Bluetooth gives you the freedom to move without a tether, but it isn’t always the most reliable way to use wireless devices. If you’re having trouble with Bluetooth on your Windows machine, you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot it.
Basic Bluetooth Troubleshooting Steps
While many of these steps might seem obvious, they will fix many of the most common Bluetooth issues on Windows.
Check That Bluetooth Is Turned On
Start by making sure Bluetooth is actually enabled on your Windows PC. Just because the symbol is in the taskbar doesn’t mean your Bluetooth radio is actually turned on.
To check it, click the Windows notification icon on your taskbar in the bottom-right corner of your screen. If you don’t see a “Bluetooth” tile, click the “Expand” button. If the “Bluetooth” tile is grayed-out, your Bluetooth radio is turned off.
Click it to turn it back on—the tile will turn blue to show the change.
You can also head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices and toggle the “Bluetooth” switch until it turns blue.
Restart Your Bluetooth Radio
If Bluetooth is enabled, switching it off and on again might resolve some underlying issues of which you’re unaware.
To do this, click the notification icon in your Windows taskbar to access your quick settings. Click the “Bluetooth” tile to turn it off. Once it goes gray, click it again to turn it back on.
When the tile turns blue, your Bluetooth radio is back on, and ready to use.
Check the Battery
If you aren’t keeping track of the battery level on your Bluetooth device, you might not even be aware when it runs out of power.
Before you try a more serious solution, you might want to replace the batteries in your Bluetooth device or charge it, and then try it again.
Restart Your PC
The best fixes are sometimes the easiest, and if you haven’t tried it already, give your PC a quick restart.
When you reboot your PC, you wipe the slate clean, and clear out any idle processes or memory leaks. It’s not a miracle fix, but it can rectify some issues with the hardware, so give it a go.
Check Bluetooth Interference and Device Distance
Bluetooth devices communicate wirelessly via radio waves. Just like a Wi-Fi network, interference can affect Bluetooth connections. Other radio signals, physical obstacles (like thick walls), and devices like microwaves can all block or degrade a Bluetooth connection.
Take a moment to survey the area. How far away is your Bluetooth device from your PC? The bigger the distance, the weaker the signal.
Move your device closer to your PC and see if it impacts the Bluetooth connectivity. If not, try (if possible) to use your Bluetooth device in another location. You can also use third-party apps, like the Bennett Bluetooth Monitor, to check your Bluetooth’s signal strength.
If the problem persists, interference might not be the problem. But there are some other potential fixes.
Install or Update Bluetooth Device Drivers
Windows 10 automatically installs drivers for devices that connect to it, but only when those drivers are available on your PC or through Windows Update. In most cases, though, Bluetooth devices (especially keyboards and mice) should work fine right out of the box.
If Windows can’t find the correct drivers for your Bluetooth device, however, it won’t work. If this happens, check the device manufacturer’s website to see if it offers a driver for your device. If so, download and install it, and that should resolve the problem.
This also applies to the Bluetooth radio itself. If the drivers for your Bluetooth chipset aren’t installed automatically, Bluetooth won’t work on your PC. Visit the PC manufacturer’s website or, if you built the PC yourself, check the motherboard manufacturer’s website for supported drivers.
You might also find that a new Windows update has impacted your device, requiring updated drivers. In most cases, Windows will look for and install updated drivers automatically. If it doesn’t, though, visit the device manufacturer’s website and install the latest drivers.
To see whether your Bluetooth device is installed, you have to check the Windows Device Manager. To do this, right-click the Windows Start button and click “Device Manager.”
If your Bluetooth device is recognized, it appears under the category relevant to its purpose. For example, a Bluetooth radio would be under the “Bluetooth” category. If the device isn’t recognized, it will be listed under the “Other Devices” category.
When you find it, right-click the device, and then click “Update Driver” to search for a new driver.
Click “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software” if you want to search for a driver automatically.
If you downloaded the driver from the manufacturer’s website (and it doesn’t include an automatic installer), click “Browse My Computer for Driver Software” and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you clicked “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software,” Windows will tell you if it thinks you already have the best driver for your device. However, you can also search Windows Update for alternatives.
