Some of the Mac users may encounter an apparently random disappearance of Bluetooth functionality. Mostly after rebooting or updating Mac OS X. The first obvious indicator is that no other Bluetooth hardware works, be it a keyboard, mouse, headset, or otherwise. And when attempting to visit the Bluetooth menu of Mac OS X a “Bluetooth Not Available” error is displayed when the menu bar items icon has a squiggly strike through it. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix Bluetooth Not Available Mac Issue on Mac. Let’s begin!
Bluetooth not Available Mac
Before we get into the troubleshooting steps, first, it is best to start with the basics. And it actually does not get any more basic than switching things off and on again. However, this seems like a lazily obvious suggestion, a lot of Mac problems you can actually fix with a restart.
Tap on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and choose the option to Turn Bluetooth Off. When you switch it off, then turn it back on by clicking on Turn Bluetooth On.
If the macOS or OSX “Bluetooth Not Available” error has not gone away, then try rebooting your Mac. Shut the system down completely and then reboot it as usual.
Tips to solve Bluetooth problems
Trash Bluetooth Preferences & Shutdown the Mac
First up, delete the Bluetooth list file and then have the Mac create a new one:
- Close System Preferences and/or any app that was trying to use or configure any Bluetooth device along with the Mac
- From the Mac OS X Finder, tap Command+Shift+G to summon Go To Folder and then enter the following path:
- Locate the file named “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” and then delete it (you may see a com.apple.Bluetooth.plist.lockfile too, if so then you need to delete that as well). This is a system folder so you will need to authenticate with an admin user as well.
- Head to the Apple menu and then select “Shut Down” to power down the Mac
- Now wait a minute or so before booting the Mac again
- Go to the Bluetooth menu or System Preference panel in order to resync your hardware
(Keep that in mind that this is /Library/Preferences/ not ~/Library/Preferences/)
This presumably fixes the issue if it’s actually just a matter of a corrupted plist file. Yes, shut down the Mac and keep it turned off for about a minute, also do not simply reboot. Why shutting it down versus rebooting works here is not actually entirely clear. However, after googling around a bit that seems a universally experienced situation.
With the Mac up and running again, Bluetooth should now start working as normal and the “Not available” message should resolve from the Bluetooth menu, System Preference panel, and System Profiler utility as well. If not, then you can try the next step to reset the Mac SMC.
Reset SMC & Power Functions
Keep in mind that do not jump straight to this without trashing the Bluetooth preference plist file first. There are many reports that users had to perform both actions to get Bluetooth hardware functioning again.
Resetting the System Management Controller dumps many-core hardware settings and also power functions. And mostly works to resolve some of the random hardware issues that can pop up on all sorts of Macs.
The exact process of resetting the SMC is really different per hardware. Thus the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, and also Mac Mini all have slight variations to complete the process.
After booting the Mac, you need to re-enable Bluetooth and pair the device(s) as usual.
Remove all the USB devices
Apple is aware that Bluetooth connectivity is actually an issue for Mac users. It has a dedicated support page for Mac mouse problems, as well as possible fixes for unresponsive keyboards and also trackpads.
One quick fix in order to kick the Bluetooth back into life is to disconnect all USB devices. Remove any and all USB keyboards, mice, and also external drives and then reboot your Mac. Wait for a couple of minutes and then reconnect them again.
It’s a quirky tip, but it might be all it takes if you want to restore the Bluetooth connection.
Bluetooth Still Not Available? Still, No Bluetooth Hardware Found?
If you guys have trashed the plist and reset the SMC to find Bluetooth still not functioning on the Mac. Then you may have an actual hardware issue. This is really rare and mostly does not happen at random. But it can occur after a computer or hardware has dropped or maybe had water contact. Regardless, if you are still having problems, then it’s time to go the official route and contact Apple Support or go to the Genius Bar. Then they will be able to run some lower-level diagnostics tests in order to make a determination of what’s going on and get things situated again.
Resetting the SMC if Bluetooth not available on Mac
Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) is the go-to troubleshooting tip for any issues that is related to Mac hardware or software. And it mostly works.
The process is different depending on which type of Mac you are actually using. However, we have got you covered with both of these methods:
Reset the SMC (non-removable batteries)
- Shut your MacBook down.
- Plugin the power adapter.
- Hold Shift+Control+Option and the Power button at the same time for almost 10 seconds.
- Then release the keys at the same time as well.
- Now boot up your Mac as usual.
Reset the SMC (removable batteries)
- Shut down your MacBook and then remove the battery.
- Now disconnect the power adapter.
- Hold down the Power button for almost 10 seconds and release it.
- Reconnect the battery and power adapter again.
- Then boot up your Mac as usual.
Reset the SMC if iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro
- First, shut down your Mac.
- Then disconnect the power cord.
- Hold down the Power button for almost 5 seconds and release.
- Now reconnect the power cord.
- Then boot up your Mac as usual.
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