How to Reset Your Mac's Bluetooth Module to Fix Connection Issues

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bluetooth is what your Mac uses to connect to wireless devices like keyboards, mice, trackpads, speakers, and other peripherals. Generally, it's a reliable technology. At some point however, the chances are you'll run into difficulty establishing a Bluetooth connection with one or more of your devices.

    Most problems can be fixed by unpairing and repairing the Bluetooth device, changing its batteries, rebooting your Mac, or performing an SMC reset. But if none of these methods work, you can always try resetting your Mac's Bluetooth module. Here's how to do it in macOS using the hidden Bluetooth Debug menu.

    How to Reset Your Mac's Bluetooth Module

    Before proceeding, bear in mind that if your setup relies exclusively on Bluetooth for communicating with your keyboard and mouse, then you're going to temporarily lose connection to them using the following methods, so you might want to have a backup wired input device option just in case.
    1. Holding the Shift + Option (Alt) keys on your Mac's keyboard, click the Bluetooth symbol in the top-right corner of the macOS menu bar. (If you don't see it there, you need to check Show Bluetooth in menu bar in System Preferences -> Bluetooth.)

      Locate the revealed Debug submenu and hover your mouse cursor over it.
      Click Reset the Bluetooth module.

      Now, restart your Mac.
    You'll notice a couple of other potentially useful options in the Debug submenu. Factory reset all connected Apple devices does exactly what it says - forces any Apple-branded Bluetooth accessories back to the default settings they came with out of the box. It's a reliable fallback option if you've tried everything else to fix a connection issue, including resetting the Bluetooth module.

    Lastly, the Remove all devices option might prove useful if you're moving your Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to another Mac, for example. However, you can also remove devices on an individual basis from the macOS menu bar, as long as you hold down Shift + Option (Alt) before you click the Bluetooth symbol.


    Removing devices in this manner means you're not also banishing a whole bunch of other established Bluetooth connections like speakers and so on that you might want to keep.

    Article Link: How to Reset Your Mac's Bluetooth Module to Fix Connection Issues
  2. Nimrad macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    I find Bluetooth frustrating with my iPhone. My headset never auto-connects and I have to manually do it in settings. We should've come further than this.
  3. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    This is actually very useful. I’ve had problems with BT every so often
  4. zoemacuser macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Southern Plains, USA
    No kidding. I was going to ask how to do this in iOS. Ever since iOS 11 (or maybe my iPhone X) Bluetooth has been amazingly buggy. I’ve had conversations with Apple which usually end in reloading the iPhone or the need for a new iPhone, but the problems persist.
  5. Rychiar macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2006
    Waterbury, CT
    get some AirPods. They work great
  6. zoemacuser macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Southern Plains, USA
    Not sure how that’d help with my car system, Bluetooth speaker from Bose, etc.
  7. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Enjoying all these hints lately a lot more than "news" about iOS games or rumored emoji changes.

    Kind of reminds me of that great OS X Hints site (now defunct), if anybody remembers that.
  8. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    I've had terrible problems with using Bluetooth headphones (Airpods and others) with my AppleTV 4K. Every few minutes I get intermittent dropouts in audio, they last a total of about 3-10 seconds during which time I can hear every other syllable or word of the movie/show I'm watching.

    Searched all over without a solution. Does anyone have any recommendations.

    This started around Nov. 2017. Tried unpairing/repairing headphones, different settings on my router, even ran ATV4k tethered to my phone, thus eliminating the router, nothing helps. Sometimes it happens every 30-60 seconds or so, sometimes it's every 5-10min.
  9. lionel77 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    If resetting Bluetooth does not fix your issues, switching Bluetooth to Hybrid mode might:

    After I had upgraded my MacBook Pro to Sierra, Bluetooth connections to my iPhone became so flaky that I could no longer reliably use MacID to log into my Mac using my iPhone's TouchID. I tried a lot of different things unsuccessfully, including resetting Bluetooth, but what did fix my Bluetooth issues was switching to Hybrid mode als described in the link above.
  10. KBeat macrumors newbie


    Sep 20, 2007
    Apple agreed with you and designed the W1 chip. W1 enabled devices eliminate all the connection headaches associated with Bluetooth. It's part of the charm of the AirPods. We can only hope Apple with license it to car manufacturers and the like.

    FWIW, I will say I've had much better luck with newer, 4/4.1 enabled bluetooth devices than I've had in the past. My 2009 MDX doesn't have bluetooth audio, so I'd been using this MPOW thing that constantly had connection issues. A month ago I picked up a newer device from them with the latest bluetooth tech, and it connects flawlessly, every time, without issue.
  11. sdf macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2004
    I've never experienced this. I think your AppleTV is haunted. :) Or possibly there's a lot of radio interference there. You should see if you can get them to swap it.

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