iOS: Can’t Turn On Bluetooth? Fix

Is Bluetooth stuck in the off setting and are you not able to turn it on? When you try to turn Bluetooth on, do you see a spinning gear? Will your Bluetooth device not connect with your iPhone or iPad? Sometimes you may see a spinning wheel/gear instead of the on/off buttons. This article explains how to fix an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) when it’s Bluetooth feature won’t turn on. There can be a few things that can cause this. Follow these troubleshooting steps:

Turn on bluetooth

It is important that you fix this problem. You will not be able to pair or connect your Bluetooth device to your iPhone or iPad until it is fixed.

Bluetooth showing spinning wheel

Please see this article if you are having Bluetooth problems on your Mac.

Unable To Turn Bluetooth On

Before you do anything, make sure that your iPad or iPhone is running the latest version of the iOS or iPadOS software. You can go to Settings > General and Software Update to check for updates. And if there is an update available, update your device.

Please try the tips below. And after each tip, try to turn on Bluetooth.

1-Restart Your Device

The simple solution to this problem may be to turn off and on your device. Different iOS devices require different steps. Here is how:

iPhone X, 11 or later and iPad with Face ID models:

  • Press and hold the side and volume up (or down) buttons together until you see the red slider.
  • Drag the slider. And wait about a minute.
  • Then press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

Other iPhone models e.g., iPhone 5, 6, 7 or 8 and iPad with a Home button models:

  • Press and hold the on/off (sleep/wake – top or side) button until you see the slider saying “slide to power off”
  • Slide the slider
  • Wait a few seconds
  • Then press and hold the on/off button (side or top) until you see the Apple logo.

2-Airplane Mode

This is very simple but may fix this issue. Turn on Airplane mode for a few seconds and then turn back off. To do that, go to Settings > Airplane Mode on your iPhone or iPad.

turn on airplane mode iOS

3-Pairing Issues?

When you try to pair your iPhone or iPad with your Bluetooth device, you may see the loading spinning gear because your Bluetooth device and iOS device are not close enough to each other as this may impact signal strength if they are not in close proximity to each other. So make sure that they are close to each other. Further, make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is compatible with your iOS device. Also, try restarting your Bluetooth accessory. Also, ensure your Bluetooth accessory is “discoverable”. Simply put the accessory into discovery mode. The last thing you should check is to make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is charged. Fully charge your Bluetooth accessory.

4-iOS Update

Make sure you’re running the latest iOS software available. You may need to update your device. But this is a very simple process. Tap Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update, simply tap “Download and Install”.

iOS software update

5-Force restart your device (aka Hard Reset)

You may want to force restart your device. Again different iOS devices require different steps. To do this:

iPad with Face ID models and iPhone 8 or later:

  • Press and release the volume up and then volume down button.
  • And then press and hold the power (os side) button until the Apple logo appears.

iPhone 7 models:

  • Press and hold the volume down and top buttons together until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6s or earlier models and iPad with a Home button models:

  • Press and hold the on/off and the home buttons together at the same time until you see the Apple logo
  • When you see the Apple logo, let go
  • Your device will restart

6-Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings may fix this issue. Here is how:

  • Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
  • Enter your passcode.
  • Tap Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings iphone

NOTE: This will reset your network settings, like your Wi-Fi settings, and passwords, etc. This means that your Wi-Fi passwords etc will be deleted.

See also: Siri Not Working?

If you are still having issues, please contact Apple support. You may also want to take your device to Apple.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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155 thoughts on “iOS: Can’t Turn On Bluetooth? Fix”

  1. I have the same issue. I can’t turn on or off Bluetooth on iOS12 on my iPhone 6.
    Apple Support in Germany did the diagnosis over the air and said to me, that they can’t find the bluetooth module.

    In my opinion this is whole piece of crap.
    So much people here, with the same problem..

    Tomorrow I contact the Apple Support and show them this site..
    In Germany there is a TV show that shows such cases..
    I think this issue is programmed.. It is very sad, I think Apple want us to buy new iPhones..

  2. Spinning wheel on iPhone forever, nothing would kill it, until I turned off the connection in my PC (I share my iPhone 4g with my PC) and BAM, spinning wheel stopped. It’s about killing the connection on the last device, guys. Good luck!

    • My brand-new iPhone 8 set up just fine, downloaded everything from the cloud from my old SE phone to the new one, reset old SE to factory settings. Now trying to connect bluetooth devices (that worked fine on my SE) and I can turn BT swith to ON but then get the dreaded spinning gear. Looks like from everything I’ve read (and tried) that this is an old problem, but I’ve never had it on any of my several prior iPhones.

      • I took an earlier commenter’s advice on pressing on the right side of the screen, and when I took off my case, it started working!

  3. The Bluetooth on my iPhone 8+ decided to stop connecting to my blood glucose monitor this morning. I tried to pair it again but no luck just the spinning wheel. It is really important to keep a record of my readings but now there is nothing. There must be a fix out there somewhere …. I have tried everything suggested with no luck.
    Has anyone had success yet ?

  4. I have tried all the steps to see if it would work. I even left the beta program to see if that would change something. I have iPhone 6s

  5. Spent two hours on the phone to Apple support about Iphone5 Bluetooth loss issues, they did all the tests and eventually via iTunes removed my latest software and then reloaded and YES IT WORKED, for me I must say they were great help and solved m;y problem. Thanks Angel for your help.

  6. I have the same spinning wheel on my 5 so no BT, have tried all the resets but no luck, suppose no inter fix available, as I am without a job, a new phone is not an option…help

    • Just got my iPhone X and done everything including DFU restore and setting up as new and still getting the spinning circle. Doesn’t give me the option to turn it on or off. Not sure if bluetooth is broken. Sigh..everything is perfect and now this. Guess I’ll have to go back to the Apple store and return it for a refund.

  7. Same problem with my iphone 6s wont turn on bluetooth, it appears Airdrop, Airplay and location services require bluetooth


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