Bluetooth makes life so easy in ways that we don’t usually realize. There’s a lot riding on Bluetooth of late, especially with features like Continuity, Handoff, file share and more. And then there’s iBeacons and several other technologies that depend on Bluetooth LE.

On your Mac, a “Bluetooth Not available” message might show up and it just won’t connect. If you are facing this problem, here’s how to resolve it.

How to Fix Bluetooth Not Available Error on Mac

Method 1: Fix “Bluetooth Not available” Error on Mac

Step #1. Exit any app or System preference that is running on Mac and which was trying to establish connection with Bluetooth.

Step #2. In OS X Finder, press Command+Shift+G.

Step #3. It will launch “Go to Folder” and over there, you type /Library/Preferences/.

Go to Library Preferences Folder on Mac

Step #4. Search for the file with extension of “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” and delete it. If there are other files with the same extension, delete them too.

Library Preferences on Mac

Step #5. Return to desktop and click on the Apple menu.

Step #6. Select Shut Down.

Step #7. After some time, re-start your Mac and re-sync your Bluetooth device.

What this does is, it creates a new .plist file for Bluetooth configuration. Hopefully, this should fix Bluetooth connectivity issues on your Mac.

In the case that method 1 doesn’t work:

Method 2: Reboot your SMC

If you are having problems after following the above method, you can try to reset your SMC (System Management Controller). It works differently for different kinds of Macs:

Reset SMC in MacBook or MacBook Pro (with detachable batteries)

Step #1. Shutdown your MacBook or MacBook pro and remove the battery.

Step #2. Remove/disconnect your power adapter.

Step #3. Press down the power key for 10 seconds.

Step #4. Attach the battery and power adapter.

Step #5. Turn on your MacBook or MacBook pro.

Step #6. Boot your Mac as usual.

How to Reset SMC in a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Retina, or MacBook Pro’s (with non-removable batteries)

Step #1. Turn off your MacBook (any of the above version).

Step #2. Attach the power adapter to your Mac.

Step #3. Press Control+Shift+Option keys and power button together for some time and then release the keys.

Ctrl, Shift, Option, and Power Key Combination

Step #4. Start the boot as usual.

How to Reset SMC in iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini:

Step #1. Turn off your Mac.

Step #2. Disconnect/remove the power cord.

Step #3. Hold down the Mac power button for 5-10 seconds and then release.

Step #4. Attach the power cables and boot normally.

  • The instructions above did not solve my “Bluetooth not available” problem on my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) running OS X 10.10.5.

    What did solve my problem is following the instructions on an Apple support page, “OS X: Bluetooth devices become unresponsive” (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203646):

    “Shut down your Mac, disconnect all USB devices for two minutes, start up, and re-connect your USB devices once again.”

  • Khushbir Singh

    i m facing this problem, neither resetting the SMC nor deleting the Bluetooth plist worked for me. once i turn on my macbook Air, the bluetooth icon appears, but as soon as i click on it- it returns back to same problem. horizontal bolt & faded icon. kindly suggest what to do.

    • Sam Berrington

      Same issue here for quite some time now. Tried everything and got so excited when I saw that the latest update (OS X El Capitan 10.11.2) fixed bluetooth issues … but to no avail. Any help would be hugely appreciated!

  • Greg Macoy

    I had this problem, and neither resetting the SMC nor deleting the Bluetooth plist worked for me. There’s an Apple support article somewhere that I found which says to try removing all USB devices and restarting the machine. I unplugged everything that was attached to my machine (inc. display and power as a few articles suggested removing the magsafe connector when resetting things), and that seemed to have worked.

  • Jackie Brown

    I got a “this operation can’t be completed because the item “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” is in use :/

  • Ben

    This worked amazingly! Thanks so much!

  • Mohith Kanakula

    Awesome. Stumbled upon this post… Method 1 worked well. Everything back to normal now :) Thanks!

  • Thanks so much!!!!!!!! Method 1 helped to repair my TrackPad after it disconnected from my Mac. Kudos!

  • Michael

    Thanks, the SMC reset move returned BT fn’ality to my MBP. Much appreciation!