How to Turn off Your Phone's Bluetooth Permanently

Try these tips if Bluetooth keeps popping back on unexpectedly

If you've tried to turn off Bluetooth on your smartphone, you may have noticed it doesn't behave in the ways you expect. Whether you have an Android device or an iPhone, here's how to ensure you permanently turn Bluetooth off.

How to Turn off Bluetooth on iPhone

Apple has kept the method to shut off your device’s Bluetooth quite consistent over the years. However, one recent change that came with Apple's iOS 11 update changed the default Bluetooth toggle button from completely turning off the radio to merely disconnecting all non-Apple devices.

Turn off Bluetooth to Disconnect Devices

If you wish to disconnect a pair of headphones or another Bluetooth accessory from your iPhone you can do so via Control Center.

Disabling Bluetooth on iOS via Control Center screenshot
  1. To access Control Center on most iOS devices, slide your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen. If you're using an iPhone X, slide your finger downwards from the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. The Control Center will display some quick settings for you to access such as Screen Brightness, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a ‘Do Not Disturb’ function.
  3. Locate and tap the Bluetooth icon to disconnect all non-Apple devices.

While this toggle switch may achieve your end goal of disconnecting a pair of headphones, it does leave the Bluetooth radio on for some additional functions and services such as the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, and Mac Handoff feature.

Turn off Bluetooth Permanently

If you're looking to shut off Bluetooth entirely, you'll need to do so from within the Settings application.

The Settings app showing Bluetooth control on iOS screenshot.
  1. Open the Settings app located on your iPhone’s home screen
  2. Scroll down and tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the Bluetooth toggle switch to shut off the internal radio entirely.

While most users will be satisfied with shutting off partial Bluetooth functionality via the Control Center, those who don't use any Bluetooth devices or Mac’s Handoff functionality may opt to turn the radio off entirely in exchange for a little more battery life.

How to Turn off Bluetooth on Android Devices

Due to the variety of different Android smartphone manufacturers, turning off Bluetooth can vary between devices. However, when you do choose to toggle Bluetooth off on an Android device, it's shut off permanently until you decide to re-engage it.

Turn off Bluetooth Permanently - Method One

The first option to deactivate Bluetooth on an Android device is to do so via the Status Bar. While using your Android device, swipe down from the top of your screen to display the Status Bar. At the top of the panel, locate and tap Bluetooth to switch it on or off. That’s it!

Toggling Bluetooth radio setting from Android's status bar.

Turn off Bluetooth Permanently - Method Two

Another option for turning off your Android device’s Bluetooth is via the Settings app.

Access your Bluetooth controls via the Settings menu in Android.
  1. Swipe down from the center of your Android home screen to open App Drawer, which displays all of the available applications on your device.
  2. Select the Settings app from the menu to launch it.
  3. Once inside the Settings app, tap Wireless and Network.
  4. Tap Bluetooth, then tap the toggle switch to deactivate your device’s Bluetooth functionality.

A Word of Caution for Android Users

In addition to helping extend battery life, shutting off Bluetooth can prevent possible hacking schemes. One of the most common Android Bluetooth hacks is known as BlueBorne and can allow users to gain unauthorized access to your device.

Without the need to request your permission to connect, adequately equipped devices can utilize the exploit when you're least expecting it. It's therefore recommended to turn Bluetooth off when not in use to improve your overall security.