How to Set Up and Manage Bluetooth Devices in Windows

Featured image representing how to enable and turn on Bluetooth in Windows. (Source: Pexels).

Many PC users have swapped to Bluetooth mice and keyboards, not to mention wireless Bluetooth headsets. Luckily, Windows supports the latest Bluetooth 5.4 technology, making it easier than ever to enable Bluetooth in Windows. If you’re trying to figure out how to manage Bluetooth devices on your Windows PC, this tutorial walks you through everything.

How to Turn Bluetooth on in Windows

The following methods show how to turn on Bluetooth on your Windows computer.

The quickest way in Windows 11 is to go to Settings -> Bluetooth & devices, and turn the Bluetooth slider on. Windows 10 users should do the same, but the path is a bit different for them: Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth & other devices.

Bluetooth toggle is turned on in Windows to make the device discoverable. (For Windows 11).

Alternatively, there may already be a little Bluetooth Devices icon in your notification area in the bottom-right corner of your desktop. This is a quick access menu to set up and manage all Bluetooth activities on a Windows device.

Note: for those using a Microsoft Surface, Surface Pro X or similar device, the Bluetooth button will be on the keyboard itself.

Bluetooth icon on System Tray.

If the Bluetooth Devices icon is not visible, turn it on manually. From Bluetooth & devices in Windows 11, go to View more devices -> More Bluetooth Settings. Under Options in the pop-up, check the box for Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area.

Windows 10 users need to check the same box under Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth & other devices -> More Bluetooth options.

Show Bluetooth icon in notifications area. Turn on the signal.

Another way to enable Bluetooth on your device is to open the Windows Action Center by pressing Win + A and clicking the Bluetooth icon. If it shows Not connected, clicking it once will establish a successful pairing with any other Bluetooth device.

Bluetooth icon visible near System Tray.

Tip: you can do many things once you turn on Bluetooth in Windows. Along with helping you connect with Bluetooth-compatible peripherals, use Bluetooth in Windows to connect a laptop screen as an external monitor. Also use the Nearby Sharing option in Windows.

How to Add a Bluetooth Device in Windows

Enabling Bluetooth in Windows is a cinch once you learn the many ways to add various Bluetooth devices to your Windows computer.

1. Using “Bluetooth & Devices” Menu

To add a Bluetooth device, switch on its scanning/pairing mode. The procedure to do this varies between devices. Generally, it involves holding down a button on the device for several seconds before its lights start flashing, or it tells you it’s “pairing.”

Once your target device is in pairing mode, go to the Bluetooth & devices -> Devices page in Windows 11, then click Add device.

Windows 10 users can access a very similar option, Add Bluetooth or other devices, on the Bluetooth & other devices page.

Add a Bluetooth device in the network.

You can also add a Bluetooth device directly by right-clicking the Bluetooth icon near the System tray and selecting Add a Bluetooth Device.

Add Bluetooth devices from the System tray Bluetooth icon.

There are three types of device categories that can be added via the pop-up screen:

  • The Bluetooth category includes mice, keyboards, pens, audio devices, controllers, and more. This is the option you should select for mice, keyboards, speakers, smartphones and peripherals.
  • Wireless display or dock is the second category. Choose this if you are using a wireless Bluetooth TV display or monitor.
  • Everything else is the third category. This allows you to select Xbox controllers, DLNA, and other devices.

After you select one of the categories, nearby Bluetooth devices are visible on the Add a device window. Click the device you want to pair.

Add a selected device to Bluetooth network.

Windows may or may not ask you for the device’s PIN. If it’s required, first click Pair/Yes on the peripheral Bluetooth device that you want to pair. Simultaneously, click Connect on your Windows device.

You will see that it’s connected, along with a Your device is ready to go status. Click Done to finalize the device addition.

Add a Bluetooth device in Windows by matching PIN.

All your recently paired Bluetooth devices will be visible on the Bluetooth & devices page in Windows 11 and Bluetooth & other devices page in Windows 10.

If you experience a “We didn’t get any response from the device” error, enable the Bluetooth device in pairing mode once again.

2. Using the Bluetooth Device Wizard

Windows offers a Run command through Win + R, called “devicepairingwizard,” to enable pairing with other Bluetooth devices. Enter the text, and it will open a window as shown below.

Click the device you want to add to your Windows Bluetooth network.

Device Pairing Wizard to select device to connect.

Tip: learn what to do when the Bluetooth on your non-Windows device just won’t connect.

3. Using Swift Pair

You might own a Bluetooth device that is extremely compatible with your Windows laptop or PC, due to identical drivers. In such cases, you don’t need a PIN to establish Bluetooth pairing.

Instead, the pairing can be directly achieved by enabling the Show notifications to connect using Swift Pair option from the Bluetooth & devices/Bluetooth & other devices page.

Likewise, if you have a USB Bluetooth dongle, it should be detected by Windows and installed automatically.

Connect Bluetooth using Swift pair setting.

FYI: are you experiencing Bluetooth errors due to a metered network connection? We have a few solutions for you.

How to Remove a Bluetooth Device From Windows

Occasionally, it becomes necessary to remove a Bluetooth device from your Windows computer. This could be because the device is no longer needed, or it’s not working properly.

To remove a Bluetooth device in Windows 11, go to the target device from Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> Devices, and click a three-dot menu to Remove device. In Windows 10, go to Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth & other devices, and click on the device to select Remove device.

Remove device on a Bluetooth devices network.

You can also use the Windows Device Manager to remove individual connected Bluetooth devices. Using the Run command, Win + R, enter devmgmt.msc.

Once the Device Manager is open, right-click on any item under the Bluetooth menu, and click uninstall device.

Uninstall Bluetooth device from Windows Device Manager.

Tip: it’s interesting to note that one of the simplest and most reliable methods to resolve any Bluetooth issue in Windows is to remove the device, then re-add it. Given that Bluetooth problems are frequently encountered in Windows, you may want to check into a built-in troubleshooter for advanced fixes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t my Bluetooth device discover my Windows PC?

If your Bluetooth device is unable to discover a Windows laptop or PC, ensure that it is at a close distance from the machine. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> More Bluetooth settings -> Options, and select Allow Bluetooth devices to find this PC. Also, turn the option on for Alert me when a new Bluetooth device wants to connect.

Why is there no Bluetooth on my Windows?

Some driver issues need to be fixed before you can manage Bluetooth devices. Windows lets you fix those missing drivers by reinstalling them from Device Manager or More Bluetooth Settings under Bluetooth & devices.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

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Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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