Bluetooth Not Available

I have been working on a friends Mid 2012 MacBook Pro; checking the hardware and installing updates. He just bought it from someone. It is a really nice machine. However, I did run into a fairly common problem on the mac, “Bluetooth Not Available.”

 

Bluetooth Not Available

During my research on this “Bluetooth Not Available” issue I discovered it is a fairly common problem which comes in two flavors. The first is a temporary bluetooth disconnect. It comes on intermittently. Sometimes it is there, often it is not. The second flavor is Bluetooth is just not there at all! This problem seems to be more prominent on Mac laptops. There are troubleshooting steps to take, let’s look at them in the order they should be performed.

Step 1

The first step is to remove all Bluetooth Preferences. Go into /Library/Preferences and remove the System Bluetooth Preferences:

BluetoothNotAvailablePreferences

This is in the hard drive System area, not the User Library. Click on your Macintosh HD and on the main “Library” folder to access these Preferences. After you have placed these Bluetooth Preferences in and emptied the Trash, shutdown your Mac. Let it sit a minute or so then start it up. Do not just do a Restart, you need to shut it completely down. Why do this step? We do this step because sometimes computer issues can be software related. After the Restart, check Bluetooth and see if it is working. If it is still not working, move to hardware related fixes in step two.

Step 2

The second step is Resetting PRAM. I have mentioned this before, it is a good hardware troubleshooting step for Macs. Just Restart your Mac. As soon as you hear the Startup Chime, press the Command ⌘, Option ⌥, “R” and “P” keys at one time. You have to hold these keys down until you hear the Startup Chime again! When you hear the second Startup Chime let up on these keys and let the Mac boot normally. Once you are booted into the macOS check the Bluetooth. If it still is not working, then move on to step 3, Resetting the SMC.

Step 3

The third step is SMC Reset (System Management Controller). I cannot tell you exactly how to do this. Different Macs have distinctive SMC Reset procedures. You can go to this Apple page to determine how to do an SMC Reset on your particular machine.

After doing the SMC Reset, start your Mac and check the Bluetooth. If it STILL is not working, you probably have a pretty serious hardware issue.

My last and final step advice would be to make an appointment at the Genius Bar nearest you. There may be a free repair from Apple. Perhaps they can fix the Bluetooth issue for a modest amount of money. The only way to find out is to go there.

Conclusion

I was not able to repair my friends Bluetooth on his MacBook Pro using the above steps. He is not a big Bluetooth user, so no big deal. However, he may take his machine to the Genius Bar. If you don’t use Bluetooth much, don’t worry about it. If you do, then you need the Genius Bar.