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How to fix an iPhone 8 Plus that won’t pair or connect to a Bluetooth device [Troubleshooting Guide]

With Bluetooth technology, you can share some of your smartphone features with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. All you have to do is enable Bluetooth on your iPhone, enable pairing mode on your Bluetooth device, pair and connect. Once connected, you can start playing audio tracks from your iPhone and listen it through your headset or car stereo, answer calls, stream videos or even transfer files and contents in between devices. That should have been an easy and smooth process but with the presence of software glitches, what’s used to be a simple process becomes complicated.

Bluetooth pairing problems can occur even among the highest-tiered devices like Apple’s new flagship smartphone, the iPhone 8 Plus. And this is what this post is all about. You may refer to this context if you’re troubled with the same issue on the same iOS device, and you need some help dealing with the problem. Read on to find out how to troubleshooting an iPhone 8 Plus that won’t pair or connect to a Bluetooth device.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone 8 Plus that won’t pair via Bluetooth

Before you begin to troubleshoot, check and ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone 8 Plus. Also ensure that the other Bluetooth device is turned on or in discoverable mode, and in close proximity with your iPhone. Bluetooth range is typically around 30 feet so be sure to position your devices within that range, if not closer. If that doesn’t work still, then move on and try these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

Minor software glitches that might have prevented your iPhone from connecting to Bluetooth are usually fix by turning the iPhone off and then back on. The process is called soft reset or restart, a simple yet very effective troubleshooting method used to deal with various types of software errors in mobile devices. Here’s how a soft reset is done on an iPhone 8 Plus:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button until the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  2. Drag the slider to the right to turn your iPhone completely off.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears and then release.

This will not affect personal information and other critical data saved on the internal memory of your iPhone, hence there’s no need to create backups.

Second solution: Toggle Bluetooth off and then on again.

Turning Bluetooth off and on can also help fix minor glitches on the phone’s Bluetooth connectivity services. It’s like restarting the feature and clearing any errors for it to work properly again. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Then tap the switch next to Bluetooth. You will know when it’s off if the switch is gray.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Bluetooth back on. The switch then turns green, which means Bluetooth is enabled.

Alternatively, you can turn Bluetooth off and on through the Control Center. Just launch the Control Center from the Home screen and then tap the Bluetooth icon off shortly and then tap the icon to turn Bluetooth on again. Another way to turn Bluetooth off and on is through Siri.

You can use any of these methods, as you’d prefer. After turning Bluetooth off and on, try pairing your iPhone and Bluetooth device again to see if they’re now able to pair or connect.

Third solution: Turn your Bluetooth accessory off and then on again.

The problem is not only on the iPhone but can also be with the Bluetooth device you’re attempting to pair with. Should it be a minor software glitch on the Bluetooth device that’s preventing it from connecting to your iPhone, then turning pairing mode off and back on may fix the problem. Generally, Bluetooth devices will have a switch or button to press to take it in and out of pairing mode. Try to look for that switch then press it off and then back on  again. If you can’t find that switch, just turn the device off for a few seconds and then on again.

As soon as it’s on and ready, retry pairing it with your iPhone 8 Plus and see if the problem is fixed.

Fourth solution: Forget or delete Bluetooth devices on your iPhone 8 Plus.

Bluetooth connections can also become corrupted and when this happens, pairing problems may instigate. To clear this out, try to delete or forget the Bluetooth device on your iPhone 8 Plus. Doing so will disconnect your iPhone from the Bluetooth device and likewise erase the device from your iPhone’s memory. So it’s as if the device was never connected to your iPhone. The next time you pair them, it will be like the first time they’re connecting. Here’s how to forget/delete Bluetooth device on an iPhone 8 Plus:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the blue “i” or information icon next to the Bluetooth device you want to forget.
  4. Tap the option to Forget this Device.
  5. If prompted, tap Forget Device to confirm.

The device will then be erased from the Bluetooth list.

To check if the device has been successfully forgotten, go to Settings-> Bluetooth-> My Devices menu. It shouldn’t show up in there.

You can also forget or delete any other Bluetooth devices from your iPhone’s memory to prevent any of them from causing conflict.

Once you’ve deleted or forgotten the Bluetooth device, restart your iPhone then start pairing your iPhone again. Again make sure that the Bluetooth device is in close range and in pairing mode. If it pairs with your iPhone and starts working, then the problem is fixed. Otherwise, try other applicable solutions.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone 8 Plus.

More complex software problems, particularly those that are associated with network functions usually need advanced solutions like software resets. Given that the problem you’re dealing with is on Bluetooth connectivity, performing a network settings reset on your iPhone may help. Doing so will erase data on all of your Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi networks, and VPN settings. This allows your iPhone to have a complete fresh start when connecting to Bluetooth-enabled devices in range. More intricate software problem are then fixed. Before you begin, take note of all your Wi-Fi passwords as you’ll need to enter them again after the reset. Once you’re all set, follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPhone 8 Plus:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings from the given options.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone will then reset network settings and then restart automatically when done.

After it reboots, the network settings have been reset to defaults.

Enable network connectivity features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Then try to pair your iPhone with your Bluetooth device again and see if the problem is fixed.

If the problem persists, try to pair your iPhone 8 Plus with another Bluetooth device. If it’s able to pair or connect to other Bluetooth devices/accessories, then it means the problem is on the Bluetooth device. You can contact the device manufacturer for further assistance then.

Other options

You may continue to troubleshoot the problem if your iPhone 8 Plus still won’t pair or connect to your Bluetooth device after performing all the aforesaid solutions. The problem could be due to a more intricate system error that requires more advanced solutions than network settings reset. In this case, you may resort to a factory reset first. This will wipe everything from your iPhone system including your personal information. Any tough bugs and malicious software that might have caused Bluetooth pairing issues on your iPhone will also be erased in the process. If that won’t work, then you can proceed with a DFU mode restore. This would be the last-ditch solution you can try on. The process involves putting your iPhone in DFU mode — a state wherein it’s still able to communicate with iTunes on a computer without loading the operating system or bootloader. Both these methods result to data loss, so be sure to back up all your critical data beforehand should you wish to give them a try.

Otherwise, take your iPhone and/or Bluetooth device to a service center for hardware assessment.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone 8 Plus. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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