How to turn on Bluetooth in Windows

Most Windows PCs come with Bluetooth connectivity, and you can purchase a Bluetooth adapter if that’s not the case with yours. It’s great to have Bluetooth on your PC for connecting your mouse, keyboard, or speaker without the need for clunky and unsightly wires. 

To help you understand how to get Bluetooth working on your computer, we put together this helpful guide to walk you through the steps.

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 and click on the All settings button. Then, go to Devices and click on Bluetooth on the left-hand side.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 2: There, just toggle Bluetooth to the On position. Once you’ve turned Bluetooth on, you can click Add Bluetooth or other devices. Click on Bluetooth and Windows 10 will start searching for Bluetooth devices.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

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

Usually, once a Bluetooth adapter is installed and configured on a Windows 7 system, then it’s automatically turned on and ready to use. In some PCs, for example, 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 and access Hardware and Sound and then Devices and Printer to get started. Again, follow the instructions to pair your device.

Method 2: Click the Bluetooth button in the Action Center

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

On Windows 10, Bluetooth can be easily toggled on and off simply by opening the Action Center and clicking the Bluetooth button. The button is the one with the Bluetooth icon, along with the label “Not connected” if you’re not currently using a Bluetooth device or an indication of a primary device that is currently attached and in use. If the button is grayed out, then Bluetooth is turned off.

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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