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Some Mac users may encounter a seemingly random disappearance of Bluetooth functionality, often after restarting or updating Mac OS X. The first obvious indicator is that no Bluetooth hardware is working, be it a keyboard, mouse , headset, or otherwise, and when they try to visit Mac OS X’s Bluetooth menu, a “Bluetooth: Not Available” error is displayed with the menu bar items icon skewing through them.
If you investigate further, the Apple System Profiler will show “No information found” when searched by Hardware> Bluetooth. This suggests a more complicated issue than when a Bluetooth device repeatedly or randomly disconnects from a Mac, which is usually resolved by disabling / enabling functionality or replacing a device’s batteries.
After going through this problem, you will find that the Not Available error can usually be resolved by a fairly simple process of ditching the Bluetooth preferences and re-pairing the device to the Mac, although sometimes a hardware-specific SMC too. reset may be required.
1: Recycle Bin Bluetooth preferences and shut down the Mac
First up, delete the Bluetooth plist file and let the Mac create a new one:
- Close System Preferences and / or any app that tried to use or configure a Bluetooth device with the Mac
- From the Mac OS X Finder, press Command + Shift + G to summon Go to Folder and enter the following path:
- Find the file named “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” and delete it (you may also see a com.apple.Bluetooth.plist.lockfile, if so, delete that too) – this is a system folder , so you need to authenticate with an admin user
- Go to the Apple menu and choose “Shut Down” to shut down the Mac
- Wait about a minute before restarting the Mac
- Go to the Bluetooth menu or System Preferences panel to re-sync your hardware
/ Library / Preferences /
(Note: this is / Library / Preferences / not ~ / Library / Preferences /)
This supposedly solves the problem if it is just an issue of a damaged plist file. Yes, turn off the Mac and keep it turned off for about a minute, don’t just reboot. Why the shutdown vs reboot works here isn’t entirely clear, but after a bit of googling around that seems to be a universally perceived situation.
With the Mac up and active again, Bluetooth should now work normally and the “Not Available” message should be gone from the Bluetooth menu, System Preferences panel, and System Profiler utility. If not, you can try the next step to reset the Mac SMC.
2: Reset SMC & Power functions
Don’t jump right here without deleting the Bluetooth preferences plist file first, there are reports that users had to perform both actions to get the Bluetooth hardware working again.
Resetting the system management controller dumps many core hardware settings and power functions, and often fixes some of the random hardware issues that can arise up on all types of Macs.
The exact process of resetting the SMC differs slightly by hardware, so the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Mini all have minor variations to complete the process. Rather than repeating the full list here, you can read ours guide here or follow Apple’s instructions to get the job done.
After starting up the Mac, re-enable Bluetooth and pair the devices as usual.
Bluetooth still not available? Still no Bluetooth hardware found?
If you discarded the plist and reset the SMC to find that Bluetooth still doesn’t work on the Mac, you may have a real hardware problem. This is quite rare and usually doesn’t happen randomly, but it can happen after a computer or hardware has been dropped or had water contact. If you’re still having issues then it’s time to go the official route and contact Apple Support or head over to the Genius Bar, they will be able to run some lower level diagnostic tests to determine what’s going on. things situated again.
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