How to Fix It When MacBook Air Bluetooth Won’t Turn On

Bluetooth technology is an integral part of our everyday lives. We use it to connect all kinds of devices. With newer MacBook Airs and their limited USB ports, we now rely on Bluetooth to connect most of our external devices to our system.

So if your Bluetooth has stopped working on your MacBook Air, getting it working again is a priority. Most of the time, there is a simple solution, such as rebooting your system, upgrading to the latest macOS, resetting SMC and NVRAM, or deleting the plist file.

My name is Eric, and as a longtime engineer, I have solved many problems like this. By checking the most common causes and using simple fixes, we can get our system back up and running in no time, and I will be glad to show you how to do this.

Read below if you want to hear about some of the most common causes and their fixes for your Bluetooth not working on your MacBook Air.

Getting Started

Bluetooth is a great technology that we use to connect devices and computers together. Many of us depend on it daily, so we need a quick solution when it stops working. Let’s get right to it and figure out how to solve your problem by looking at the most common causes and solutions below.

1. Your MacBook Air Needs a Restart

It can affect many things with your system, such as speed, performance, and stability. Glitches are also more common when your MacBook Air has not been restarted for a long period. Restarting clears out your memory and gets rid of unused processes.

So if you have not restarted your computer for a while or even if you have restarted it recently, a quick restart of your system can often clear up problems with your Bluetooth. It’s easy to do, just click on the Apple symbol in the upper left corner of your screen and click on Restart.

Once your system starts back up, try your Bluetooth and see if it works. You will be amazed at the problems a simple reboot can solve.

2. Bluetooth Needs Reset

As great as the technology is, Bluetooth can sometimes act flaky. Somehow it gets corrupted or glitchy, which may cause it to stop working. Many times you can fix this by simply resetting Bluetooth. Use the following steps to try this.

Step 1: Click on the Control Panel Icon and look for Bluetooth.

Step 2: Hold down the Shift and Option keys and click on Bluetooth.

This will bring up a menu with information and settings for Bluetooth.

Step 3: Click on Reset Bluetooth Module.

Step 4: Try turning Bluetooth on again, and if it works, you are good to go.

3. Corrupt Configuration

Your computer holds configuration and other data types in both SMC and NVRAM. These are basically chips that can hold data even when your computer is shut down. This data stores information about your Bluetooth settings and other configuration data.

After a while, this data can build up and get corrupted, causing issues with numerous things on your system, including your Bluetooth. While I won’t get into details about how SMC and NVRAM work, it is possible to clear or reset this data, which can fix many issues on your system.

If you have a newer MacBook Air with Apple silicon, you won’t need to worry about this since they automatically reset whenever you reboot your system. So if you have restarted your system as described above, you have already done this.

You must manually reset the SMC and NVRAM if you have an older system with an Intel-based processor. To reset SMC, shut your computer down, then start it back up while holding the Control, Shift, and Options keys until you hear the chime. Your SMC will then be reset.

To reset NVRAM, shut the computer down. When starting it back up, hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys for at least 20 seconds or until you hear the chime. When the startup completes, your NVRAM will now be reset.

Once your MacBook Air starts back up, check to see if you can turn your Bluetooth back on; if so, then your problem is solved.

4. macOS Update

Does your MacBook Air need a macOS update? If you are not up to date, it could be affecting your computer’s operation, including problems with your Bluetooth. It is essential to stay up to date with the latest macOS update. Otherwise, you may miss important fixes that can cause issues like Bluetooth malfunctioning.

You may have seen notifications that you need to do an update. If so, click on the prompt, and it will take you to install the update. If you have not seen any notifications, you can check for them by clicking on the Apple menu and looking for notifications beside System Settings.

Click on System Settings, and you can perform the update by clicking on Software Update Available and then Update Now.

Once the update has been completed, restart your system and see if the issue has been resolved.

5. Corrupted Bluetooth plist file

Configuration settings and data about your Bluetooth are saved in a .plist file. The particular file is called After some time, plist files can become corrupted, but thankfully, they can be automatically regenerated if you delete them and restart your machine.

Deleting them and regenerating them fresh will remove any corrupted data and hopefully fix your problem. Use the following steps to delete the file.

Step 1: Open Finder.

Step 2: Click on the Go menu and select Go to Folder

Step 3: Type /Library/Preferences and select it.

Step 4: Look for the file.

Step 5: Delete the file.

With it selected, you can hit the delete key or right-click on it and select Move to Trash.

Step 6: Restart your computer and see if Bluetooth is working.

6. Bad Bluetooth card

If none of the above has worked for you, you may have a bad Bluetooth card/module in your MacBook Air. For this, you may need to have a professional look at it. You can contact Apple support or make an appointment at the Genius Bar.

If you are still under warranty or have Apple care for your MacBook Air, you might be able to get it repaired or even replaced, depending on what they find out when they take a look at it.


Bluetooth is an important part of almost everyone’s MacBook Air. We use it to connect many of our devices and peripheral tools. If your Bluetooth is not turning on, it can be a real problem since you can’t connect to those devices and tools.

Luckily, you can use some simple solutions to get your Bluetooth back up and running. I have listed them above, and I hope they have helped you solve your problem. As usual, let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.

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