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Bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone (FIX)

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The somewhat unwanted transition to wireless headphones is upon us. Many OEMs are removing the headphone jack (often without proper technical reasons behind this decision) and users are switching to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. However, besides audio reproduction quality, there are also connectivity issues that plague some Android users. In case your Bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone, make sure to check the steps we listed below.

Why won’t my Bluetooth headphones connect to my phone?

There are a few ways to tackle Bluetooth pairing issues. The best way to understand the cause of the problem is to try pairing your smartphone with other Bluetooth devices. After that, we recommend rebooting both devices, disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth on your Android phone, or ‘forgetting’ the headphones and pairing them again.

If that doesn’t help, try resetting network settings on your device or resetting the device to factory settings.

1. Restart both devices

Let’s start by restarting both your smartphone and Bluetooth headphones. This simple action usually resolves the majority of connectivity issues.

On the other hand, if you are still unable to connect or pair your Bluetooth headphones to your Android phone, make sure to check the next step.

2. Disable and re-enable Bluetooth

This is obvious. Although we would also add, at least for the sake of troubleshooting, enabling Airplane mode for a minute or so and then disabling it. Alternatively, to avoid conflicts with other on-device antennas, disable temporarily NFC and IR if your device has them.

Just tap on the tile in the Quick Access bar and disable Bluetooth. Tap on the same tile to re-enable it. If that still fails to address the problem and your Bluetooth headphones are not pairing with your phone, try the next step.

3. Remove pairing and pair Bluetooth headphones again

The next thing to try is to remove the Bluetooth pairing and add it again. Basically, what we want to do is to forget the paired device and add it again. If Bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone after the reboot, forgetting and pairing the device again usually solves the problem.

If you are unsure how to do that, make sure to follow these instructions:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Open Paired devices. On some Android skins, you’ll need to be connected to the audio device in order to access the option to Unpair. If that’s the case, turn on Bluetooth and connect to the headphones.
  4. Tap Unpair.
  5. Restart your device.
  6. Navigate again to Connected devices and Pair a new device.bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone
  7. Pair your Bluetooth headphones again.

This can also be helpful on other devices, like your PC or car system that won’t connect to Bluetooth. Some users managed to fix the Google Maps not talking directions issues by simply unpairing devices and pairing them again.

4. Reset Network settings

If the previous steps failed to resolve the problem, the next thing to try is resetting Network Settings. This action will remove all paired devices, reset APNs, and remove Wi-Fi networks, restoring everything network-related to factory values.

Here’s how to Reset Network Settings on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Open Reset options.
  4. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.
  5. Tap Reset settings. bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone

5. Reset the device to factory settings

Finally, if none of the previous steps resolved the problem and your Bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone, make sure to reset your device to factory settings. Of course, as explained here, this action has some downsides but it’s still the best way to address major system issues.

Here’s how to reset your device to factory settings in a few simple steps:

  1. Back up everything.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Choose System.
  4. Select Reset options.
  5. Tap Erase all (factory reset).
  6. Tap Erase all. Bluetooth headphones are not connecting to phone
  7. Your device will restart, and you’ll get to the initial setup screen.
  8. From there, sign into Google and/or to OEMs account and restore everything that’s backed up.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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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