How to Fix It When Windows 10 Bluetooth Is Not Working

Bluetooth can be amazing on Windows 10 until it stops working properly

Bluetooth is an indispensable technology that connects numerous devices wirelessly to computers, laptops, and tablets. When it stops working properly on a Windows 10 computer, there can be multiple reasons why. To fix these types of Bluetooth problems, there are several solutions to get things working again.

Information in this article applies to PCs and laptops with Windows 10.

Cause of Windows 10 Bluetooth Problems

Bluetooth problems on Windows 10 computers are usually caused by a combination of software and hardware issues. Sometimes multiple Bluetooth devices cause conflicts with each other and the computer to which the Bluetooth devices are trying to connect. Other times, connectivity problems occur because the computer needs an operating system, software, or device driver update.

Other common causes of Windows 10 Bluetooth errors include a broken device, the incorrect settings were enabled or disabled in Windows 10, and the Bluetooth device is turned off.

A person trying to solve Windows 10 problems on a laptop.
Dmitry Ageev / Getty Images

How to Fix Bluetooth Issues on Windows 10

Because the causes of a faulty Bluetooth connection can vary, there are numerous possible solutions to try. Here are the most effective ways to fix common Windows 10 Bluetooth problems.

  1. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Sometimes Bluetooth is accidentally disabled on Windows 10 computers and tablets. To confirm it's on, open the Windows 10 Action Center by selecting the system tray icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, and look at the Bluetooth icon. If it's dim, Bluetooth is turned off. Select the Bluetooth icon to turn it on.

    If you turn on Windows 10 Airplane mode while in the air, turn it off after you land. This setting disables Wi-Fi, location settings, and Bluetooth. This can be done by clicking the Airplane mode tile in the Action Center.

  2. Turn Bluetooth on and off again. A quick reset of the Bluetooth setting can often fix any connectivity issues. This manually forces your device to search for Bluetooth devices.

    To turn Bluetooth on and off, open the Windows 10 Action Center, select the Bluetooth tile to turn it off, wait several seconds, then select the Bluetooth tile again to turn it on.

  3. Move the Bluetooth device closer to the Windows 10 computer. It's possible that your Bluetooth device could be out of range of your Windows 10 computer or tablet. Place one next to the other when making the initial connection.

  4. Confirm that the device supports Bluetooth. While Bluetooth is common with smart devices, it's not used by everything. If the product doesn't mention Bluetooth on its packaging or in its instruction manual, it likely needs to connect to a Windows 10 device using another method, such as Wi-Fi or with a cable.

  5. Turn on the Bluetooth device. A Bluetooth device needs to be powered on to connect to a Windows 10 computer.

    If the pairing process takes a long time, your Bluetooth device may turn off because it doesn't detect any activity. Turn it on again if it shuts down.

  6. Restart the Windows 10 computer. A simple restart can fix a variety of Windows 10 problems, including those associated with connecting to a Bluetooth device.

    To restart a Windows 10 device, open the Start menu, select the Power button, and then choose Restart.

  7. Check for a Windows 10 update. Having the latest version of Windows 10 installed on your computer or tablet keeps it secure and helps you pair your Bluetooth device by downloading any necessary files it may be missing.

    When performing a Windows 10 update, make sure that your device is connected to a power source. The process can drain battery power, and major errors can occur if the Windows 10 device turns off while installing an update.

  8. Turn off other Bluetooth devices. Even though this technically shouldn't be an issue for modern computers, having multiple Bluetooth devices paired can occasionally make it difficult to pair new ones.

    During the initial pairing phase, turn off all other hardware that connects to your Windows 10 computers through Bluetooth.

  9. Check for Bluetooth conflicts. Some Bluetooth devices have trouble connecting when being paired with more than one computer, tablet, or smartphone. These conflicts can be resolved by turning off Bluetooth on all but one of the smart devices and computers.

    Some fitness trackers can have trouble connecting to more than one device at a time. It's a good idea to only pair a fitness tracker with your smartphone or computer, but not both.

  10. Run the Windows 10 Bluetooth troubleshooter. Windows 10 has built-in troubleshooter programs that scan a computer for specific problems and fix these issues.

    To begin the Bluetooth troubleshooter, open the Start menu, then select Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Bluetooth.

  11. Remove the Bluetooth device and re-add it. Open the Windows 10 Start menu, then select Settings > Devices. Locate your Bluetooth device from the list of connected devices, and select its name. Then, select Remove device. Restart the computer, and then pair the device. This process often corrects any problems that were associated with the initial Bluetooth pairing.

  • How do I add Bluetooth to Windows 10?

    You can add Bluetooth to your PC with an adapter if your computer doesn't already support it. Bluetooth dongles use USB, so they plug into the outside of your computer via an open USB port.

  • How do I turn off Bluetooth on Windows 10?

    Select the system tray icon in the lower-right corner of the screen to open the Windows 10 Action Center, then select the Bluetooth icon to turn it off. You can also turn off Bluetooth by switching to Airplane mode.

  • How do I set up a Bluetooth device on Windows 10?

    To connect a Bluetooth device to your PC, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices > Add Bluetooth or other device. In the Add a device window, select Bluetooth, put your device in pairing mode, and choose your device.

  • How do I connect my phone to my computer via Bluetooth on Windows 10?

    To connect your Android phone to your PC, connect the devices with a USB cable. Then on Android, select Transfer files. On your PC, select Open device to view files > This PC.  Alternatively, connect wirelessly with AirDroid from Google Play, Bluetooth, or the Microsoft Your Phone app. You can also mirror an iPhone on your PC.

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