To do so, just click “Search for Updated Drivers on Windows Update” to proceed.
This opens Windows Update in Settings. Click “Check for Updates” to begin a search.
When (or if) Windows Update finds an updated driver for your device, it will download and install it. When that process is complete, restart your PC, and then try your Bluetooth device again.
Remove and Re-Pair Your Bluetooth Device
Sometimes, removing the Bluetooth device from your PC resolves connection issues. You can then “re-pair” the device with your PC.
To start this process, open the Bluetooth settings in Windows. If the Bluetooth icon is visible in the Windows taskbar, right-click it, and then select “Open Settings.”
If you don’t see the Bluetooth icon, right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.” From there, click Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices to access your Bluetooth settings.
Your known Bluetooth devices will be listed here. Select your device, click “Remove Device,” and then click “Yes” to confirm. This removes the device from your PC.
When the process is completed, restart your PC.
After you log back in on your device, head back to the Bluetooth settings. Click “Add Bluetooth or Other Device” at the top. In the “Add a Device” window that appears, click “Bluetooth.”
Wait for your PC to detect the device, and then click it to connect. You might need to type a PIN on one or both devices to allow them to pair.
Use the Windows 10 Troubleshooter
If all else fails, you can also try the Windows Troubleshooter on Windows 10 and see if it can resolve your Bluetooth issues. It checks your Bluetooth radio and device settings step-by-step, and identifies any issues.
If it detects an issue, it will inform you, and either ask you whether you’d like to fix it or direct you on how you can fix the problem yourself.
To run Windows Troubleshooter, right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”
From there, go to Update and Security > Troubleshoot > Bluetooth, and then click “Run the Troubleshooter.” Windows will automatically begin working through your Bluetooth status and configuration. If it finds a problem, it’ll direct you to fix it.
If the Troubleshooter can’t resolve the problem, you might want to contact the device manufacturer for further support and advice, as the problem might be with the hardware.
Microsoft is already working on Windows 10’s 20H1 update. Expected sometime around May 2020, this is Windows 10 version 2004. It’s much bigger than Windows 10’s November 2019 update but still feels like a collection of useful improvements.
This post is up-to-date with features included in Windows Insider builds up to build 19041.84, released on Feb. 11, 2020. We originally published it on Aug. 28, 2019, and have been updating it throughout Microsoft’s development process.
More Control Over Optional Updates
Windows Update automatically installs many updates, but some updates are optional. Now, there’s a new screen that shows all these updates in one place.
Hardware driver updates, big feature updates like 20H1 itself, and monthly non-security quality updates like the C and D updates will appear here.
To find this screen after updating to 20H1, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional updates. You can then choose which updates you might want to install.
Windows Update will still automatically install many hardware driver updates, but sometimes there are additional updates that may not automatically be installed. In the past, you had to dig through the Device Manager and select a specific device to update. Now, all optional hardware driver updates will appear on this screen. Microsoft says, “if you’re having a problem, one of those optional drivers might help.”
A New Cortana Experience (With Typing)
Microsoft is advertising a “new Cortana experience” with a “brand-new chat-based UI.” You can now type queries to Cortana rather than say them out loud. The history of your conversation with Cortana will appear as if it was a chat window, so you can see the results of recent queries just by opening Cortana from the taskbar.
The Cortana panel is now a more normal window, too. You can resize it and move it around on your desktop by dragging the title bar, just like other windows. It supports both Windows 10’s light and dark themes, too.
Beyond the new design, Microsoft says it has “updated Cortana with new speech and language models” as well as “significantly improved performance” of the voice assistant. And, soon, Microsoft says you’ll be able to use Cortana in any of its supported languages, even if your Windows operating system is set to use a display language Cortana doesn’t support.
Microsoft has temporarily removed Cortana features like jokes, timers, and Bing instant answers. It’s focusing on a productivity-based feature for now.
Cloud Download for Reinstalling Windows
Windows 10 has a new “Cloud Download” option you can use when resetting your PC to a default Windows system. When you head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and choose to reset your PC and remove everything, you can now tell Windows to use “Cloud Download.” Rather than reinstalling Windows 10 from the files on your local system, Windows will download the most up-to-date version of Windows 10 and install it on your system.
