How to fix an iPad Air 3 that won’t pair or connect to a Bluetooth accessory

Having some trouble pairing your new iPad Air 3 slate to your Bluetooth accessory? If that is so, then this post might be able to help you. Read on to learn what to do if your new iPad doesn’t pair or connect to your Bluetooth devices.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPad issues questionnaire.

How Bluetooth works on your iPad Air 3?

Your new iPad Air 3 can be paired to a wireless keyboard, wireless headphones, wireless game controllers, Bluetooth speakers, as well as with selected tablets and smartphones. With Bluetooth, you can pair your iOS device to your Bluetooth accessories and start streaming music and videos, make and receive phone calls, transfer files wirelessly, and more.

To make this happen, your Bluetooth devices must be paired with and connected to each other beforehand. The process of pairing Bluetooth devices is simple. Just place the devices close to each other, enable Bluetooth to put both devices in discoverable, accept pairing on either device and then you’re all set to starting exchanging data between the two devices using the latest Bluetooth protocol. Data exchange between the paired devices is mainly done through Wi-Fi connection. And like any other wireless features, your iPad’s Bluetooth feature can also succumb to random errors due to minor network connectivity issues.

For as long as the hardware components are perfectly working, fixing such random problems on your end is very attainable. Highlighted below are some of the most effective solutions to minor Bluetooth problems on an iOS device, particularly the recently released iPad Air 3.

Troubleshooting iPad Air 3 that won’t pair with Bluetooth accessory

To ensure that Bluetooth works as intended, be sure to meet the following requisites.

  1. Check for new iOS update. It is highly recommended to keep your device software up-to-date to ensure optimum and bug-free performance. If you haven’t set your iPad to auto-update, then you have to manually check for available updates to download and install.
  • To check for OTA updates on your iPad Air 3, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu. Then tap the Download and Install option to start updating.

A stable Internet connection, sufficient memory space, and at least 50 percent battery life are needed to complete the entire update process. Periodic iOS updates rolled out by Apple usually embed some fix patches to eliminate bug-inflicted errors and symptoms.

Installing the latest carrier settings update for your iPad is also recommended. Like iOS updates, carrier updates also offer fix patches to existing errors affecting wireless features like Bluetooth.

  • To check for carrier updates on your iPad Air 3, go to Settings-> General-> About menu then scroll to the carrier section to view any new update notifications.

Otherwise, contact your network service provider/carrier to verify if your carrier settings are up-to-date.

  1. Make sure your devices are within range. Data exchange between Bluetooth devices only works within the specified range, typically between 10 meters (class 2 devices) and 100 meters (class 1 devices). To make sure that distance isn’t causing you trouble, place your Bluetooth device close to your iPad Air 3.
  2. Make sure that your devices are in discoverable mode. Aside from proximity, Bluetooth devices must also be turned on, unlocked and in discoverable mode for them to communicate and sync. Discoverable mode denotes that the Bluetooth switch on both devices are enabled.
  3. Make sure your devices are compatible. Not all Bluetooth devices are compatible with your iOS device and vice versa. The easiest way to determine whether or not your iPad Air supports your Bluetooth accessory, check the minimum system requirements of the accessory. This information is typically found in the user manual of the device. You can also view the list of your iPad Air’s supported devices by heading to the official Apple website.

ALSO READ: How to fix Apple iPad Air 3 iMessage that’s not working

Ruling out software-related factors that prevents Bluetooth pairing

The following procedures will help you eliminate software-related factors that might have caused Bluetooth pairing to fail. Don’t forget to retry pairing your devices after performing each procedure to determine if the problem is solved or not. Proceed to the next applicable solution if necessary.

First solution: Reboot your iPad and Bluetooth accessory.

The simplest possible solution for you to try is a reboot on both your iPad and Bluetooth accessory. It is possible that either of your devices is experiencing some random glitches and so it failed to pair or connect. To eliminate these random glitches, performing a system reboot or soft reset will help. To soft reset/reboot an iPad Air 3, refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.

On your Bluetooth device, find the Power switch then press it until the device powers down. After a few seconds, press the Power switch again to turn the device back on. Allow your device to finish rebooting, put them in discoverable mode, and then try Bluetooth pairing with these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Bluetooth. Make sure that the switch is turned on.
  3. Make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is turned on and in pairing mode and within range.
  4. Select the name of your Bluetooth device when it appears on your iPhone.
  5. Then tap the option to begin pairing.
  6. If prompted, enter the correct PIN or password to proceed. This information is usually found in the Bluetooth device’s user manual.

