How to Pair and Unpair Chromebook Bluetooth

Plus tips for improving Bluetooth performance

Bluetooth is useful on Chromebooks because it allows you to connect devices such as headphones, game controllers, and even peripherals like mice and keyboards through a wireless process called pairing. If you're ready to set up a Chromebook Bluetooth connection, we'll show you exactly how to do it. And if the connection isn't that great, we have a tip that will improve your Chromebook's Bluetooth performance.

How to Verify That Your Chromebook Has Bluetooth

Before you spend a lot of time trying to pair a device, you should first make sure your Chromebook has Bluetooth. Most of them do, but there are some exceptions.

  1. Turn on your Chromebook and log in.

  2. Select the lower right corner of the screen in the area where the clock is located to open the tray menu.

    Chromebook screen with bottom right corner with clock highlighted

    If you see the Bluetooth icon is already visible in the system tray in the bottom right corner of the screen in this step, you can skip to the next section. You have Bluetooth.

  3. Look for the Bluetooth icon in the tray menu. If your Chromebook has Bluetooth, you'll see it.

    Chrome OS system tray menu

How to Pair Chromebook With a Bluetooth Device

After you verify you have Bluetooth on your Chromebook, you're ready to start pairing devices. This is a relatively easy process.

  1. Turn on your Chromebook, sign in, and select the clock in the lower right corner.

    Chromebook screen with bottom right corner with clock highlighted
  2. Select the Bluetooth icon in the tray menu.

    Chrome OS system tray menu
  3. Select the device you want to pair.

    Bluetooth menu on a Chromebook

    If you don't see your device, you may need to force your device into pairing mode. Look for specific instructions on pairing your device, like how to pair an Xbox controller, or check with your device manufacturer if you're unsure how to do this.

  4. Wait while the Chromebook pairs with the chosen device.

    A screenshot of the Bluetooth pairing function on a Chromebook.
  5. When you see a message stating your device has been paired and is ready to use, you can start using it or repeat this process to pair additional devices.

    A screenshot of the Chrome OS Bluetooth pairing message.

How to Unpair or Disconnect a Bluetooth Device From a Chromebook

If you want to prevent a device from automatically connecting to your Chromebook in the future, you need to undo the process from the previous section. This is also easy to do.

  1. Select the clock in the lower right corner of the screen.

    Chromebook screen with bottom right corner with clock highlighted
  2. Select the Bluetooth icon.

    Chrome OS system tray menu
  3. Select the gear icon.

    Chrome OS Bluetooth menu with gear highlighted
  4. Select the ⋮ (three vertical dots) icon located to the right of the device you want to unpair or disconnect from your Chromebook.

    Bluetooth settings menu in Chrome OS with three-dot icon highlighted
  5. Select Remove from list to unpair your device.

    Bluetooth settings menu in Chrome OS.

How to Turn Off Bluetooth on a Chromebook

There may be situations where you want to temporarily prevent devices from connecting to your Chromebook, want to save battery power, or you're on a plane and need to avoid creating interference. In these cases, you can temporarily turn Bluetooth off.

When Bluetooth is turned off, your Bluetooth devices won't be able to connect to your Chromebook. Make sure to have wired alternatives such as wired headphones or a USB cable for your game controller if you're going to be in a situation where you need to have Bluetooth disabled.

  1. Select the clock in the lower right corner.

    Chromebook screen with bottom right corner with clock highlighted
  2. Select the Bluetooth icon.

    Chrome OS system tray menu
  3. Move the toggle switch next to Bluetooth to the off position.

    Bluetooth setting with the on/off toggle highlighted
  4. When Bluetooth is disabled, the toggle switch is white, and you see "Bluetooth disabled" instead of a list of devices.

    A screenshot of a Chromebook with Bluetooth disabled.

    You can re-enable Bluetooth at any time by selecting the toggle switch again.

How to Improve Bluetooth Performance With Newblue

If you've been using Bluetooth devices with your Chromebook, you may have noticed issues such as spotty connections, sudden disconnects, and static or sound cutting in and out with your headphones.

These issues can be caused by interference and other external problems, but the fact is that Chromebooks aren't known for having solid Bluetooth connections.

The best solution, if it's available to you, is to enable Google's Newblue Bluetooth stack. Newblue does a good job of fixing a lot of Bluetooth problems on Chromebooks, but it isn't enabled by default.

If Newblue is available on your Chromebook and it isn't already turned on, here's how you can enable it yourself:

  1. Open a new browser window or tab.

  2. Type "chrome://flags" in the address bar and press enter.

    Chrome OS flags page
  3. Type "newblue" into the search field on the flags screen and press enter.

    Newblue in Chrome OS
  4. Select the drop-down box and choose Enabled.

    Newblue in Chrome OS with Enabled highlighted

    If the drop-down box already says Enabled when you first open this screen, you're already using Newblue.