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. Faced with the issue after battery replacement (made by myself), firstly tried everything above, but nothing helps, after all I checked iFixit guide to revers all my actions, and figured out that I’ve mixed screws 1,7mm and 1,3mm that tight a shield, that covers wireless antenna , and must increase bandwidth. So, after all, we may assume, if nothing from above helps, the issue with low bandwidth: case blocks signal, other devices interference, bluetooth module poorly connected or faulty.

  2. I tried all the above mentioned solutions, but still this not resolved my problem. Bluetooth still showing as loading, please tell if there are other ways to make it work.

  3. same issue on my iphone se, bluetooth seems active when i tap the bluetooth, but it wont turn off , i go to setting when i open bluetooth , viola just spinning wheel looks like serching, and i wont stop till battery die. fakkkkkk

  4. Same with my iPhone 6.
    Lost Bluetooth and Wifi. Took it to the Genius’ at the Genius Store..
    I am shocked – they had not a clue to solve this except ask me to buy a new phone.

    WHAT the ..??? So very angry – I have had iPhones for years likely a decade.
    I have kids all with Macbooks, iPads, iPhones – umpteen thousands of dollars…
    I am so incensed I feel Like canning Apple forever –
    Talk about screw the customer – so unsatisfactory!

  5. Apple store diagnosis was that this just happens over time- the Bluetooth just doesn’t work! BS- they do not know how to fix it – or? worse they of course know precisely what is wrong but would not be in their best $$ interest to be honest!! I am 100% certain that it is the latter case. Money is always the issue!! But wait… the iPhone 6s was not cheap – I did pay for it!!

  6. Hopefully this helps someone because it was driving me bonkers but I realized that my case was interfering with the connection – taking it out of the case immediately fixed the problem. When I put the case back on, BT turned off again.

  7. I don’t know if this will help anybody, but I could not get an iPod, nor an iPhone 6S, each purchased used off eBay, to connect with anything Bluetooth at my house. In frustration, I went around the house and turned everything off that uses Bluetooth. Then I used a computer that I knew worked on Bluetooth, turned it on and paired it with each of my two failing devices. They each worked fine. Now I’ll go back and start turning things on again, and see where the failures start to occur I’m guessing there’s just too many things using the Bluetooth connections

  8. Had this problem today. To fix: Turn off wifi and Bluetooth. Turn on airplane mode. I closed all apps from the destop. (Double click home button then swipe apps upward.) Then turn off ipad completely and turn back on. Turn airplane mode off and turn on Bluetooth. It was fixed. I suspect that my numbers app screwed up my Bluetooth connection and by removing that app from the desktop and then restarting it cleared the problem out.
    Hope this helps.


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