7 Possible Fixes to the Common Catalina Bluetooth Issues

Black Headphone Laptop

When Apple announced that they were releasing macOS Catalina soon, many Apple users got so excited. They wanted to install Catalina as soon as it was out. Of course, they looked forward to trying the latest offerings of the new macOS version.

Well, when Catalina was released, there was a lot of great feedback. But like many other macOS versions, it also had its fair share of bad feedback. While some users had a hard time installing it, others experienced random problems and errors, such as Bluetooth issues in macOS Catalina.

According to some users, Bluetooth disconnects every now and then. Others reported that they simply cannot connect any Bluetooth devices after updating to Catalina. Some also said that their audio output disappears and returns randomly.

What Causes Problems with Bluetooth in Catalina?

Bluetooth not working in Catalina? There are many possible culprits behind that.

Bluetooth is among the breakthrough technologies of the past decade. Now it usually comes packed into our devices, including our Windows computers, mobile devices, and Macs.

The technology’s primary function is to transmit data over a short distance. Because of its tremendous success, it is now being used in various accessories, such as headsets, mice, speakers, keyboards, and Apple Watch.

Unfortunately, the Bluetooth utility on Macs is quite prone to problems. Most of the time, they are caused by third-party apps and accessories that use the Bluetooth technology for data transmission.

With all the complaints and reports about Bluetooth issues on Catalina, it’s obvious that Apple’s Bluetooth framework requires a complete overhaul. But while Apple is at it, we can try a couple of handy and quick fixes that can help get back our Bluetooth devices up and running as they are supposed to do.

How to Fix Bluetooth Problems in Catalina

If you’ve just updated to Catalina, we are happy to share some possible fixes that are worth trying. Here you go:

Fix # 1: Switch it on and off.

Yes, it might sound like a broken record. But this fix is worth trying. Switch Bluetooth on and off and check if your Bluetooth accessory works. Oftentimes, a simple toggle of the switch is all your Mac needs.

Here’s how to switch on your Mac’s Bluetooth:

  1. Open Bluetooth settings.
  2. Click on the Bluetooth icon.
  3. Toggle on the switch.

If it doesn’t work, reboot your Mac. Go to the Apple menu and hit Restart. Once your Mac has booted back up, reconnect your Bluetooth peripherals.

Fix #2: Delete the Bluetooth plist file.

If the problem persists after making sure that Bluetooth is switched on, try deleting the Bluetooth plist file.

Follow the instructions below for a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click Go.
  3. Select Folder.
  4. Into the search tab, input /Library/Preferences.
  5. Locate the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file and delete it. Don’t worry because your Mac will automatically create a new copy of the file.
  6. After deleting the file, restart your Mac.

Fix #3: Reset the PRAM.

The Parameter Random Accessory Memory, or the PRAM, stores your Mac’s system settings, including the speaker volume, display, time zone, Bluetooth, and a lot more. This means resetting it might just resolve the problem.

Here’s how to reset your Mac’s PRAM:

  1. Switch off your Mac.
  2. Press the Power button.
  3. Before the gray screen even appears, hit the CMD, Option, P, and R keys together. Hold them until you hear the startup sound twice.
  4. Now, you can release the four keys.

Fix #4: Check if an external Bluetooth peripheral is faulty.

There are times when Bluetooth devices and peripherals may become suddenly unresponsive on Macs. But this does not mean you have to completely get rid of them. Sometimes, you can fix the problem by simply disconnecting any USB devices on your Mac, including USB mice, keyboards, external hard drives, and flash drives. After that, reboot your computer. Wait for five minutes before reconnecting your USB accessories.

This fix has worked for some Catalina users. Doing so might also bring back your Bluetooth devices’ responsiveness.

Fix #5: Reset the Bluetooth module of your Mac.

If none of the first four fixes worked, be prepared to do some re-configuration on your Mac. This is because you will have to reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module.

To reset your Mac’s Bluetooth module, just follow the instructions below:

  1. Press and hold the Shift and Option keys while clicking on the Bluetooth menu.
  2. Next, navigate to Debug and select Remove all devices to remove and disconnect all paired Bluetooth devices.
  3. Open the Bluetooth menu once again and go to Debug.
  4. Choose the Reset the Bluetooth module option to reset the Bluetooth module of your Mac.
  5. After that, you may now re-pair all your Bluetooth peripherals.

Fix #6: Delete recently downloaded or installed files.

Did you also download new applications recently? It is likely that one of them, and not Catalina, has caused your Bluetooth files to be corrupted. It could be a virus, a malware entity, or an app that is messing with your Bluetooth configuration. The best way to get around this problem is to remove any recently installed or downloaded files.

The easiest and most convenient way to do this is to use a third-party Mac cleaning tool. In just a few clicks, any unnecessary files can be completely removed.

Sure, you can also delete unwanted downloads the manual way. However, we don’t really recommend doing so, especially if you are not a tech-savvy individual, as there is a high chance that you might end up deleting an important system file.

Should you wish to delete downloads manually, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Finder.
  2. Press the CMD + Shift + G combination.
  3. Into the text field, input: ~/
  4. Navigate to the Downloads folder. From here, delete any unnecessary files you see.

Fix #7: Contact Apple Support.

Have you tried all the fixes above? Still unable to fix the problem? Then it is possible that the problem is with your hardware.

When it comes to hardware issues, we suggest that you seek assistance from AppleCare or any authorized Apple repair center.

Wrapping Up

At this point, we hope that your Catalina Bluetooth problem has been resolved already. If not, seek help from Apple experts or the manufacturer of the problematic Bluetooth device itself. Make sure to provide all important details that will help experts make a concise assessment of the problem.

Do you know other potential fixes to the Catalina Bluetooth problem? Let us know in the comments!

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