Add a Bluetooth enabled device to your computer

There are many different types of Bluetooth enabled devices you can add to your computer, such as mobile phones, wireless headsets, and wireless mouse devices and keyboards.

Watch this video to learn how to add Bluetooth and other wireless or network devices to your computer (1:17)

Before you begin

Before you can add a Bluetooth enabled device to your computer, you must do two things to make sure your computer and the device are ready to connect:

  1. Add a Bluetooth adapter to your computer if it doesn't already have one. You can do this by plugging the adapter into a USB port.

    Some computers come with a built-in Bluetooth adapter, especially laptops. You might have to turn on the adapter, or use a switch on your laptop to turn it on if your laptop has one. This might not be called a Bluetooth switch. It might be called a wireless switch, or something similar. If you are unsure about how to turn on the Bluetooth adapter or whether your computer has a built-in Bluetooth adapter, check the manual for your computer or the manufacturer's website.

  2. Set up the Bluetooth enabled device so that your computer can find it.

    To do this, you must first:

    • Turn the device on.

    • Make it discoverable.

    When a Bluetooth enabled device is in discovery mode, it broadcasts a wireless signal that allows it to be detected by other devices or computers. This is sometimes called pairing mode. When most devices are discoverable, they are also in pairing mode, ready to be paired with your computer.

    To learn how to make a device discoverable, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website. Methods for making a device discoverable can vary widely from one type of device to the next. Some Bluetooth enabled devices are always in discovery mode. Others, such as most mobile phones, need to be placed in discovery mode by selecting discovery from a software menu or pressing a button on the device. Discovery buttons can be very small and hard to spot, often placed on the bottom of a mouse, keyboard, or similar device. The button may be labeled with the word "connect," or another similar term; a Bluetooth logo; or it may not be labeled at all.

Picture of the Add a device wizard
The Add a device wizard

To add a Bluetooth enabled device

Once you've verified that a Bluetooth adapter is installed on your computer, and the device you want to connect with is discoverable, you can add most Bluetooth enabled devices to your computer. Here's how:

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Click Add a device, and then follow the instructions.

  3. Click the Bluetooth enabled device you want to add to your computer, and then click Next. If you don't see the device you want to add, make sure the device is turned on and discoverable. If you just turned on the device, it may take Windows several seconds to detect it.

    Windows might ask you to enter a pairing code (sometimes called a PIN or passcode). Most Bluetooth enabled devices need to be paired with your computer before they can exchange information with each other. To do this, they must exchange protected pairing codes. This means that only the wireless devices you authorize can connect with your computer.

Note

To add a Bluetooth enabled printer

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Click Add a printer, and then follow the instructions.

Note

  • 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.