How to Connect a Laptop to Bluetooth Speakers

Get rad sound without wires

This article explains the process of connecting your Windows or Mac laptop to Bluetooth computer speakers. Instructions apply to Windows 10, 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 any laptop, make sure the speakers are discoverable—that is, set them to pairing mode. Typically, you'll press and hold the power button or the Bluetooth button for about five seconds. When the Bluetooth LED blinks, the speakers are ready to be paired with the laptop according to the steps below.

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.

How to Connect Your Windows Laptop to Bluetooth Speakers

Although most modern Windows computers support Bluetooth, 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 devices pair automatically.

Bluetooth device pairing in Connect pane on a Windows PC

Some devices—for example, Bluetooth keyboards—might have additional setup instructions, such as typing numbers or confirming a code. Consult the device's documentation or the manufacturer's website for instructions.

How to Connect to Bluetooth Speakers on a Mac

The steps for connecting with a laptop running OS X or macOS are similar to connecting a peripheral 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 might help:

  • Confirm that the speakers are turned on.
  • Use the pairing technique recommended 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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