How to Turn On or Fix Bluetooth in Windows 10

Whether you want to use a pair of Bluetooth headphones, wirelessly connect to your phone, or transfer files, you need to know how to access Bluetooth on your PC in addition to on your phone.

Turning Bluetooth on in Windows 10 is very simple and easy. However, some errors can occur, making things problematic. Here’s how to turn on or fix Bluetooth in Windows 10.

How to Activate Bluetooth in Windows 10

If your PC has Bluetooth functionality, Windows 10 should include the feature automatically. If you have the feature and it’s not showing, here’s how to activate it.

Option #1: Turning Bluetooth On through Settings

  1. Click the Windows start icon or press the Windows logo key to open the Start Menu, and then select Settings.
  2. In the Settings menu, select “Devices,” and then click on “Bluetooth & other devices.”
  3. Switch the Bluetooth option to “On.” Your Windows 10 Bluetooth feature should now be active.

Option #2: Turning Bluetooth On using Keyboard

  1. Look for the Bluetooth icon on your keyboard and click it to turn Bluetooth On.
  2. If the icon appears in the Function Keys at the top, you may have to press and hold the “Fn” button first, followed by the Bluetooth key. This scenario depends on your PC’s current keyboard configuration.

Pairing with Devices

The Bluetooth feature doesn’t make any changes to your computer, other than chipping away at your battery. However, it gives you the option to connect to a variety of Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Connecting your computer to a Bluetooth device is as simple as finding it on the list in the “Bluetooth & other devices” menu. Of course, the device needs set to pairing mode and must be discoverable. You can find the details on how to pair any Bluetooth device in its instruction manual.

To connect to a discovered device, click on it from the list of discovered Bluetooth devices, and then select “Connect.” The link should get established quickly.

Troubleshooting

Unfortunately, the Bluetooth function on Windows 10 computers has been known to act up. Although the previously mentioned methods are official and the most straightforward way to turn Bluetooth on, sometimes they simply don’t work.

The quickest course of action to turn Bluetooth on is restarting your device. After your PC reboots, try turning the Bluetooth feature on again.

Does Your Computer Support Bluetooth?

windows 10 how to turn on bluetooth

If nothing has worked so far, try using Device Manager to see if Bluetooth is listed. Bear in mind that your PC may support Bluetooth and still not show up in the devices list. That is because there is no Bluetooth driver installed when the device is external. Internal devices should get detected, whether properly installed or not.

  1. Click on the Cortana search bar and type “device manager” and select it from the list.
  2. Look for Bluetooth entries in the Device Manager. If you see them, then the PC supports Bluetooth, but it may not be working correctly. Bluetooth locations in Device Manager include Bluetooth, Network adapters, and Other devices. If the item and driver are not listed, move on to step 3.
  3. As previously mentioned, your PC can still support Bluetooth and not show it in Device Manager. In that case, you need to install the appropriate driver.

If you find a Bluetooth device within Device Manager and you still can’t turn it on, the issue lies elsewhere.

Update the Bluetooth Driver

Whenever a feature on a Windows computer doesn’t work, you should always look for updates. Like most components, Bluetooth adapters need software to work, and Windows 10 updates have been known to “break” device drivers and functionality.

Drivers are updated either manually or automatically. The manual method might be a bit tedious, but it will do the job. Just find out which Bluetooth device your computer is using (from the Device Manager). Then, google the name of the device and download the drivers from the official website.

Alternatively, you can download a third-party program that automatically downloads any missing drivers to your computer. These services are often paid options, however.

After you’re done installing the drivers (one way or another), restart your computer and try turning the Bluetooth on again.

Re-Enabling the Bluetooth Software

Sometimes, errors occur, and computer components stop working. This situation tends to happen with Bluetooth components, and the best course of action here is to give them a “wakeup call.” To do this, go to Device Manager and find your Bluetooth component. Right-click it and select Disable device. Don’t worry, as this won’t mess up the device or make it disappear from the list. Now, right-click the entry again and select Enable device. Restart your computer and try turning on Bluetooth again.

Bluetooth Support Service

Now, we’re going to have to delve a bit deeper. If none of the above solutions worked, it’s time to bring out the big guns, known as the “Run” feature.

  1. Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press “R” to bring up the Run window.
  2. Type “services.msc” without quotes in the “Open:” box, and then press “Enter” or click “OK.”
  3. A new window will appear with a list of entries. Find the Bluetooth Support Service entry, right-click it, and select “Start.” If you can’t click the Start option, choose “Restart.”
  4. Unless you want to do this each time you start your computer, you’re not done yet. In the Services window, click the Bluetooth Support Service again. Under the General tab, navigate to “Startup type” Click the drop-down box, select “Automatic,” and then select “Apply,” then click “OK” if needed.

What Else Can Cause Bluetooth Failure?

Although one or more of the above methods generally solve Bluetooth problems in Windows 10, there’s a small chance that you’re still struggling to get Bluetooth to work. In this case, contacting the manufacturer or your retailer would be your best bet. If not, getting a USB Bluetooth adapter should help.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as forgetting to install or properly reattach the Bluetooth board/device when performing a laptop or desktop teardown, whether for cleaning or repairs. That scenario would cause Bluetooth to disappear from the Device Manager and make it not work.

Turning On Bluetooth

Bluetooth's system of profiles allows it to support a wide variety of hardware types

Bluetooth is a simple feature on Windows computers. At least usually, that’s the case. But there’s a whole lot that can go wrong with it, from hardware to software issues. Before doing anything else, check if your computer supports Bluetooth in the first place (many older ones don’t) and update the software. Most likely, at least one of the methods should work.

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