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How to fix your iPad's Bluetooth when it's not working

Person looking at iPad and resetting Bluetooth settings

Imagine this scenario: You take a Zoom® meeting from a coffee shop, using your iPad® and Bluetooth® headphones, but something's wrong—the sound is coming full blast out of your tablet. Embarrassing right? We've been there—and we know how to fix it.

At Asurion, we make tech easy. From protection to repairs, we show you how to get the most out of your gadgets. Here's what to do if your iPad Bluetooth isn't working.

Check to see if your iPad tablet's Bluetooth is turned on

If your iPad's Bluetooth isn't discovering devices, it's usually because your Bluetooth is turned off. This step may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget to turn Bluetooth on before trying to use it. Just tap Settings > Bluetooth and then turn Bluetooth on.

Make sure your iPad and Bluetooth device are close to each other

Having your iPad and Bluetooth device close to each other—especially when first connecting—makes them easier to pair. Most devices have ranges for how far they can send and receive Bluetooth connections. For iPads, it's about 33 feet. So the closer the devices are, the better.

Check and see if your Bluetooth device is charged and compatible

Ideally, you want both gadgets fully charged when you try to pair them. If your Bluetooth device is out of power, your tablet won't be able to find it. You also need to make sure they're compatible. An iPad is generally able to connect with many Bluetooth accessories—though there are some exceptions. To find out whether your Bluetooth accessory is compatible with your iPad, contact the accessory's manufacturer.

Restart your iPad and Bluetooth device

It sounds almost too simple to be true, but restarting your iPad and Bluetooth accessory usually clears up most issues that could be preventing your connection. The good news: You don't even need to pair them again. Here's how to restart your devices:

For iPads without a Home button. Press and hold the Top and one of the Volume buttons at the same time until the power slider appears. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for the iPad to turn off.

For iPads with a Home button. Press and hold the Top button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for the iPad to turn off.

Make sure both devices are up to date

Outdated software can cause more than just iPad trouble; it can even keep your Bluetooth from connecting properly. Check for any available updates and install one if it's available.

Before starting the update, you might want to back up your iPad using iCloud® or your computer. Updating the software doesn't erase any data, but it's better to be safe just in case.

  1. Plug your device into power and connect to your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to Settings > General.
  3. Tap Software Update > Install Now. If you see Download and Install instead, tap it to download the update, enter your passcode, then tap Install Now.

If your Bluetooth accessory has a companion app, make sure it's up to date in the App Store®. Here's how:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap Update next to the app.

Confirm your Bluetooth is turned on in the companion app

When setting up a new app, you've probably gotten notifications asking for permission to access your device. You breeze through those just to get them out of the way, not paying too much attention to what they're asking.

But if there's an app for the Bluetooth accessory, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Bluetooth on your iPad, and make sure that you've turned on Bluetooth for the app.

Reset the network settings on your iPad

If you're still having trouble with your iPad not connecting to Bluetooth, you may need to reset your network settings. Doing so targets saved Wi-Fi networks and their passwords, as well as any cellular settings and virtual private network(VPN) settings that could keep you from connecting to Bluetooth. Don't worry, this won't delete any apps, photos, or contacts. Follow these steps to reset your network settings:

  1. Open Settings > General.
  2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPad > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Forget your Bluetooth device

Try forgetting the Bluetooth device on your iPad and setting it up again. Doing so lets you restart the Bluetooth pairing process.

How to forget a Bluetooth device:

  1. With Bluetooth turned on, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the information button (“i") next to the name of the device.
  3. Tap Forget This Device.

How to pair with a Bluetooth device:

  1. Follow the instructions that came with the device to put it in discovery mode.
  2. On the iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn on Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the name of the device.

Factory reset your iPad

Factory resetting a device erases all your data and forces you to set it up again. But that reset can be helpful. If you happen to have a setting turned on that's keeping you from using Bluetooth, a factory reset brings your iPad back to its default settings—removing that troublesome setting altogether.

Take some time to back up your iPad, and then follow these steps to factory reset your iPad:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPad.
  2. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*


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