Allow your devices to finish pairing and once the process is complete you should see Connected next to the name of the Bluetooth device you paired with your iPad Air.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPad Air 3 Gmail app that keeps crashing

Second solution: Toggle Bluetooth switch off and on.

Random Bluetooth issues can also be remedied by turning your iPad’s Bluetooth feature off and on again. It’s one of the simplest possible solutions that works by giving a quick reboot the phone’s Bluetooth system.

  • To do this, simply go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu and then toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn Bluetooth OFF. A few moments later, toggle the Bluetooth switch again to turn on Bluetooth.

Once you see the Bluetooth icon on the status bar of your iPad Air, it means that Bluetooth is enabled and your iPad is all set to pair with your Bluetooth-enabled accessory.

Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Another old trick that’s used by many when dealing with various types of wireless problems is the so-called Airplane mode toggle. It works by simultaneously turning wireless features off and then back on. A lot of people have found wonders from this trick so you might as well consider giving it a shot. Here’s how it works:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it ON. Doing so disables the iPad’s wireless features including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, reboot/soft reset your iPad Air to dump junk files from its cache.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it OFF again.

Allow your device to reconnect to Wi-Fi and re-enable Bluetooth from the Control Center or through the iPad settings menu. Once enabled, select your Bluetooth accessory from the list then retry pairing it with your iPad Air 3.

Fourth solution: Forget Bluetooth devices from your iPad.

Corrupted Bluetooth connections may also cause conflicts and therefore must be cleared out. This is when forgetting or deleting saved Bluetooth devices from your iPad Air is necessary. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to the Home screen and tap on Settings.
  2. Tap Bluetooth and make sure that Bluetooth is enabled.
  3. Scroll to the list of available Bluetooth devices.
  4. Then tap the information “i” icon next to the name of the Bluetooth device to delete.
  5. Next, tap the option to Forget This Device.
  6. Finally, select the option to confirm that you want to forget the selected Bluetooth device.

The Bluetooth device will then be removed from the list. Just follow these steps to delete all other saved Bluetooth devices from your iPad to prevent them from causing conflict to your current Bluetooth connection.

Once you’re done forgetting all saved Bluetooth devices, reboot your iPad then head back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. Select the Bluetooth accessory that you want to pair with your iPad Air 3, then tap the option to Pair or Connect. Make sure that your devices are close to each other, turned on, unlocked, and have sufficient power.

ALSO READ: How to fix Apple iPad Air 3 that won’t connect to WiFi

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPad.

Network-related issues in general can also be remedied by performing a network reset. This is usually needed if the problem is attributed to incorrect network settings on the device. So here’s what you should try doing next:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your device will then instigate erasing recent network settings and then restores the default network values and options. Server information, APNs, Cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth information are cleared out in the process and the default values are restored.

After the reset, the iPad reboots automatically. By then you can start enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to retry pairing the iPad with your Bluetooth accessory.

Last resort: Restore factory default settings on your iPad.

The last option you’ve got if all else failed to fix the problem would be a factory reset on your iPad Air. Doing so wipes everything from your device including saved data, downloaded apps and contents, customized settings, contacts, and other personal information. Complex bugs and system errors that might have ruined the iPad’s Bluetooth system are also removed in the process. But before you begin, be sure to back all your important files so you can still recover and use them again afterwards. You can back up files to iCloud or iTunes, as you would prefer. Once the backup is secured, follow these steps to factory reset your iPad Air 3 through settings:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm full system reset on your iPad Air 3.

Wait for the reset to finish and once it’s done, your iPad should restart automatically. To use your device again, you will need to set it up first. Just use the start-up wizard to set up your iPad as new. Then retry pairing the iPad to your Bluetooth device as if it’s the first pairing attempt made.

Also care to check if your Bluetooth accessory has a reset button, then you can use that to reset the device. Just refer to the instruction manual to view the standard resetting procedures.

Still cannot pair your iPad Air 3 to your Bluetooth accessory?

If nothing else works and your iPad Air 3 still cannot pair or connect to your Bluetooth device, contact Apple Support for further recommendations. To determine if it’s an isolated problem to a Bluetooth accessory, try pairing your iPad Air 3 to any other Bluetooth-enabled device available. If it’s able to pair with a different Bluetooth device, then that’s an isolated problem on the previous Bluetooth device you’re trying to pair with your iPad. In that case, you can ask further assistance from the device manufacturer.

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