How to Pair Bluetooth Devices

By Frank Gates

Bluetooth technology allows two Bluetooth-enabled devices to be linked together so they can communicate with each other via radio waves. To hear your favorite radio station on your car radio, you must tune your car radio to the frequency of that station. Bluetooth devices must also be tuned to the correct frequency to be linked together. This link also must be specific to the two devices in question to avoid inadvertently linking to other Bluetooth devices. The process of tuning two Bluetooth devices to each other is called "pairing". Each Bluetooth device comes with manufacturer instructions specifying what buttons to push on it and how to change its settings for successful pairing. Most Bluetooth devices are very intuitive and can be configured by the user just by following the prompts on the device, but the general pairing process is usually about the same.

Step 1

Place the two Bluetooth devices within one meter of each other to ensure that they are within radio range for pairing.

Step 2

Turn on and set one of the two Bluetooth devices (Device A) in "Discoverable Mode." Once Device A is in Discoverable Mode, the other device, Device B, can be discovered. You will find an option for turning on Discoverable Mode as you navigate your way through the Bluetooth settings on Device A. All you need to do with Device B is to turn it on.

Step 3

Review the list of discovered devices on Device A and select your Device B from the list. Device B will have an easily identifiable name, such as phone or headset, which usually includes the manufacturer's name or model number.

Step 4

Enter the Passkey (or password) when Device A prompts you to do so. Both Device A and Device B must use the same Passkey to secure the link. Typically, the default Passkey is 0000 for both devices. Once you have entered the Passkey, both devices will "talk" to each other and make sure that they share the same Passkey. If both Passkeys are the same, a trusted pair is automatically created.

Step 5

Start using your Bluetooth devices to exchange data.

Tips & Warnings

  • The pairing process is a one-time event, as both devices will remember the pairing information. Subsequent Bluetooth activation between the same two devices simply requires Bluetooth to be turned off or on. Introducing a new device or resetting one of the original two existing devices will require repairing.
  • The closer the two devices are physically located, the stronger the signal will be between them. Bluetooth device range is typically 10 meters, or 33 feet.