Bluetooth Connection Problems

You will probably never have difficulty pairing your Bluetooth devices, however, even though all Bluetooth devices are supposed to be compliant, there may occasionally be issues that could affect the pairing process.

Each iteration of the Bluetooth standards makes pairing easier, and non-compliance less of an issue. Almost every product manufacturer lists device compatibility on their website, just perform a Google search. Check Bluetooth compatibility here.

Meanwhile, here are some common issues and possible remedies, it is by no means complete, you should check with the manufacturer if your devices still does not work.

Ensure your device is in pairing mode

You may not be in the pairing, or discovery, mode. Read the device manual, or look it up online, to determine if you are in the paring mode. Some devices have single multi-function buttons and pairing may be activated by holding down the button for a few seconds, or by a sequence of steps.

Charge the devices

If the device is on a low charge the Bluetooth radio may be turned off. Bluetooth software includes smart power management, if it detects low power, it may turn itself off if not being used.

Is the device already paired?

Your Bluetooth device may be trying to connect, or has established a connection, to another device that it was paired with previously – probably your roommate’s or spouse’s Bluetooth phone. Turn that other device off or move it out of range.

Turn Bluetooth Off / On

It’s always worth it to try the old standby, turn off Bluetooth on each device, then back on, and attempt the pairing/discovery once again.

Distance from the pairing device

The further away the devices are from each other, the lower the signal, and the lower the chances of a successful pairing, plus there may be other interfering devices/signals. Try placing the devices next to each other, the close proximity should ensure discovery.

Is your Wi-Fi router causing interference?

The closer you are to the router, or repeater, you may be getting interference that is preventing a successful Bluetooth connection – they are probably both on the same wireless spectrum. Try moving away from the router.

Are you near a USB 3.0 port?

Sounds strange, but there have been reports of interference on the plectrum used by Bluetooth devices when near a USB 3.0 port. Try moving away from devices with a USB 3.0 port.

Do you have the newest driver?

Your PC or Mac may not be using the latest software driver which manages the connection. Search the manufacturer’s website for updated drivers for your specific device. If you are not comfortable with this step, please find qualified technical support.

Your fitness wearable may not be compatible

While all new Bluetooth releases are compatible with previous versions, a low energy version of Bluetooth, called Bluetooth Smart is not compatible with older protocols.

Fitness trackers and heart-rate monitors use Bluetooth Smart, and will only pair with a smartphones and tablets that also uses Bluetooth Smart, or are Bluetooth Smart Ready. Bluetooth Smart devices are not backward compatible and won’t recognize (or pair with) older devices that support Classic Bluetooth.

Ensure your phone is running the latest version of its operating system – but if your device isn’t new enough to run relatively current software, you may not be able to pair it with that fitness band. iPhones running iOS 7 and newer should be Bluetooth Smart Ready as should Android phones running 4.3 or newer, Windows Phone 8.1 devices, and all BlackBerry 10 devices.