How to reset the Bluetooth module on your Mac

The ubiquitous Bluetooth wireless technology is awesome until you run into problems, and run into issues you will as the number of Bluetooth accessories you’re using at any given time increases. If the traditional troubleshooting steps for fixing common Bluetooth connection issues won’t help, try reseting your Mac’s Bluetooth module to factory settings.

Fix Mac Bluetooth problems

The Bluetooth protocol is adopted by billions of various accessories and devices. But with so many Bluetooth options available on the market from many different vendors, connection problems are inevitable. Whether you’re trying to connect Bluetooth headphones with the Apple TV (or other devices like your iPhone), pair a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPadremove a paired Bluetooth accessory from iOS, pair your Bluetooth speakers with an Apple Watch, and what not, you may experience various Bluetooth problems at some point.

Teset Bluetooth mac - a close-up showing the lower half of an iMac with Apple's wireless keyboard and mouse
The future is wireless but Bluetooth’s connection and reliability problems can be exasperating

A typical troubleshooter for fixing common Bluetooth issues on the Mac might suggest various steps, including changing a Bluetooth device’s battery, reconnecting it, restarting your computer, performing an SMC reset and similar tricks. But, there are still times when none of those tips prove helpful. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, your only solution may be to reset the Mac’s Bluetooth module to factory settings, and we show you how it’s done.

How to reset Bluetooth on Mac

To fix connection and pairing issues that you may be experiencing with your wireless Bluetooth devices such as keyboards, mice, trackpads, speakers and other peripherals, click the Bluetooth menu in macOS using a pair of modifier keys to reveal hidden options.

  1. Click the Apple menu, then choose the “System Preferences” option.
  2. Choose “Bluetooth” in the System Preferences icon.
  3. Tick the box next to “Show Bluetooth in menu bar”.
  4. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar while holding the Shift (⇧) and Option (⌥) keys.
  5. Choose the hidden option labeled with the text “Reset the Bluetooth module”.
  6. Click “OK” to confirm the operation.
  7. Restart your Mac by choosing “Restart” from the Apple menu.

And this is how that menu looks like.

After your Mac reboots, its Bluetooth module will reset and factory settings will be loaded.

If your Mac is using a wireless keyboard or a wireless mouse, or both, reseting the computer’s Bluetooth will cause them to temporarily lose connection. It’s a wise idea to double-check that you have a wired keyboard or mouse handy so you can continue using your Mac.

Other helpful options

If that doesn’t cure all Bluetooth ills, the Shift + Option trick reveals other options that might be helpful. For example, choosing the option “Factory reset all connected Apple devices” will force your AirPods and all other connected Apple devices to instantly revert to their default settings.

How to fix Bluetooth issues on iPhone

Are you selling your Mac? Maybe you wanna move your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to another one? Either way, choosing the menu option labeled with the text“Remove all devices” will unpair all the connected Bluetooth peripherals from your computer in one fell swoop.

What to do after resetting Bluetooth in macOS

You’ll need to reconnect each of your wireless peripherals after resetting the Mac’s Bluetooth by visiting System Preferences → Bluetooth. If your Bluetooth devices are powered on, discoverable and in range of the computer, you’ll see them listed there. Simply click the one you with to pair with the computer and follow the onscreen instructions.

A macOS screenshot showing the Bluetooth preference pane with nearby Bluetooth devices listed in the menu

Have you renamed a particular Bluetooth peripheral? If so, Apple’s support document advises that pairing the accessory with a different Mac may cause it to reset to its default name.