When Windows 10 was initially released, it was offered for free to those who wished to upgrade from the 8.1 and 7 versions. Of course, many were eager to experience the new operating system for free. After all, a fresh install of Windows 10 could cost them hundreds of dollars.

However, many users discovered that the upgrade was not as they had expected. Users were supposed to go through this new operating system with ease and simply watch it work. However, there were still issues that Microsoft did not anticipate, including the Bluetooth not finding headphones and other devices.

The same is, to some extent, true of the recent Windows 11 operating system. Several users who upgraded from earlier versions have had to contend with some bugs, including Bluetooth issues. As the new OS matures, such snags are becoming fewer and fewer. However, errors like Bluetooth not working continue to disrupt users. The recent upgrades from Microsoft have helped but the OS is still far from perfect.

For several users, the issue has necessitated going back to Windows 10. Others have tried multiple avenues to find a solution and just ended up using external Bluetooth devices. Which is to say that even on the brand-new Windows 10, the issue of a malfunctioning Bluetooth still rears its ugly head.

Specifically, many users who upgraded from the older OS to Windows 10 have found that the system can not recognize their Bluetooth devices. Don’t panic just yet because there are still some solutions you can try that do not involve reinstalling Windows entirely.

How to fix Bluetooth device not connecting?

Many people use Bluetooth technology on a daily basis. As for those users, they cannot go on through their daily tasks without using peripherals connected by Bluetooth. However, what if Bluetooth does not discover devices?

In some cases, the instructions for Windows 10 will differ with the instructions for Windows 11. In those situations, we will first provide the steps for Windows 10 and then explain how to do the same thing on Windows 11.

Before we discuss how to fix the Bluetooth not recognizing devices issue on Windows 10 and 11, it is best that we discuss scenarios related to the problem. This way, you will get a better understanding of how to deal with it.

  • Bluetooth not working on Windows 10/11 – Many users reported that they could not get Bluetooth to work on their computer. The best way to fix this is to reinstall the Bluetooth device and update its driver.
  • Bluetooth not recognizing or detecting devices on Windows 10/11 – If you encounter this issue, you should restart Bluetooth Support Service and check if that fixes the issue.
  • Bluetooth not finding headphones or keyboard – This issue can happen with different devices. To fix it, make sure that you are pairing the device properly with your computer.
  • Bluetooth not connecting – If Bluetooth does not seem to connect, the problem has probably something to do with your Wi-Fi. In some devices, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are contained in a single card. This can be resolved by temporarily disabling the Wi-Fi.
  • Bluetooth does not discover devices – After an upgrade to Windows 10, you will possibly encounter this issue. However, you will be able to resolve this by running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

Method 1: Try Adding the Bluetooth Device Again

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “control panel” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Click Hardware and Sound, then select Devices.
  4. Look for the malfunctioning device and remove it. Remove the malfunctioning device from your PC.
  5. Now, you have to click Add to bring back the device again.

On Windows 11:

  1. Hold down the Windows key and then press X on your keyboard to launch the Power User menu.
  2. Select Settings from the menu.
  3. When the Settings app opens, select Bluetooth & Devices on the left pane.
  4. You will find your malfunctioning device here.
  5. Click the three vertical dots on the problematic device and select Remove Device.
  6. Wait for a few seconds and then click Add Device.
  7. When the Add a Device window shows up, select Bluetooth.
  8. Make sure Bluetooth is active on the device and your PC. Your device should show up here. Finish the process to pair it with your PC.

Once you’ve performed those changes, check if the issue has been resolved.

Method 2: Reinstalling your Bluetooth device and updating the drivers

If your Bluetooth does not seem to discover your devices, then it is likely that the problem has something to do with your drivers. To fix this issue, we recommend reinstalling your Bluetooth drivers by following the steps below:

  1. Go to your taskbar, then right-click the Windows icon.
  2. From the list, select Device Manager.
  3. Look for the problematic device, then right-click it.
  4. Select Uninstall Device from the options.
  5. Once you see the confirmation dialog box, click Uninstall. Click Uninstall to proceed with uninstallation.
  6. Click the Scan for Hardware Changes icon. Your system should install the missing drivers automatically.

On Windows 11:

  1. Hit Win+X and select Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Bluetooth entry. Double-click the entry to expand it.
  3. Look for the faulty device here. Right-click the device and select Uninstall Device.
  4. The Uninstall Device warning pop-up box will show up. Click Uninstall to finish up.
  5. Click the Scan for Hardware Changes icon. Your system should install the missing drivers automatically.

