Knowledge Base

Resetting Bluetooth

Resetting Bluetooth on a Mac can help resolve pairing issues like this:

  • pairing seems to succeed, but then the device constantly connects and disconnects - and can't be used
  • macOS asks for a passcode or password even though the device doesn't use one
  • pairing attempts result in an error

How to reset Bluetooth on a Mac

IMPORTANT: Resetting Bluetooth on a Mac will remove all already paired devices – including Bluetooth-connected keyboard, mouse and trackpad. Follow these steps at your own risk.

Quit System Preferences

(if it is running)

Reset the Bluetooth Module

  • Hold down Alt + Shift while clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.
  • Select Reset Bluetooth module from the Debug submenu.

Resetting the Bluetooth module removes previous pairing information from the chip itself. For us, this option has made the biggest difference in solving Bluetooth issues.

Unfortunately Apple removed it in macOS 12 (Monterey).

Delete Bluetooth settings

macOS stores Bluetooth preferences in these locations:

  • /Library/Preferences/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/

To delete these preference files and kill cfprefsd (which keeps cached copy in memory), enter the following lines into

sudo rm /Library/Preferences/ rm ~/Library/Preferences/ rm ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/*.plist sudo killall cfprefsd

Reset NVRAM/PRAM and SMC - or reboot

Resetting the NVRAM/PRAM and the SMC of your Mac can also help resolving Bluetooth issues.

To perform these on Macs with Intel processor, please follow Apple's instructions:

Macs with Apple silicon (such as the M1 family of processors) no longer have an SMC. They do have NVRAM, but no longer offers a simple way to reset it. For these Macs, at this point, perform a reboot.

Last updated: Jan 22, 2022 – Filed under: Troubleshooting