No matter how far we have come with technology, there will always be problems. The S8 Bluetooth issues are case in point. In many ways it has been worthy of its hype, but in other ways I find myself wondering, “Why can’t they get this right?” But establishing and maintaining a connection between the S8 and every possible car manufacturer’s device, plus every other type of Bluetooth device, is no simple affair.
Still, there must be a workaround for each problem. Simply resigning and chalking it up to “no phone can be perfect” won’t cut it either. You paid for a device with the understanding that it would provide Bluetooth. Let’s make sure you get your money’s worth without any further S8 Bluetooth problems.
1. Toggle Airplane Mode
Enable, then disable Airplane Mode. The mode disables all broadcasts and cell reception while it is configured. Make sure that it isn’t. The S8 provides easy access through Quick Settings with a swipe downward from the top of the screen. Select Airplane/Flight mode. Make sure it’s off. This can help resolve any Bluetooth pairing issues.
Updates have become available for the S8 that specifically target these Bluetooth issues. To make sure your Galaxy is up-to-date, go to Settings > About device > Software Update > Check for updates.
3. Restart All Devices
If you are experiencing problems maintaining a continuous connection, try rebooting both your S8 and the device(s) you are connecting to. Although it seems far too simple and ubiquitous, it’s a must for troubleshooting this and many other problems.
4. Unpair, then Re-pair
Unpair all devices first, then reboot. Re-pair each device one at a time. This is another must-try step to resolve any Bluetooth problem on any device.
5. Clear App Cache
Go to Settings > Application Manager and swipe right or left to the All tab. Select the Bluetooth app itself. Force stop the app, then clear its cache. No doubt cache is there for your convenience, but sometimes it can lead to previous settings interfering with current settings.
6. Check Bluetooth Switch
The Bluetooth switch puts your S8 in discoverable mode so that other devices can “see” it. Be sure to check the Bluetooth switch just in case it isn’t toggled to the ON position–I’ve done dumber things.
7. Wipe Cache Partition
Turn off your S8, then long-press both the Volume Up and Bixby keys. Now press and hold the Power button. When the Android logo appears, release all of the keys. Use the Volume Down key to navigate to Wipe Cache Partition, and the Power key to select it. A reboot is recommended afterward.
Must read: Samsung Galaxy S Series: The Ultimate Guide
8. Factory Reset
First, backup your Samsung to retain any changes you might have made. To backup and reset all in one, go to Settings > Backup & reset. Tap on Backup my data. Then go to Factory data reset, Reset my Device, and Erase Everything.
9. Check Your Manufacturer’s Manual for Device
It’s not a bad idea to check your S8’s manual, which you might even still be able to find, given that your Galaxy is pretty new. The S8 contains pretty new Bluetooth technology (5.0), which can mean great advancements in range, speed, and audio quality, but it won’t be fully supported until Android O. Ask any IT professional if any rollout of any new technology ever goes 100% smoothly, and they will tell you no.
But also don’t forget that Bluetooth takes two to tango. So if you are having problems connecting to your car, check your auto’s manual for advice. There will often be tips for how to reset and troubleshoot your car’s Bluetooth connection.
10. Refresh Network Settings
Sometimes all you need is a fresh start. Navigate to Settings > Backup & reset > Reset network settings > Reset settings. This is also a useful tactic if you aren’t able to access the Internet, send and/or receive texts, and/or send and receive emails.
11. Update/Remove Conflicting Apps
Some apps haven’t hit it off very well, and Bluetooth has suffered because of it. An example is the FitBit and Spotify apps, which when downloaded to the same device in the recent past, have reacted like sparring siblings. Making sure that all of your apps are up-to-date in Google Play could help, and you might as well remove any apps causing problems that you don’t really use. If you are quite sure which app might be creating your issues, try testing it out with Safe Mode.
On the S8 you can enter Safe Mode by first turning your device off. Long-press the Power button and you will first see the model name appear, but keep holding until you see the Samsung logo. Once you release the Power key, immediately press Volume down until the phone finishes rebooting.
12. Use Android Auto Support
You have to at least be using OS version 6.0 and up, but that shouldn’t be a problem on this phone. Make sure that your car is compatible though, because even though the app purports to work on any car, there is still a list provided of vehicles that are compatible. Granted, it is a long list.
Download: Android Auto – Maps, Media, Messaging, & Voice
13. Check Distance Between Devices
Even though one of the key advantages of Bluetooth 5.0 is increased range, Bluetooth can only go so far. 400 meters is what Bluetooth 5.0 is potentially capable of, but a more realistic range is probably 120 meters (which is still considerable, at 393 feet). To play it safe, if you can’t see the device you are trying to connect to, you might be too far away.
14. Toggle Bluetooth Switch
Remind it to do its job. Try switching it off and back on on both devices. Then try to pair and share files.
15. Check Bluetooth 5.0 Compatibility
While most of your old devices should still work with your shiny new Samsung’s Bluetooth, here’s the thing: don’t expect them to benefit from Bluetooth 5.0’s potential capabilities. That’s why distance still matters, and your connection probably isn’t going to be any faster. That does change if you go out and buy all new Bluetooth 5.0 technology. At that point, it is fair to have that expectation.
16. Visit Samsung Service Center
You can also hit up your carrier for help as well. This is a new phone still. It should work.
17. Use Bluetooth Auto Connect App
This app could prove useful to establish a Bluetooth connection automatically with your other devices.
Download: Bluetooth Auto Connect
18. Remove Interference
Not only does distance matter, but also any competing devices and/or blockages. If your Bluetooth is too busy trying to connect to your car when you want it to connect to your headphones, your S8’s Bluetooth agenda is likely to get placed ahead of your current agenda, and your current agenda will be ignored.
19. Maintain Full Charge
Battery/Power Management will turn Bluetooth off to preserve battery/power. After all, you aren’t going to be connecting to any Bluetooth when your phone is dead, and Battery/Power Management is looking out for the long haul/big picture.
20. Update Drivers/Firmware
Are you trying to connect your PC to your S8? Don’t forget that drivers can require updates too. What about your car’s firmware? Have you been ignoring its request for an update? Simply worrying about applying updates to your S8 won’t cut it when there are other devices involved that have their own needs.
You shouldn’t be longing for the good old days with your S7 or S6. Plus, you’re probably too busy driving to be dealing with this on a day-to-day basis.
Problems with any new technology or phone may be par for the course, but so is trying out 20 solutions and finding at least one that solves your problem. If not help hopefully is still on the way, as most flagship problem get ironed out eventually.
Do you have other tips you would like to share? Perhaps you have found the perfect solution. Let us know what worked or didn’t work for you in the comments.