How to turn on Bluetooth in Windows

When you first bought your Windows PC, you were likely excited about its ability to connect to Bluetooth. But you still haven’t quite figured out how to activate the feature so that you can pair your mouse, keyword, speaker, or other Bluetooth-capable devices with your computer.

That problem stops now. To help you out, we’ll show you how to turn on Bluetooth using different methods, and we’ll guide you through the process of pairing your Bluetooth device with your PC.

Method 1: Windows settings

Before you can start using a Bluetooth device, you’ll need to get things configured first. That means taking a trip to Windows settings, which means the Control Panel on Windows 7 and the Settings app on Windows 10.

Windows 10

Step 1: On Windows 10, you’ll want to open the Action Center (it looks like a comment bubble on the right end of the Windows 10 taskbar) and click on the All Settings button. Then, select Devices and click on Bluetooth & Other Devices on the left-hand side.

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Step 2: Within the Settings menu’s Bluetooth section, toggle Bluetooth to the On position. Once you’ve turned Bluetooth on, you can click Add Bluetooth Or Other Device. After the Add A Device window pops up, click on Bluetooth, and Windows 10 will start searching for Bluetooth devices.

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Step 3: Assuming you kicked off your Bluetooth device’s pairing mode, you’ll see it show up in the list of available devices. Select it, and then continue as instructed. Once you’ve connected the device, it will show up in the list of connected peripherals.

Windows 7

Note: Windows 7 is considered “end of life” (EOL) and no longer receives Microsoft’s critical security updates. That makes it dangerous to use, as malware could infect your machine without you knowing.

Usually, once a Bluetooth adapter is installed and configured on a Windows 7 system, it’s automatically turned on and ready to use. In some PCs — like a notebook with built-in Bluetooth — there might be a keyboard shortcut that will turn Bluetooth on or off, or an icon might be present in the system tray that will perform the same function.

Also, different PCs and Bluetooth adapters may come with utilities for connecting to a Bluetooth device. Generally, however, you can usually click the Start button and then select Devices and Printers. Select Add A Device, choose the one you want, and click Next. Alternatively, you can open the Control Panel, access Hardware, and Sound, and then access Devices And Printer to get started. Again, follow the instructions to pair your device.

Method 2: Click the Bluetooth button in the Action Center

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On Windows 10, you can toggle Bluetooth on and off just by opening the Action Center and clicking the Bluetooth button. The button is the one with the Bluetooth icon. If the button appears grayed out, then Bluetooth is turned off. If turned on, it may display a “not connected” label if you’re not currently using a Bluetooth device, or there will be an indication of a device that is attached and in use.

Once you’ve paired a Bluetooth device with your Windows PC, it should automatically connect whenever both are turned on and within range. As mentioned earlier, when you’re not actively using Bluetooth, you can toggle it off to save some battery life and remove any potential avenue for attack by nefarious parties.

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