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Macbook Bluetooth Not Available? Here’s What to Do

Did you know that the average American owns about 4.4 Bluetooth devices? Two of these are likely from Apple, seeing as the average US household owns at least 2.6 Apple products.

You may have forgotten about it, but if you rely a lot on AirDrop, then you need your Bluetooth to keep working. The same goes if you use wireless headphones or speakers while you work using your Mac. You also need Bluetooth to make your wireless printer do its job.

All that said, the last thing you want is to encounter the “MacBook Bluetooth Not Available” error. If you do though, don’t fret just yet, as a simple switch toggle or reboot may be all it takes to fix the issue.

Ready to get your Bluetooth woes resolved with a few steps? Then let’s get right into it!

Toggle the Bluetooth Switch

When your Mac says “Bluetooth Not Available”, you may only need to switch it off (for about 10 seconds) and then on again. This “resets” the Bluetooth connection, which something may have interfered with. Within a few seconds, your paired device should connect to your Mac’s Bluetooth.

Restart Your Mac

If the first step doesn’t work, reboot your Mac to resolve possible Bluetooth module crashes. Be sure to disconnect any peripheral device (such as USBs) connected to your Mac before you reboot. You should also eject any iPhone or iPad synced with your Mac.

As a bonus, restarting your Mac frees up RAM space, which can fix other issues, such as slow performance.

Remove and Reinstall Previously-Paired Devices

If your Mac still shows “Bluetooth not available” after a reboot, try unpairing all devices from it. It’s possible that there’s a bug in the previously-established connection itself.

To remove paired Bluetooth devices, access your System Preferences. You can open this through Spotlight Search: type in “System Preferences” and hit enter. You can also access the System Preferences through Launchpad.

Opening the “Bluetooth” settings panel should give you a list of all paired devices. If you only have issues with one device, you may choose to unpair just that. If the “Bluetooth Not Available” message shows up all the time, remove everything on the list.

It’s a good idea to reboot your Mac again after this, to ensure that all changes take place. Once you’ve logged back in, switch on your Bluetooth device and make sure it’s discoverable.

Head back to your Mac’s Bluetooth settings panel and try connecting your device again. Since this is essentially a “fresh” pairing, you have to hit “Accept” to establish the connection.

Make Sure You Have the Latest macOS Version

One report found that 22% of critical-risk cyber issues were due to outdated software. Many of these out-of-date programs also had missing patches or unsupported software.

Another report cites that 60% of breaches occur due to the failure of applying an available patch. Meaning, software updates were available, but users didn’t download and install them.

Those are worst-case scenarios, but they should prompt you to get all your software up to date. Besides, if you continue using outdated programs, you’re bound to experience glitches. For instance, not updating your macOS can cause its Bluetooth function to fail.

The good news is, Apple makes it easy to keep your Mac up-to-date through automatic updates. If you haven’t set this up yet, then you’re likely running an older macOS version. This may be the only reason that your Bluetooth won’t turn on Mac.

To ensure you have the latest macOS, click on the Apple logo on the upper left-most corner of your computer. Select “About This Mac” and then click on “Software Update”. This should prompt your iMac or MacBook to check for any available software updates.

If your Mac is up to date, you’ll get a confirmation saying so. If not, you’ll see the most recent version available for download and installation. Get that and make sure you select “Automatically keep my Mac up to date”.

Reset Your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC)

The SMC is a chip found in Macs that use Intel hardware. It has many roles in your Mac’s performance, such as its power button, keyboard, and peripherals. It also affects the behavior of your hard drive and even how your Mac sleeps and cools itself.

With so many functions, the SMC can get overloaded at times, which can then lead to erratic behavior. The good news is, you can reset this part of your Mac to resolve such unwanted actions. Resetting the SMC is much like rebooting your Mac — it sorts of breathes in new life to the chip.

To perform an SMC reset, completely shut down your Mac first then connect it to your power adapter. Then, press and hold the Shift, Control, Option, and Power buttons for about 10 seconds. Release the buttons simultaneously and let your Mac boot up like it usually does.

If you have a Mac Pro (or Mac Mini), shut down your device and remove its power cord. Then, press and hold down the Power button for about 5 seconds. Connect the power supply again and then boot up the device again.

After logging in, check your Bluetooth connections. Hopefully, resetting the SMC fixed that “Not Available” error. If not, then you may already need to delete some PLIST files to force your Mac to create new ones. You can check out the steps involved in this guide on how to quickly fix Mac Bluetooth not working.

Get That MacBook Bluetooth Not Available Error Fixed Now

There you have it, the simplest ways to get rid of the “MacBook Bluetooth Not Available” error message. In many cases, the first two steps usually resolve this issue. If not, keep going through the list of steps until you finally get that Bluetooth working again.

Want to expand your knowledge on troubleshooting and resolving other tech-related issues? Then be sure to check out the Tech section for more how-to guides like this!