhone/iPod/iPad to double-check that official Apple hardware works trouble-free.

Along those lines, it’s worth double-checking that both the iOS device and the Bluetooth device can connect to other devices through Bluetooth, if one works while another does not it may be indicative of an underlying hardware issue on either side.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Troubleshooting


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  1. Jmenzies says:

    Bluetooths just crap with the i4s

  2. Kenneth Medlen says:

    My IPhone was having the problem of not being to be turned on, in setting or on the pull-up control panel .
    I turned the phone off for awhile and when I turned it back on it started just great. Thank Yall for great fix advice.

  3. David says:

    Hey guys. I have only one word for you. JAILBREAK!

  4. Natalie says:

    Last week I got the iPhone 5 and have found no problems with it up until yesterday when I tried to connect to my cars Bluetooth. I got as far as it saying ” searching” and that’s it. It never says “no device found” or anything. Just sticks on searching which is annoying as I love music in my car. Also I don’t have a USB port on my stereo so there’s no way of connecting that way. Frustrating!

  5. Flashman says:

    Mark: Perhaps there are device issues, but as far as BT setups for vehicles goes, it appears to be an IOS 7.1 issue. In my case, I can pair our brand new 2014 Toyota as a handsfree phone or use it to stream audio, but not both. If I set it up for audio, the phone function goes away and nothing short of re-pairing it as a phone works…and then there’s no streaming audio. Sure, I could hook the phone up via cable for audio but this is 2014, not 2004. If you google this issue, it’s fairly widespread among auto manufacturers. Hopefully IOS 8 will fix this. Badly played, Apple.

  6. Hennie says:

    Bluetooth and wi fi wont go on apple i phone 4 dont think ill ever buy apple again total dud

  7. Mukesh says:

    My iPhone 5s not able to search any Bluetooth device, it is just hanging in search activity itself

  8. Mark says:

    All these fixes tend to suggest an issue with the Bluetooth device and not ios7. My Bluetooth waterproof speaker worked flawlessly with ios6. It worked so well I bought a second to have around the house.

    I can’t plug my iPhone in directly because I like to use it out
    side by the hot tub in various weather including rain and snow. Also, it’s nice to have the mobility of the phone not attached to the speaker.

    IOS7 has been such a let down. Jobs would never have let such issue ridden software on market.

  9. Phil says:

    Yes, core functionality failing is inexcusable. Does anyone know what Apple changed to cause prior functionality of the RADIO to fail?

  10. Said Bajry says:

    I use iPhone 4S, updated to iOS 7, Then the Bluetooth is totally dead. WiFI can only connect within 1 Meter distance only. I should have read other users comments before new update. I believe this won’t happen if Steve is still with us.

  11. Bummedout says:

    Same experience. Just updated iphone 4 to ios 7.1 and now my bluetooth is screwed. Great Apple!

  12. dave says:

    Don’t “upgrade” to iOS7. Not only is it ugly, bluetooth doesn’t work.

  13. vdiv says:

    I’d add another option. Consider not using Bluetooth at all and instead plugging in your iOS device to a headset or a USB port. Not only it will save a bit of battery life it may even charge your device while in use.

    Bluetooth can be unreliable for so many reasons it is a miracle it was finally accepted after over a decade of suffering.

    • Jimmypowder says:

      Im not using bluetooth for music playing ,Im using it for phone calling .Hands free calling is the law in my state.

      IOs7 knocked out the bluetooth in my Pioneer Premiere unit
      .There are no firmware updates for this older model.

      Guess who has to by a friggin new unit??

      • Raven says:

        That’s not Apple’s fault. Blame Pioneer.

        • Pandora says:

          It’s Apple’s fault. Have tried all the suggested ‘cures’ but have no Bluetooth connection with anything after upgrade. Apple’s suggestion? ‘Probably time to buy a new phone!’

        • Joseph says:

          It’s Apple’s fault!!! My bluetooth was not working on my iPhone 5 iOS 7.0.4 and today i updated to newest iOS and? What do you think?
          Nothing work. The same issue with the bluetooth. Stil searching and searching. Even cant switch on or off on the settings app or via Control Center. I was really big fan of apple, but from now i change to android.
          Is not normal to buy expensive iPhone that doesnt work properly. Its a big shame for apple fans. Bye bye apple…

  14. TD says:

    >Update to the latest version of iOS

    No!!!!! If you are not having problems NEVER update until at least the 2nd patch or you will be sorry.

    ios7 is beta. I have been sorry ever since I updated. My ipad3 was working great. Now it is very flaky.

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