We rely on Bluetooth for more and more devices, and while the wireless standard is very convenient, it can be really frustrating when our peripherals don’t work consistently. Read five tips and tricks for troubleshooting Mac Bluetooth, including resetting your Bluetooth module and troubleshooting ways.
Whether you have a new Apple Silicon Mac or have Bluetooth issues on Intel, we’ll cover more approaches to troubleshooting Mac Bluetooth issues.
How to solve problems with Mac Bluetooth
Software update, power cycle, steaming
You’ve probably tried these steps, but if you haven’t, start here:
- Make sure macOS is up to date (> About this Mac> Software update …)
- Make sure your Bluetooth device is charged
- Turn off your Bluetooth device and turn it on again, you can do the same with Bluetooth on your Mac (click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar – in the upper right corner of your Mac screen)
- You can also undo the pairing of the Bluetooth device and re-pair it to see if there are any improvements (Bluetooth in the menu bar> Bluetooth settings> hold the mouse pointer over the device> click the “x” icon> select “Remove”)
- Restart your Mac
Apple notes in the support document that if you see occasional Bluetooth issues, it’s a good idea to check for interference. Tips include:
- Get your Mac and Bluetooth devices closer
- Remove other devices such as telephones, cameras, power cords, etc. which may be on or near your desk
- Move some WiFi devices to 5GHz as both Bluetooth and WiFi use 2.4GHz
- Remove USB / Thunderbolt hubs from your Mac and Bluetooth device (and don’t install them on your Mac)
- Disconnect unused USB devices
- Finally, do not have materials between your Mac and Bluetooth device such as metal, concrete
Reset the Bluetooth module of your Mac
Note that this will turn off all your Bluetooth accessories, including the mouse / keyboard. Make sure you have a wired keyboard / mouse for Mac desktops.
In macOS Monterey
If you still have problems with Bluetooth issues, you can reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module:
The + shift + option clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar (detailed below) does not display the Bluetooth reset option in Monterey so you will need to run the terminal command.
- Open the terminal
- Type the command “sudo pkill bluetoothd”
- Press return, then enter the password in the query
- Reset your Mac
In macOS Big Sur or earlier
- While holding the + shift option on the keyboard, click on the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar
- Click on “Reset Bluetooth module”
- At the confirmation prompt, select “OK”
- Your Bluetooth devices will be disconnected for a moment when the module is reset and should reconnect automatically
Here’s what it looks like:
Remove all devices + reset the Bluetooth module
If this fails, you can remove all your Bluetooth devices and then reset the module (note that you will need to re-pair all your Bluetooth devices after this):
- Hold the + shift option on the keyboard and click on the Bluetooth icon again
- This time select “Remove all devices”> click OK
- Execute the option again + scroll to Bluetooth in the menu bar> click on “Reset Bluetooth module”
- Pair your Bluetooth devices again
Do you have a dongle?
This is not always an ideal solution depending on your setting, but if your Bluetooth device comes with a USB key for direct connection, this should eliminate Bluetooth problems.
The most common devices that come with USB sticks are mice and third-party keyboards.
If you have certain issues with scrolling, tracking, and more with Apple’s Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad, there are some additional suggestions in this support document.
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