I turned on bluetooth on my Macbook Air 13" (Early 2015, 8 GB RAM) and on my iPhone SE.

I'm trying to access the files from iPhone using my macbook. When trying to connect to my iPhone, it shows an error: "There was an error connecting to the device".

However, if I start a personal hotspot on iPhone I can successfully connect via bluetooth and get internet from my phone.

Using my macbook I can successfully connect to my old Samsung S3100 phone and browse the files via bluetooth.

Also, I can use my iPhone to connect via bluetooth to my piano and get/send midi data from/to it.

I feel like just the communication between my mac and iPhone is kinda broken—it could be the cause why AirDrop is not working too.

How to fix/debug this?

1 Answer 1


iPhone does not support browsing files over Bluetooth.

Edit: Apple lists three methods for transferring data between a Mac and an iPhone.

  1. AirDrop
  2. Handoff
  3. iCloud Drive

On that same page, Apple lists the built-in Mac browser for Bluetooth as an option for "other Bluetooth devices" and I think it is appropriate to infer that they thereby exclude the iPhone from that capability.

  • Is there any reference for that? I just saw another similar and short answer (which is probably true), but I'd like to know why is that. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 15:57
  • Edited to provide further information.
    – samh
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 16:14

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