Reconnect Bluetooth Devices After Waking From Sleep

My Macbook goes to sleep when I leave it idle for a few minutes which saves energy and locks the screen. Quite annoyingly – for a long time – upon waking up from sleep my Bluetooth devices would no longer be connected, and I was unable to reconnect them without rebooting. This was true for my headphones, my Jambox, and my cordless mouse.

OS X Bluetooth fixes I tried (that didn’t work)

After searching Google I found a few suggestions but none provided a permanent solution. A couple of things I tried –

  • Turning the BT radio off – this didn’t seem to do anything.
  • Unpair and re-pairing the device – unpairing would succeed, but it couldn’t see any of the devices to re-pair them.
  • Rebooting – this would work but I had to…. reboot.
  • Deleting the <code>/Library/Preferences/</code> preferences file – this would work but I think it had more to do with the fact that I had to reboot after.

I was finally able to determine that the underlying cause is a conflict between the WiFi and the Bluetooth radios – and it’s possible to fix without rebooting!

Did you turn it off and back on again?

  1. First select the Bluetooth icon in your system tray and choose “Turn Bluetooth Off”.
  2. Next select the WiFi icon in your system tray and choose “Turn Wi-Fi Off”.
  3. Now you can turn your BT radio back on via the same icon, but choosing “Turn Bluetooth On”.
  4. You should now be able to reconnect your devices.
  5. Re-enable your Internet connection by selecting the WiFi icon and choosing “Turn Wi-Fi On”.

You should be good to go! Enjoy your rediscovered cordless freedom.

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