Windows 10 provides a variety of ways to pair Bluetooth devices to your PC. And there are many device types that you can pair as well – from speakers and audio devices to printers, keyboards, mice, and what have you. Anyone looking to set up their PC in the most efficient way possible and transfer files between devices quickly is going to have to know how to turn on Bluetooth and use it.
Today, we take a look at all the ways that you can turn on Bluetooth on your PC, pair different devices, and troubleshoot any problems that users may be having in doing so.
Method #1: From Action Center
The simplest way to turn on Bluetooth is to do so from the Action center. This is found in the Notification center or the System tray area which is to the right of the taskbar. Click on the Action center (or press Win+A).
Then click on Bluetooth.
And just like that, your Bluetooth is turned on.
Method #2: From Settings
Another way to turn on Bluetooth is to do it from Windows Settings. To do so, press Win+I to open Settings and click on Devices.
Then, with Bluetooth & other devices selected in the left panel, toggle on Bluetooth in the right.
Bluetooth will turn on now.
Method #3: Using Swift Pair
In Windows 10, the Swift Key feature lets you pair supported Bluetooth devices quickly. Whenever there is a Swift Pair supported Bluetooth device nearby, you will get a notification to put it in pairing mode and make it discoverable.
But before that, you’ll have to turn on Swift Pair and get notifications. To do so, go to the same Bluetooth & other devices settings page as shown before. Then scroll down to the Show notifications to connect using Swift Pair and click on the box before it.
Now, whenever a supported device is in range, you’ll get the “New Bluetooth device was found” notification.
Pair a Bluetooth device
Now that you know how to turn on your Bluetooth, it is time to see how you can pair a Bluetooth device. Most people tend to pair an audio device, such as a speaker or headphones, through Bluetooth so that is what we’ll be looking at here. But the process applies to other devices such as keyboards, mice, and other Bluetooth devices. Do make sure Bluetooth is turned on for this method.
To pair a Bluetooth device, go to Settings (Win+I) and click on Devices.
With Bluetooth & other devices selected in the left panel, click on Add Bluetooth or other device on the right.
Then in the “Add a device” window, click Bluetooth.
Now, from the list of available devices, click on the one that you want to pair.
Once the device is paired, click on Done.
And that’s it. Your device is now connected to your PC via Bluetooth.
Related: How to Delete Services in Windows 10
Pair a Bluetooth Printer or Scanner
Pairing a printer or scanner via Bluetooth is a cinch. First, make sure that the device is turned on and is discoverable. Then on your PC, go to Settings (press Win+I) and click on Devices.
Then in the left panel, select Printers & scanners. In the right panel, click on Add a printer or scanner.
Now, wait for it to search and find any nearby discoverable printers. Then select the printer/scanner that you want to connect to and click on Add device.
Use Bluetooth device for file transfer
Once your device is linked to your PC via Bluetooth, you can start using it straight away. For instance, if you’ve linked a pair of Bluetooth earphones, they will be used as a playback device. On the other hand, if you’ve linked a device that has the ability to send and receive files, such as a smartphone, then here’s how you can transfer files between it and your PC.
Go to the Bluetooth Settings page as shown before (Settings>Devices).
Then with Bluetooth selected in the left pane, scroll down on the right until you find the Send or receive files via Bluetooth option.
A new “Bluetooth File Transfer” window will open up. Click on Send files or Receive files, depending on what you want to do, and follow the prompts to successfully transfer files.
Fix: Bluetooth not turning on
Due to a variety of reasons, many users have had trouble with turning Bluetooth on. Sometimes, even the option to toggle ‘On’ Bluetooth is missing. This could be because of the Bluetooth services not working properly, or because of outdated drivers, but usually, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the problem. It is advised, then, that you try out all the fixes available to ensure that you’re not missing out on a potential solution. Here are some of the fixes that you may want to implement:
Check if your computer supports Bluetooth
Don’t roll your eyes. You’d be surprised how many people figure out only too late that they’re missing Bluetooth from their computer. This is just a simple check that anyone who’s trying to connect a Bluetooth device to their PC for the first time should do.
Press Win+X and click on Device Manager.
In Device Manager, check if there’s a Bluetooth section housing the Bluetooth adapters.
Sometimes, these Bluetooth adapters are roofed under “Network adapters” or “Other devices” so do make sure to check those sections too.
If you find one or more Bluetooth adapters then you can rest easy knowing that your PC supports Bluetooth, and you can move on to the fixes. However, if you don’t find any, your computer doesn’t support it. You can always get a Bluetooth receiver or a dongle to get around it.
Update Bluetooth drivers
So, first things first: look for any Bluetooth driver updates. To do so, simply go to the Bluetooth adapter in Device Manager and right-click on it. Select Update driver.
Now choose the “Search automatically for drivers” option to look for any available updates.
If there are any updates available, they will be installed automatically. If your PC already has updated Bluetooth drivers, move on to the next few fixes.
Re-enable Bluetooth software
Sometimes, disabling and then re-enabling the Bluetooth software is all it takes to get the Bluetooth running again. To do so, in “Device Manager”, expand the Bluetooth section, right-click on the adapter and select Disable device.
When prompted, click Yes.
Then, right-click on the adapter again and select Enable device.
Now, go back to the Bluetooth Settings page and check if you can turn on Bluetooth.
Ensure Bluetooth Support Service is on
The Bluetooth on your PC depends on background services to ensure proper functioning. If these services are disabled, you won’t be able to turn on Bluetooth on your PC. This is how you can check and ensure that the Bluetooth Support Service is working:
Press Win+R to bring up the RUN box, type in “services.msc” and press Enter.
This will open up the “Services” window. Now, look for Bluetooth support service, right-click on it and click Properties.
Under the “General” tab, click on the “Startup type” drop-down menu and select Automatic. Then click OK.
Do the same for the other Bluetooth services as well, like “Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service” and “Bluetooth User Support Service”.
Change Registry settings
You can even modify the Registry value settings to get the Bluetooth to start working again. Here’s how you can do so:
Press Start, type “regedit”, and click on Run as administrator.
Then, make your way to the following registry address:
Alternatively, you can copy the above, paste it in the Registry Editor’s address bar, and hit Enter.
Then on the right panel, double-click the Type string.
Change the “Value data” from 0 to 1. Click OK.
Now restart your computer for the changes to take effect and see if the Bluetooth is turning on.
Power Cycle your PC
If none of the above fixes help you overcome the Bluetooth issues, then it is highly likely that the problem lies with the hardware. But before you go out to get a Bluetooth adapter, there’s one last thing that you could try which has been known to work for a lot of users facing similar problems.
Completely disconnect the power from the machine and turn it off by holding down the power button for 30 seconds. Forcing the PC to reset this way can reinitialize its configuration parameters. This can solve a bunch of problems, including issues with the Bluetooth.
We hope you are now able to turn on Bluetooth on your system, pair your devices, and transfer files. If you encounter problems with it, try out all the fixes one after another and see if the issue is resolved.