Bluetooth has become an important part of our lives. However, it is a reliable technology. It is rare but sometimes you may have Bluetooth problems. Several Mac users have reported that they occasionally encounter a random loss of Bluetooth functionality after updating to macOS Big Sur. Users further have said that the Bluetooth menu displays a “Bluetooth: Not Available” error. You may run into problems by establishing a Bluetooth connection or using a Bluetooth accessory. And this will cause your Bluetooth devices and accessories to stop working. And furthermore, several macOS and iOS services (AirDrop, Handoff, Continuity, Universal Clipboard, etc) will not work properly if you are having issues with Bluetooth.
Bluetooth technology gives you the ability to wirelessly connect various accessories (keyboard, mouse, trackpad, headset, etc) to your Mac by associating them with your computer (also called pairing). Once paired, your Mac connects to these tools if Bluetooth is working.
This article explains what you can do to troubleshoot when Bluetooth is not working after Big Sur update.
See also: AirDrop Not Working on Big Sur?
Now, here is what you can do when Bluetooth is not working after Big Sur update.
You can most easily fix the Bluetooth connection issue by unpairing and setting the device up from scratch. If the Bluetooth device is still acting up with Mac, then read along to troubleshoot the issue.
How to fix Bluetooth not working on Mac Big Sur issue
If you find your Bluetooth not working after Big Sur update, here is what you can do to fix the issue:
1. REBOOT YOUR MAC
Let’s start with the easiest step. Many times, the most obvious steps such as rebooting your Mac can resolve a Bluetooth connectivity issue.
You can restart your Mac by navigating to the Apple menu > Restart. It will fix almost every Bluetooth problem, particularly those where the Bluetooth module has crashed.
Also, consider removing any USB devices from the Mac and try your luck with the Bluetooth connection.
2. RECONNECT BLUETOOTH DEVICE
If your device isn’t connected to your Mac, shut down your Bluetooth device, and then power it on again to see if it reconnects. This is also a good time to check the battery level on your device too. If it doesn’t have sufficient power, then put it on charge.
3. RESTART BLUETOOTH ON MAC
If your device doesn’t reconnect, you can restart the Bluetooth radio on your Mac. To do so, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock and head to System Preferences > Bluetooth.
Now, click Turn Bluetooth Off, and then click Turn Bluetooth On.
Alternatively, you can do this from the Bluetooth settings menu on the menu bar. Just click the Bluetooth icon, click Turn Bluetooth Off, and then click Turn Bluetooth On to restart it.
4. DELETE PLIST FILES
macOS stores information about Bluetooth devices in two files on your hard drive: one that is personal to you and another which is used by all users on your Mac. You can delete those files to troubleshoot Bluetooth not working on Big Sur issue. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Start the Finder menu on the Mac.
Step 2: Navigate to the menu bar and open Go > Go to Folder.
Step 3: Enter /Library/Preferences in the address bar.
Step 4: Find a file named ‘com.apple.Bluetooth.plist’ and drag it to the Trash.
Step 5: Click Go > Go to Folder again and type ‘~/Library/Preferences/ByHost’ in the address bar.
Step 6: Find a file that starts with com.apple.Bluetooth followed by numbers and letters (ending in .plist) and drag it to the Trash.
Step 7: Disconnect any USB devices and turn off your Mac.
Now turn off your Bluetooth devices and start your Mac again.
5. RESTART MAC IN SAFE MODE
Rebooting your Mac in a safe mode might fix Bluetooth not working on Big Sur issue. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Power down your Mac.
Step 2: Power up your Mac and immediately press and hold the Shift key.
Step 3: Let go the Shift key when the login screen appears.
Step 4: Your Mac is now in Safe Mode. Now check your Bluetooth to see if it’s working.
Step 5: In either case (working or not), restart your Mac normally. Doing so will exit Safe Mode. Meaning restart your Mac but do not press and hold any key.
Step 6: When your Mac is turned on, test Bluetooth again to see if it’s working.
6. REMOVE SAVED BLUETOOTH DEVICES
If turning your Mac off and on again doesn’t resolve your issue, turn your Bluetooth devices off and on.
There’s another reason to remove devices – if you are connected to too many devices, this can cause connection problems. While seven is said to the maximum number of Bluetooth devices, you may encounter issues once you go over three or four because some devices need more data than others.
Step 1: Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth.
Step 2: Click on the x button next to each device and clear up the Bluetooth device list.
Step 3: Try connecting the Bluetooth device once again and see if it’s working or not.
7. UPDATE MACOS
I started experiencing Bluetooth disconnection issues on my MacBook Pro when I updated my device to the latest macOS Big Sur update. Apple is usually quick to fix such annoyances with future updates. If you are in the same boat as me, you should download the latest available patch from the System Preferences menu and install it on the device.
Bluetooth not working after Big Sur update? Problem fixed
A sketchy Bluetooth connection is a headache for any user. If you face such hurdles, then go through the troubleshooting tips above and fix Bluetooth not working on macOS Big Sur issue. While you are at it, let us know which hack worked for you in the comments section below.