The Settings app now gives you more control over how much bandwidth is used for downloading Windows updates. In current versions of Windows, you can set a bandwidth limit as a percentage of your bandwidth. Windows 10 20H1 will let you set a precise “Absolute bandwidth” limit in Mbps for more accurate throttling of downloaded updates. This option was previously available in Group Policy but is now available to everyone in Settings.
To find the update bandwidth limiting options on any version of Windows 10, head to Settings > Update & Security > Delivery Optimization > Advanced options.
Microsoft will build its own Linux kernel and ship it with WSL 2, and that Linux kernel will be updated through Windows Update. You can also build your own Linux kernel and make Windows 10 use it. You don’t have to think about any of this, though—WSL 2 has the same user experience as WSL 1 and will “just work” without any extra configuration.
WSL 2 promises “dramatic file system performance increases” and “full system call compatibility.” That compatibility means support for technologies like Docker that wouldn’t run on the original WSL 1.
Beyond that, Microsoft has added support for ARM64 devices—in other words, WSL now works in Windows on ARM PCs. The WSL release notes say this will only work “if your CPU / firmware supports virtualization.”
More configuration options are available, too. For example, you can set a Linux distribution’s default user account in its /etc/wsl.conf file.
Microsoft asked why Insiders were turning off the search indexer and received three main areas to improve: “excessive disk and CPU usage, general performance issues, and low perceived value of the indexer.” Microsoft says it’s now detecting peak usage times so it can better optimize when the indexer runs. For example, it won’t run when gaming mode is on, if power saving mode is on, if low power mode is on, when CPU usage is about 80%, when disk usage is above 70%, or when the battery is below 50%.
Windows search will get faster on developer PCs by default, too. The Windows search indexer will now “exclude common developer folders, such as .git, .hg, .svn, .Nuget, and more by default.” Performance will improve while compiling and synchronizing code.
Disk Type in the Task Manager
Windows 10’s Task Manager now displays your disk type—SSD or HDD. This makes it easier to see what hardware is in your computer, and it can help you tell which disk is which if you have multiple disks in your system.
This information is displayed on the Performance tab. Open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click “More Details” to find it.
GPU Temperature in the Task Manager
That’s not the only new feature the Task Manager is getting. The Task Manager’s performance tab will also display your GPU temperature, too. Assuming you have a graphics card with a new enough driver—it must support the WDDM 2.4 driver model— you’ll find this information on your GPU’s status page under the Performance tab, too. This also only works with dedicated graphics cards, not integrated or onboard GPUs.
This is just the latest GPU-monitoring feature in the Task Manager. Previous updates added features like per-process GPU usage, overall GPU usage display, graphics driver version information, graphics memory usage, and hardware details.
When you’re using a 2-in-1 PC with a touch screen, and you have no keyboard or mouse connected, it can make the traditional desktop interface a bit easier to use. For example, the taskbar icons will be further apart, File Explorer will be optimized for touch, and you can use windows on your desktop.
Microsoft says this isn’t a replacement for Tablet Mode, but convertible PCs will no longer automatically enter Tablet Mode when you remove the keyboard or flip them around. Instead, they’ll enter this new touch-optimized experience. Microsoft is backing off on Tablet Mode on 2-in-1 devices and making the classic Windows desktop easier to use on a touch screen.
FPS in the Xbox Game Bar
Windows 10’s new game bar is already more of a full-screen overlay packed with features, including quick volume controls, performance graphs, and even Spotify integration. Now, it’s getting better with an FPS counter and achievement overlay.
Press Windows+G to open the Game Bar while playing a game, and you’ll see a real-time FPS counter without installing third-party applications like FRAPS or activating a game-specific option.
Windows Lets You “Make Your Device Passwordless”
Microsoft new lets you “Make your device passwordless” with a new option on the Settings > Accounts > Sign-in page. It sounds awesome and futuristic, but really it’s just a new setting that requires everyone on your PC sign in with a PIN or another Windows Hello sign-in method like face or fingerprint unlock.
