Bluetooth icon A fair amount of users have been experiencing persistent Bluetooth connectivity problems since updating their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches to iOS 7. Though some of the issues relate to hardware like an external keyboard, speakers, or a headset, many of the most frustrating problems pertain to Bluetooth connectivity with cars and iOS devices. This seems to happen regardless of the manufacturer, whether it’s something like a custom Alpine or Pioneer deck or even the built-in Bluetooth receivers that many newer model cars come with, and it can impact both voice and call connectivity, as well as music playing and audio output, steering wheel controls, and turn-by-turn directions from the various mapping services. Troubleshooting every individual device is a huge feat, so instead we’ll focus on some general tips that are likely to fix bluetooth connection problems with iOS 7 devices, whether that’s a car stereo, headset, or speaker system.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth Problems with iOS 7

These should help for any device running iOS 7, be it an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

WAIT: Check the Bluetooth Device Batteries and Power Source

Before going through the troubleshooting steps below, check the power source of the Bluetooth device, speakers, or stereo. Are the batteries charged? Is the item actually plugged in? This may sound silly, but it matters, particularly with battery operated wireless devices. The Bluetooth connection and signal strength will diminish greatly with a weak power source or low battery, and may result in erratic behavior with dropping or failed connectivity.

1: Toggle Bluetooth OFF and back ON

Swipe up to access Control Center and hit the Bluetooth icon, wait at least 30 seconds, then toggle it back on. This simple trick can often repair a device that is experiencing connection issues.

2: Update to the latest version of iOS

This is easy, go to Settings > General > Software Update and make sure you have installed any iOS updates waiting. These often include bug fixes, even for issues that are not listed in the brief release notes, and thus should always be installed.

3: Reset Network & Bluetooth Settings, Clear Device Pairing

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings

This will clear out all Bluetooth pairing of all devices, including every setting and configuration that has been made on the iOS device. You will need to re-add and re-pair any bluetooth hardware to the iOS device after this has finished. If you do nothing else, do this and pair everything from scratch again, it fixed my Bluetooth issues completely.

Next to updating your iOS software, this can be the single most important tip to resolve Bluetooth problems. Note this will also trash any saved wi-fi passwords and custom networking configurations for the iOS device, so you will need to rejoin wi-fi routers again.

Bluetooth Still Not Working?

  • Confirm the bluetooth device has an adequate power source and/or charged batteries
  • Confirm the devices are within adequate range (10 feet or less is ideal)
  • Turn the Bluetooth device OFF and ON again
  • Turn the iPhone/iPad/iPod off and then back on again

You can also try some desktop and Mac focused Bluetooth resolutions, like monitoring for interference by connecting the device to the Mac and using OS X tools to watch the connection strength. If the device connects to the Mac but fails to connect with iOS, this suggests the issue could be related to the iOS mobile device, thus you may want to try syncing a wireless keyboard to the iPhone/iPod/iPad to double-check that official Apple hardware works trouble-free.

Along those lines, it’s worth double-checking that both the iOS device and the Bluetooth device can connect to other devices through Bluetooth, if one works while another does not it may be indicative of an underlying hardware issue on either side.

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