Bluetooth devices stops working and require re-pairing?

This has now happened twice so I thought I’d ask: anyone know why Bluetooth devices will sometimes just stop working for no good reason? Even power cycling won’t fix it, you need to remove the listed device, then re-pair.

Once it was a headset and today, my Apple Pencil became unresponsive. I find it quite odd…


Unfortunately I think this is quite a normal experience. Bluetooth has always seemed quite flaky. And yet we all rely on it.

Supposedly Apple builds (undisclosed) stuff on top of Bluetooth - to make pairing, connecting, etc more reliable. For example for AirPods. But, to give one example, just today one of my AirPods got forgotten about - and the phone happily transmitted to the other one as if both were in the ears.1

So communications is always a bit fraught.

1The resolution appeared to be putting the AirPods back in the case and taking them out again. I say “appeared to be” because goodness only knows what resolved this.

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Weird coincidence: My iPhone forgot that my AirPods exist last night. I had to repair them. It was easily done but I’ve never seen that happen before.

I had to replace one of the AirPods after the dog got to it. I recall CGP Grey saying that when you do that, the AirPods are never quite right afterward.

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We are lucky that Bluetooth pairing is a straigt-forward process with almost none troubleshooting steps. I rarely see this behaviour. Does it happen all time?

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Re-pair. Not repair. :slight_smile:

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@petterhol No, it is fortunately not too often. I just find it weird, that’s all. I mean, the device IDs of both end-points will be hard coded, and the communication key should not need to change, right?

Thanks all!

I don’t work with bluetooth on Apple due to restrictions but I do work with it a lot in LambTracker. Re-pairing can happen or be required for a number of reasons. Letting batteries drain down too far often causes it. Attaching another bluetooth device can cause it to lose th eknowledge of the first one, attaching 2 devices at once can cause all sorts of weirdness from failure to work at all to requiring a hard reboot of the Android before the pairing is back. If you’ve got multiple devices connected via bluetooth and one is not sending data quite properly the other one gets it and then heads into the weeds. Fastest fix is a hard reboot, and re-pair.

I’m just glad I can get it to work fairly well 99% of the time.

On my iPhone I almost always have to re-pair my Square device if I use it on my iPad and then back to my iPhone, something that makes no sense to me.

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