How to fix Bluetooth pairing problem on Apple iPhone XS, cannot pair or connect to Bluetooth accessory [Troubleshooting Guide]

So you’ve got a new Bluetooth accessory and would want to use it with your new iPhone XS but for some reasons, the accessory won’t pair or connect to your iOS device. Apparently, you’ve got a problem to fix.

To give you some inputs on how to troubleshoot this problem, I’ve outlined a few potential solutions and methods that are used to deal with Bluetooth pairing issues on a particular iOS device that is, the new iPhone XS. Read on to find out what to do if your iPhone XS won’t pair or connect to a Bluetooth accessory.

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 iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS with some issues with its Bluetooth

One of the widely used features of modern smartphones is Bluetooth. Through this feature, people can easily and conveniently transfer files from smartphone to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Nowadays, more and more people used their respective smartphone’s Bluetooth function for entertainment purposes. Needless to say, Bluetooth is now becoming a trend in global smartphone market. There are two important factors to consider when pairing Bluetooth devices and that would be range and compatibility. This means that your iPhone XS must be within range and compatible with your Bluetooth accessory. If either of these criteria isn’t met, then Bluetooth pairing fails. Aside from range and platform compatibility, software errors and glitches are also among other factors to consider. To rule out software-related issues that may have prevented your iPhone XS from pairing or connecting to your Bluetooth accessory, try any of the following procedures.

First solution: Restart your iPhone XS and Bluetooth accessory.

If this is the first pairing attempt and failed, then it’s likely just a minor errors inflicted by random firmware glitches on iPhone or Bluetooth device. To clear this out, restart both your iPhone XS and Bluetooth device. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button or Side button again until the phone boots up.

On your Bluetooth accessory, locate the Power button or switch then toggle it to power off for a few seconds and then back on.

Retry pairing your iPhone XS and Bluetooth accessory afterwards and see if it’s successful. Make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is in discoverable mode too.

Also verify and ensure that Airplane Mode is not enabled on your iPhone XS. Otherwise, wireless radios functions including Bluetooth won’t be available. Navigate to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and make sure to switch is turned off.

If both devices still failed to pair or connect, then you need to try other options to rule out other causing factors.

Second solution: Toggle Bluetooth off and on again.

Turning your iPhone’s Bluetooth feature off and then back on can also help eliminate minor software errors affecting Bluetooth pairing functions. Like other wireless features, random Bluetooth errors can also be remedied by turning it off and then on again. So here’s what you should do next:

  1. Tap to open Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature OFF.
  4. Restart/soft reset your iPhone XS.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  6. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn Bluetooth back on.

Wait until the Bluetooth devices in range populates then select the Bluetooth accessory you want to pair with your iPhone XS.

Third solution: Forget Bluetooth devices on your iPhone XS.

A corrupted Bluetooth connection usually won’t work unless you refresh it. If Bluetooth pairing still failed after performing a device restart and the Bluetooth toggle, then it’s possible that your Bluetooth connection has been corrupted and therefore needs a refresh by forgetting the Bluetooth device from your iPhone and then setting it up again. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  2. Tap the information “i” icon next to the connected Bluetooth device that you want to delete or forget.
  3. Then tap the option to Forget this Device and confirm. If you see multiple Bluetooth devices in the list, forget them all to ensure that none of them is causing conflict with your iPhone’s current Bluetooth connection.
  4. After forgetting Bluetooth devices, turn the Bluetooth switch off.
  5. Restart your iPhone XS.
  6. Then go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  7. Toggle the switch to turn Bluetooth on again.
  8. Then select your Bluetooth device from the list and reattempt pairing it with our iPhone XS.

If Bluetooth pairing still failed, consider trying other options.

Fourth solution: Update phone software to the latest version.

Installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone can also be considered among the possible solutions especially when dealing with bug-inflicted problems and system errors. New updates usually offer fix patches to address existing device issues from random glitches. Thus it’s recommended to keep your phone software up-to-date. If your iPhone has stable Wi-Fi internet access, then you can check for OTA updates with these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings-> General-> Software update menu.

If an update is available, you will see a notification containing the update details. For safekeeping, create copies of your critical information beforehand. Then follow the onscreen prompts to Download and Install new iOS update on your iPhone XS.

Restart your iPhone after updating to refresh the system and apply the recent system changes. Then re-attempt pairing it with your Bluetooth device.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

Before resorting to a full system reset or master reset, you can try to reset all settings on your iPhone XS first. This will help clear out invalid settings from the possible causes. Unlike factory reset, this method does not affect any saved data on the phone memory, hence won’t result to data loss. All it does is to clear all customized settings including incorrect Bluetooth configurations from the phone and then restores the default options. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone should reboot by itself and then restores the default options. This means you will need to re-enable Bluetooth on your iPhone XS and then retry pairing it with your Bluetooth accessory.

Seek more help

If none of the given solutions worked and your iPhone XS still won’t pair with or connect to your Bluetooth accessory, escalate the problem to Apple Support or your iPhone carrier for further assistance. Verify and ensure that your Bluetooth accessory is supported or compatible with your iPhone’s platform (iOS).

If you think the problem is with the Bluetooth accessory, then using other Bluetooth devices that has similar functions can help. If your iPhone XS doesn’t have any problem pairing with other Bluetooth devices, then the problem must be with the Bluetooth accessory you’re trying to connect to. In this case, you may contact the device manufacturer to report the issue and likewise to verify if the device is compatible with the new Apple iPhone XS.


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