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What to do if Google Pixel 3 XL won’t pair with Bluetooth headphones

For those looking for answers why their Bluetooth accessory is not pairing with the Google Pixel 3 XL, this post is for you. Although there’s a certain set of circumstances presented in the case mentioned below, the troubleshooting steps remain the same across devices. Hopefully, one of the suggested troubleshooting steps will help you.

Problem: Google Pixel 3 XL won’t pair with Bluetooth headphones

I cannot pair my Bluetooth headphones to my Pixel 3 XL.  I have two pair of Bluetooth headphones, less than a year old.  They will pair and connect with both of my computers, also less than a year old, and they would pair and connect with my old Droid Turbo, but not with my new Pixel 3 XL.  It does not even know they exist when the phone and either of the headphones are in pairing mode. It can see devices that belong to my neighbors next door, and it will pair with my computers, not the headphones.  I have tried starting the phone in safe mode, but that made no difference.

Solution: When it comes to Google Pixel 3 XL Bluetooth issues, a user can only do basic troubleshooting. This means that if the usual dose of suggestions such as restart, re-pair, etc won’t work, there probably is a compatibility or incompatibility between the devices involved. Let’s go over the specific troubleshooting steps that you can do about the specific circumstances of this case.

Check Airplane Mode

Bluetooth is turned off in Airplane Mode. Make sure that Airplane Mode is disabled. You can also try to toggle it from off to on and back to off. Here’s how:

  1. From a Home screen, touch and swipe up to display all apps.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Network & Internet.
  4. Tap the Airplane mode switch to turn it on or off.

Restart Bluetooth accessory and Pixel 3 XL

This is the first basic step that you must do. Exact steps on how to restart a Bluetooth accessory depends on the device you have. Refer to the documentation of the said accessory if you don’t know how to do it.

Since we are here for Pixel 3 XL troubleshooting, we can only provide the steps for the said device. Here’s how to restart the Bluetooth function on Pixel 3 XL:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices and then Connection preferences and then Bluetooth.
  3. Turn Bluetooth on or off.

Charge the Bluetooth accessory

Sometimes, lower powered Bluetooth devices may not be able to pair or establish a stable connection. Be sure that the headphones you’re trying to connect are newly charged before attempting to reconnect them to your Pixel.

Delete (unpair) pairings

Sometimes, deleting previous pairings may help in establishing a connection. If you haven’t tried this, these are the steps you must do:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Tap Connection preferences.
  4. Tap Bluetooth.
  5. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  6. Tap the Back arrow twice Back.
  7. Open your Bluetooth accessory’s settings:
    • If you see your accessory under “Available media devices,” next to its name, tap Settings .
    • If no accessories are listed, tap Previously connected devices. Next to your accessory’s name, tap Settings .
  8. Change the accessory’s name, disconnect, pick actions (“profiles”), or unpair (“forget”) the accessory.

Rename your Pixel’s Bluetooth name.

Some users claim that renaming the Bluetooth device of their phone does the trick of allowing another Bluetooth accessory to connect or pair. Make sure to try this to see if it helps.

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices.
  3. Tap Connection preferences.
  4. Tap Bluetooth.
  5. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  6. Tap Device name. If you don’t see “Device name,” you’re using a different Android version. Tap More options (three-dot icon) and then select Rename this device.
  7. Enter a new name.
  8. Tap Rename.

Clear Bluetooth app cache and data

If the problem still remains at this point, you can also try to return the Bluetooth app in your device to its defaults. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Browse for the Application Manager option and tap it.
  3. Next, disable all tabs by either swiping left or right.
  4. Now, tap on Bluetooth.
  5. Tap on force stop to close Bluetooth.
  6. Next, clear its cache and data.
  7. When it’s done, tap on OK and finally, restart your device.

Reset Network Settings

You should also try to clear all network settings on your Pixel device. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Tap Reset options.
  5. Choose from the following:
    • Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth
    • Reset app preferences
    • Erase all data (factory reset)
  6. Tap Reset settings.
  7. Enter the PIN, password or pattern if prompted.
  8. Tap Reset settings to confirm.

Bluetooth incompatibility issue

Bluetooth problems can take many forms so there are also many factors to consider when fixing any particular problem. One of the most common reason why pairings between devices may not work though is incompatibility. This can mean that either there’s a software bug or limitation between them, or any of them has different hardware that are in conflict. With many manufacturers developing their own Bluetooth devices, it’s impossible for any user or third party troubleshooter like us to know exactly what’s going on. And even if we do know, all we can do is to tell the user to get a different device that’s certified with the Google Pixel 3 XL. If you want to get to the bottom of the issue, we suggest that you contact the makers of the headphones you’re having problems with so they can give you first-hand information if their products are compatible with the Pixel 3 XL or not.

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