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How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that won’t pair or connect to third-party Bluetooth device [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the most useful features most contemporary devices integrate is the advanced Bluetooth technology. New high-end smartphones including Apple’s recently rolled out iPhone Xs Max have it among their key offers. Utilizing this feature on your new iOS device typically requires enabling its Bluetooth feature. Once enabled, it’s all set to pair with and connect to any other compatible Bluetooth devices within range.

Nonetheless, there are some factors that can make this simple Bluetooth pairing process a bit more complicated. Many iPhone owners bumped into such a dilemma when attempting to pair their iOS device to a third-party or non-Apple Bluetooth accessory. If you happen to be among these people, this post is for you was well. Read further to find out what to do in case your iPhone Xs Max just won’t pair with or connect to your Bluetooth device.

Now, before anything else, if you have other issues with your phone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already provided solutions to hundreds of problems reported by our readers. Odds are that we may have already provided a solution to the problem you currently have so try to find issues that are similar with yours on that page and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max that won’t pair with Bluetooth devices?

Before doing anything, check and ensure that your Bluetooth device is compatible with your iPhone Xs Max and works with the iOS 12 platform. Another factor to consider is the distance between your iPhone and Bluetooth device. To ensure that both devices are within range, place them next to each other. Also make sure that your Bluetooth device is turned on or in discoverable mode. If pairing is still unsuccessful with all these requisites met, then time to troubleshoot your iPhone Xs Max and rule out software problems from the underlying causes. Here are a few substantial workarounds for you to try on.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone Xs Max and Bluetooth device.

If this is the first time you attempt to pair your iPhone Xs Max with the Bluetooth device and the pairing failed, then it’s likely just a random glitch that’s easily rectified by a soft reset on both devices. Thus as your first solution, reboot your iPhone and your Bluetooth accessory. To soft reset/reboot your iPhone Xs Max, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up or Down buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off menu appears.
  2. Drag the power off slider to turn off your device completely.
  3. After 30 seconds or so, turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding on the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

To clear out minor firmware issues on the Bluetooth device/accessory that may have prevented it from connecting with your iOS device, perform a system reboot.

  • To reboot your Bluetooth device, just find its Power button/switch then press or flip to turn it off for a few seconds, and then turn it back on.

Wait until both devices are ready and then retry pairing them.

Second solution: Turn Bluetooth off and on again.

Your iPhone’s Bluetooth system may sometimes fail due to minor errors or data corruption. Luckily, such problems are easily remedied by turning the feature off and on. This therefore can be considered among the possible solutions.

  • To turn Bluetooth on and off your iPhone Xs Max, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu, then tap the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature off. Restart your phone and then head back to Settings to turn Bluetooth on again.

Another way to turn Bluetooth off and on is through the Control Center.

  1. To do so, launch the Control Center on your iPhone Xs Max and then tap the Bluetooth icon to turn the feature off or on.
  2. To turn Bluetooth and other wireless features on your iPhone at once, head over to Settings-> Airplane mode menu, then tap the switch to turn Airplane mode on and off.

All wireless features are automatically disabled when you turn on Airplane mode and enabled when Airplane mode is off. So it’s another way of restarting your iPhone’s wireless features. This trick has already done wonders to many people who dealt with various types of network connectivity issues including Bluetooth pairing failures. And it won’t hurt to try it on your end.

Third solution: Forget Bluetooth device then add it back.

Like Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections can also become corrupted and stop working at some point. And similar to corrupted Wi-Fi networks, corrupted Bluetooth devices can likewise be remedied by forgetting them from your device and then setting them up again manually. To rule out corrupted Bluetooth connection, follow these steps to forget/delete Bluetooth on your iPhone Xs Max:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  2. Tap on the information (i) icon next to the Bluetooth device you want to forget/delete.
  3. Select the option to Forget this Device.
  4. When asked, tap Forget Device to confirm.

Restart your iPhone Xs Max then navigate to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. If necessary, enable Bluetooth on your iPhone then let it scan for available Bluetooth devices in range. Check and see if your Bluetooth device/accessory now shows up under My Devices section. Then  re-attempt to pair with them. Make sure both devices are within range.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone Xs Max.

A network settings reset is an effective solution to network-related issues including Bluetooth pairing error. It works by clearing all the network settings such as cellular network, saved Wi-Fi and passwords as well as APN and VPN settings you’ve used before.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Wait until the network settings reset is finished. You will know when it’s done as your iPhone reboots by itself. After it reboots, enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features then retry pairing.

Fifth solution: Update your iPhone software to the latest version available.

Software updates typically cater new features and security enhancements. Some updates are intentionally rolled out to address specific problems transpiring in multiple devices. These are updates that contain fix patches. Should the problem you’re dealing with is attributed to random software bugs, then installing the latest iOS version might be the required solution.

  • To manually check for new iOS update, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu. You will see an update notification if a new iOS version is available for your device.

Before updating your iPhone software, back up your important files for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install OTA update. When the update is completely installed, reboot your iPhone to ensure that all new system changes are properly applied and likewise to prevent apps from going rogue following the recent platform transition.

If your iPhone Xs Max still won’t pair or connect to your Bluetooth accessory…

Try to pair it with any other compatible Bluetooth device including your Bluetooth car. Just make sure both devices are within the specified Bluetooth pairing range, turned on, and in discoverable mode. If your iPhone pairs with or connects to your other Bluetooth devices except for one, then the problem is on that Bluetooth device. In that case, you can try contacting the manufacturer of that Bluetooth device for further assistance. Otherwise, take it to a service center for hardware assessment. Meanwhile, if your iPhone Xs Max won’t pair to any of your Bluetooth devices even when they’re compatible and in range, you may continue to troubleshoot and resort to a factory reset. Otherwise, escalate the problem to your device carrier or Apple Support for other options and recommendations.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max 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 XS Max. 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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