How to fix iPhone XS Bluetooth pairing error or unable to pair

Bluetooth pairing in iPhone XS is supposed to be done by a few taps on the screen. Nonetheless, the simple pairing process can sometimes become complicated when culprits intervene. If you’re having trouble pairing your iPhone XS with a Bluetooth accessory, then this post may be able to help you out. Feel free to refer to the given procedures to eliminate factors that might have halted the Bluetooth pairing process.

Before we proceed, if you’re looking for a solution to a problem with your phone, try to browse through our iPhone XS Help Guides page to see if we support your device. If your phone is in the list of our supported devices, then go to the troubleshooting page and look for similar problems. Feel free to use our solutions and workarounds.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS with Bluetooth pairing error

Before troubleshooting, make sure that both devices are close to each other and are in discoverable mode. Also ensure that your devices are compatible. You can review the list of the iPhone XS supported Bluetooth devices for that matter. Once you have met all the Bluetooth pairing requisites but Bluetooth pairing still fails, then you may go ahead and perform these methods.

First solution: Restart your iPhone XS and the Bluetooth device.

The first factors to eliminate are minor software issues that might have prevented either your phone or the Bluetooth device from connecting to each other. As your first possible solution to try, soft reset your iPhone and reboot your Bluetooth device.

To soft reset your iPhone XS, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power off command appears, release the buttons.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to completely turn off the phone.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

To restart your Bluetooth accessory, refer to these steps:

  1. Toggle the Power switch/button to turn the device OFF for at least 30 seconds.
  2. After the elapsed time, toggle the Power switch/button to turn the Bluetooth device ON again.

Once you have restarted both devices, make sure that the Bluetooth accessory is in discoverable mode and your phone is within range. Then try to pair the devices again and see it will be successful.

Second solution: Turn the Bluetooth OFF and ON again on your iPhone XS.

Minor software errors that caused random Bluetooth glitches and pairing errors can also be eliminated by simply turning the Bluetooth feature off and on again on your iPhone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select the Bluetooth menu.
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature OFF.
  4. Soft reset (restart) your phone.
  5. Once it’s back on, head back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu.
  6. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature ON again.

Check for the Bluetooth devices that are within range, and then select the Bluetooth device you wish to pair with your iPhone XS. If the pairing process is still unsuccessful, try the next solution.

Third solution: Delete the Bluetooth devices from your iPhone XS and then reconnect.

When the Bluetooth connection becomes corrupted, you need to refresh it in order to make it work properly again. This can be done by simply deleting the Bluetooth device from your iPhone settings. Here are the steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select the Bluetooth menu.
  3. Then tap the information “i” icon next to Bluetooth device that you want to delete.
  4. Tap Forget this Device option to delete the Bluetooth device, and then confirm. Do these steps to the remaining Bluetooth devices in the list to prevent them from causing conflict with the current Bluetooth connection on your iPhone.
  5. Toggle the Bluetooth switch OFF after deleting all the Bluetooth devices.
  6. Then restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS.
  7. Head back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu and toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature ON.
  8. Select the Bluetooth device from the list and try to pair it with your phone again.

If you still ended up with a Bluetooth pairing error, then you may have to consider performing resets at this point.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings.

The first reset you should try performing is the network settings reset. Invalid network configurations can cause conflicts to your Bluetooth connection and may be the main reason why Bluetooth pairing still failed on your iPhone XS. This reset erases your current network settings including saved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections and then restores the default options and network values. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap the Reset option.
  4. Then select Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset network settings again to confirm the reset.

Your phone will reboot itself after the process and then restores the default network configurations and server settings on your phone. Enable your Bluetooth again, and then try to pair your Bluetooth device with your phone to check if the pairing problem has been resolved.

Fifth solution: Download and install new iOS update on your iPhone XS.

System errors and bug-inflicted issues can also be corrected by updating your phone’s software to the latest version. If the pairing failure is caused by complex software bugs, installing the latest iOS version will likely be able to fix it.

To check for OTA (over-the-air) updates on your phone, your device must have a stable Wi-Fi internet connection. It is also recommended to back-up important files beforehand for safekeeping purposes. Once you’re all set, follow the steps to check for, download and install the latest iOS update for your iPhone XS:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap the Software update menu. A notification will appear whenever there’s a new update to install.
  4. Follow the onscreen prompts and tap Download and Install.

Wait until the update is completed. Then restart your iPhone to refresh its operating system and for the recent system changes to be applied. Afterwards, enable the Bluetooth switch on your phone, set your Bluetooth accessory in discoverable mode and try to pair the devices again to see if pairing works.

Last resort: Master reset your iPhone XS (factory reset).

Complex system errors on the phone often result to persistent errors and symptoms. Thus if your iPhone still can’t pair with a Bluetooth device after performing the previous solutions, complex system errors must be ruled out next. This is where advanced procedures like a factory reset are applied. But before you do, be sure to back up all your important files because they will also be erased in the process. After securing a backup, factory reset your iPhone XS through settings menu. Just follow these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and Settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to factory reset your device.

Allow the phone to finish resetting and then reboots when done. To use your phone again, use the start-up wizard to proceed to the initial setup process and enable necessary features including Bluetooth.  

Still getting Bluetooth pairing error on your iPhone XS?

It is also possible that the problem is with the Bluetooth device or accessory that you’re trying to pair with your iPhone XS. To find out, try pairing your iPhone to other Bluetooth-enabled devices and see if the pairing is successful. If it is, then the problem is with the accessory and not your iPhone. In that case, you can either use other alternative Bluetooth-enabled device that serves the same purpose and able to pair with your iPhone XS.

But if your iPhone XS cannot pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device in range, report the problem to your iPhone provider or carrier.

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We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.


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