The Apple iPhone 5c was announced on September 10, 2013. Repair of this device is similar to the previous models, and requires screwdrivers and prying tools. Available as GSM or CDMA / 8, 16, 32 GB / White, Pink, Yellow, Blue, and Green.

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Why will my Bluetooth setting not turn on (stuck on spinning gear)?

Hello! I purchased an iPhone 5c online that is is great condition but I am having trouble with the Bluetooth setting turning to "ON". When I go into settings for Bluetooth it shows "Off" and when I tap on the setting to turn it on it comes up with the Bluetooth page and shows the spinning gear (or wheel) instead of the On/Off button and stays that way forever so I can not connect any bluetooth device.

I purchased the phone and gave it to my son before I completely checked everything out and came to find out later he reported that the Bluetooth setting never worked for him. So I set out on my mission to fix it, thinking it would be a "piece of cake"!

I have searched far and wide on the internet and have tried everything so far pertaining to Hard Reset, Factory Restore, Restore to New Set Up, Reset Network Settings, Reset All Settings , Turning Airplane Mode/Do not Disturb on and off again, etc. etc. but to no avail.

Can this be a hardware issue instead of software issue? I have opened the iPhone and inspected inside for any signs of water damage but it is "clean as a whistle" and all three moisture indicators are still good.

Any other possible ideas for fixes would be most appreciated!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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4 Answers

Chosen Solution

Considering all the things you have tried, it may well be a problem on the logic board. It could be some poorly connected antenna related wires and flexes or a damaged housing so you could open it up and verify the integrity of all the connections. The iPhone 5C is also prone to micro-fractures due to the weaker plastic housing. This damages solder joints and sometimes even the pcb.

The IC U8_RF is responsible for WiFi & BT functionality on the iPhone 5C. The problem could stem from a bad IC or solder joint following an impact or it could have to do with some of the surrounding circuitry. In your case, this could be a latent problem from well before you received it (or the reason the seller wanted to unload it).

Buying used phones online is always fraught with risks. Is it too late to open a dispute and ask for a refund? If you are stuck, then I would recommend you seek out a repair shop that does micro-soldering repairs. Considering the age and the re-sale value of an iPhone 5C on the secondary market in NA, it may not be worth fixing. You could always sell for parts to recoup part of your cost.

Sorry, wish I had a better answer.

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Thank you so much, Minho, for the info. I will open it up and do a closer inspection of the circuitry. I am a retired aerospace mfg engineer and have plenty of experience inspecting and understanding solder joint and circuity integrity. Just wasn't sure if it could actually be a hardware issue yet as my research found nothing related to that.

I understand the risk of buying used phones online so I am not concerned too much at this point as (my bad!) I did not check full functionality immediately after receiving it. I actually did purchase two 5C phones from the same person (claimed to be her son and daughters phones) and have no issue with the other 5c so I suspect, if the problem already existed, she was not aware it. And my son does have butterfingers so maybe........

Thanks again so much for your response and will post an update if I find anything out from my inspection. Otherwise I will use it for parts to keep phones going for my other four kids and seven grandchildren :)

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Ricco,

Did you ever fix this issue? I have the identical symptoms on a iPhone 6 which I did drop and deform. Repair shop fixed the housing, sim tray, 3G signal & wifi. The Bluetooth however worked intermittently on iOS 10 now on 11 it doesn’t work at all. I was just wondering what your fix was if you found one since I have the identical issue.

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Hi Paul! No I did not ever fix the bluetooth problem. I ended up just selling the phone as-is without the Bluetooth functionality.

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I found, quite by accident, that when my daughter's 5C had this issue, sliding a fingernail between the screen and the polycarbonate casing at the midpoint of the right side of the phone fixed it instantly. It would stay fixed for quite some time and then pop up again sporadically, and this fix worked each time.

Obviously this is only applicable to the 5C due to the flexibility of the polycarbonate case (no way you're getting a fingernail in a 5 or 5S like that), but if you've got a 5C with this issue then it's worth a try. Like you, I first tried all the solutions I could find online, to no avail. I believe Minho's answer is indeed on the money. It's just that in my particular instance this random fix worked.

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that did not work either

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Ricco will be eternally grateful.
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