Why Won’t My Bluetooth Headphones Connect to My Mac? How to Fix in seconds


Connecting a Bluetooth device to your Mac seems easy enough, so when it doesn’t work, that can be a really frustrating experience. However, there are many ways you can fix this issue and get your Bluetooth headphones connected in no time.

The most common reasons for Bluetooth headphones refusing to connect to your Mac is due to a previously connected device trying to maintain a connection, your devices are not discoverable, your device has low battery, your headphones need to be reset, your Mac needs to be restarted, your Mac needs an update.

No matter what the issue is, it will almost always be fixable. The rest of this article will show you how to easily find the issue and fix it so that you can enjoy your Bluetooth headphones as soon as possible.

Previously connected device trying to maintain a connection

This is a very common issue that has a simple solution. If you have ever connected your Bluetooth headphones to another device (such as your phone), they will most of the time automatically connect to it again when turned on. Since Bluetooth headphones can only be connected to one device at once, this makes them unable to connect to your Mac.

All you have to do to fix this is disconnect your headphones from the device they are connected to. To do this, go into settings on that device. Then go to Bluetooth and either turn it off completely or select your connected headphones and click “Forget This Device”. Either method is effective in disconnecting your headphones.

Not discoverable

Your Mac and Bluetooth headphones both have to be set to “Discoverable” in order to connect to other devices. This is how you set your Mac to discoverable:

  1. Click the apple icon in the top left toolbar
  2. Go to “System Preferences”
  3. Click on “Bluetooth”
  4. If your Bluetooth is not set to discoverable, there will be an option to turn it on. If that is the case, click “Turn Bluetooth On”.

Though it differs depending on the kind of headphones you have, this is generally how to set your headphones to discoverable:

  1. Once your headphones are on, hold the power button down
  2. The light should start blinking quickly
  3. Let go of the button. Now your headphones should be in discoverable mode.

If this doesn’t work for your headphones, you can look up how to set them to discoverable either online or in their user manual.

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Your Mac Needs to be Restarted

Sometimes your device just needs to be restarted in order to fix the issue; this is because turning off your device will reset your operating systems software, allowing your software to start fresh and fix common software glitches.

To Restart your Mac:

  • Select the Apple logo, located on the top left corner
  • Select Restart

Once your device is turned back on, enter pairing mode on your headphones, open your Bluetooth list, Select your Bluetooth headphones and connect.

Low battery

If your headphones have a low battery, they may not want to connect to other devices until they are charged. Check if your battery is low, and if it is, plug in your headphones and let them charge fully before trying to connect them again. If low battery is the issue, charging them will ensure that they connect when you try again.

Out of range or off

If your headphones are in another room and not close to your Mac, it will be hard for your Mac to find them and connect. Make sure your headphones are close to your Mac so that it can find them easily. Generally, your Mac and headphones should be within 20 feet of each other in order to connect.

Double checking that your headphones are on is helpful as well. Sometimes people will turn on their Mac and look for the headphones without actually turning them on, and therefore they won’t be available to connect.

Reset Headphones

Next, you’ll want to try resetting your headphones; the process for resetting Bluetooth headphones differs with the type of headphone and brand, so a quick look at your device’s manual or a quick look at the manufacturer’s website will provide you with the instructions required.

I’ve tried all these methods, but my Bluetooth headphones still won’t connect to my Mac; What should I do now?

If you’ve double-checked that you have done all the things listed above and your headphones still aren’t connecting, then you’ll need to check if your Mac needs any updates. To do this, go to the apple icon in the top left corner, click “About This Mac”, and go to “Software Update”. If there is an available update, it will tell you, and you can install it. This may help your Mac connect to your headphones, especially if the update involves Bluetooth.

How do I get my Mac to recognize my Bluetooth headphones?

Getting your Mac to recognize your Bluetooth headphones is crucial when you are trying to connect them. The first step should be turning on your headphones and putting them in pairing mode. This can be different depending on what kind of headphones you have, so look in the manual or online to make sure they are in pairing mode before you continue.

Now all you have to do is go to “System Preferences” on your Mac and click Bluetooth. If you have correctly put your headphones in pairing mode and your Mac Bluetooth is on, the headphones should appear as an option to connect. Just click on them and press “Pair”, and then your headphones and Mac will be connected.

If the headphones don’t show up right away, it can be helpful to turn your Mac’s Bluetooth off and on again. This way, it is freshly searching for devices to pair with, and hopefully, it will have an easier time finding your headphones.

Why is my Bluetooth headphone audio cutting out when connected to my Mac?

If your headphones are connected, but the audio is staticky and/or cutting out, it can be pretty annoying and altogether ruin the Bluetooth experience. Luckily it’s a fixable problem, and usually, it happens because your headphones are out of range.

If you are moving around while listening to your Bluetooth headphones and notice the audio start to cut out, it’s probably because you are too far away from your Mac. Bluetooth headphones have a range on them and oftentimes won’t keep playing if you move too far away from the device they are connected to. Sometimes, they will disconnect altogether if you go too far.

Another reason your audio might sound weird is if your headphones have a low battery. Make sure your headphones are charged pretty fully to avoid any audio issues stemming from a low battery.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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