How to fix iPhone 5s Bluetooth pairing issues after iOS update

Pairing your iPhone with a Bluetooth device can easily be accomplished in just a few taps and toggles. But there are many factors that can complicate the process and you would just realize that you cannot pair your iPhone with a Bluetooth-enabled device. One of the common causes of Bluetooth pairing errors are faulty updates. Highlighted below are a few helpful workarounds that can be used when dealing with a problem with Bluetooth on an iPhone 5s after an iOS update implementation. Read on to learn how to deal with your iPhone 5s Bluetooth pairing issues after iOS update.

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Troubleshooting Bluetooth pairing issues after iOS update on your iPhone 5s

The fact that the problem instigated after an update makes it an apparent indication of a post-update issue that needs to be addressed. Before giving Apple Support a ring, try some ways to fix the problem on your end using these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Restart your iPhone and Bluetooth device.

Either your iPhone 5s or your Bluetooth device is experiencing minor glitches from the recent iOS transition and therefore unable to connect on your first pairing attempt. To eliminate random glitches like this, restarting both devices can help. On your iPhone 5s, perform a soft reset if you haven’t already. Just follow these steps:

  1. Press and  hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button on the top of the phone for a few seconds.
  2. Release the button when the Power Off slider appears. The iPhone will then shut down.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button until the Apple logo appears and then release the button.

On the Bluetooth device that you are having trouble pairing with your iPhone 5s, locate the Power button or switch then press on it to turn the device off and on again. This simple gestures effectively eliminates random system errors including those affecting Bluetooth services. 

After rebooting both devices, retry pairing and see if the problem is gone.

Second solution: Toggle Bluetooth off and on.

Post-update errors affecting the phone’s Bluetooth functions are the next factors to rule out if performing a soft reset or reboot on both devices didn’t solve the problem. 

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature OFF.
  4. After a few seconds, toggle the switch again to turn Bluetooth back on.

After enabling Bluetooth on your iPhone 5s, restart your Bluetooth device then retry pairing them. If the pairing is still not successful, move on and try the next solutions.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone 5s email problems after iOS update, cannot send/receive emails

Third solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Wireless connectivity issues including Bluetooth pairing errors inflicted by iOS bugs can also be remedied by the Airplane Mode trick. It works by giving a simultaneous restart on your phone’s wireless radios and relevant features. Any associated errors are likewise eliminated in the process, thus it could be the key to rectifying Bluetooth pairing issues on your iPhone 5s. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode on. Doing so disables your iPhone’s wireless radios and relevant features are turned off. 
  4. While Airplane Mode is turned on, restart/soft reset your iPhone.
  5. After it reboots, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

After turning Airplane mode off, wireless radios and functions of your iPhone are re-enabled. To pair your iPhone 5s again, go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu then toggle to turn on Bluetooth.

Fourth solution: Forget Bluetooth device from your iPhone.

The Bluetooth device can become corrupted from an update and if that happens, pairing errors will likely to manifest. To make sure that this isn’t the underlying cause, follow these steps to forget the Bluetooth device from your iPhone and try pairing them like the first time you did. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen to get started.
  2. Tap Bluetooth and make sure the switch is turned on. 
  3. Scroll to the list of saved Bluetooth devices and find the Bluetooth device that you want to pair with your iPhone 5s. 
  4. If you don’t see it, place it next to your iPhone and make sure it’s in discoverable mode.
  5. Select the name of the Bluetooth device then tap the information “i” icon next to it.
  6. Tap Forget This Device to remove the device from your phone’s Bluetooth directory.
  7. If prompted, tap the option to confirm that you want to delete the Bluetooth device.
  8. Also remove any other saved Bluetooth devices that are not in use so that they won’t cause any sort of conflict when trying to pair your iPhone 5s with a new Bluetooth accessory.
  9. After deleting Bluetooth devices, turn Bluetooth off.
  10. While Bluetooth is turned off, reboot your iPhone 5s (soft reset).
  11. As soon as it boots up, go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  12. Then toggle the switch to turn Bluetooth back on again.

When Bluetooth is enabled, navigate to the list of Bluetooth devices then tap to select the device that you want to pair with your iPhone 5s.

ALSO READ: How to fix Apple iPhone SE that won’t connect to Car Bluetooth [Troubleshooting Guide]

Fifth solution: Reset network settings to fix iPhone 5s Bluetooth pairing issues after iOS update.

If the pairing is still not successful after performing the previous methods, you may have to consider resorting to a network reset. Doing so will eliminate wireless connectivity issues including Bluetooth pairing problems caused by incorrect network settings on the phone. This is usually needed if the recent update has overridden your network settings and eventually resulted in Bluetooth pairing issues. If you wish to try it, simply follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPhone 5s:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen, to get started.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your iPhone 5s.

After the network reset, go to your iPhone settings and enable Bluetooth. Retry pairing with your Bluetooth device and see if the pairing is already successful. If it still fails, then you can proceed and try performing other software resets.

Sixth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

Incorrect system settings inflicted by faulty iOS update overrides can also cause similar issues to occur. If the network settings reset doesn’t fix your iPhone 5s Bluetooth pairing issue after the recent iOS update, then you can proceed to a reset on all settings. This will erase your current settings and customized options then restores the original values. Any associated errors are likewise eliminated in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

After the reset, your device will restart automatically and then loads up the original values. To use necessary features, particularly those that are disabled by default, you need to re-enable them individually. Having said that, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled then retry pairing your iPhone 5s with your Bluetooth device.

If none of these resets yield positive results, then you may opt to troubleshoot further and resort to performing iOS restores. You can restore your iPhone 5s from a previous iOS backup either in recovery mode or DFU mode through iTunes. To get this done, you will need to secure a Windows or Mac computer that has the latest version of iTunes application in it. Once you’re ready, you can go ahead and connect your device to the computer and instigate iOS restore in iTunes. 

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 5 that keeps losing Wi-Fi signal

Still facing the same Bluetooth pairing issue on your iPhone 5s after updating iOS?

Try pairing your iPhone 5s to any other compatible Bluetooth-enabled accessory that’s within range. If the pairing is successful, then that’s an indication that the problem is with the previous Bluetooth device that you are trying to pair with your iPhone 5s. That being said, there’s no problem to fix on your iPhone 5s. You can report the issue to the manufacturer of the Bluetooth device that you’re having trouble pairing with your iPhone 5s or better yet find alternatives. If your iPhone 5s won’t pair with any Bluetooth device, then that might be due to some complex iOS bugs that required a dedicated fix patch. In that case, you need to escalate the problem to your device carrier or contact Apple Support to report the issue for further recommendations. Doing so will likewise let them know that such a problem exists after the recent update and therefore tag it among the next post-update issues to address in the next fix patch.

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