Today’s Bluetooth technology is already made more advanced yet very simple to use. In smartphones, a series of screen taps or switch toggles will get your phone paired with and connected to other Bluetooth-enabled accessories in range. The same works with an iPhone’s Bluetooth functions. Nonetheless, there are just certain factors that can interfere with the phone’s Bluetooth system and may cause it to fail or stop working. Tackled in this post is a common Bluetooth problem encountered by iOS owners, including some with the recently released iPhone XR. Read on to find out what to do if your new iPhone won’t pair with or connect to a Bluetooth accessory.
The latest Bluetooth version used by the latest iPhones is Bluetooth 5. Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that your Bluetooth accessory supports Bluetooth 5 technology. It’s recommended that the devices you connect to also use or supports Bluetooth 5 hardware like that of Bluetooth 5 headphones, speakers, headsets, and others. Although Bluetooth 5 iPhones are backwards compatible (still works with prior Bluetooth versions), you will not be able to get any of the benefits of the new technology.
Aside from system compatibility, distance or proximity is also another factor to consider. The Bluetooth 5 spec allows you to connect to a Bluetooth-enabled device for a maximum of around 800 feet. That’s up to four times the range of Bluetooth 4.2 LE. For as long as you didn’t go beyond that range, everything should work. But just to make sure distance isn’t the problem, place your Bluetooth accessory next to your iPhone XR as you troubleshoot software problems with these walkthroughs.
First solution: Toggle Bluetooth off and then on again.
Random system errors transpiring on both the iPhone XR and Bluetooth device may also trigger Bluetooth connection errors. To clear this out, toggle Bluetooth off and on, soft reset your iPhone XR and then reboot your Bluetooth accessory. Doing so will wipe out any minor system errors that cause problems on both devices. Here’s how it works:
- Navigate to your Home screen then tap on Settings.
- Select Bluetooth then toggle the switch next to it to turn the feature OFF. This disables your iPhone’s Bluetooth functions.
- While Bluetooth is disabled, reboot/soft reset your iPhone XR. To do so, press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds until the Slide to Power Off command appears. Drag the slider to the right to power off. After a few seconds, press and hold the Side button until the phone reboots.
- As soon as your iPhone boots up, go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
- Then toggle the switch to turn Bluetooth ON again.
- Wait until all the Bluetooth devices populate then select the Bluetooth accessory you want to pair with your iPhone XR.
If pairing is successful, then the problem is solved. Else, you need to troubleshoot further.
Second solution: Reboot your iPhone XR and Bluetooth accessory.
Minor software glitches on both the iOS and Bluetooth accessory may also cause random pairing errors. And the simple solution to this would be a system restart. On your iPhone XR, you can carry out a soft reset or force restart. This helps clear out random system errors and dumps junk files stored as cache on the phone memory.
You can try a soft reset first with these steps:
- Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
- Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
- Drag the power off slider to the right.
- After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone boots up.
On your Bluetooth accessory, simply locate the Power switch then toggle to turn the device off and then back on.
After both devices are finished booting up, retry pairing them and see if they do. If not, then try to force restart your iPhone XR to clear out rogue apps and corrupted data that might have caused conflict with the phone’s Bluetooth functions. Here’s how:
- Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
- Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
- Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.
Wait until your phone boots up then reattempt pairing it with your Bluetooth accessory.
Third solution: Forget Bluetooth device on your iPhone XR then reconnect.
If you were able to use the same Bluetooth device or paired it with your iPhone XR before but then suddenly failed to connect, then it’s possible that the connection has been corrupted. In that case, forgetting the Bluetooth device from your iPhone XR can help. This deletes the Bluetooth device from your phone memory and allows them to establish new connection. Here’s how it’s done:
- On your iPhone XR, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. If Bluetooth is turned on, you should see a list of saved Bluetooth devices.
- Scroll down to and select the Bluetooth accessory you want to delete or forget.
- Then tap on the information “i” icon next to the name of the Bluetooth accessory.
- Select the option to Forget This Device and then confirm.
If you see any other saved Bluetooth devices, then you may as well consider deleting them all to prevent any of them from causing conflict with your current Bluetooth connection. Just follow the same steps to forget all other Bluetooth devices from your iPhone XR.
Once you’re done forgetting all Bluetooth connections, reboot your iPhone then go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu then toggle the switch to re-enable Bluetooth function and then re-attempt to connect to your Bluetooth accessory.
Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XR.
Random errors affecting the network system of your iPhone are also among the possible culprits. To rule this out, performing a network settings reset on the iPhone can help. Doing so deletes your current network configurations including saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth, and APN/server settings then restores the default network options and values. Any errors on the network settings will also be wiped out in the process. Here’s how it’s done:
- From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Select General.
- Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
- Select Reset network settings from the given options.
- Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
- Tap the option to confirm network settings reset.
After the network reset, your iPhone restarts by itself. Just wait until it boots up completely and then set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Do the same with your phone’s Bluetooth functions. Once Bluetooth is enabled, retry connecting to your Bluetooth device and see if it’s working now.
Fifth solution: Reset your iPhone XR and Bluetooth accessory.
A master reset or factory reset can be considered among the last options if the problem persists after exhausting all applicable solutions. There may be some fatal system errors that caused the iPhone XR’s Bluetooth system to become corrupted and so it failed. Performing a master reset will likely fix these problems as it wipes out every information from the phone including incorrect settings, apps and files containing bugs and malware, and any other harmful contents. But before you do so, back up all your important files so you can recover them later. Then follow these steps to carry out a master reset on your iPhone XR.
- On your iPhone XR, tap Settings from the Home screen.
- Select General.
- Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
- Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
- If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
- Then tap the option to confirm factory reset.
On your Bluetooth accessory, locate the reset button and then long-press that button until the phone reboots. If you don’t see any reset button, then contact the device manufacturer and ask further assistance on how to reset your Bluetooth accessory.
Seek more help
If your iPhone XR still won’t pair with any of your Bluetooth accessories, then you there may be some more complex system issues that need to be resolved. In that case, give a call to Apple Support for further assistance in configuring your iOS settings in a way that allows Bluetooth connections. If Bluetooth pairing issues only occur on a certain Bluetooth device or your iPhone XR is able to pair with other Bluetooth accessories except for the one you’re having trouble connecting to, then it could be an isolated issue. You can report the issue to the device manufacturer and ask for more advanced solutions. Updating the phone and Bluetooth device software to the latest version can also be regarded among other possible solutions.
Connect with us
If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR 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 XR. 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.