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How to fix Bluetooth connection problems on Windows 11

When Bluetooth isn't working correctly and devices can't reconnect, use these troubleshooting steps to fix the problem on Windows 10.

Windows 11 fix Bluetooth

On Windows 11, Bluetooth is a short-speed and short-range wireless technology that allows you to connect many peripherals (such as speakers, mice, and keyboards) to your laptop or desktop computer without the use of cables.

Although devices should automatically reconnect when you turn them on and are in range, Bluetooth isn’t a flawless technology, and many times, you will encounter connectivity problems.

Whatever the problem might be, you have many troubleshooting steps that can help you resolve the most common issues on Windows 11.

In this guide, you will learn the different ways to fix connection problems with Bluetooth on Windows 11.

Fix Bluetooth missing in Settings

If the Bluetooth settings are missing from the Settings app, the problem could be with the driver or the device does not support this wireless technology.

To check if the Bluetooth adapter has a driver update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click on Advanced options.

    Open Advanced options

  4. Under the “Additional options” section, click the Optional updates setting.

    Open Optional updates

  5. Click on Drivers.

  6. Select the Bluetooth driver update (if available).

    Windows 11 update Bluetooth driver

  7. Click the Download & install button.

If the system can’t find any new driver, you can visit your computer manufacturer’s website to download the latest driver and instructions to complete this task.

Fix Bluetooth missing in Device Manager

If the driver isn’t compatible with the version of Windows 11, sometimes the Bluetooth adapter may not appear in Device Manager.

To determine whether the adapter is compatible, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Expand the Other devices branch.

  4. Select the unknown device, right-click it, and select the Properties option.

  5. Click on the Details tab.

  6. Use the “Properties” drop-down menu and select the Hardware Ids option.

  7. Under the “Value” section, look for the hardware identification.

  8. Right-click the hardware identification (for example, USBVID_{ID}&PID_{ID}), and select the Copy option.

    Bluetooth hardware ids

  9. Use any search engine to research the hardware ID to figure out the device name and manufacturer.

  10. Open the Bluetooth manufacturer’s support website, download, and install a compatible driver for Windows 11.

If the device is having issues, and you uninstall the Bluetooth driver, it could also happen that after restarting the computer, the system won’t reinstall the driver automatically. You could also end up seeing an “Unknown USB device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” entry under Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager. If this is the case, you will have to reinstall the driver manually.

Reinstall Bluetooth driver

To reinstall the Bluetooth driver on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers branch.

  4. Right-click the “Unknown USB device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” entry and select the Uninstall option.

  5. Click the Yes button.

  6. Restart your computer.

Once the computer restarts, if you still don’t see Bluetooth listed in Device Manager, click the Scan for hardware changes button on the top-right. In the case that the system still can’t detect the device, you will need to download and install the Bluetooth device driver from the manufacturer’s support website.

Fix Bluetooth after upgrading to Windows 11

If you recently installed an update for Windows 11, and the Bluetooth device stops working, it could be that the device uses a custom Bluetooth profile.

In the case that is the problem, reconnect the Bluetooth device to resolve the issue.

On Windows 11, wireless devices to work must use one of the supported profiles:

  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP 1.2)
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP 1.3)
  • Bluetooth LE Generic Attribute (GATT) Client
  • Dial-up Networking Profile (DUN 1.1)
  • Device ID Profile (DI 1.3)
  • Hardcopy Cable Replacement Profile (HCRP 1.0)
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP 1.5)
  • Human Interface Device (HID 1.1)
  • HID over GATT Profile (HOGP 1.0)
  • Object Push Profile (OPP 1.1)
  • Personal Area Networking User Profile (PANU 1.0)
  • Serial Port Profile (SPP 1.2)

To determine the supported profiles for your Bluetooth device, you have to check your manufacturer’s website for documentation.

Fix Bluetooth device connection when paired

When the device is paired, but it’s not working, reconnecting it may resolve the problem on Windows 11.

To fix the Bluetooth connection for a paired device, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Devices tab.

    Open Bluetooth devices

  4. If the device in question shows up as Paired, but it’s not working, click the menu (three-dotted) button on the left and select the Remove device button.

    Remove Bluetooth device

  5. Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, connect your Bluetooth device again using these steps.

If the device doesn’t include a display but needs a PIN to pair, check the documentation to find out the default PIN. However, most of the time, the default PIN is just “0000” or “1234”.

Fix Bluetooth file transfer on Windows 11

If you cannot send or receive files using Bluetooth, you can check a few things to fix this problem.

Double-check connection

Confirm the device is paired to the computer with these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Devices tab.

    Open Bluetooth devices

  4. Confirm the device is paired to the computer.

    Confirm Bluetooth is paired

While on the page the device should appear as Paired or Connected. If the device is disconnected, use these steps to connect a Bluetooth peripheral. If the device appears as paired, but not connected, click the menu (three-dotted) button on the left and select the Connect option.

Bluetooth OPP support

If your peripheral doesn’t support Bluetooth Bluetooth Object Push Profile (OPP), file transfer won’t work on Windows 11. If you think that this is the issue, consult your manufacturer’s support website to determine if your peripheral supports OPP.

Bluetooth file transfer

On Windows 11, you have to be in the “Waiting for connection” screen before you can transfer files.

To open the Bluetooth File Transfer tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Devices tab.

    Open Bluetooth devices

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Send or receive files via Bluetooth option.

    Send and receive files via Bluetooth

  5. Click the Send files or Receive files option.

  6. Continue with the on-screen directions to transfer files over Bluetooth.

After you complete the steps, you should be able to transfer files to your computer.

Fix Bluetooth audio devices connection on Windows 11

If the Bluetooth speaker is in discovery mode, you probably will hear glitches and low-quality audio. One thing you could do to fix this issue is to close the Bluetooth settings to prevent your computer to keep searching for new devices.

Also, Bluetooth can’t carry a lot of data wirelessly, as such if you are doing multiple operations like transferring files and listening to music, you will come across audio issues.

In the case that you paired a pair of speakers, but they’re not working. It’s possible that they are not configured as the system’s default output devices.

To configure Bluetooth speakers as default on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Sound tab.

  4. Under the “Output” section, use the “Choose your output device” setting and select the speaker to use as default.

    Set default Bluetooth speakers

Once you complete the steps, you should start hearing sounds from the Bluetooth speakers.

Fix Bluetooth driver problems on Windows 11

If there’s a driver issue that is preventing Bluetooth from working correctly, you can use the Windows 11 troubleshooter feature to resolve the problem.

To fix Bluetooth driver problems on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Troubleshoot tab.

  4. Click on “Other troubleshooters” setting.

    Open Other troubleshooters

  5. Under the “Most frequent” section, click the Run button for the “Bluetooth” option.

    Run Bluetooth troubleshooter

Once you complete the steps, the troubleshooter will diagnose and apply common fixes to fix the Bluetooth device.

If your device supports Bluetooth connectivity, and you can’t connect an audio device to your computer, you can use the steps mentioned above to update the device driver, and you can also try removing the device and pairing it again.