Can Bluetooth devices stop working if you stop using them?

You bought a Bluetooth gadget, and then you stopped using it for a time. Now you’ve gone back to revive it. What happens if your Bluetooth gadget won’t turn on?

In this era of constant upgrades, it’s no real surprise to find that we’re going technology faster than we probably realise it: you buy a new phone every year or three, you buy a new pair of headphones every couple of years unless you break them before, and possibly a wearable in much the same manner.

We go through technology, and sometimes we get something new and play the hand-me-down game, handing it down to someone else in the family, or a close friend, and so on.

But what happens to technology if you throw it in a drawer and don’t use it for a while? If that technology is Bluetooth, the answer may in fact be death.

Can Bluetooth devices stop working permanently if not used for a while?

The answer to whether Bluetooth earphones, Bluetooth headphones, and other Bluetooth devices can die when not used seems to be yes.

Tested with Pickr’s review gear over the past two years, it is very possible that an unused device will stop working when you haven’t run it through a charge cycle in an appropriate time frame.

Deep in the manuals of some of those gadgets, the expected time frame to run a recharge cycle appears to be “every six months”, a phrase we found lurking on at least one Bluetooth earphone manual.

While some devices sport a hibernation function and will maintain some semblance of battery life, not all will work this way, and when not charged at all past a period of over six months, the batteries seem to struggle to return to life, especially in devices made from before 2017.

This seems to be more true on earphones, headphones, and microphone pieces, but it’s not true for all, and some will work and return to life.

How do I bring a Bluetooth device back to life?

Bizarrely enough, if you’re looking to return a Bluetooth device back to the land of the living, you’ll want to keep charging it to see if the battery can be revived, and if it will hold a charge.

In a way, it’s kind of like that first initial charge you were supposed to give the device when you first brought it home, with a long charge needed.

In some instances, we’ve charged a Bluetooth earpiece for around five hours compared to the two it would normally take to recharge just to bring it back.

You’ll know something’s working if the lights are on and they get past red, loading in white or green on the actual device.

Not everything will work, however: some devices can’t seem to be brought back.

What can I do if my Bluetooth device stops working?

Ultimately, if your Bluetooth device stops working, consider emailing or calling the manufacturer’s support line.

While these sorts of problems may well be out of the warranty timeline (and also may not), the company that made the device will be able to give you the best idea as to what your next steps should be.

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