How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Issues on Windows

Generally, Bluetooth gives you the freedom to move without a tether, however, it is not always the most reliable way to use wireless devices. In case you are having trouble with Bluetooth on your Windows machine, here’s how to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Issues on Windows.

Basic Bluetooth Troubleshooting Steps to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Issues on Windows

While many of these steps might seem quite obvious, they will fix many of the most common Bluetooth issues on Windows.

1. Check That Bluetooth Is Turned On

Begin by making sure Bluetooth is actually enabled on your Windows PC. Simply because the symbol is in the taskbar doesn’t mean your Bluetooth radio is actually turned on.

In order to check it, tap on the Windows notification icon on your taskbar in the bottom-right corner of your screen. In case you don’t see a “Bluetooth” tile then, tap on the “Expand” button. If the “Bluetooth” tile is greyed-out then, your Bluetooth radio is turned off.

Now tap on it to turn it back on—the tile will turn blue to show the change.

You can also go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices and toggle the “Bluetooth” switch until it turns blue.

2. Restart Your Bluetooth Radio

In case your Bluetooth is enabled then, switching it off and on again might resolve some underlying issues of which you’re unaware.

In order to do this, tap on the notification icon in your Windows taskbar to access your quick settings. Then tap on the “Bluetooth” tile to turn it off. Once it goes grey, tap on it again to turn it back on.

When the tile turns blue, your Bluetooth radio is back on and is ready to use.

3. Check the Battery

In case you aren’t keeping track of the battery level on your Bluetooth device then, you might not even be aware when it runs out of power.

Before you try a bit more serious solution, you might want to replace the batteries in your Bluetooth device or charge it, and then try it again.

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4. Restart Your PC

The best fixes are sometimes are the easiest one, and if you haven’t tried it already then, give your PC a quick restart.

When you reboot your PC, you simply wipe the slate clean and clear out any idle processes or memory leaks. It’s not a miracle fix, however, it can rectify some issues with the hardware, so give it a go.

5. Check Bluetooth Interference and Device Distance

Bluetooth devices communicate wirelessly through radio waves. Just like a Wi-Fi network, interference can also affect Bluetooth connections. Other radio signals, physical obstacles such as thick walls and devices like microwaves can all block or degrade a Bluetooth connection.

Just take a moment to survey the area. How far away is your Bluetooth device from your PC? The bigger the is the distance, the weaker is the signal.

Now move your device closer to your PC and see if it impacts the Bluetooth connectivity. In case not, try if possible to use your Bluetooth device in another location. You can also use any third-party apps, such as the Bennett Bluetooth Monitor, to check your Bluetooth’s signal strength.

If the problem does not solve, interference might not be the problem. However, there are some other potential fixes.

6. Install or Update Bluetooth Device Drivers

Windows 10 automatically installs drivers for devices that connect to it, however only when those drivers are available on your PC or through Windows Update. In most of the cases, Bluetooth devices especially keyboards and mouse should work fine right out of the box.

In case Windows can’t find the correct drivers for your Bluetooth device then, it won’t work. If this happens then check on the device manufacturer’s website to see if it offers a driver for your device. If it is then, download and install it, and that should resolve the problem.

This also applies to the Bluetooth radio. In case the drivers for your Bluetooth chipset aren’t installed automatically then, Bluetooth won’t work on your PC.

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Simply visit the PC manufacturer’s website or, if you built the PC yourself, check the motherboard manufacturer’s website for any supported drivers.

You might also find that a new Windows update may have impacted your device, requiring updated drivers. In most of the cases, Windows will look for and install updated drivers automatically. If it doesn’t then simply visit the device manufacturer’s website and install the latest drivers.

To see whether your Bluetooth device is installed, you have to check the Windows Device Manager. In order to do this, just right-click the Windows Start button and tap on “Device Manager.”

In case your Bluetooth device is recognized then, it appears under the category relevant to its purpose. For example, a Bluetooth radio would be under the “Bluetooth” category. If the device isn’t recognized then, it will be listed under the “Other Devices” category.

When you find it, right-click the device, and then tap on the “Update Driver” to search for a new driver.

Next tap on “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software” if you want to search for a driver automatically.

In case you downloaded the driver from the manufacturer’s website then, tap on “Browse My Computer for Driver Software” and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you clicked “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software,” Windows will tell you if it thinks you already have the best driver for your device or not. However, you can always search for Windows Update for alternatives.

To do so, simply tap on “Search for Updated Drivers on Windows Update” to proceed.

This will open Windows Update in Settings. Tap on “Check for Updates” to begin a search.

When or if Windows Update finds an updated driver for your device then, it will download and install it. When that process is complete, simply restart your PC, and then try your Bluetooth device again.

7. Remove and Re-Pair Your Bluetooth Device

Sometimes, removing the Bluetooth device from your PC may resolve connection issues. You can then pair again the device with your PC.

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To start this process, first, open the Bluetooth settings in Windows. If the Bluetooth icon is visible in the Windows taskbar then, right-click it, and then select “Open Settings.”

In case you don’t see the Bluetooth icon then, right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.” From there, tap on Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices to access your Bluetooth settings.

Your known Bluetooth devices list will be there. Just select your device, tap on “Remove Device,” and then click “Yes” to confirm. This removes the device from your PC. When the process completes, simply restart your PC.

After you log back in on your device then head back to the Bluetooth settings. Tap on “Add Bluetooth or Other Device” at the top. In the “Add a Device” window that appears, tap on “Bluetooth.”

Now, wait for your PC to detect the device, and then tap on it to connect. You usually need to type a PIN on one or both devices to allow them to pair.

8. Use the Windows 10 Troubleshooter

In case all else fails then, you can also try the Windows Troubleshooter on Windows 10 and see if it can resolve your Bluetooth issues. It will check your Bluetooth radio and device settings step-by-step, and identifies any issues.

If it detects an issue then, it will inform you, and either ask you whether you’d like to fix it or direct you on how you can fix the problem yourself.

To run Windows Troubleshooter simply right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”

Now, go to Update and Security > Troubleshoot > Bluetooth, and then tap on “Run the Troubleshooter.” Windows will automatically begin working through your Bluetooth status and configuration. In case it finds a problem then, it’ll direct you to fix it.

If the Troubleshooter can’t resolve the problem, you might want to contact the device manufacturer for further support and advice, as the problem might be with the hardware.

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