Bluetooth Not Available, how to fix?

How to solve Bluetooth related problems, and Bluetooth Not Available issue?

Bluetooth technology has created many new possibilities with the introduction of wireless keyboards, mice, headphones, and much more. As well as wireless peripherals, this technology is widely used when creating a 'smart home' environment. These are just some examples of wireless connection use, which is becoming part of our everyday lives. Therefore, connection issues or Bluetooth technology failure can be a real problem for many users.

Some people have reported an error message stating 'Bluetooth Not Available' under the Bluetooth menu on their Mac computers. This frustrating situation is often encountered after a system restart or update. Following Bluetooth service failure, all wireless peripherals connected via this technology will become unavailable until you solve related issues. If you lose connection to peripherals, however, there is no need for concern, since there are simple methods to fix this type of problem. In this article, we cover the most common problems and solutions related to Bluetooth connections.

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Table of Contents:

Turn Bluetooth off and On

The simplest and fastest methods should be considered first.  Begin by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar at the top right corner of the screen. Then select Turn Bluetooth Off. Wait a few seconds and click on the same Bluetooth icon and select Turn Bluetooth On to launch the service. Alternatively, try to reboot your computer by clicking on the Apple logo in the menu bar at top left corner of your screen, and then select Restart.

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Remove the peripherals

A Bluetooth connection might be unstable and responsive due to activity on the Mac. To solve this issue, remove USB peripherals. Begin by unplugging all devices connected through USB ports, such as the mouse, keyboard, external hard drives, etc. Then turn off Bluetooth and completely shut down the Mac. Wait for a few minutes. Launch the computer again and turn on Bluetooth. Check if this solves the issue and then connect the devices via USB ports. If this method solves the issues, connect devices one-by-one and restart the Mac after each device is attached to find out which device is the cause.

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Remove Mac Bluetooth Preferences list

The most common issue that causes the 'Bluetooth is not available' error and other Bluetooth-related problems is a corrupted Preferences list file. If the methods listed above did not solve the problem, delete the Preference list from your Mac computer. First, launch Finder - usually found in Dock, or use Spotlight by pressing the keyboard shortcut of Command and Spacebar. In the search field, start typing 'finder' - it will be shown within the results list. In Finder, click on Go in the menu bar at top of your screen, and then select the Go to Folder option. In the destination field, type /Library/Preferences and click Go. When the new window labelled Preferences appears, scroll down untill you find the com.apple.bluetooth.plist file. Move this particular file to trash by right-clicking it and selecting Move to Trash. Confirm your action by entering an administrator account password, if prompted. Turn off the Mac, wait a few seconds, and the relaunch your computer. Check if the Bluetooth service is now working.

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Reset Mac Bluetooth module

Resetting the Mac Bluetooth system is usually the most straightforward way to solve problems with Bluetooth or devices connected to your computer through this connection, including the 'Bluetooth Not Available' error. First, hold down the Shift and Options keys on your keyboard and click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar at top right corner of the screen. Once, you have accessed the hidden menu, select the Debug option and then choose Remove all devices to clear all paired Bluetooth devices. Next, enter the same hidden menu by holding down the Shift and Option buttons and clicking on the Bluetooth menu. Then, hover on Debug and select Reset Bluetooth module. Once, the resetting process finishes, your Mac's Bluetooth module will be refreshed. Reconnect Bluetooth devices to create a new pairs and a Preferences list file.

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Reset Mac System Management Controller

System Management Controller (SMC) is a low-level Mac hardware component that controls the performance of various Mac hardware, including the Bluetooth module. If none of methods listed above solved the issues, try to reset this controller. Bear in mind, however, that after resetting the SMC, you will be prompted to set power, lightning, sound, graphics, and other preferences. The process to reset the System Management Controller varies with the version of the Apple Device you are using. To reset SMC on most modern Apple laptops containing a none-removable battery, hold down the Shift, Control and Option keys while clicking the power button. Finally, release all keys simultaneously - the light on the MagSafe adapter may change color to signify that SMC has been reset. After a successful reset, reboot your computer in the usual way. For more detailed information about System Management Controller and methods to reset it on all versions of Apple computers, see this guide.

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Video Showing how to fix Bluetooth not available issue on Mac

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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