I’m sure like me every Mac users been there. You try to connect your iPhone to your Mac with Bluetooth and it just won’t work.
You know it should work. And normally each Apple device you have works beautifully together.
So, you’re left asking yourself. Why wont my iPhone connect to my Mac via Bluetooth?
And it’s a common struggle.
This article will explain the different reasons why your Mac computer. Or MacBook Pro or MacBook Air can’t connect to your iPhone over Bluetooth.
The beauty of using Bluetooth technology to connect your iPhone and your Mac. Is that you don’t need WIFI. Or a USB port or USB cable to connect them. You just need them close enough together and Bluetooth option’s set.
The very first thing to check. When you’re connecting your iPhone’s Bluetooth to your Mac’s Bluetooth. Is have you set it up right?
I’ve done that already. I can hear you shout.
But bear with me and read on.
Why Cant I Connect My iPhone To My Mac Via Bluetooth
Here are the things to double check.
1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings app.
Then scroll down to your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu settings.
2. Check the Bluetooth button is toggled to turn Bluetooth on.
And your Mac, or MacBook shows on that screen as a device.
Can you click to connect?
If that doesn’t work.
3. Next check your Mac.
Click on your Mac’s Apple icon top right in your Mac’s desktop. And pick System Settings from the Apple menu. (this is from Mac OS Ventura). In earlier Mac releases it’ called System Preferences.
Open System Settings or Preferences.
From Mac OS Ventura
4. Scroll down and click General. Then Sharing.
Scroll down the right hand side of your System Settings and toggle on the switch for Bluetooth Sharing.
Then click on the information symbol (the letter i in a circle) alongside the Bluetooth sharing toggle switch. That will open a pop up window. And on this window, you can choose how your Mac handles files shared over Bluetooth.
In Earlier Mac OS Releases
Scroll down System Preferences to the Sharing icon and click.
Look down the window.
Is there a check in the Bluetooth Sharing box?
When you check mark that option your Mac’s Bluetooth System Preferences come up. It’s there you set your Bluetooth preference.
Be sure your Mac’s name is in ‘Computer Name’.
You set up here what happens when you receive Bluetooth items like files. And where your Macs Bluetooth file transfers from your iPhone go.
5. Show Bluetooth In Menu Bar.
In Mac OS Ventura And Later
In System Settings click on Control Centre on the left hand side of the window. And select to show Bluetooth in Menu Bar.
Then you’ll see the Bluetooth icon in your Mac’s Menu Bar. And can control turning Bluetooth on an off. Plus manage the devices you’re connected to from your Mac’s Menu Bar.
In Earlier Mac OS Releases
Click ‘Open Bluetooth Preferences’. In System Preferences.
Check the box ‘Show Bluetooth In menu bar‘. So you can see the Bluetooth icon on your Mac’s menu bar.
On this window you enable Bluetooth by clicking the ‘Turn Bluetooth On’ button.
Can you see your iPhone in the device list? Can you click on it to connect?
6. Next check your AirDrop settings?
Open a Finder window, click on AirDrop in the sidebar. And check that everyone can discover you? It’s safest setting to have AirDrop on when you’re having issues.
You can head over to the article on this site ‘Connect iPhone To Mac Bluetooth‘. For the detailed how to set this all up. Along with pictures to help you along.
After that head back here for some trouble shooting.
Why Does My iPhone Never Connect To My Mac Via Bluetooth?
Your iPhone and Mac or MacBook should connect fine via Bluetooth. Either to send files or to use your iPhone’s personal hotspot.
Mac OS uses AirDrop technology over Bluetooth to send files to your Mac. And your iPhone does the same. It uses AirDrop over Bluetooth.
But your Mac and iPhone must be compatible. And that means reasonably modern.
Your Mac needs to be manufactured in 2012 or later. And running MacOS Yosemite or later. Your iPhone or other iOS device you want to link on Bluetooth. – like your iPad or iPod Touch. Must be running iOS 7 or later.
Or you’ll find your iPhone will never connect to your Mac over Bluetooth.
You can find out what Mac Os x version your Mac runs by clicking on your Apple menu. Click on the Apple icon top right on your desktop.
Then click on ‘About this Mac’ on the Menu. The pop window will tell you what MacOS version your Mac is running.
Got a compatible iPhone and Mac or MacBook?
Great read on.
Wondering Why Wont My iPhone Connect To My Mac Bluetooth Check AirDrop
Be sure to check that both your Mac and your iPhone can receive AirDrop requests.
Bluetooth connection between your iPhone and Mac. And certainly, sending files – Bluetooth file exchange – relies on AirDrop technology.
To check this on your iPhone. Go to your iPhone’s Settings app. Scroll down. Tap General. Then tap AirDrop. When you’re having issues, set to Everyone. It’s the more reliable setting.
On your Mac or MacBook open a Finder window. Click on AirDrop in the sidebar. And check in your Airdrop window you’ve set discovery to Everyone.
Checked, and all that’s ok?
Why Won’t My Mac Connect Via Bluetooth To My iPhone Check Firewall
Your issue could be your MacOS firewall permissions are set too high.
And it’s worth double checking.
To do this click your Apple icon on your Mac’s desktop. Go to your Apple menu. Click to open System Settings (from Mac OS Ventura). In earlier releases it’s called System Preferences.
