What would the internet of things be without Bluetooth? Connect wireless speakers, headphones, mice and keyboards to your computer or laptop, listen to music from your smartphone through your car speakers, or pair your iPhone with your sports monitoring device? The radio frequency standard allows all these actions and many more to be carried out in a compact and energy efficient way . We explain how you can enjoy wireless data transmission with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS..
The radio frequency technique created in 1999 has been conceived by its inventors, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), as an industry standard . That is why the procedure for connecting two Bluetooth-enabled devices, called? Pairing ?, is always the same :
All you need to know about Bluetooth can be found in the IONOS Digital Guide.
To find out if your computer has a built-in interface for Bluetooth, check the Device Manager . You can access it from the search function of the operating system. In the list of existing hardware components, the point? Bluetooth? should appear between the entries? Network adapters? and? Print queues ?. If it does not appear and you are sure that the device has this radio frequency technology, you may first have to download the corresponding driver from the manufacturer's website and install it..
As a general rule, in desktop computers the Bluetooth function of the hardware is usually already activated; In laptops , however, no. The reason: Longer battery life is sought. You can change this setting very quickly and the procedure only varies minimally between Windows 10, 8, and 7.
If you want to connect a device with your computer for the first time , you must access Windows Settings:
You can disable the Bluetooth function in the same way. Even easier it works in the Windows Notification Area, which you can display by clicking the speech bubble symbol on the toolbar. Here, click on the famous Bluetooth logo to connect and disconnect the function as you need. To permanently disconnect a device from your computer, you must select it in? Settings? >? Bluetooth and other devices? and click? Remove device ?..
Many Windows laptops allow you to more conveniently turn the Bluetooth function on and off with a combination of keys, e.g. eg, [Fn] + [F8]. Some models even feature a special key with the unmistakable Bluetooth runic symbol.
If you want to activate or deactivate the Bluetooth function in Windows 8, use the so-called Charm Bar :
If your Bluetooth-enabled computer or Bluetooth USB adapter still works with Windows 7, proceed as follows:
If you are having trouble activating Bluetooth in Windows 10, 8 or 7, there may be different causes (see below):
The most common is that a Bluetooth driver for Windows 10, 8, or 7 is missing or out of date . In Windows 10 you can easily load it by going to? Start? >? Configuration? >? Update and security? >? Troubleshoot ? Here you can select the option? Bluetooth? in the section? Find and fix other problems? and click? Run the troubleshooter ?. Windows will then walk you through a process to check your hardware drivers and update them if necessary.
Alternatively, you can search for the drivers directly on the website of your computer or laptop manufacturer . In this case, remember to download updated drivers for both the Bluetooth function and the WLAN function, since both functions are located in the same hardware module.
It may also be that the Bluetooth service was not started correctly when the computer started. In this case, the command line terminal can help you: enter cmd in Windows search and press the [Enter] key. In the next window, enter the command net start "bthserv" and confirm again with the [Enter] key.
On most Mac computers the Bluetooth function is built in by default. To check if this is the case for your model, go to the Apple menu (via the Apple logo in the upper left) and click? About this Mac ?. In the next window you can check the Bluetooth settings on your PC through? More information? >? Hardware ?.
Activation and deactivation is similar to Windows :
If your Mac operating system refuses to establish a Bluetooth connection even after trying several times, you should try removing the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file from the / Library / Preferences folder and restarting your computer.
Another option is to reset the Bluetooth module to factory settings using debugging mode (then a restart of the computer is required). You can access the corresponding option by holding down the [Shift] and [Option] keys and clicking on the Bluetooth symbol in the menu bar. Caution: in this case all Bluetooth connections are deleted and you must reconfigure them.
Bluetooth is compatible with all common Linux distributions (eg Mint, Debian). In Ubuntu , for example, the function is activated as follows:
On the other hand, if you use a custom Linux operating system on a computer assembled by yourself, it is likely that you will first have to equip the radio frequency technology through an interface or a corresponding adapter (you can check if the hardware is Bluetooth capable using the Isusb command | grep Bluetooth ). Next, you need to configure the Bluetooth function in the software by installing the necessary packages using the command window . To do this, enter the command sudo apt-get install bluez-utils libopemnobex1 . In case of problems, you should check the functionality of these software packages.
The Bluetooth function has long been standard equipment for Android smartphones and tablets. You can easily access the function through the symbol bar, which you can access by moving your fingers from the top of the screen down. As a general rule, the Bluetooth symbol already appears here, although it may also be that you have to charge it using the? Edit ?. Then proceed as follows to perform a Bluetooth pairing:
The most common reason that your Android smartphone or tablet is not visible to other devices despite having the Bluetooth function activated is the so- called invisibility mode . This mode hides the name of your device to protect you from potential cybercriminals. However, this mode prevents the use of radio frequency wireless technology. You can check if your device is visible to other connecting devices in the Bluetooth Settings . If you click on the name of your device you can set an activation time , that is, a period of time during which your device is visible after activating the Bluetooth function. This feature can be disabled completely, allowing continuous visibility (although not recommended).
Remember that as a general rule, the Bluetooth function is disabled in airplane mode.
Another effective solution is to restart the system application that deals with radio frequency technology on the Android device. To do this, in? Setting? Accede to ? Applications ? and? All applications ?. Press? Bluetooth activation ? and empty memory cache in the next window. Then restart your device.
IPhones and iPads also feature Bluetooth technology as standard . The function is activated as follows:
If the Bluetooth function starts to fail in iOS, it is usually enough to reconnect the devices. For hands-free device pairing, it may also be helpful to disconnect the iCloud connection and restart the process.
Another quite effective solution is to reset the network settings : In? Settings? >? General? >? Reset? tap? Network Settings? and confirm the reset by entering your personal password. Remember that you will then have to reconfigure all Bluetooth and WLAN connections.
Bluetooth technology is generally regarded as a very reliable form of wireless data transmission. However, it is possible that in the different operating systems some error is generated, usually easy to solve.
Regardless of the device used, there are also other factors that can cause the Bluetooth function to malfunction or cause a connection to drop unexpectedly. In these cases you can try the following measures:
If none of the solutions in this article work for you, your hardware is probably damaged . Try Bluetooth pairing with other devices, and if it still doesn't work, contact a technical support service .