File sharing is common place in this world today. We may not realize it, but the billions of people who own mobile phones are capable of sharing files and data, anytime, at any moment. At work or in school, files like documents, images, notes, slides, computations, and audio-video objects are the subject of sharing.

Along with the multitude of objects that can be shared, there are also many ways to share from one person to the other. I can share via email attachments, multimedia messaging, cloud sharing like Dropbox, and Bluetooth technology.

The last one, Bluetooth, is one of the quickest, most cost-effective way of sharing files. It’s already built-in your device, it doesn’t require a mobile network, nor a Wi-Fi connection, and it’s instantaneous.

In this quick and easy guide, I’ll be tackling a number of ways to troubleshoot your Bluetooth pairing problems. So you can refer to this page whenever you come across issues.

Here are 15 ways to fix Bluetooth sharing problems:

1. Have Enough Power on Both Devices

First up is to ensure that you have enough power on both of your devices. For instance, you’re sharing class notes and a long audio lecture, chances are, it’ll take a while for that transfer to become successful. Moreover, when you’re trying to pair devices, you may take a while to do this especially when this is the first time you’re doing it.

In cases where you’re low on battery, some devices are automatically set up to activate power saving mode and that’ll restrict some functionalities like background data, Wi-Fi connectivity, and open Bluetooth connections.

2. Turn on the Bluetooth of Both Devices

The second tip is to check if the Bluetooth is actually turned on. Some cases of sharing are obstructed when the Bluetooth automatically gets turned off either by power saving or by a pre-determined time out.

Go to your phone settings > connections > Bluetooth > Tap the switch to ON

For Windows 10 laptops, you may want to pull up your menu bar on the right by clicking the lower right icon and click/tap on Bluetooth to turn it on.

3. Check Device Compatibility

The company that developed the Bluetooth technology has made it available for the service to be compatible with older versions of its release. However, it may still pose some prolonged connectivity issues, especially when this is the first time you’re connecting another specific device.

You can find your device version by tapping on Phone settings > Apps/Applications > tap upper right to show SYSTEM APPS > Bluetooth > Scroll to Bottom to see. For Android phones, this is usually the same version as the most recent operating system installed on the phone.

4. Make Sure to Pair with the Right Code

When you’ve started the pairing process, the Bluetooth dashboard will show a number or a string of digits which is considered the PIN. Usually this Pin is 4 digits. This needs to be entered by the other device in order to have a successful pairing.

Another version of this is the first device will show a highlighted number while the second device must choose the right number from a multiple choice questionnaire with three options.

5. Make Sure to Connect with the Right Device Name

I’ve encountered instances where the Bluetooth dashboard was scanning for devices but the device name didn’t accurately show up – it was displaying MAC addresses. When this happened I had to guess which device I was connecting to because I didn’t know which one was which at that time.

MAC addresses are the unique hexadecimal codes that identify your Bluetooth device and sets it apart from the rest. But it’s still best to know if you’re connecting to “Greg’s iPhone” or “Greggy’s iPhone.”

Pro tip: When you’re scanning for nearby devices, you could be seeing MAC addresses. It’s a 12 digit code that comes in two’s and are separated by colons. If you’re checking for Android, make sure to turn on Bluetooth then go to Phone settings > About Phone > Status > Bluetooth Address.

6. Keep the Display Turned on

Older devices will let the Bluetooth become private and not be visible when the display is turned off. Consider keeping the display on during the process of pairing.

7. Turn off airplane mode

You may be experiencing some obstruction with your own device. Check if you have Airplane Mode Turned on. If you do, turn it off and go through the whole pairing process again.

8. Restart Both Devices

If you’re encountering some abnormal responses such as slow scanning, or errors in pairing, you may want to restart both devices. This will refresh the data of the phones which may fix some of the errors you are encountering.

9. Disconnect the Wi-Fi Connectivity

When your phone or device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it may be a good idea to turn it off or disconnect from it if you’re doing a Bluetooth connection. This may cause certain interference via the short radio waves that Bluetooth transmits to establish a connection.

10. Turn off Mobile Hotspot

This is another feature of a mobile phone that can possibly interfere with a Bluetooth connection. If your mobile hotspot feature is turned on, consider turning it off when you’re failing at Bluetooth connectivity.

The fewer frequencies coming from your device, the higher the probability of being successful in pairing with another gadget.

11. Keep within Range

Stay in the same room and be closer than 10 meters or 30 feet so pairing can be successful. In most consumer electronics, the range of the Bluetooth capability is only within 10 meters. So if you’re trying to connect to the Bluetooth speaker in the other room, try to measure the distance and see if you’re within range.

If you’re still failing at pairing the devices, especially when you’re just next to each other, read on ahead to see some more tips.

12. Remove Physical Obstruction

Bluetooth uses short radio waves to connect to other devices. So it’s a good idea to remove an obstruction in between devices that are trying to pair with each other. This is why some accessories like speakers and headsets have an occasional skip in sound. There could be interference between objects that make it difficult for the connection to be stable.

13. Update the Bluetooth Driver

This works for desktops with external Bluetooth dongles or older laptops that didn’t come with a Bluetooth pre-installed, and it could also work for new laptops that have it pre-installed. Simply go to your device manager.

  1. Press Win + R key at the same time.
  2. Search for devmgmt.msc and click OK. This should pull up your device properties. This screen will show you the hardware installed on your computer.
  3. Right-click on Bluetooth.
  4. Click on Update driver.

14. Have Enough Storage in your SD Card

One of the things that will interrupt a Bluetooth file transfer is if you’re receiving a big chunk of data and your existing storage space is insufficient. The device will not be able to save the entire file packet so it will interrupt the file transfer and you could possibly end up with a corrupted file.

Delete some files to free up space or change the file directory of where you will save the file and proceed to connect again.

15. Turn on the Discoverable Feature

This is something I forget to do when I try to connect with new devices. To turn on the discoverability of the Bluetooth device, simply access phone settings > connections > Bluetooth > Make Device Discoverable. This will give the device around 30 to 120 seconds visibility to nearby devices. Do this as well for the person you are trying to connect with.

This is a security feature of Bluetooth so no other undesired device can do a connection without your knowledge and authorization.

Bottom Line

Bluetooth technology is really interesting and has become valuable in many of our lives. We have wearable technology such as wireless Bluetooth headphones and smartwatches because of Bluetooth’s short wave frequencies.

On a last note, you may want to disconnect existing Bluetooth connections if you’re still having difficulty pairing. This gives the frequency a chance to focus on the device you’re trying to connect with.

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