What to do if your Apple iPhone XS won’t pair or connect to a Bluetooth accessory? [Troubleshooting Guide]

With Bluetooth technology, you can make hands-free calls on a headset while driving your car, listen to music on wireless speakers, typing through wireless keyboards, or print documents in another room. All these and more can be achieved from simply enabling Bluetooth feature on your new iPhone XS and then get it paired with your Bluetooth device. When Bluetooth is enabled, your iPhone will automatically become discoverable and then it starts to search for Bluetooth devices within range. But there are just times when the supposed to be simple process becomes even more complicated. Read on to find out what to do if you’ll have trouble getting your iPhone XS to pair with 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 that won’t pair with Bluetooth devices?

There are a few things that you need to note before you can pair your iPhone XS with a Bluetooth accessory. First and most important is that Bluetooth must be turned on. You can turn on Bluetooth through the Control Center. Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch the Control center and then tap the Bluetooth icon to turn the feature on, if necessary. If it’s already turned on but your iPhone XS still won’t pair with your Bluetooth accessory, toggle the Bluetooth switch off and then on again shortly. This can help refresh the Bluetooth functions on the phone, thus allowing your iOS device to connect.

Also make sure that both devices are in close range and that your Bluetooth accessory is turned on. Note that Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that’s used to connect devices. If your devices are way too far from each other, then there’s a chance that they won’t be able to communicate. To make sure this isn’t the issue, place both devices next to each other while troubleshooting software problems with these workarounds

First solution: Reboot/soft reset your iPhone XS and your Bluetooth device.

This can be just a random glitch on the iPhone or Bluetooth accessory. In that case, restarting both devices can help. Performing a soft reset on the iPhone XS clears out minor software errors that may have caused Bluetooth pairing to fail at first. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume button for a few seconds.
  2. Then release both buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right to power off your phone.
  4. After 30 seconds or so, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears and then release.

On your Bluetooth accessory, locate the Power button to turn it off and then on again shortly. This can also help refresh the device, clears minor firmware errors, and make it work or communicate properly with your iOS device.

Also be sure to put your Bluetooth accessory in discovery mode and wait for it to show up on your iPhone XS Bluetooth list. Once you see a list of Bluetooth devices in range, you can start pairing by tapping on the  name of your Bluetooth accessory. If prompted, enter the PIN or passcode to access your Bluetooth accessory. If you don’t have the information, check the accessory’s documentation or contact the manufacturer.

Second solution: Toggle Bluetooth, Airplane Mode on and off.

Turning Bluetooth off and on is also another way to refresh the iPhone’s Bluetooth connections. The same thing happens when you turn Airplane mode on and off your iPhone XS. Consider this as the next workaround to try if a soft reset doesn’t help. Here’s how:

  1. Tap to open Settings.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the switch next to Bluetooth to turn the feature off for a few seconds.
  4. Then tap the switch again to turn Bluetooth back on. The Bluetooth switch will then turn green. That means Bluetooth is enabled.

Alternatively, you can restart wireless radios including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone XS by toggling the Airplane mode switch on and off shortly. You can access the Airplane mode icon from the Control Panel or by going to Settings-> Airplane mode menu. Turning it on automatically disables the phone’s wireless radios and turning it off does the opposite. So it’s like a quick restart on the wireless features.

Third solution: Delete/forget Bluetooth connection then reconnect.

The Bluetooth connection might have been corrupted and therefore no longer works unless it’s set up again. In that case, you will need to forget or delete the Bluetooth device from your iPhone’s memory. Here’s how:

  1. Tap to open Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the Information icon (i) next to the paired Bluetooth accessory.
  4. Tap the option to Forget This Device.
  5. Tap Forget Device to confirm.

The selected Bluetooth device will then be removed. Reboot your iPhone, add your Bluetooth accessory and then retry pairing.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

Incorrect network settings on the phone can also be the main source of conflict and so Bluetooth pairing doesn’t work. This can be the underlying cause if the problem started after modifying network settings on the phone. There may be some options that are not configured properly and that leads to an error. To clear this out, reset the network settings to restore the default values and from there you can reconfigure necessary options and enable only the necessary features. Here’s how:

  1. Tap to open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings option.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  6. Then tap Reset network settings again to confirm.

Your iPhone will reboot automatically after the network settings reset and then reverts its network configuration to defaults. Don’t forget to enable both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone XS to use wireless functions and reconnect your iPhone to your Bluetooth accessory.

If your iPhone XS still failed to pair or connect to your Bluetooth device after exhausting all prior solutions, then you’re likely dealing with a more intricate software issue that requires more advanced solutions like a master reset. You may opt to proceed with a factory reset or iOS restore as your last resorts if you’d like to troubleshoot further. Otherwise, seek more help by escalating the problem to your device carrier.

To verify and ensure device compatibility and support, contact the manufacturer of your Bluetooth accessory or Apple Support, and then relay the issue you have with your iPhone XS Bluetooth functions. If you see any error codes or prompt while attempting to pair your iPhone XS with your Bluetooth accessory, let them know of the information so they can use that as hint to offer the best possible solution.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS 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 XS. 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.