How to fix Apple iPad Air (2019) that won’t pair with Bluetooth accessory

This post highlights applicable solutions to Bluetooth pairing problems on the new Apple iPad Air (2019) slate. Read on to learn what to do if your iPad Air won’t pair with your Bluetooth accessory.

When dealing with Bluetooth pairing issues in mobile devices, several factors must be ruled out. These would include proximity or distance between devices, device settings, network status, as well as device compatibility. For Bluetooth devices to pair or sync, they must be within the Bluetooth range. If they’re way too far from each other, the connection may become unstable or worse, the devices won’t connect at all. Aside from distance, also ensure that your devices are compatible. Some Bluetooth devices won’t work with the iOS 12 platform. If distance and compatibility aren’t the underlying cause, try these subsequent methods to rule out other factors.

To determine if the problem is isolated to the Bluetooth device you’re trying to pair with your iPad Air, try using other Bluetooth accessories. If your iPad Air is able to pair with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, then the problem is with your Bluetooth device and not on your iPad. If none of your other Bluetooth devices is able to pair with your iPad Air, then you may now start troubleshooting.

First solution: Reboot your iPad Air and Bluetooth device.

If you haven’t done this yet, then consider this as the first workaround to try. Restarting the device can do a lot of wonders when it comes to eradicating minor errors including those affecting the Bluetooth system. Just follow these steps to reboot your iPad Air:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power Off slider shows up.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your iPad completely off.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again until the Apple logo appears.

Also reboot your Bluetooth device as you normally do or turn it off and then back on again to dump its cache.

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

This trick helps get rid of random problems affecting wireless functions on an iPad. It works be giving a quick restart on the wireless radios and associated systems including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so disables the wireless radios of the iPad. This means that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections are disabled.
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, restart/soft reset your iPad Air.
  5. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and tap the Airplane switch again to turn the feature OFF.

After turning Airplane mode off, enable Bluetooth from your iPad Settings-> Bluetooth menu.

Once enabled, pair it with your Bluetooth device. Make sure that your Bluetooth device is closed to your iPad and placed in discoverable mode.

  1. On your iPad Air’s Bluetooth menu, tap to select the Bluetooth device that you want to pair with or connect to.
  2. Then tap Pair to continue.
  3. If prompted, enter the correct passcode, then tap OK.
  4. On your Bluetooth device, you should see a message prompt asking you to accept pairing. Simply tap the Accept button to confirm Bluetooth pairing.

Wait for your iPad Air and Bluetooth device to pair. If the pairing is successful, you’re all set to sync your devices. If your iPad Air is still unable to pair with the Bluetooth device, try the next applicable solutions.

Third solution: Forget Bluetooth devices.

The Bluetooth device may still be shown in the list of available Bluetooth devices in your iPad but is no longer working because it’s corrupted. To fix the problem, follow these steps to forget the corrupt Bluetooth device and then pair it again with your iPad Air:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Bluetooth. Make sure that the Bluetooth switch is turned on so you can see the list of saved Bluetooth devices.
  3. Find the Bluetooth device that you’re trying to pair with your iPad Air.
  4. Tap the small letter “i” or information icon next to the name of the Bluetooth device.
  5. Then tap the option to Forget This Device.
  6. If prompted, tap Forget device to confirm action.
  7. The selected device will then be removed from the list. If you see any other Bluetooth devices saved on your iPad, follow the same steps to forget them all so none of them would cause conflict or interfere with your Bluetooth connection.
  8. After forgetting all saved Bluetooth devices, restart/soft reset your iPad Air to refresh its memory and to dump junk files from its Bluetooth directory. Also restart your Bluetooth device.
  9. As soon as it boots up, head back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled and your Bluetooth device is in discoverable mode.
  10. Select the Bluetooth device on your iPad’s Bluetooth devices section.
  11. Then tap the option to Pair.

Wait and see if the pairing works. If they still don’t pair or connect, then you’ve go to troubleshoot further.

Fourth solution: Update your iPad Air to latest iOS version.

Installing new updates can also be considered among the possible solutions. Updates not only offer new features but also embed codes or modules that are programmed to get rid of bug-inflicted symptoms including those affecting Bluetooth. If your iPad has stable Wi-Fi internet access, you can check for and install new iOS update via over-the-air. To check for new update on your iPad Air, simply follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

If a new iOS version is available for your iPad Air, you will see an update notification containing the update details and relevant information. Read and review the message then refer to the onscreen instructions to download and install the new update.

After updating, reboot your iPad Air to apply the recent system changes and to refresh apps and system services. Then head back to your iPad Settings-> Bluetooth menu, then retry pairing your devices.

And if it’s possible, also consider updating your Bluetooth device software to the latest version. Just refer to the user manual to have some clues on how to update your Bluetooth device.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings.

Network-related errors that could not be addressed by the basic procedures often require network settings reset. This is usually the case if the problem is linked to misconfigured or invalid network customization. To clear out such flaws, restoring the original network configuration is needed. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options. Network settings, saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, APNs and other relevant information will be deleted.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, the iPad restarts itself and then loads up the original network options and values. Wait until your iPad is finished rebooting then enable Bluetooth from settings to restart pairing.

Sixth solution: Reset your iPad Air and Bluetooth device.

You’re likely dealing with a major problem if your iPad Air is still unable to pair with any Bluetooth device after exhausting all prior methods. To clear out complex system errors from your iPad Air that might have halted Bluetooth pairing, you may consider performing a factory reset as last resort. This will erase your device and restore its factory defaults. Associated symptoms are also addressed. If you wish to continue, here’s what you should do then:

  1. Back up all your important files. Doing so will let you restore the files later when needed.
  2. After backing up files, go to Settings-> General-> Reset menu on your iPad Air.
  3. Then tap the option to Erase all content and settings. This will erase your iPad and restore its factory default settings.
  4. If prompted, enter your passcode to continue.
  5. Then tap the option to Erase your iPad.

The reset process could take several minutes depending on the amount of data stored on your iPad. Just follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to complete the system reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPad should restart automatically and then loads up its factory defaults. To use your device again, you will need to set it up. Just follow the start-up wizard to set your iPad up as new.

Still couldn’t get to pair your iPad Air with your Bluetooth device?

The problem may not be on your iPad alone but also on the Bluetooth device that you’re trying to pair with or connect to. Hence, it’s also imperative to rule out every possible factor that might have prevented the Bluetooth device from pairing with your iPad Air (2019). For further assistance in performing more advanced troubleshooting procedures with your Bluetooth device, contact the device’s manufacturer. If you suspect that the problem is tied to more complex iOS flaws, then you may opt to escalate it to Apple Support.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!