Turn off Bluetooth discoverability on Android devices

Some folks responsible for design and development of different Android versions or different UIs for this system must have some problems with their mental sanity, because they think that it is very funny to have your device discoverable to all surrounding devices whenever you only enable Bluetooth.

I don’t find it funny. Even more, I find it weird, bad and evil.

I had an issue with Xiaomi Redmi 6 phone, having MIUI 11 launcher installed. I find the regular way of turning off Bluetooth discoverability on this phone impossible and ended up with the need for installing some app.

This is a generic solution that may work in your case, even if you have some other Android gear, so I decided to share my experience here.

Check, if you really need it?

I find the option of installing some 3rd party application as the worst one. So, read through this list of options before installing anything. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have your problem solved without an external app.

Start with:

  1. Check, if there is a corresponding system setting. Many phones (i.e. Neffos X9) has an option to enable or disable Bluetooth discoverability right in the Bluetooth settings. So all you have to do in this case is to turn it off.
  2. Turning off Bluetooth Scanning may work in some cases (it failed in my case):
    • Go to Settings –> Additional settings –> Privacy or corresponding location
    • Go to Location –> Scanning or similar section
    • Disable Bluetooth scanning or similarly named option
  3. You may consider tweaking up cores of your system (as in in here). However, I found this solution too complex for me and in addition reported to be not working under MIUI 10, so most likely also not working under newer MIUI11.

Also notice that in may solutions (i.e. Motorola Moto Z2 Play) Bluetooth discoverability is turned on automatically for a short period of time when you open up Bluetooth settings section.

So make sure to have your phone in question reverted back to home screen, when testing whether it is or isn’t discoverable via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth Settings app

Some people reported that using Bluetooth Settings 3rd party application solved their problem.

I wasn’t so lucky. Not only this is just a bare app (not a system service), so you have to use it again after each system restart. In addition:

  1. Some people reported that Bluetooth discoverability, disabled with this app, is reenabled again when you start or restart Bluetooth itself.
  2. I found that when you have Bluetooth enabled all the time, Bluetooth discoverability is reenabled back to “Visible to all” after some paired device connects to your phone in question.
  3. I found that even reopening this app makes Bluetooth discoverability setting reverted back to “Visible to all”.

So, for me, this was a completely wrong path. But maybe, hopefully, this will work for you.

Bluetooth Visibility Fix app

I have found the “[Tools] MIUI Bluetooth Discovery App” thread in Mi Community. It lead me to Bluetooth Visibility Fix app which seems to be working as expected under MIUI 11 / Readmi 6 phone.

I had to do “a little bit fight” with this app, as it was not willing to work after first 2-3 launches, but then it started to work really good.

This is a system service, so when it is correctly configured and proper permissions (i.e. for auto-start) are given you should have the problem resolved permanently and you shouldn’t be in need of running this app again.

Some other alternative?

If the Bluetooth Visibility Fix app is not working for you, the “[Tools] MIUI Bluetooth Discovery App” article also mentions some user-contributed app, available as direct .apk file download under above link. Consider it as an alternative.

I wasn’t in need of testing this alternative as the Bluetooth Visibility Fix app worked for me.

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