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Fix: Bluetooth paired but not connected on Android

bluetooth featured

Many Android users can’t live without Bluetooth, especially audiophiles. And, more times than not, Bluetooth connection is not something we are overly bothered with when choosing our next smartphone. Every Android device has it and it usually works without the slightest issues even on the most affordable devices. Nevertheless, there are always some peculiar, rare issues that appear for no apparent reason. It seems that, for some users, Bluetooth devices are paired but not connected.

It’s important to know that certain devices rely on BLE technology (Bluetooth Low Energy) and you won’t be able to connect to them with Android devices running Android 4.3 or older. This technology is mostly used by small devices like fitness bands.

In addition, if the device that’s giving you trouble is a Windows 10/7 PC or laptop, check the drivers and make sure to limit the number of paired devices on your PC/laptop.

With that in mind, continue troubleshooting with the steps we provided below.

What does Paired but not connected mean?

1. Restart devices

The first thing you should do is restart both your smartphone and the device you are trying to pair with via Bluetooth. Some devices have an initial setup sequence so can reset them and start the pairing sequence from a scratch.

If that doesn’t help, make sure that the device is not actively paired with any other device and toggle Bluetooth off and on both devices. In case you still have the same issue, try removing the pairing and try again.

2. Remove pairing and try again

The most common troubleshooting step when it comes to failed Bluetooth pairing. Once you remove the device, just pair it again and the problem should be resolved.

Here’s how to remove paired Android devices on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Connections or Connected devices.
  3. Select Bluetooth.
  4. Turn On Bluetooth and, under Paired devices, select the device that’s troubling you. You might need to tap the cog icon next to it to expand settings.
  5. Tap Unpair and restart your Android smartphone.
  6. Open Settings > Connections > Bluetooth and select the device from the list of available devices and pair your phone with it.
  7. Expand device settings again and enable the categories you want to use (Calls, Audio, etc.). These options depend on the capabilities of the device you are using. Of course, if you use wireless headphones or speakers to play audio, make sure that the Audio (or Media) option is toggled on.

If Bluetooth is paired but devices are still not connected, check the next step.

3. Disable Mobile Data and NFC

Some users suggest disabling Mobile Data and NFC while using Bluetooth. That seems to help address the problem at hand but we weren’t able to replicate it. The reasoning behind this is that other sensors and antenna activity causes conflict with Bluetooth. By default, this shouldn’t be an issue but it seemingly is.

You can disable Mobile Data and NFC from the Quick Access menu above the Notification bar. If that doesn’t help, we suggest resetting the network settings on your Android.

4. Reset Network Settings

Finally, if none of the previous steps worked for you, consider resetting network settings. You can learn more about ins and outs of this procedure in our dedicated article on network settings reset.

Here’s how to reset network settings on your Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Open Reset options.
  4. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  5. Tap Reset settings.
  6. Confirm when prompted and look for improvements.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share alternative solutions we missed that worked for you or ask anything about the ones we posted here. You can do so in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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