How to Connect a Laptop to Bluetooth Speakers

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The process of setting up Bluetooth computer speakers for use with your laptop is relatively simple on both Windows and Mac machines. You just need to make the speakers discoverable and have your laptop search for them.

The procedures we outline below apply to Windows 10 and macOS and Mac OS X. Follow different instructions for turning on Bluetooth in Windows 7.

Make Your Bluetooth Speakers Discoverable

To connect your Bluetooth speakers, you first need to make sure they are discoverable. Depending on the model of your Bluetooth speakers, you may set the device into pairing mode by pressing and holding the power button or the Bluetooth button for about five seconds. You should see the Bluetooth LED blinking, meaning your speakers are ready to be paired with the laptop. If you don't see the blinking LED, consult the documentation that came with your speakers or go to the manufacturer's website for specific instructions on making the speakers discoverable.

How to Connect Laptop to Bluetooth Speakers on Windows

Your Windows computer must support Bluetooth. Although most modern machines do, some business-class desktop PCs, and some very old consumer-class PCs, do not. If you can't find the Bluetooth settings, you'll need to purchase and install a hardware USB receiver to enable Bluetooth compatibility.

To pair a new device in Windows 10, press Win+K then select the device from the list that appears in the Action Center window. The device pairs automatically.

Some devices — for example, Bluetooth keyboards — may feature additional setup instructions, such as typing numbers or confirming a code. Those additional steps are device- and vendor-dependent.

How to Connect to Bluetooth Speaker on a Mac

The steps for connecting with a laptop running OS X or macOS are almost identical to setting up a Bluetooth peripheral device on Windows.

  1. Click System Preferences from the Apple menu or select the System Preferences icon in the Dock.

  2. Select Bluetooth in the System Preferences window.

  3. Select your Bluetooth speakers from the list of available devices.

  4. When the Bluetooth speakers are paired, they show as Connected.

  5. Go ahead and enjoy your speakers!

Troubleshooting a Pairing Failure

When it works, pairing your Bluetooth speakers and laptop is a simple process, but sometimes things don't go smoothly. Before you get frustrated, try a few simple fixes that may help:

  • Confirm the speakers are turned on.
  • Make sure you are using the recommending pairing technique specified in the documentation.
  • Turn Bluetooth off and on again on your laptop.
  • Position the speakers within 5 feet of the laptop.
  • Fully charge the laptop and the speakers (or attach to a power outlet).
  • Move away from your Wi-Fi router, which can interfere with the connection.
  • Turn both the laptop and the speakers off and back on.
  • Remove any obstructions between the speakers and the laptop.