How To Fix Can’t Find Bluetooth Devices On iPhone [17 Methods]

Connecting your iPhone to Bluetooth devices like wireless headphones, speakers, or your car stereo should be easy. But sometimes, you may run into issues where your iPhone can’t find or connect to Bluetooth devices.

Don’t worry, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get your iPhone connecting properly again. Here is a complete guide on how to fix can’t find Bluetooth devices on iPhone.

Step 1: Turn Off Device Restrictions for Bluetooth

The first thing to check is if you have any restrictions enabled that are blocking Bluetooth connections.

Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Under Allowed Apps, check if Bluetooth Sharing is disabled. Toggle the switch ON to remove this restriction.

Re-check if you can now find and connect to the Bluetooth device.

Step 2: Force Restart Your iPhone

An easy fix is to restart your iPhone, as this resets all network connections and often resolves Bluetooth issues.

To force restart:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Once your iPhone reboots, try searching for Bluetooth devices again.

Step 3: Reset the Wireless Device

If your wireless headphones, speakers or other Bluetooth accessory is having issues, resetting it can help.

Refer to the device’s manual for specific reset instructions. Typically, you need to:

  • Press and hold the power/pairing button for 10-15 seconds until the device resets.
  • On AirPods – open the case next to your iPhone and press and hold the pairing button on the back of the case for 15 seconds.
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After resetting the device, check if the iPhone can now find it.

Step 4: Reset Network Settings

Resetting all network settings on your iPhone will clear any problematic connections and attempt to re-establish them cleanly.

Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode if asked. This will reset Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other network settings.

Your iPhone will reboot – once it’s back up, try to reconnect your Bluetooth devices.

Step 5: Update iOS Software

Having the latest iOS version can resolve bugs that may be preventing proper Bluetooth connectivity.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates. If your iPhone is up to date, try updating your Bluetooth device’s firmware as well.

Step 6: Forget the Bluetooth Device

If your iPhone previously connected to the Bluetooth device but now can’t find it, try forgetting the device:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth
  • Tap the “i” icon next to the device name
  • Tap Forget This Device

Now retry pairing the device to your iPhone as if connecting for the first time. This often resolves connection issues.

Step 7: Turn Bluetooth Off and On

Toggle Bluetooth off and back on using the tips switch under Settings > Bluetooth. Also toggle off and on the Bluetooth device you’re trying to connect.

Restart both devices then try pairing again. This refreshes the connections and often resolves minor software glitches.

Step 8: Check Location Services Permissions

For ideal Bluetooth performance, your iPhone needs access to Location Services. Check that it’s enabled for Bluetooth:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services
  • Scroll down and check Bluetooth is toggled ON

If disabled, turn it on and re-check Bluetooth connections.

Step 9: Check Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh allows apps like Bluetooth services to update when in the background.

Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and make sure it’s enabled both for the overall iPhone and for individual apps like Bluetooth.

This ensures connections stay active even when Bluetooth is in the background.

Step 10: Turn Off Audio Sharing

If you have Audio Sharing enabled to stream music to multiple AirPods/Beats, try temporarily turning it off as it can interfere with connections.

Go to Settings > Bluetooth > Audio Sharing and toggle off the feature. Re-check if you can now connect your Bluetooth devices properly without Audio Sharing active.

Step 11: Check iPhone Storage

If your iPhone is low on storage space, it can cause instability with Bluetooth and other services.

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Check Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see available space. If less than 10% storage is free, try deleting apps, photos or media to free up space.

Restart your iPhone and re-try Bluetooth after clearing more storage space.

Step 12: Remove & Re-Pair Bluetooth Device

If your iPhone suddenly can’t find a previously paired Bluetooth device, remove the pairing and try setting it up again from scratch:

  • On iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the “i” icon next to the device name, then choose Forget This Device.
  • On the Bluetooth device, find the option to clear pairings – this is usually in a Settings or Reset menu.
  • Now pair the iPhone and Bluetooth device again as if connecting for the first time. Re-enter any passcodes if needed.

Doing this resets the link between the iPhone and Bluetooth device, often resolving connection issues.

Step 13: Disable & Re-Enable Bluetooth

If the above steps don’t restore connectivity, try fully disabling Bluetooth, restarting your iPhone, then re-enabling Bluetooth:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn the switch OFF.
  • Power down your iPhone then turn it back on.
  • Once restarted, go back to Settings > Bluetooth and turn the switch ON.
  • Try pairing your Bluetooth device again from scratch.

