How To Reboot and Fix Bluetooth on Mac OS X El Capitan

Bluetooth is great and allows us to connect keyboards, mice, cameras, and other peripherals with very little effort. However, once in a blue moon it just doesn’t work. Maybe a device won’t connect or it’s just connecting anymore even though it used to. There’s a little know debug option to do a hardware reset of the Bluetooth module of your Mac. This guide will take you through the (very few steps) of resetting this module.

Turn It Off And On Again

Turn your computer off and then back on to see if this resolves the issue. If not, learn how to reboot the bluetooth controller by following the guide below.

How To Fix Bluetooth on Mac OS X El Capitan

Time required for fix: < 2 minutes

Note: Following this guide will reset your bluetooth module and all connected devices will be inaccessible. If you rely on a bluetooth keyboard, find one with a cable before you follow these steps.

How to restart/reset/reboot/fix bluetooth on Mac OS X El Capitan (step by step)

  1. Locate the Bluetooth symbol in the taskbar on your Mac. Click it while holding Shift and Alt (Option) (A)
  2. Select Debug (B), then Reset the Bluetooth module (C).
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Reconnect devices as necessary.

If this guide doesn’t help you, you may want to try and do an SMC reset. It’s easy!

Perform SMC Hardware Reset

Time required for fix: < 2 minutes

If you couldn’t reset the bluetooth module by following any of the steps above, you may want to try to do a hard SMC reset. This resets some of the logic board settings in your computer, but doesn’t change any of your files.

Bluetooth Not Available Error

If you get the “Bluetooth: Not Available” error, please follow this guide instead: How To Fix Bluetooth Not Available.

Did this solve the problem for you?

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7 Responses

  1. Paul Furbacher says:

    Only the SMC reset worked. Prior to that, Bluetooth (hereafter, BT) was always on, and could not be turned off in either the BT menu in the menu bar, or in System Preferences. The option to turn it off was simply not shown. In System Preferences, the BT preference pane stated that BT was ON. (Likewise, the menubar menu showed it ON.) The Shift-Option-click on the BT menu revealed the extra items, but the advice to reset the BT module did nothing.

  2. Jack Sparrow says:

    Wow.. Learning never ends. Thanks 🙂 !!

  3. Jack Sparrow says:

    Worked well for me without need to restart the computer. (Macbook Pro Mid 2012 – El Capitan). Thanks for the cool & nifty tip! ?

  4. Jim Dalton says:

    Worked for me WITH the restart.

  5. stephen says:

    What is the difference between this and just a basic restart. Does the module not restart after ever reboot

  1. February 3, 2016

    […] Feb 2016 If you’re on Mac OS X El Capitan or newer, please follow these steps to reset your bluetooth module […]

  2. March 1, 2016

    […] Not Available”. This is a fairly serious issue that can’t be resolved by simply restarting bluetooth. The System Profiler also just says “No information found.” for the Bluetooth hardware […]

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