How to turn on Bluetooth on Windows 10

Bluetooth makes pairing your Windows 10 computer to external devices easy, things like headphones, speakers, or keyboards.

Bluetooth is a popular standard for point-to-point short-distance wireless communication for devices like mobile phones, speakers, headphones, keyboards, and more. This is because it's energy-efficient, offers minimal interference, and is cost-effective. In addition, it’s relatively easy for users to manage. Let’s learn how to activate the feature on Windows 10.

How do I turn Bluetooth on Windows 10?

Speak to Cortana

Cortana is a virtual assistant that can help you with many tasks, including activating and deactivating Bluetooth in Windows 10. You can activate Cortana and say: “Cortana, open Bluetooth settings.” Alternatively, ask this AI (artificial intelligence) by Microsoft to “enable," "start," or “activate Bluetooth.” Meanwhile, deactivating Bluetooth through Cortana is as easy as saying “deactivate Bluetooth.”

Use the Bluetooth key

Some keyboards have a dedicated Bluetooth key, usually near the top, close to the F keys. This key can either be activated directly or with the Fn key. Tap your keyboard’s Bluetooth key to turn on or turn off Bluetooth.

Try the Action Center

Find the Action Center icon at the bottom right of your screen. Click the icon to see a grid of buttons, including Bluetooth. Clicking this button will turn on Bluetooth. For a faster way to visit Action Center, press hit Win+A on your keyboard.

Visit Windows Settings

There are several ways to go to Windows Settings. You can type settings in the search bar and click the Settings app, or just hit Win+I. Here, click Devices and then click Bluetooth & other devices. Now, turn on the Bluetooth switch to activate it.

Why can’t I turn on my Bluetooth on Windows 10?

Before you try to turn on Bluetooth on your operating system, you must ensure that your computer has the technology. You can look up your device list in Windows 10’s Device Manager to see if you have Bluetooth. You can also check the specs sheet of your laptop or your desktop’s motherboard for clues. Your laptop probably has Bluetooth if you see the icon on your keyboard. Try these tips if you can’t seem to activate Bluetooth despite your computer having the technology:

  • Look for Bluetooth in Device Manager and update the drivers.
  • Visit Windows Update and download and install the latest updates for your system.
  • If nothing works, uninstall Bluetooth from the Device Manager. Windows will try to reinstall the driver after you restart the computer. If it doesn’t, click Action and then Scan for hardware changes in the Device Manager.

You can also use the Windows 10 troubleshooter. Type “troubleshoot” in the search bar to find the Troubleshoot app. Under Find and fix other problems, pick Bluetooth.

Why is there no button to turn on Bluetooth?

If you mean why is there no Bluetooth button your keyboard, not every keyboard has one. And if your Bluetooth button is missing from your Action Center, you may be able to add it manually. Go to the Settings app (hit the Win+I keys) and find Notifications & actions. Click Edit your quick actions and look for the Bluetooth option.

Why doesn’t my PC have Bluetooth?

While most modern laptops have Bluetooth, desktop PCs with basic motherboards often lack the technology. But you can always get a Bluetooth adapter for your PC. These tiny devices are straightforward to use and plug into a computer's USB port.

Why can't I connect my Bluetooth headphones to my laptop?

Remember, to connect any Bluetooth device to Windows, you must activate the technology on both devices. For example, you must turn on Bluetooth on your headphones and your laptop to give them a chance to connect (your headphones usually need to be in pairing mode the first time you do this). On Windows 10, you may have to pair your Bluetooth device with your operating system manually: 

  1. Turn on Bluetooth on Windows and your device.
  2. Type Settings in the search bar and open the Settings app.
  3. Click Devices and then click Bluetooth & other devices.
  4. Use the Add Bluetooth or other device option to pair a device with your computer.

Should I turn Bluetooth off?

It’s good practice to keep Bluetooth off unless you need to use it immediately. While the technology is energy-efficient, it can still drain your laptop’s battery. Additionally, Bluetooth is vulnerable to different types of cybersecurity attacks. For example, a Bluetooth vulnerability can be exploited by hackers for man-in-the-middle-attacks to threaten your security and privacy. For more information, you can also read about the BrakTooth Bluetooth vulnerabilities.

The biggest silver lining about Bluetooth vulnerabilities is that threat actors usually have to be in close proximity to exploit them. So, yes, deactivate your laptop's Bluetooth when you're on the go to keep threat actors at the mall, park, or public transport from attacking your computer. And keep a proactive antivirus for Windows up to date to protect your device and your data in the event someone does try to drop malware on your system. 

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