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I'm on a 13-inch MacBook Pro with MacOS Big Sur (11.1) installed on it. Few months ago, I started having bluetooth connectivity issues, which are as follows:

I have online classes, and I use bluetooth earphones to attend those. The problems started in late May, 2021. Once in a while, the bluetooth devices are unable to connect, and at those times, none of the bluetooth devices are able to connect to my Mac. If I removed the device from the bluetooth devices, it didn't reappear as it normally does. I tried restarting the (bluetooth) device, restarting the bluetooth. After few frantic tries (takes more than 20 minutes, at the very least), the devices do appear and I'm able to connect to them. After some time, the problem starts again.

I have also tried resetting the bluetooth module, deleting the bluetooth plist file. None solved the problem. Only thing that works for sure is restarting my Mac, but since it has HDD and not SSD, it takes a lot of time to restart.

From a few weeks ago, I am unable to even turn the bluetooth off, and the previous problem still persists. I also have tried resetting the NVRAM & SMC, but it still doesn't solve the problem.

There aren't any problems with the devices, as they are able to connect to other devices (phones, other laptops etc.).

Images are attached.

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2 Answers 2

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If you hold down Option while you click on Bluetooth in system preferences, you should see a padlock symbol next to the turn Bluetooth off button.

Since yours is greyed out, the padlock should be locked. Click on it to unlock and it should allow you to disable and re-enable Bluetooth.

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  • Not working, no padlock symbol there... Aug 18, 2021 at 17:33
  • If you hold down options and click on the bluetooth symbol on the tool bar, does the expanded list giving mac addresses appear or not? Aug 19, 2021 at 12:08
  • Yes, the list giving the address does appear, but one, you said earlier in System Preferences, and two, the padlock symbol isn't there either. Aug 19, 2021 at 15:01
  • Yes, I am aware I said System Preferences. I am not asking to see if the padlock is there, I am asking to see if the options key is working in the require capacity. So you are saying that the image in this post apple.stackexchange.com/questions/56680/… doesn't match your own? Aug 19, 2021 at 15:08
  • No, it doesn't. (Also maybe it is because of version difference) Aug 19, 2021 at 17:09
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You might be experiencing interference. Lots of things can can cause this, and Apple has a good support page that lists many things to check.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201542

If you're using USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3, improperly shielded cables — either power cables or cables to external drives — are an obvious place to start.

Interference can be really difficult to track, because sometimes it's coming from things outside your control

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