How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max Bluetooth that keeps disconnecting after installing iOS 12.1.4 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the vital features found in contemporary devices like smartphones is Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, you can sync your phone to a Bluetooth-enabled accessory for quicker and easier file transfers and other wireless gestures. In new iOS devices, more advanced Bluetooth features are offered, allowing users to pair and connect the iPhones to a wide variety of compatible accessories for various purposes.

To get started in using Bluetooth, your phone’s Bluetooth function must be enabled. The Bluetooth device you want to pair with your iPhone must also be within range or close to your iPhone and set to discoverable mode. More importantly, both devices must be compatible. Once all these are met, Bluetooth pairing should be all set. Nonetheless, there are some factors that can impede Bluetooth syncing between an iPhone and a Bluetooth accessory. And bad updates are among the common culprits. Software updates are intended for good purposes but sometimes they can also cause havoc due to some update bugs. And both minor and iOS updates Apple released had their own share of bugs.

On the positive note, post-update issues from software bugs are fixable. All you have to do is try some possible solutions and workarounds until you obtain temporary or permanent solution. Highlighted below are a few helpful methods and suggested tweaks to deal with a post-update Bluetooth problem on the iPhone XS Max. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone suddenly keeps disconnecting from Bluetooth or unable to sync to other Bluetooth devices after updating to iOS 12.1.4.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max with Bluetooth that keeps disconnecting?

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that your other Bluetooth device is up-to-date. If possible, update the device firmware through its settings menu. Otherwise, continue with these steps to rule out software-related factors on your iPhone XS Max that may be halting it from establishing a secure Bluetooth connection.

First solution: Restart your iPhone XS Max.

If you haven’t restarted your phone after updating, there’s a higher chance that some of its apps or system functions are glitching. This is normal after every new system transition. To prevent adverse symptoms, restarting the phone is recommended. On your iPhone XS Max, you can carry out a soft reset to clear junk files from its memory and to refresh apps and system functions as well. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

This process does not affect any saved data on the phone memory hence, won’t cause permanent data loss. That said, it’s a safe process to begin with.

Second solution: Turn Bluetooth OFF and ON again.

It may be necessary to refresh your Bluetooth connection since the update could have ruined it. To do this, you can turn Bluetooth OFF for a few seconds and then back on again. Or you can also apply the Airplane Mode trick to restart wireless functions of your iPhone. You can start with the Bluetooth restart with these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  2. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn OFF.
  3. After a few seconds, tap the switch to turn Bluetooth back on again.
  4. Wait for your Bluetooth device to show up in the list of available BT devices then select it to begin pairing.

If that doesn’t work, then you can try applying the Airplane Mode trick next. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so will disable the phone’s wireless radios including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
  3. While Airplane Mode is enabled, restart your iPhone XS Max (soft reset).
  4. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and turn Airplane Mode OFF again to re-enable wireless functions of your iPhone.

After turning off Airplane mode, enable Bluetooth connection then retry pairing your iPhone with your other Bluetooth device and see if it’s working already. If not, then troubleshoot further.


Third solution: Forget Bluetooth connection then add it back.

Existing Bluetooth connections can be ruined by an update bug and when this happens, adverse symptoms could occur from random Bluetooth errors, on and off syncing and pairing errors. To fix the problem, you will need to unpair your iPhone from the Bluetooth devices. To remove pairing, you can use the option to Forget Bluetooth on your iPhone XS Max. Here’s how to manage this Bluetooth setting in iOS 12 or later devices:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Tap to enable Wi-Fi, if necessary.
  4. Find then select the Bluetooth device you want to forget.
  5. Tap the information “i” icon next to the name of the Bluetooth device.
  6. Then select the option to Forget this Device.
  7. If prompted, tap Forget to confirm action.

The device will then be deleted and unpaired from your iPhone. If you see any other Bluetooth devices, forget them all using the same method. Doing so will prevent any other Bluetooth devices from causing conflict or interfering with the syncing process.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on the phone.

Resets are often needed to address more complex system problems that could not be rectified by initial workarounds. There are different type of resets that can be done on an iPhone. Since you’re dealing with network-related problem, performing a network settings reset is recommended. This clears all your current network configurations including APNs, Wi-Fi networks, and Bluetooth connections. Any errors caused by a network bug from the recent update will likewise be deleted in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm network settings reset.

Wait until the reset is finished. Once it’s done, the phone restarts automatically. As soon as it boots up, you can set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. To sync your iPhone to other Bluetooth-enabled devices or accessories, you need to re-enable Bluetooth and then pair your devices again.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone XS Max in iTunes.

Restoring an iPhone is usually the last option to consider when dealing with tough system bugs. This however is only possible if you have saved a previous backup of your iPhone on the computer before updating. You can use and restore from that backup until Apple comes up with a fix patch to address the recent update bug. Here’s how to restore iOS in iTunes via recovery mode:

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer’s USB port using the Apple-supplied syncing cable/Lightning cable.
  2. While it’s connected, press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then quick press and release the Volume Down button.
  4. Next, press and hold the Side/Power button and continue to hold as it restarts. Don’t release the Side/Power button when the Apple logo appears as you need to put the device in a recovery state.
  5. Release the Side/Power button when you see the Connect to iTunes logo on the screen.
  6. Go to iTunes then you should see a message saying that your connected iOS device is in recovery mode and prompts options to update or restore.
  7. Choose the Restore option to wipe everything from the phone system and then restore iOS through iTunes.

It usually takes 15 minutes for the entire restore process to complete. If it exceeds that time and your iPhone exits recovery mode, just wait for iTunes to finish downloading the latest software for your iPhone and then follow the previous steps to enter recovery mode and complete the system restore. You can disconnect your iPhone from the computer as soon as the restore process is complete. Just read and follow the onscreen prompts in iTunes.

If none of that helps, try pairing your iPhone to other Bluetooth-enabled devices available and see if the symptom recurs. If Bluetooth is working fine when pairing with other devices or accessories, then it’s an isolated problem with the previous Bluetooth device. In that case, you can seek further assistance from the device manufacturer or use other alternative devices that serve the same purpose instead.

If your iPhone XS Max is unable to work with any other Bluetooth devices and accessories, then you should escalate the problem to Apple Support already. This can be a major Bluetooth bug and therefore needs a dedicated fix patch. And reporting the problem to Apple Support is the first step to getting that ultimate solution. Just let them know exactly of how you ended up having unstable Bluetooth connection on your iPhone XS Max.

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!


Leave a Comment