Computers, Laptops & Tablets Apple How to Fix OS X Bluetooth Wireless Problems Get a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or other peripheral working again by Tom Nelson Writer Tom Nelson is an engineer, programmer, network manager, and computer network and systems designer who has written for Other World Computing,and others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Tom Nelson Updated on May 26, 2020 reviewed by Ryan Perian Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12+ years' experience working in the IT industry support and management positions. our review board Article reviewed on Jun 17, 2020 Ryan Perian The Wireless Connection The Wireless Connection Introduction All About Wireless What Does Wireless Really Mean? 802.11 Standards Explained The Range Of A Wireless Network Dual-Band Wireless Networking Explained How Bluetooth Works With Wireless Measure It: Wi-Fi Signal Strength What Is A Wi-Fi Hotspot? 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Try This What to Do When There's No Internet Connection The Future of Wireless 5G Changes Everything How 4G And 5G Are Different Why 5G Really Is Faster All About 5G Cell Towers 5G Challenges: Why It Isn't Rolling Out Faster Is 5G The High-Speed Replacement for Cable? When 5G Is Coming to the US The 12 Best 5G Phones Coming in 2019 Tweet Share Email Chances are you use at least one Bluetooth wireless peripheral with your Mac. Many Mac users have a Magic Mouse or a Magic Trackpad paired with their desktop Macs. Many also have wireless keyboards, speakers, phones, or other devices connected through a Bluetooth wireless connection. Bluetooth is convenient for peripherals that are always connected to your Mac and those you use only occasionally. However, Bluetooth connectivity can cause problems when things stop working as expected. These fixes can help. Information in this article applies to Macs with macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS High Sierra (10.13), but most of the fixes also work in older versions of the operating system. Causes of Bluetooth Connection Issues You know you have a Bluetooth connection problem when your Bluetooth-connected peripheral stops working. Sometimes the problem occurs when you upgrade macOS or OS X or change the batteries in the peripheral. Sometimes, it happens for no apparent reason. The cause is likely to be a corrupt Bluetooth preference list (.plist file) used by the Mac. The corruption prevents the Mac from updating the data within the file or from correctly reading data from the file. Either of these can lead to problems. However, other causes exist, and these can almost all be fixed easily. Westend61 / Getty Images How to Fix OS X Bluetooth Wireless Problems Before you jump straight to removing a preference file on your Mac, try these simple fixes that may solve the problem. Turn off the Bluetooth peripheral and turn it back on. Confirm the batteries are good or replace old batteries with fresh batteries. Confirm the Bluetooth peripheral is connected to the Mac. Open System Preferences > Bluetooth and look for the word Connected under the peripheral in the devices list. If it is not connected, click the Connect button next to it or re-pair the device following the instructions that came with the device. Turn off the Mac's Bluetooth system. You can turn Bluetooth off in System Preferences or from the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar of the Mac. Wait a minute and turn it back on. Restart the Mac and the Bluetooth device. If you don't see the Bluetooth icon in the Mac menu bar, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and select the Show Bluetooth in menu bar check box. Reset NVRAM or PRAM on the Mac. NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM) is a newer version of the PRAM (Parameter RAM) found in older Macs, but both contain small amounts of memory, and the differences between the two are slight. Delete the Bluetooth preference list. In Library > Preferences, locate the file named com.apple.Bluetooth.plist. Drag it to the desktop to create a copy of the existing file, which serves as a backup of your data. Delete the Bluetooth.plist file in the Library > Preferences folder and restart the Mac. The Library file is hidden on a Mac by default. To access it, go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder, enter ~/Library, then select Go. When the Mac restarts, it creates a new Bluetooth preference file. Because the preference file is new, you may need to re-pair your Bluetooth peripherals with the Mac. Use the hidden Bluetooth Debug menu. To access this menu, press and hold the Shift and Option keys and click the Bluetooth icon in the Mac menu bar. Select the device that is giving you trouble from the list and choose Factory Reset. Reset the Bluetooth module. Go to the hidden Bluetooth Debug menu, click Debug, and select Reset the Bluetooth module. This affects every Bluetooth device you use with the Mac, but these devices usually reconnect automatically. If none of these fixes help, contact Apple Support or take your Mac to the nearest Apple Store for help.