Safe Mode now works with PIN login, too. If you’ve set up Windows Hello to sign in with a PIN, you’ll be able to use that PIN to sign in to your PC after booting into Safe Mode. Previously, Safe Mode made you enter your account’s password.
Renaming Virtual Desktops
Windows 10’s virtual desktops, available in the Task View interface that appears when you press Windows+Tab on your keyboard or click the Task View icon on the taskbar, are getting more configurable.
Rather than being stuck with the default names of “Desktop 1,” “Desktop 2,” and so on, you can now rename them. Just click the name of each virtual desktop at the top of the Task View interface and type a new name.
As Microsoft points out, you can even use emojis in the names. Just press Windows+. (period) to open the emoji picker and enter an emoji. This emoji panel works in nearly any text field in Windows 10.
Improved Network Status Information
The network status page at Settings > Network & Internet > Status has been redesigned. It now shows all the network interfaces you have available at the top of the page. For example, both Wi-Fi and Ethernet will be shown here if you have a PC with both.
Microsoft says this new interface will “provide more information at a glance about your device’s connectivity, combining several pages to give you one clear view of how you are connected to the internet.”
Windows will also display your data usage for each interface right on this page, so you don’t have to go elsewhere in Settings to see how much data you’re using.
Built-in Support for Network Cameras
Windows 10 is getting built-in support for IP-based cameras that send their video feeds over your local network. Traditionally, you needed third-party software to view these camera feeds on Windows 10.
With this update, you’ll be able to add network-based cameras by heading to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices > Add Bluetooth or other device. If there’s a supported camera on your local network, Windows 10 will find it, and you can add it to your system in one click.
Once it’s added, you can use the built-in Camera app (and other Camera apps) to access the network camera. For now, Windows 10 only supports standards-compliant cameras that use ONVIF Profile S.
To find this option, head to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Under Restart apps, toggle “Automatically save my restartable apps when I sign out and restart them after I sign in” if you’d like to turn this off.
Previously, this option was somewhat hidden and merged with the “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish my device” option, which read “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart.” These are now two separate options.
This feature now works a bit better, too. It now restarts “the majority of” UWP apps as well as traditional Windows desktop apps.
Disk Cleanup Won’t Delete Your Downloads Folder
Microsoft is removing the Downloads folder from the classic Disk Cleanup application. This option was added to Disk Cleanup with the October 2018 Update. Critics said that it was too easy to accidentally delete all the files in your Downloads folder, especially if you’re an experienced user who didn’t realize that option had been added to Disk Cleanup.
With this update, the Downloads folder vanishes from Disk Cleanup. You can still use Disk Cleanup to empty your Recycle Bin, delete temporary files, remove old Windows installations, and everything else—but the short-lived Downloads option vanishes.
The option to clean up your Downloads folder lives on in Storage Sense, available at Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now. It’s just gone from the classic Disk Cleanup interface.
Paint and WordPad Are Now Optional Features
Microsoft has turned MS Paint and WordPad into “optional features.” Paint and WordPad are still installed by default, but you can uninstall them to free up a bit of space.
Head to Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Optional features, and you’ll see Paint and WordPad alongside other optional features like Windows Media Player.
Microsoft Paint takes up 11.6MB, and WordPad uses 9.11MB, so you won’t free up much space by removing them. Microsoft was originally going to remove Paint from Windows and distribute it via the Store, but it abandoned those plans and even updated Paint with new features.
A Header in Windows 10’s Settings App
Microsoft has been experimenting with a banner in the Settings application for a while, and it’s back in 20H1 Insider builds. The new banner appears at the top of the home screen in the Settings window, showing your picture, name, and a link to manage your Microsoft account online. It offers quick links to your OneDrive and Windows Update settings and information about their status.
Thankfully, Microsoft hasn’t included advertising for Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing Rewards) here this time.
Quick Searches in Search Home
When you open the “Search Home” panel by clicking the search box on the taskbar, you’ll see new “quick searches” at the bottom, giving you one-click access to things like the weather, top news, and new movies.