In System Settings click Network then Firewall.
You can then toggle your Firewall on and off. Click on the Options button.
When your Firewall Options show. Ensure that the box ‘Block all incoming connections’ has nothing in it.
Make sure this box is NOT checked.
Or your Mac will refuse all Bluetooth device connection requests from your iPhone.
In Earlier Mac OS Releases
Inside System Preferences click on Security & Privacy.
Then click on the Firewall tab.
You’ll need to enter your Mac’s administration password to check. Or change any of the settings.
What you don’t want is the box ‘Block all incoming connections‘ checked.
Make sure this box is NOT checked.
Or your Mac will refuse Bluetooth connection requests from your iPhone.
Move Closer To Solve Your Bluetooth Connectivity Issue
When your screaming ‘Why can’t I connect my iPhone to my Mac via Bluetooth.
Move your iPhone closer to your Mac. Bluetooth is pretty sensitive to distance, and interference. You need to be within 33 feet for a reliable connection.
And check that another nearby device in your home isn’t causing interference. Metal objects between your phone and your Mac can cause interference.
And you can check if your Mac can see your iPhone.
Open your iPhone to its home screen by typing in your passcode, Face id or Touch id.
By the way. Your iPhone or iPad must be unlocked for Bluetooth device connecting to work.
With an unlocked iPhone, open a Finder window on your Mac. Click on AirDrop in your Mac’s Finder window sidebar. The name of your iPhone should appear in the AirDrop window. Even if they’re not connected yet over Bluetooth.
Why Won’t My Mac Bluetooth Connect To My iPhone Other Quick Checks
1. Is your iPhone or Mac charged enough?
Bluetooth will disconnect if your iPhone is running out of charge. This is to preserve battery life.
2. When you clicked on your iOS device in the device list.
Did you click on the message to accept the connection request on your Mac?
Did you check the code your Mac gave you and accepted the pair request on your iPhone?
Both Apple devices need to accept each other’s pairing request. Or they won’t connect over Bluetooth. It’s a security thing.
You don’t want random devices connecting to your Mac. Or to your iPhone for that matter.
3. Remove your iPhone from the Connected Device list on your Mac.
To do this. Click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac’s menu bar.
Click Bluetooth preferences from the menu.
Hover your cursor over your iPhone’s name on the list and click on the x when it appears. That removes your iPhone from the list.
Open your iPhone to its home screen. And let your Mac search for your iPhone.
When it finds it click on it to connect.
Be sure to accept the connection request on your iPhone as well.
4. Remove your Mac from the Connected Device List on your iPhone.
Go to your iPhone Settings. Tap Bluetooth. Look for your Mac’s name under My Devices. It’s a Bluetooth device list. Swipe to remove your Mac from the list and let your iPhone search again.
When your Mac reappears. Click on its name to connect. Accept your iPhones connection request on your Mac. And click on your iPhone to pair the two.
5. Toggle/Turn Bluetooth off and on.
Sometimes a quick toggle on and off of Bluetooth on both your Mac and iPhone. Can solve your Bluetooth problem.
6. Shutdown and Restart your iPhone And your Mac.
Sometime your Bluetooth issue needs a reset of both your iPhone and Mac.
Check this Apple document to find out how to restart your iPhone.
Do a full shutdown of your Mac. (A restart isn’t enough.) Wait 10 seconds or more before powering on. This allows certain registries in your Mac to reset.
On older Mac’s you may need to do a SMC Reset. This Apple doc shows how.
Why Wont My Mac Connect To My iPhone Via Bluetooth Personal Hotspot
When you’ve a Bluetooth issue with sharing your iPhone’s cellular data plan. And creating a personal hotspot for internet connection for your Mac.
The whole thing is easier if your Mac and your iPhone are signed in with the same Apple id.
Otherwise, there’s a complicated code to type in before you can connect your Mac.
In your iPhone settings, Scroll down to personal hotspot. Tap. And be sure to toggle on the button ‘Allow Others To Join‘.
Or your Mac can’t connect to your iPhone’s personal hotspot.
While your iPhone is acting as a personal hotspot and you get a voice call. You’ll find your Mac’s internet speed through the hotspot goes down.
If your Mac’s Internet speed through the hotspot stays degraded after you’ve finished your call.
Turn on and off your iPhone’s personal hotspot and allow your Mac to rejoin. Then your Mac’s internet performance will come right back up.
Your question: Why can’t I connect my iPhone Bluetooth to my Mac? And any Bluetooth connection problems should now be solved.
Bluetooth functionality works great for a Bluetooth speaker, Bluetooth headphones. Or a mouse or keyboard.
And works great between your iPhone and your Mac. Bluetooth allows you to send files like your photos, contact info, notes and documents. On your iPhone to your Mac and from your Mac to your iPhone.
A quick and easy way to file transfer between the two wirelessly, and no WIFI. Plus it works for your other iOS devices like your iPad.
But you can’t backup your iPhone to your Mac or sync your iPhone to Finder on your Mac over Bluetooth. For backup or sync you’ll need a wired connection. Or a WIFI network.
While you’re here why not take a look at our other iPhone connection articles on the site.
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.