How to Set Up a Bluetooth Device on a PC

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Connecting Devices to PCs With Built-In Bluetooth Capabilities

Most modern laptops and computers come with built-in Bluetooth capabilities. Because of this, you can use all sorts of wireless speakers, headphones, fitness trackers, keyboards, trackpads and mice with your PC. To make a Bluetooth device work, you first have to make the wireless device discoverable and then pair it with your computer. The pairing process differs depending on what you are connecting to your PC. 

How to Connect a Bluetooth Keyboard or Mouse to your PC

To connect a wireless keyboard, mouse or similar device to your PC in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the keyboard, mouse or similar device to make it discoverable.
  2. On your PC, click the Start button and select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Turn on Bluetooth and select your device.
  4. Click Pair and follow any onscreen instructions.

How to Connect a Headset, Speaker or Other Audio Device

They way you make audio devices discoverable varies. Check the documentation that came with the device or at the manufacturer's website for specific instructions. Then:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth headset, speaker or other audio device and make it discoverable by following the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. On your PC's taskbar, select Action Center > Bluetooth to turn on Bluetooth on your PC if it isn't already on. 
  3. Select Connect  > device name and follow any additional instructions that appear to connect the device to your PC.

After a device is paired with your PC, it usually reconnects automatically whenever the two devices are in range of each other, assuming Bluetooth is turned on.

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Connecting Devices to PCs Without Built-In Bluetooth Capabilities

Laptops haven't always come Bluetooth-ready. Computers without built-in Bluetooth capabilities interact with Bluetooth wireless devices with the help of a small receiver that plugs into a USB port on the computer.

Some Bluetooth devices ship with their own receivers that you plug into the laptop, but many wireless devices don't come with their own receivers. To use these, you'll need to buy a Bluetooth receiver for your computer. Most electronics retailers carry this inexpensive item. Here's how to set one up in Windows 7:

  1. Insert the Bluetooth receiver into a USB port. 
  2. Click on the Bluetooth devices icon at the bottom of the screen. If the icon doesn't appear automatically, click on the upward-pointing arrow to reveal the Bluetooth symbol.
  3. Click Add a Device. The computer will search for any discoverable devices.
  4. Click the Connect or Pair button on the Bluetooth device (or follow the manufacturer's instructions to make it discoverable). The wireless device often has an indicator light that flashes when it is ready to be paired to the PC.
  5. Select the name of the Bluetooth device in the computer's open Add a Device screen and click Next.
  6. Follow any onscreen instructions to complete the pairing of the device to the computer.