Unlike Wi-Fi or cellular connections, which enable communication over longer distances, Bluetooth connects devices that are around 30 feet or less apart.
Most commonly used to connect a headset to a mobile phone, Bluetooth uses low power but enough data speed to send high-fidelity music from your smartphone to wireless speakers, and is versatile enough to connect a wireless keyboard and mouse to your computer.
To connect two devices using Bluetooth, you must “pair” them, so that they recognize each other. While the steps are similar for many devices, the instructions for your specific devices will vary by manufacturer and model.
Enable Bluetooth on the phone or computer and enable the “Discoverable” or “Make Visible” option.
Turn on the Bluetooth device you want to pair with the phone or computer and set it to pairing mode. Some devices require you to press or hold a button to enable pairing mode, while others attempt to pair automatically when they aren’t paired with another device. Most devices display a visual signal when they’re in pairing mode, such as a solid or flashing LED.
Choose the device you want to pair from the list on your phone or computer. The device may appear in the phone or computer’s Bluetooth options screen, or under an option such as “Set Up Bluetooth Device” or “Paired Devices.” If the device requires a passcode for security, locate it in the device’s user guide and enter it. When setup is complete, the device’s LED may flash or turn off.
Test your device by making a call, if the device is a headset, or playing music if the device is a wireless speaker or headphones. Your phone or computer may require you to choose your device; for example, your computer may require you to select your wireless speaker in the Sound control panel, or your phone may ask you to choose your headset before answering a call.
For precise instructions on pairing specific phones, computers and devices, consult their user guides. If you can’t find your device’s user guide, its manufacturer’s website may offer instructions.
Many Bluetooth keyboards and mice include a receiver that plugs into your computer’s USB port. When this is the case, you must usually use product-specific software or features, such as a Bluetooth button on both the keyboard and receiver, to make the Bluetooth connection.
If devices aren’t pairing, make sure the devices both use Bluetooth and are designed to work with each other. For example, a Bluetooth keyboard may not work with a Bluetooth printer.
Bluetooth has a limited range. If you hear static when using an audio device or notice lack of response when using an input device, or the device is unable to pair, move the device closer to the phone or computer.