Bluetooth not working or unreliable? Here's the hardcore fix

30 October 2015, 02:31

Bluetooth is becoming increasingly unreliable on Mac OS X. The steps below will undertake a hardcore reset of Bluetooth hardware and software components. This will remove any devices you have paired and essentially return the Bluetooth system to factory-fresh state.

Consider this a last resort if other Bluetooth trouble-solving steps haven’t worked.

Obviously, if you use a Bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse you’ll need to either use your Mac’s built-in keyboard and trackpad for these steps, or temporarily attach USB devices.

Before undertaking these steps also see this discussion about weak Bluetooth signals competing with Wi-Fi, and how switching to a 5GHz Wi-Fi signal could solve some problems for you.

  1. For these steps you’ll need the Bluetooth menu icon visible. If it isn’t, open System Preferences, click the Bluetooth icon, and then put a check in the box marked Show Bluetooth In Menu Bar.

  2. Hold down Shift+Option (Alt on some keyboards) and click the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar.

  3. On the menu that appears click Debug > Remove All Devices. At this point any existing devices you have paired will stop working.

  4. Repeat step 2 and this time select Debug > Reset the Bluetooth Module.

  5. Reboot your Mac. When the Mac restarts, add your Bluetooth devices as if setting up a new Mac.

In addition to the above steps you might also consider undertaking a SMC reset.

Leave a comment...

My AirDrop is not working between iMac and iPhone 6/5c while it works between all iPhone versions. I am on latest OSes while I remember using AirDrop pre-El Capitan days. Hopefully I will get this working tonight through above steps. On a side note, Mouse does not have much issues, and HandOff-Continuity work fine.

— Bhaskar · Oct 30, 07:01 AM · #

Just found your site the above information was quote helpful, thanks!

on another matter, my wireless magic mouse sometimes (quote offen) sticks and jumps around, Any ideas?


— Richard Ramsowr · Oct 30, 10:45 AM · #

Sticking and jumping in my Magic Mouse is always due to hair/dirt in the optical sensor, or a desk/pad surface that’s too “even”.

Blow out the sensor with a puff of air fixes the former.

The latter, depends on the surface; I use a raw wood desk, and just scrape it a little, because it gets polished by the mouse feet, etc.

Usually just a dirty/blocked sensor, though.

— Sigivald · Oct 30, 01:45 PM · #

(“Always” in my experience, that is.)

— Sigivald · Oct 30, 01:46 PM · #

All I got was create diagnostic report on desktop

— bobby · Dec 6, 01:00 AM · #

The scrolling and right click of my Magic Mouse stopped work after it dropped to the floor. However, the left click is working perfectly, and if I right click then it has the same effect than the left click.

I tried to reset PRAM, deleted the bluetooth plist and tried almost everything, but without success. Anything else that could be try before trashing this Magic Mouse? Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

— Julian · Dec 19, 07:48 PM · #