How to fix Bluetooth connection problems on Windows 10

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

Windows 10 fix Bluetooth
Windows 10 fix Bluetooth

Bluetooth on Windows 10 allows you to quickly connect an extensive array of wireless devices to your computer (such as speakers, mice, and keyboards). However, while devices should automatically reconnect when they’re in range, Bluetooth isn’t perfect, and sometimes you will come across connectivity problems.

If you’re having issues connecting a Bluetooth device to your computer, there are many troubleshooting steps you can do on Windows 10.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to fix many of the connection problems with Bluetooth devices on Windows 10.

Fix Bluetooth missing in Settings

When the Bluetooth page is in the Settings app, it’s possible that something is wrong with the adapter driver or the device doesn’t include support for this kind of connectivity.

If there is support for Bluetooth, you can use Device Manager to see if the latest driver is available:

  1. Open Start.

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

  3. Expand the Bluetooth branch.

  4. Right-click the Bluetooth adapter and select the Update Driver Software option.

  5. Click the Search automatically for updated driver software option.

    Device Manager, update Bluetooth driver

If the operating 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

Sometimes Bluetooth may not appear in Device Manager if the driver isn’t compatible with the version of the operating system.

You can find out if it’s compatible using 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, USB\VID_{ID}&PID_{ID}), and select the Copy option.

    Bluetooth details, Hardware Ids

  9. Use your favorite search engine to research the hardware ID you copied to figure out the device name and manufacturer.

  10. Head over to the Bluetooth manufacturer’s support website, download, and install a compatible driver for Windows 10.

Sometimes, it could also happen that you’re having issues, you uninstall the Bluetooth driver, but after restarting your computer, Windows 10 won’t reinstall the driver automatically. Also, you’ll notice an “Unknown USB device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” entry under Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager.

Reinstall Bluetooth driver

To allow Windows 10 to reinstall the Bluetooth driver, 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 Yes to confirm.

  6. Restart your computer to complete the task.

Once your computer rebooted, open Device Manager again, and if you still don’t see Bluetooth listed, click the Scan for hardware changes button on the top-right. If the operating system still can’t detect the device, manually download and install the Bluetooth device driver from your manufacturer’s support website.

Fix Bluetooth after upgrading to Windows 10

In the case, you just updated to Windows 10, and your Bluetooth device is not working, it could be that the device uses a custom Bluetooth profile.

If this is the problem, you’ll need to remove and reconnect the Bluetooth device again to resolve the issue.

Wireless devices to work on Windows 10 must use one of the supported Bluetooth 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 figure out what profiles your Bluetooth device supports, you’ll need to check your manufacturer’s website for documentation.

Fix Bluetooth device connection when paired

When your device is paired, but it’s not working, you can use the following steps to fix the problem:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Bluetooth.

  4. Select the device. If the device is in use, it would show as Connected, otherwise, the status will show as Paired. In the case, the Bluetooth device isn’t working, you’ll need to remove it.

  5. Click the Remove device button.

    Remove Bluetooth device

  6. Click Yes to confirm to complete the task.

Once you complete the steps, you’ll need to connect your Bluetooth device again using these steps.

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

Fix Bluetooth when you can’t transfer files

If for some reason, you’re unable to send or receive files using Bluetooth, you can check a few things to fix this problem.

Double-check connection

The first thing you have to do is to make sure that the device is paired to your computer.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Bluetooth & other devices.

    Bluetooth device paired

While on the Bluetooth page your device should appear as Paired or Connected. If it’s not, you can use these steps to connect a Bluetooth peripheral.

Bluetooth OPP support

Windows 10 uses Bluetooth Object Push Profile (OPP) support to transfer files. If your peripheral doesn’t support Bluetooth OPP, file transfer won’t work. Use your manufacturer’s support website to find out if your peripheral supports Object Push Profile.

Bluetooth file transfer

Before you can transfer files, you must be in the “Waiting for connection” screen.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Bluetooth.

  4. Click the Send or receive files via Bluetooth link.

    Send or receive files via Bluetooth

  5. Click the option Send files or Receive files depending on what you’re trying to do.

    Bluetooth File Transfer wizard

  6. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the task.

Fix Bluetooth audio devices connection

When streaming audio to a Bluetooth speaker, you may hear low-quality and glitches in the audio, sometimes the reason is that you have the Bluetooth settings open, and it’s in discovery mode. You can try to fix this issue by closing the settings to prevent your computer from constantly be searching for new Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth doesn’t offer large data speeds, which means that if you’re listening to music, and trying to transfer files, you may encounter audio issues.

If the Bluetooth speaker is paired but not working, you could have configured a different audio device as default. To fix this issue, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Sound.

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

    Choose default Bluetooth speakers

Once you completed the steps sound should start playing on the speakers.

Fix Bluetooth using Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

If you’re still unable to fix Bluetooth connectivity due to a driver issue on Windows 10, you can use the “Hardware and Devices” troubleshooter to resolve this issue.

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on System and Security.

  3. Under Security and Maintenance, click the Troubleshoot common computer problems link.

    System and Security

  4. Click on Hardware and Sound.


  5. Click on Hardware and Devices to launch the troubleshooter.

    Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

  6. Click Next to run the troubleshooter.

    Hardware and Devices troubleshooter wizard

  7. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the task.

Once the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter process is completed your Bluetooth devices should pair correctly again.

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.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].