Using passkeys for Bluetooth enabled devices

Here are answers to some common questions about using passkeys for Bluetooth enabled devices.

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What is a passkey?

A passkey (sometimes called a passcode) is a number that associates your computer with a Bluetooth enabled device. For security reasons, most Bluetooth enabled devices (with some exceptions, such as mice) require you to use a passkey. Using a passkey helps ensure that your computer is connecting to the device that you intended and not someone else's device that is nearby.

Pairing code is another term for a number that associates your computer with a Bluetooth enabled device. The terms passkey and pairing code are often used interchangeably.

What does "exchanging passkeys" mean?

Exchanging passkeys, also known as association or pairing, means getting a device to recognize your computer or another Bluetooth enabled device. With some devices, you do this by running the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard and typing in your passkey when prompted. Other devices require a different method. For more information, check the instructions that came with the device.

The purpose of the passkey exchange is for Windows to positively identify the device that you want to connect to.


  • Your Bluetooth device might be less secure if you use a short passkey. If you have a choice, use a longer passkey of up to 16 characters. Also, for security reasons, do not retype your passkey more often than necessary, particularly in public places where a hacker could be "eavesdropping" on your Bluetooth device.

Where do I get a passkey or pairing code?

If a passkey or pairing code is listed in the documentation for your device, use that one. If not, and if you have Bluetooth wireless technology installed on your computer, the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard can automatically generate one for you or you can create one of your own. To start the wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Bluetooth Devices.
  2. Click Add, and then follow the instructions.


  • Encryption features and a passkey can help to secure your data. However, these and other security measures can be compromised or fail and, if that happens, your data could be visible to or accessible by other devices or computers within range. Therefore, Bluetooth wireless technology should not be considered completely secure.