This resets all Bluetooth services and connections, clearing out any problematic settings that may be interfering.

Step 14: Try a Different Bluetooth Device

To test if the issues are specific to one Bluetooth device, try pairing your iPhone with something else like wireless headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, smartwatch, Fitbit or even your car’s infotainment system.

If your iPhone has no issues finding and connecting with another device, then the problem is likely with the original Bluetooth device. Refer to the device manufacturer for specific troubleshooting tips.

But if your iPhone can’t find other Bluetooth devices as well, then the issue is with your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings. Keep trying the steps above to isolate and fix the problem.

Step 15: Update iPhone Software

Even if your iPhone already has the latest iOS version, try downloading and installing the update again. Sometimes updates can get corrupted or fail to install properly.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update and tap Download and Install to get the latest iOS version again. This will completely refresh the operating system and may resolve stubborn Bluetooth bugs.

Step 16: Check for Wireless Interference

Nearby electronic devices and wireless signals can interfere with Bluetooth connections. Make sure your iPhone and Bluetooth device are away from potential sources of interference like:

  • WiFi routers, computers, microwaves and cordless phones
  • USB 3.0 devices
  • TVs and baby monitors
  • Wireless speakers and headphones
  • Halogen lamps
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Move closer, into the same room or at least within 30 feet for a reliable Bluetooth connection.

Step 17: Get Your iPhone Serviced

If you still cannot get your iPhone to find or connect to any Bluetooth device after trying everything, your iPhone may have a hardware issue with its Bluetooth antenna.

Contact Apple support to schedule a diagnostic check or service appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. A technician can check the iPhone’s Bluetooth hardware and antenna for faults.

Bluetooth problems are frustrating, but usually have a quick fix. Just follow each step until you isolate the cause, and your iPhone will be wirelessly connecting in no time. Be sure to keep your iPhone and Bluetooth devices updated, turn them off and on again regularly, and reset network settings if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About iPhone Bluetooth Issues

Why can’t my iPhone find Bluetooth devices?

If your iPhone can’t find Bluetooth devices, it’s likely due to incorrect settings, outdated software, wireless interference or a hardware issue. Try the troubleshooting steps to toggle Bluetooth off and on, reset network settings, forget devices, and check for OS and firmware updates.

Why does my iPhone say Bluetooth is on but can’t find devices?

If Bluetooth is on but your iPhone still can’t find devices, try resetting network settings, toggling Bluetooth off and back on, moving closer to the device, and clearing any obstacles or interference. Also check device restrictions, permissions, storage space and background refresh.

How do I fix Bluetooth problems on my iPhone?

To fix Bluetooth problems on iPhone, restart your iPhone and the Bluetooth device, reset network settings, check for iOS and device firmware updates, disable and re-enable Bluetooth, forget then re-pair devices, and eliminate sources of wireless interference.

Why does my iPhone keep disconnecting from Bluetooth?

Frequent Bluetooth disconnects on iPhone can be caused by outdated software, interference from other wireless devices, incorrect settings, heavy network congestion, or low battery on your iPhone or Bluetooth accessory.

How do I reset Bluetooth on my iPhone?

To reset Bluetooth on iPhone, toggle the Bluetooth switch off and back on under Settings. Also reset Network Settings, turn off and restart your iPhone, forget then re-pair devices, and update your iOS software and Bluetooth device firmware.

Why does my car Bluetooth not work with iPhone?

If your car Bluetooth won’t work with iPhone, check for software updates for your car and iPhone, remove other connected phones, clear your car’s Bluetooth memory, adjust iPhone network settings, and eliminate sources of wireless interference.

How can I improve my iPhone’s Bluetooth connection?

To improve your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection, move closer to paired devices, update iOS software, reset network settings, check Location Services and Background App Refresh, eliminate wireless interference, and forget then re-pair troublesome devices.

Why does my iPhone say Bluetooth is on when it’s not?

If your iPhone says Bluetooth is on but it’s not actually active, try toggling the Bluetooth switch off and on, force restart your iPhone, reset network settings, check restrictions, and update your iPhone software. A reboot will refresh Bluetooth connections.

Why does my iPhone Bluetooth keep turning off?

If your iPhone Bluetooth turns off randomly, it could be due to outdated software, low iPhone battery life, incorrect device settings, or useful background app data restrictions. Troubleshoot by updating iOS, charging your iPhone, and adjusting Bluetooth settings.

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