The majority of modern electronic devices now include wireless communication capabilities, allowing data and information to be transferred without the use of additional hardware. One such technology that enables short-range wireless connectivity between devices, is Bluetooth.
However, most desktops and some laptops still do not have Bluetooth functionality built into them. To solve this problem, hardware add-ons such as dongles and network cards with Bluetooth capabilities are needed.
With Bluetooth, your PC can connect to a wide range of devices and become much more versatile in terms of connectivity. Linking devices like your smartphone, printers and wireless speakers become much simpler by adding Bluetooth functionality.
How to Add Bluetooth to Your Computer
In this section, we’ll be looking at the methods to add Bluetooth hardware functionality to your PC if it does not have Bluetooth built in. We’ll also discuss the methods to set up the Bluetooth device once you have installed it on your PC.
From a Bluetooth Adapter
If your PC does not have Bluetooth built into it, you can add a Bluetooth adapter/dongle to enable connectivity. This method is also useful if the expansion slots in your motherboard have been occupied by other components.
To set-up a Bluetooth adapter/dongle in your computer:
- Connect the Bluetooth dongle in a USB slot. It should be detected by the operating system automatically and become fully functional
- If the Bluetooth adapter/dongle is not detected by the operating system or if it does not connect to a device, you will need to install the necessary drivers for it to operate.
- To install drivers, check if your product has a driver CD or an instruction manual provided with it
- Follow the instructions to install the drivers and try to connect a device after the installation process completes.
From a Network Card
Another method to add Bluetooth in your PC, is by adding a network card that has Bluetooth capabilities in it. So, if your goal is to add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality in your PC, a wireless network card is the most appropriate solution. To setup a Bluetooth enabled network card in your device:
- Power off your PC and open the case to gain access to its internal components
- Depending on the type of the connector your network card has, insert it in the proper slot (PCI, PCIe etc.). Do not force the components in the slots.
- Screw in the brackets to ensure a secure fit
- If the network card’s Bluetooth component requires a USB connection to function. Connect the cable from the network card to an empty USB header on the motherboard
- Make sure that the headers and the connectors line up properly and are compatible.
- Now, put the case back on and power on your device
- Normally, Windows automatically installs the necessary drivers for the device to function. However, if the network card is not detected, you may need to manually install the drivers
- After installing the drivers, restart your PC and try to connect a Bluetooth device to check for functionality
How to Pair Bluetooth Devices to Your PC?
After having Bluetooth functionality added in your PC, you may have noticed that your Bluetooth device does not automatically connect with the PC. To connect a device, use the following methods.
To enable Bluetooth and connect your device from the Settings menu,
- Press the Windows key + I to open Settings
- Click the Bluetooth & devices tab and select Devices
- In the Devices menu, click on the Add device button to pair a device
- On the new window, select the device you want to connect and wait until the device is detected by your PC
- Make sure that the device connecting to your PC has Bluetooth enabled and is discoverable
- After the device shows on your PC, click on it to start the pairing process
From Control Panel
You can also pair a Bluetooth device with your PC from the Control Panel. To do this:
- Firstly, enable pairing mode of the device you want to connect with your PC
- Now, in the PC, open Run and type control to open the Control Panel
- In the control panel, click on Hardware and Sound
- Now, click on Add a device located under the Devices and Printers section and wait until Windows detects your device
- Select the device and click on Next
- Your PC may install some necessary files during setup
- Close after your device is paired and check for functionality
What to Do if Bluetooth is Disabled?
If the Bluetooth service is disabled in your device, simply re-enabling them from the action center or disabling airplane mode can restore the functionality.
If these methods are ineffective, the Bluetooth might be disabled from the device manager and/or the Windows Services because of privacy/security reasons. To restore the Bluetooth in your device, you will need to go to the Device manager and/or Windows Services to re-enable them.
Also, enabling the Bluetooth service from the BIOS if it is disabled from there will restore the Bluetooth functionality and allow devices to connect to your PC again.
What to Do if Bluetooth is Not Working?
If the Bluetooth in your device is not working, turning the Bluetooth off and back on or restarting your device may help solve the issue. Unpairing and again re-pairing your device might also help if the Bluetooth is not working.
Additionally, sometimes the Bluetooth in your device may not be working because of corrupt system drivers. In such cases, uninstalling and then reinstalling the drivers may restore the Bluetooth functionality of your PC.