8 Troubleshooting tips for Bluetooth pairing and sharing

If you own an Android smartphone, chances are that you often need to connect it with accessories such as speakers, earphones, your car’s sound system or your notebook. The wireless communications standard that makes it possible is called Bluetooth.

While the Bluetooth standard has come a long way in the past 20 years, Bluetooth devices can still sometimes be a little tricky when it comes to pairing – especially older ones. Alcatel offers some troubleshooting tips to get the best experience when using Bluetooth connectivity.

  • Is it turned on?

This may sound obvious, but start troubleshooting by making sure that both devices you want to pair are switched on and that you have enabled Bluetooth. To enable Bluetooth on an Android device, open the Settings app, tap Connected devices, then Connection preferences, then Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.

  1. Switch it on and off

The helpdesk advice to switch your device on and off has become a cliché because it so often works. Sometimes turning off the devices or their Bluetooth connections, then switching them on again is all it will take to sort out problems pairing two devices.

  1. Ensure the devices are charged

Low battery life can translate into a weak Bluetooth signal. Ensure your devices have a decent amount of charge if they won’t connect.

  1. Keep away from interference

Wireless signals from Wi-Fi connections, baby monitors, cordless phones and even microwave ovens can hamper your Bluetooth connection. If you are near a device that might be interfering with your Bluetooth pairing, try moving away.

  1. Move the devices closer together

Bluetooth is meant to be a personal area or near-range connectivity technology, so it won’t work if your devices are too far apart. Bring them closer together to ensure they are in range.

  1. Clear devices from your phone’s memory

This next step applies if you’re trying to pair your Android mobile device to another device and if the steps above aren’t working for you. Your phone might be trying to connect to a friend’s phone you used for a Wi-Fi connection or your old speakers. You can clear other Bluetooth devices from your Android device’s memory:

o   Open your phone’s Settings app.

o   Tap Connected devices, then Previously connected devices. (If you don’t see “Previously connected devices,” tap Bluetooth.)

o   Next to each device name, tap Settings, Forget, Forget device.

  1. Download the latest device drivers or firmware

Depending on your devices, it might be possible to address Bluetooth connectivity problems by downloading the latest drivers, firmware or operating system.

If you are not a power user or techie, check the online support pages from your device’s manufacturer for help.

Online support might also inform you if there are known issues and possible fixes for your Bluetooth problem.

  1. Keeping secure on Bluetooth

Bluetooth security issues are relatively rare and minor, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Some of the dangers include denial of service attacks (called BlueSmacking), spamming of unsolicited advertising (BlueJacking) and theft of information through Bluetooth (BlueSnarfing).

To keep your device and info safe:

o   Turn Bluetooth off when you’re not using it.

o   Use Bluetooth in “hidden” mode rather than “discoverable” mode.

o   Unpair your Android device from Bluetooth devices you don’t plan to use.