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 lets numerous devices to connect wirelessly to computers, laptops, and tablets. When it stops working properly on a Windows 10 computer, there can be multiple reasons why. Fortunately, there are just as many solutions to get things working again.

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 can cause conflicts with each other and the computer they're trying to connect to while at other times connectivity problems can be caused by the computer needing an operating system, software, or driver update.

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

A woman trying to solve Windows 10 problems on a laptop.

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 some of the most-effective ways to fix common Windows 10 Bluetooth problems.

  1. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled. Sometimes Bluetooth can get accidentally disabled on Windows 10 computers and tablets. To confirm it's turned on, open the Windows 10 Action Center by clicking the notification icon in the lower-right corner of the screen and look at the Bluetooth tile. If it's dim then that means that it's turned off. Click it to turn it on.

    If you turn on Windows 10's Flight mode while in the air, make sure to turn it off once you land as this setting disables Wi-Fi, location settings, and Bluetooth. This can be done by clicking the Flight 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 as it will manually force your device to begin searching for Bluetooth devices.

    This can be done by opening the Windows 10 Action Center and clicking the Bluetooth tile to turn it off, waiting several seconds, and then clicking it again to turn it on.

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

  4. Confirm that your device supports Bluetooth. While Bluetooth is very 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 then it's highly likely that it needs to connect to a Windows 10 device via another method such as Wi-Fi or with a cable.

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

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

  6. Restart your 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 your Windows 10 device, open the Start Menu, click the Power button, and then click Restart.

  7. Check for a Windows 10 update. Having the latest version of Windows 10 installed on your computer or tablet not only keeps it secure but it can also help you pair your Bluetooth device by downloading any necessary files it may be missing.

    To check for Windows 10 updates, open your Start Menu and click Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates.

    When performing a Windows 10 update, make sure that your device is connected to a power source. The process can drain a lot of battery power and major errors can occur if your 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, try turning off all other hardware that connects to your Windows 10 computers via Bluetooth.

  9. Check for Bluetooth conflicts. Some Bluetooth devices can have trouble connecting when they've been 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 so it can be a good idea to only pair them with your smartphone or computer and not both.

  10. Run the Windows 10 Bluetooth troubleshooter. Windows 10 has built-in troubleshooter programs that can scan your computer for specific problems and fix them.

    To begin the Bluetooth troubleshooter, open your Start Menu and click Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Bluetooth

  11. Remove the Bluetooth device and re-add it. Open the Windows 10 Start Menu and click Settings and then Devices. Locate your Bluetooth device from the list of connected devices and click its name and then click Remove device. Restart your computer and then try to pair the device anew. This process can often correct any problems that were associated with the initial Bluetooth pairing.