When you have a supported device in pairing mode nearby, you’ll see a notification that prompts you to go through pairing. This was added to Windows 10’s April 2018 Update. Now, it’s been further streamlined. The entire pairing process is performed through Windows 10’s notifications with no need to open the Settings app, and one fewer notification is shown. There’s a Dismiss button to close the notification if you don’t want to pair a device, and the notification shows more information about the device’s name and type, if possible.
This still only works with supported devices like Microsoft’s Surface keyboards and mice, but it should hopefully come to more devices in the future, making the Bluetooth pairing process quicker for more PC users.
Text Cursor Indicator
You can now adjust the size and color of Windows 10’s text cursor indicator—that little line that appears to show you where you’re typing in an application.
To find this option, head to Settings > Ease of Access > Text Cursor. Enable the new “Text Cursor Indicator,” choose a size, and pick a color that’s easy for you to see. You can select any custom color you want.
Windows 10’s Language settings page at Settings > Time & Language > Language has been reorganized to be easier to use and understand. For example, it now shows you the default selected languages for Windows, apps and websites, your keyboard, speech, and regional settings right at the top of the screen.
More Kaomoji: Microsoft has added more kaomoji to Windows 10’s emoji panel, which you can open by pressing Windows+. (period) or Windows+; (semicolon.) For example, you’ll now find ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪ in the list.
Mouse Cursor Speed in Settings: Windows 10 now lets you set your mouse cursor speed from within the Settings app at Settings > Devices > Mouse. Previously, this option was only available in the Control Panel.
Better Account Picture Settings: Windows 10 now makes it easier to set your account picture in Windows and across various Microsoft services. Head to Settings > Accounts > Your Info to set an account picture. When you set a picture here, Windows will now quickly update it both on your local Windows computer and across various Microsoft services—assuming you’re signed into Windows 10 with a Microsoft account.
Optional Features Gets Better: The Optional Features page under Settings > Apps & Features > Optional Features is getting a better interface. You can now select and install multiple features at once, search available features, and sort them in different ways. You can see the date each feature was installed and view the status of feature installation at the top of this page.
Wi-Fi Warning Redesign: Microsoft also says it’s changing how open Wi-Fi networks appear in the Wi-Fi list. Windows 10 will no longer display an “Other people might be able to see info you send over this network” warning message before connecting to an open Wi-FI network, which Microsoft says is confusing. Instead, there’s a new icon for secured Wi-Fi networks to more clearly emphasize you should connect to those.
Accessibility Improvements: Microsoft has also updated the accessibility features with more new options and improvements. For example, there’s a new command in Narrator to give a web page summary (Narrator+S).
Install MSIX Files Without Sideloading: System administrators will find that installing an MSIX file no longer requires enabling Sideloading in Settings or via Group Policy. Previously, installing these required enabling sideloading—just like on Android. Now, as long as the MSIX file is signed, a Windows 10 system can install it like any other application. Enterprises can still disable this type of sideloading via policy settings, but that’s no longer the default mode.
Windows PowerShell ISE: PowerShell’s Integrated Script Editor is now a “Feature on Demand.” It remains installed by default, and you can manage it from Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Optional Features.
With so many months left to go, more features may appear in future Windows Insider previews. We’ll update this article as they do.
Canceled: Notepad Updated Through the Store
In a surprising change, Microsoft announced it would move Notepad to the Store back in August. It would now be automatically updated through the Store, allowing Microsoft to update Notepad more frequently than once every six months. You could uninstall Notepad, too.
Microsoft has been testing this feature in 20H1 Insider builds but says it will come to all PCs running Windows 10 19H1 (the May 2019 Update) or a newer version. You’ll get this feature even if you don’t upgrade to Windows 10 version 2004.
Already Here: Online File Search in File Explorer
This feature first appeared in Windows 10’s 20H1 update, but it’s already available as part of the November 2019 update.
In both versions of Windows 10, File Explorer has a new search experience. When you type in the search box, you’ll see a dropdown menu with a list of suggested files. It will also search for files in your OneDrive account online—not just files on your local PC.
You can still access the more powerful, classic search experience by pressing Enter. This will allow you to search non-indexed locations, for example.
Written by Chris Hoffman. Taken from How-To Geek site.
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