Connecting a Bluetooth Device

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 15, 2017)

There are a couple of preliminary steps to connecting a Bluetooth device to your computer. The first thing to do is to plug in the Bluetooth adapter to a USB port if your computer isn't already equipped with an adapter (many laptops have Bluetooth capability built in, but most desktop systems do not). Whatever the case, ensure that your Bluetooth adapter is turned on.

The next thing to do is to set up your peripheral (e.g., the Bluetooth headset, keyboard, mouse, printer, or whatever) so that it can be discovered by your computer. Devices differ, but typically you'll find an on/off switch, which you'll want to make sure is on, and the device may also have some way to indicate that it's in discovery mode (sometimes called pairing mode). You want to ensure your device is in discovery mode. When in this mode, the device is broadcasting a radio signal that allows it to be detected by your Bluetooth adapter.

Now that you have your adapter plugged in and turned on and you have your peripheral device turned on and in discovery mode, you can use Windows to add the device. To do this, go to Start | Devices and Printers. (In Windows 10 you can type "Devices & Printers" into the Cortana search box.) (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Adding a Bluetooth device.

Click on Add a Device, at the upper-left of the screen. This starts a wizard that looks for new devices, which your Bluetooth peripheral is. (Be sure it's within range of the adapter.) Click on the found device and click the Next button. At this point, Windows usually adds your peripheral to its list of known devices and you can begin using it.

There may be times when adding the peripheral is not totally automatic, and that is when the adapter and peripheral require a PIN or passcode (i.e., a pairing code) to be entered before the connection is established. The only way to determine if this is the case is to read the documentation that comes with your Bluetooth adapter and/or peripheral.

 This tip (13056) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Displaying Details about an Audio File

Audio files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these additional ...

Discover More

Xplorer2

If Windows Explorer or File Explorer leaves you wanting more from a file management utility, you might want to give Xplorer2 ...

Discover More

Using Robocopy to Copy Entire Directories

It's simple to use Robocopy to copy entire directories. Dealing with directories is what it does best! This tip shows you how ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Using Powercfg to Change the Active Power Scheme

You can easily change which power scheme is active by using the SetActive switch. This tip shows you how.

Discover More

Using Powercfg to Change the Name of a Power Scheme

The Powercfg utility allows you to control how power is used on your system. This tip shows you how to use the command-line ...

Discover More

Using Powercfg to Change a Setting in the Current Power Scheme

The Powercfg utility allows you to control how power is used on your system. This tip shows you how to use this command-line ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.