Bluetooth was able to persist and defied the cynicism of critics regarding its future due to the ubiquity of Wi-Fi and other wireless means to connect devices. Despite that fact, its popularity diversified to all other devices such as your headset, keyboard or speakers then it resulted to shipments of 3 billion Bluetooth enabled units in 2015 alone. Its sales are even expected to double after three years. This works wonders in case you are able to connect but it is really irritating if you do not. It is not rocket science to know why though.
The Reason for Bluetooth Pairing Fails
Basically, Bluetooth’s connectivity is dependent on the software and hardware specifications of your devices. If the two units, for example a phone and a headset, do not have compatible Bluetooth language, then these will also not connect. Bluetooth used to have a backwards mode of connection to your devices – the common Bluetooth 4.2 can still connect to the ancient Bluetooth 2.1 but not vice versa. However, the advent of low-energy consuming version called Bluetooth Smart devices are not the same and do not recognize Bluetooth models older than 4.0. Using your smartphones as example, your gadget is able to support these services if its operating system is at least Android 4.3 (Kitkat), iOs 7 or Window 8.1. Anything older than these are not compatible and will not be able to connect with the device.
Normally, you will not be able to connect two incompatible device (a camera and a keyboard, for example) as one might not have Human Interface Device Profile. A smartphone can connect to a hands free handset because the former has this. These inherent limitations aside, the following are human led reasons as to why Bluetooth pairing fails and what you can do to fix these.
Troubleshooting Pairing Failures
- For starters, check if your Bluetooth is turned on. This reason might be petty but many fall to this error. One swipe on your smartphone’s home screen and it will show if you already pressed the tiny Bluetooth symbol on. If it does not show, go to your phone settings in order to manually enable it.
- Make sure the devices you want to pair can really connect with each other.This is an important advice since it will save you a lot of time from futile efforts. Check if the gadgets you are trying to connect are compatible with each other. If you are not sure, maybe hit the internet or browse the user manual.
- Know what manner of pairing process your device is programmed. This is a case to case basis in a sense that it depends on your respective smartphones. Some need to enter some weird codes but some can connect using a single tap. In case you do not know how to do it with your gadget, you may refer to its user guide or try searching online for more specific tips.
- Check the distance between your phones. Proximity is the key for successfully connecting two devices. Make sure what you are trying to pair are at most five feet from each other for effective results.
- Reboot the device. Sometimes, a soft reset can resolve Bluetooth connectivity. If you do not want to wait that long for a restart, you can slide the airport mode on and off.
- Make sure your smartphone is visible to other devices. Try to go in your phone’s settings and press Bluetooth on. In case you are using a hands free device as its pair.
- Power down likely interferes. One reason why Bluetooth pairings fail is due to a device’s behavior on Bluetooth connection. For example, an older smartphone will just connect to the last thing it paired with even without your tap. You can try turning the Bluetooth of other devices your gadget connected with before.
- Check the battery status of these Bluetooth devices. Some devices turn off any sort of interphone connection once they reached a critical battery level. Hence, try putting your gadgets with a charger before retrying to connect it with Bluetooth.
- Delete a device from a phone and rediscover it.This can happen if your phone detects a Bluetooth sources but fails to connect with any of them. In that case, it is the best to remove all your previous connections and start with a new one. If you are using an iPhone, you can delete a device by tapping on its name and then select Forget this Device. On the other hand, you can tap on a device’s name, then select Unpair if you are using an Android phone. After you did this, go back to the first tip.
- Set some distance from your Wi-Fi router. This can be a potential jammer to your pairing in case another wireless connecting medium use the same spectrum. “Wi-Fi has been designed to cope with this, but it might not be a good idea to have your devices directly on top of the router,” as said by Powell, an expert on wireless connections.
- A USB 3.0 port may also hinder connection. If all things are normal but your device is not pairing successfully, check if a new laptop is nearby. The reason is the same with the previous reason as modern speed wireless connections also interfere with Bluetooth.
- Download a driver.The lack of the correct driver is the reason why you are having troubles in connecting with your PC’s Bluetooth. Well, correcting this can get a bit complicated but thanks to search engines and you can just type the keyword driver and you will find one that is compatible with your PC.
- Get the latest firmware of your gadget. This will do if your smartphone can still be updated to its latest operating system. For example, some car audio systems do not pair with iPhone 5 anymore because their respective settings do not support Bluetooth 4.0 anymore. Assuming you can still get the latest firmware for your gadget, contact your device manufacturer.
- Remember that not all wireless devices use Bluetooth. Some other wireless technologies will not really connect with your gadget unless you purchase addtional hardware for compatibility. Non-Bluetooth wireless connections include the Wireless Gigabit specification, Wireless HD, ANT+, ZigBee, NFC as well as Wi-Fi Direct.