How to Connect a Laptop to Bluetooth Speakers

Get rad sound without wires

What to Know

  • Make sure the speakers are discoverable by putting them in pairing mode. How you do this depends on the speaker model.
  • On Windows 10: Press Win+K then select the speakers from the list of available devices.
  • On Mac: Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth > Devices, then select the speakers.

This article explains the process of setting up Bluetooth computer speakers for use with your laptop on both Windows and Mac computers. Instructions apply to Windows 10 and macOS and Mac OS X. Follow different instructions to turn on Bluetooth in Windows 7.

Make Your Bluetooth Speakers Discoverable

To connect Bluetooth speakers to a laptop, make sure the speakers are discoverable. Depending on the model of the Bluetooth speakers, to set the device into pairing mode press and hold the power button or the Bluetooth button for about five seconds. The Bluetooth LED blinks, meaning the speakers are ready to be paired with the laptop.

If you don't see the blinking LED, consult the documentation that came with the 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

The Windows computer must support Bluetooth. Although most modern machines do, some business-class desktop PCs and some old consumer-class PCs do not. If you can't find the Bluetooth settings, 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.

Bluetooth device pairing in Connect pane on a Windows PC

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. In the Apple menu, click System Preferences. Or, go to the Dock and select the System Preferences icon.

  2. In the System Preferences window, select Bluetooth.

  3. In the Devices list, select the Connect button for the Bluetooth speakers.

    Connect button on macOS Bluetooth
  4. When the Bluetooth speakers are paired, they show as Connected.

    Connected status for Bluetooth device on macOS

Troubleshoot a Pairing Failure

When it works, pairing Bluetooth speakers and a laptop is a simple process, but sometimes things don't go smoothly. Here are a few simple fixes that may help:

  • Confirm that the speakers are turned on.
  • Use the recommending pairing technique specified in the documentation.
  • Turn Bluetooth off and on again on the laptop.
  • Position the speakers within five feet of the laptop.
  • Fully charge the laptop and the speakers (or attach to a power outlet).
  • Move away from the 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.
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