How to Enable Bluetooth on My Laptop

By Amanda C. Kooser

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology used to transfer data between computers and other devices. Bluetooth can commonly be found in laptops, cell phones, headsets and some digital cameras and printers. Bluetooth can be a convenient replacement for wired connections when using a notebook computer. Use it to transfer photos, connect a headset, print documents and transfer information to and from your laptop.

Step 1

Check to see that the laptop has a Bluetooth adapter installed. Click on the "Start" menu in the lower-left corner of the desktop. Click on "Control Panel." Click on "Performance and Maintenance" and then on "System." Click the "Hardware" tab in the System Properties window. Click on the "Device Manager" button. Look for a small blue icon that says "Bluetooth Devices." Click on the "+" next to it to expand the menu. There should be at least one Bluetooth device listed. This indicates that your laptop has a Bluetooth adapter.

Step 2

Turn on the Bluetooth device by locating the physical or software switch that activates the adapter. Check the outside edge of the laptop for a button or switch that is labeled "Bluetooth," shows a picture of the Bluetooth icon or is labeled "Wireless." Turn this to the "On" position. If no physical switch exists, check the function keys on top of the keyboard. Look for one that shows a wireless symbol. This may look like a small antenna with waves radiating out from the top. Hold down the "Fn" or "Function" button and press the corresponding function key until the computer indicates that Bluetooth is turned on.

Step 3

Locate the Bluetooth icon in the system tray in the lower-right corner of the desktop. It will match the appearance of the Bluetooth icon you located in the Device Manager. It may have a red symbol in the center that indicates that the Bluetooth is turned off. Right-click on this icon and choose "Start the Bluetooth Device" from the menu.

Step 4

Test the Bluetooth by connecting a Bluetooth device. Right-click on the Bluetooth icon in the system tray. Use the "Quick Connect" option or follow the Bluetooth setup wizard accessed through the "Add a Bluetooth Device" option.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can add a USB Bluetooth adapter to a laptop that doesn't have Bluetooth built in.