Ideally, removing your Bluetooth device and reinstalling the drivers should resolve the issue. However, to ensure that you have the right drivers and to prevent other potential problems from happening, we recommend using the official drivers that the manufacturer provides. You can go to their website, then look for the latest drivers for your Bluetooth adapter. Make sure you find the one compatible with your system. Otherwise, you might cause instability issues because of installing the wrong drivers.

If you do not have the patience and tech skills to update your drivers manually, we recommend using Auslogics Driver Updater instead. Once you’ve installed and activated this tool, it will start scanning your computer, looking for corrupted, missing, and outdated drivers. Once the scan is complete, it will look for the latest, manufacturer-recommended drivers for your computer. The best part is, this program will take care of all your driver-related issues—not just the one which caused the Bluetooth problem. So, once the process is done, you can expect an improvement in your computer’s performance.

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Method 3: Running the hardware and devices troubleshooter

One of the great things about Windows 10 is it has built-in troubleshooters designed to repair common problems in the operating system. So, if you want to fix the Bluetooth not recognizing devices issue on Windows 10, it is advisable for you to use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. You can do that by following these instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Settings” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Select Update & Security.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then click Troubleshoot.
  5. Go to the right pane and scroll down until you find Hardware and Devices.
  6. Select it, then click the Run the Troubleshooter button. Click Run the troubleshooter.
  7. Let the tool identify the issue. Follow the on-screen instructions to fix the problem accordingly.

On Windows 11:

Unlike in Windows 10, troubleshooters in Windows 11 are a bit more streamlined. There are now specialist troubleshooting tools for individual devices like Bluetooth, audio and camera.

  1. Open Windows Settings. You can do this by selecting Settings from the Power User menu. Hit Win+X on your keyboard to open the menu.
  2. In the Settings app, navigate to System > Troubleshoot.
  3. Select Other Trouble-shooters.
  4. On the Other Trouble-shooters window, look for Bluetooth and click the Run button on its pane to launch the troubleshooter.
  5. The tool will attempt to identify the issue. Follow the on-screen instructions to solve the problem.

Once the process is complete, check if you can now connect your Bluetooth devices successfully.

Method 4: Restarting Bluetooth Support Service

The Bluetooth technology in your PC can only run properly with the appropriate services, including Bluetooth Support Service. So, if there are problems with this service, you might end up not being able to use your Bluetooth devices. Thankfully, you can restart this service to fix the issue. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Now, type “services.msc” (no quotes), then click OK or hit Enter.
  3. Double-click Bluetooth Support Service. Double-click Bluetooth Support Service.
  4. If you notice the service not running, simply click Start to launch it. On the other hand, if it is running, stop it, then start it again.
  5. Save the changes by clicking Apply and OK.

Once you’ve restarted this service, you should be able to get rid of the issue and start using your Bluetooth devices.

Method 5: Ensure that Your Devices are Properly Paired to your PC

It is possible that the problem lies with the pairing process. If you want your Bluetooth devices to be discovered, you should pair them properly. It is worth noting that the process varies from one device to another. However, most of them should have a Bluetooth pairing button. For some devices, a long press on the Power button would suffice. To learn how to pair your Bluetooth device properly, it is best to consult the manual and get the necessary instructions.

Fix this issue quickly

You can try using a safe and totally free tool developed by the Auslogics team of experts.

A few simple steps to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Download the tiny Auslogics TroubleShooter tool.
  2. Run the application (no installation is needed).
  3. The app will check for the issue mentioned in the article. When the scan is done, check that this is the issue you were looking to solve and click ‘Apply now’ to apply the recommended fix.
  4. You can use the app to troubleshoot other malfunctions for free by simply typing in a brief description of the issue your PC is experiencing. Or you can scan your PC for performance issues using the My Scanner tab.

Developed for Windows 10 (8, 7, Vista, XP). Please review EULA and Privacy Policy.

Method 6: Removing all Bluetooth Devices

In some cases, other Bluetooth devices can interfere with the pairing process. So, it is advisable for you to disconnect all the other devices, then pair only the ones you need. This may not be the best workaround for this problem, but some users tried it and claimed that it had fixed the issue.

Method 7: Try Using a Different USB Port for the Bluetooth Adapter

A lot of desktop computers do not support Bluetooth technology, and the only way to get this functionality is to use an adapter. However, not all the time does it work as expected. If this happens to you, you can try using a different port for your Bluetooth adapter. Some users claimed that after switching the adapter from USB 3.0 to USB 2.0, they had been able to resolve the issue completely.

Method 8: Disabling Wi-Fi

There are laptops that contain Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on a single card, which causes some issues. So, if you need to use your Bluetooth device, disable your Wi-Fi adapter temporarily. Some users claimed that they had been able to pair their Bluetooth devices successfully after doing this.

Do you have other ideas for fixing this issue?

Please do not hesitate to share them below!