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How To: iPhone Bluetooth Pairing


iPhone and Bluetooth logo
Apple Inc.

Even though the iPhone doesn't have the traditional ports for connecting peripherals like USB, you can still connect some devices to it via Bluetooth. While most people think of Bluetooth as the way that wireless earpieces get connected to phones, it's actually a more general-purpose technology that allows all kinds of devices, from earpieces to keyboards to speakers, to be used.

The process of connecting a Bluetooth device to an iPhone is called pairing. Regardless of what kind of device you're pairing to your iPhone, the process is basically the same. Follow these steps to complete the iPhone Bluetooth pairing process (they also apply to the iPod touch and iPad).

  1. Begin by making sure your iPhone and Bluetooth device are near each other. Bluetooth signals can only extend a few feet, so if the devices are too far apart they can't connect. They don't have to be right next to each other, but they should at least be in the same room, if not closer.
  2. Next, put the Bluetooth device you want to connect to the iPhone in discoverable mode. This allows the iPhone to see the device and connect to it. Making a device discoverable requires different steps on different devices. For some it's as easy as turning them on, others require more work (and some devices are always discoverable). Check the manual for the device you want to connect for instructions.
  3. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone homescreen.
  4. Tap General (if you're on iOS 7 or up, you can skip this step).
  5. Tap Bluetooth.
  6. Move the Bluetooth slider to On/green. When you do this, a list of all the discoverable Bluetooth devices will appear.
  7. If the device you want to pair with is listed, tap it. If not, consult the device's instructions to ensure it's in discoverable mode.
  8. To connect some Bluetooth devices with the iPhone, you need to enter a passcode. If the device you're trying to pair is one of those, the passcode screen will appear. Consult the device's manual for the passcode and enter it.
  9. And, with that, you're completed the iPhone-Bluetooth connection process and are ready to use the device.

NOTE: On iOS 7, you can use Control Center as a shortcut to turn Bluetooth on and off.

Remember that Bluetooth is a short-range networking tool. If you move the device and iPhone too far apart, the connect will be lost and you'll have to follow these steps again.

You can also disconnect a Bluetooth device from your iPhone on the same screen where you connected it in step 5 above.

While Bluetooth doesn't drain as much battery as Wi-Fi, keeping it turned off when not in use is one of the ways that you can extend the battery life of your iPhone.


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