Resetting Bluetooth on OS X

Unfortunately, Bluetooth on OS X isn’t perfect. In fact, I’ve had to include a lot of workarounds in MacID’s code to try and get Bluetooth to a more reliable state. Thankfully, Bluetooth on iOS is pretty stable.

If you’re experiencing issues with Bluetooth on OS X there are a few ways you can try resetting Bluetooth.

Option 1. Reset Bluetooth using MacID

In MacID for OS X v1.3.1 and newer you can simply get MacID to reset Bluetooth LE for you. There are two ways to do this:

  • The first option is to wait for the Reset Bluetooth button to appear in the device discovery window.
  • The second option is to hold ALT while clicking the MacID menu, then from under the “More” submenu choose “Reset Bluetooth“.

Whichever option you choose, you will be prompted to enter your admin password and then MacID will attempt to restart your Mac. If you’re able to disable Bluetooth, so do before you try to reset Bluetooth.

If you would prefer to delete the files yourself, see option number 2 below.

Option 2. Delete two Bluetooth related files and restart your Mac.

This is a little fiddly, but it’s the most effective, especially if you’re stuck at trying to add a device to MacID for OS X.

There are two files that you need to locate and delete. One is in a hidden folder but I will guide you through how to find it using Finder.

  • Disable Bluetooth if you can.
  • Open Finder, click Go (at the top of the screen), then click Go to Folder. Type or copy/paste /Library/Preferences and click Go. In the Preferences directory locate a file named com.apple.Bluetooth.plist and delete it.
  • Click Go again (at the top of the screen), click Go to Folder again and this time type or copy/paste ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost and click Go. In the ByHost folder locate a file that begins with com.apple.Bluetooth and delete it. This file will begin with com.apple.Bluetooth and have some random letters and numbers at the end.
  • Restart your Mac.
  • Re-enable Bluetooth if your Mac hasn’t already.

Option 3. Reset the SMC.

This one has a lower success rate than the previous method but it does sometimes work. Apple have a great support page on how to reset the SMC based on your type of Mac: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201295

Option 4. Use the Bluetooth debug menu.

You’ll need the Bluetooth icon in your menu bar for this. Hold alt+shift and click the Bluetooth icon. From the Debug menu that appears choose “Remove all devices” and “Reset the Bluetooth module”.

 

 

Hopefully one of these will help if you’re experiencing issues with Bluetooth and get you back up and running.

10 thoughts on “Resetting Bluetooth on OS X”

  1. Hi. I love MacID! Just wanted to let you know that when I originally installed it, I had to reset bluetooth in order for it to connect with my iPhone 6+. Yesterday I updated MacID on my MacBook Pro (2014) and they were no longer connected. Today I had to reset bluetooth again and then it found my iPhone just fine. A bit cumbersome to have to do that, but definitely worth it. Thank you!

  2. Hi, I checked the compatibility and I have a MacBook Pro (Retina Mid 2012) which I assume is included in the supported list as you state 2012 onwards.

    I just wanted to confirm it before I go through all the steps about restarting bluetooth because I have tried everything else and it has worked fine on my iMac.

    Cheers

    Richard

    1. Hey,

      As long as when you download MacID for OS X it doesn’t say “Bluetooth LE not supported” at the top of the MacID menu then you’ve got a supported Mac.

      Hope that helps, sorry for the delay! Lots of spam comments suddenly on this blog so wading through it all.

  3. Hi,
    MacID doesn’t work with 1Keyboard. I tried all above options, but nothing worked. 1Keyboard works only with MacID quit.
    Any solution?

    1. Sorry for taking so long to reply, the site was bombarded with spam and I’ve only just got round to sifting through it.

      Unfortunately, apps like Notifyr and 1Keyboard seem to clash with MacID. We’re all just using public APIs provided by Apple for Bluetooth, and when one app is running the other sometimes gets told by the system that Bluetooth isn’t available.

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