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

Time required for fix: < 2 minutes

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

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.

If this guide doesn’t help you, you may want to try to do a hard SMC reset.

How To Reset the Bluetooth Module on a Mac

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 bluetooth controller 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.

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5 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! 😎

  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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