No Bluetooth in iPhone 3GS

I struggled with the title of this posting, because I wanted to best summarize my iPhone problem. I’m not sure the current title does the job, but here’s the issue:

I recently purchased a new iPhone 3GS, and after playing with it for a while, I wanted to pair it to my Garmin Nüvi 760 which I use as a speakerphone in my car, and my bluetooth headset. I dove into the settings, easily found the bluetooth settings, and slid the switch to the “On” position. It immediately snapped back to the “Off” position! Repeated attempts produced the same result, and I was left thinking that there was a hardware issue with my iPhone. I did not want to send it back. I was already hooked!


I searched for a while online and didn’t find a direct answer, but some other iPhone owners had similar problems with previous versions of the iPhone, but I wasn’t sure it would work with mine until I tried it out. The solution was simply to do a “Restore” in iTunes, which would reinstall the OS on the iPhone. As a new owner, I wasn’t too happy to be doing this, and wasn’t sure if I would retain all of my apps and settings that were already on the iPhone. I could have spent more time reading up on all of this, but I wanted to dive in and give the solution a try. If I had to reinstall everything, so be it.

First, I made sure to let the iPhone completely sync with iTunes. Then I simply clicked the “Restore” button in iTunes (you have to select the iPhone in the left-hand menu first), and after waiting a while for the 285MB download to complete, the process completed. Once my iPhone booted back up, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of my settings were retained, and bluetooth worked as easily as I had expected it to in the first place.

I wish that I didn’t have to go through this to get bluetooth working, and I hope that Apple gets it sorted out so that others do not have to go through this, but for those that have a new iPhone and/or your bluetooth will not activate, give this a try.

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