How to Turn On or Fix Bluetooth in Windows 10

Whether you want to use a pair of Bluetooth headphones, transfer files, or wirelessly connect to your phone, 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 Turn On or Fix Bluetooth in Windows 10

How to Activate Bluetooth in Windows 10

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

Option #1: Turning Bluetooth On through Settings

  1. Click the Windows “Start Menu” icon, 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 consuming your battery. However, it gives you the option to connect to various Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as headphones, earbuds, PCs, smartphones, and fitness watches.

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—well, almost.

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

Troubleshooting

Unfortunately, the Bluetooth function on Windows 10 computers is known to act up. Although the previously mentioned methods are official and are the most straightforward way to turn Bluetooth on, they sometimes don’t work. The quickest course of action 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. Take note that your PC may support Bluetooth functionality and still not show up in the devices list. That scenario occurs when there is no Bluetooth driver set up for the external adaptor or internal component. However, internal Bluetooth devices generally get detected, whether 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 “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, search 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, be careful if you choose third-party software. Some programs are more apt to install the wrong driver. Back up your system drivers (at the least) before using the software to update your system components.

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

Re-Enabling the Bluetooth Software

Sometimes, system errors occur that cause components to stop working correctly. This situation often happens with Bluetooth components, and the best course of action is to give the devices a “wakeup call.” Go to Device Manager and find your Bluetooth component. Right-click it and select Disable device. Now, right-click the entry again and select Enable device. Restart your computer and try turning on Bluetooth again.

If enabling and disabling fails to solve your Bluetooth problem, try uninstalling the driver instead. Sometimes, a fresh installation is all the device needs. Don’t worry, as this won’t mess up the device or make it disappear from the list unless you choose to delete the driver.

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 use the “Run” feature.

  1. Hold down the “Windows” key and press “R” to bring up the “Run” window.
  2. Type “services.msc” without quotes in the command box, and then press “Enter” or click “OK.”
  3. A new window will appear with a list of entries. Right-click on “Bluetooth Support Service” and select “Start.” If you can’t click the Start option, choose “Restart.”
  4. Unless you want to repeat the process above every time you start your computer, there’s one more step to take. In the “Services” window, click “Bluetooth Support Service” again. Navigate to “Startup type found in the “General” tab and select “Automatic.” Click “Apply” and then “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 adequately 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. However, that’s usually not the case. 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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