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Fixing Bluetooth Problems (Windows 7)

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This document pertains to HP computers with Windows 7.
Bluetooth is a convenient way to connect to devices wirelessly. The steps in this document have been found helpful in solving many problems associated with Bluetooth connection problems.
Make sure your computer has the necessary hardware and that wireless is turned on. Bluetooth requires both hardware and software to work. Not all wireless networking hardware supports Bluetooth. Use this information to determine if your computer supports Bluetooth.
NOTE:As an alternative to these steps, you can find out if your computer has Bluetooth by looking at the product specifications for your model posted on HP's Web site. Search www.hp.com for the exact model of your computer and the words "product specification".
  1. If you are using an external USB wireless network adapter, unplug it, restart your computer, and then plug it into a different USB port after Windows opens.
  2. If your computer has a wireless key or button on or near the keyboard and the wireless activity light is off or amber in color, press the key or button to enable your wireless adapter. This key may be the F10 key, F12 key.
    Figure 1: Example of a wireless key on the keyboard
     Portion of a keyboard shown with the wireless key called out.
  3. Click Start , enter Device Manager into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  4. Look for an adapter related to Bluetooth in the main list of devices and in the Network Adapters category. Look for all Bluetooth listings by opening the Network Adapters category and the Bluetooth Radios category (if available).
  5. Figure 2: Device Manager showing Bluetooth
    Device manager with Bluetooth devices called out.
  6. Do one of the following actions, depending on what you see in Device Manager:
    • If you cannot find any adapter listings for Bluetooth, your computer does not have Bluetooth hardware or it is not being recognized by Windows. If you are trying to use a particular device, such as a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard or headset, double-check to make sure that it did not come with a small USB Bluetooth receiver that plugs into a USB port. If you are trying to connect to a phone or printer and want to add Bluetooth to your computer, you can purchase and install a USB dongle that plugs into a USB port on your computer. These are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from most local electronics stores.
    • If you found a Bluetooth adapter and the icon next to the listing does not have special symbols attached, your computer has Bluetooth hardware attached and it is enabled. Your computer is capable of sending and receiving Bluetooth wireless.
    • If you found a Bluetooth adapter in the list, but it is shown with yellow circle , the Bluetooth hardware is not responding or set up correctly. Many times, this condition can be resolved by turning off any Bluetooth devices that were connected to the computer and restarting the computer. Updating or reinstalling Bluetooth (and WiFi) drivers might also resolve this problem if restarting the computer does not help.
    • If you found a Bluetooth item in the list, but it is shown with white circle and an arrow pointing down, this indicates that Bluetooth is disabled. Right-click the device and select Enable to turn on Bluetooth.
      Figure 3: Device Manager showing a Bluetooth device that is disabled.
If Bluetooth is enabled on your computer, but you cannot find or connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices, such as a phone or keyboard. Make sure the device your using has Bluetooth enabled and make sure Bluetooth device discovery is enabled on your computer.
  1. Many phones, tablets, and other types of Bluetooth devices can turn Bluetooth on or off. Often Bluetooth is set to off by default to conserve battery life. Go into the devices' settings menu and make sure that Bluetooth is on and can be discovered by other Bluetooth devices. Refer to the documentation that came with your device if needed.
  2. Click Start , enter change Bluetooth into the search field, and then select Change Bluetooth settings from the list.
  3. From the Options tab, select Allow Bluetooth device to find this computer, and make sure Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer is selected.
    Figure 4: Bluetooth Settings window with selections
    Bluetooth Settings window with Allow selection and OK selection called out.
  4. Click OK and try to connect to your device.
  5. If problems persist, continue to the next step.
Downloading and installing the latest driver for Bluetooth can resolve many problems related to Bluetooth, especially when Bluetooth stops working after an update or upgrade.
Use one or more of the following sections to find updated drivers for Bluetooth. If you cannot find an updated driver or the updated driver fails to solve the problem, go to the next Step.
HP tests and posts updated drivers from manufacturers. HP might have a more current version of the Bluetooth driver than the one you are using. To find out if a driver is available for your model of computer, go to the HP software download site enter the model number to find software and drivers. The Bluetooth driver might be bundled with a Wireless or chipset driver package. Read the installation instructions on the download page. You may need to update the wireless driver as well and in a particular order.
For more information about downloading software, see Obtaining software and drivers .
If the updated driver fails to solve the problem, go to the next Step.
HP personal computers with Windows come with HP Support Assistant installed. HP Support Assistant can be used to automatically find and install the latest updates for your computer.
NOTE:If HP Support Assistant is not installed on your computer, you can go to the HP Support Assistant site to download and install the HP Support Assistant software.
  1. Double-click the HPSA desktop icon or select HPSA from the Start screen.
  2. In HP Support Assistant, click Updates and tune-up.
  3. Click Check for updates now.
    HP Support Assistant checks for the latest updates from HP.
  4. If new updates are available, make sure the checkbox next to each update is selected, and click Apply to begin downloading and installing the updates.
    If no new updates are available, click Finish.
  5. If the updated driver fails to solve the problem, go to the next Step.
If you cannot find an updated driver from HP, use Device Manager to find the latest Bluetooth driver.
  1. Click Start , enter Device Manager into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Right-click the name of your Bluetooth Adapter and select Update Driver Software.
    Figure 5: Update Driver Software selection
     Device Manager window with a Update driver software selected for an Intel Bluetooth adapter listing.
  3. Follow the screens to install an updated driver if one is available.
    If Device Manager does not find an updated driver, you can check the wireless adapter manufacturer's Web site.
  4. If the updated driver fails to solve the problem, go to the next Step.
If Bluetooth was working in the past, but now cannot connect or performs poorly, use Microsoft System Restore to restore your system files back to a date and time when wireless networking was working well. For more information about how to use System Restore, see Using Microsoft System Restore .
Review the tips in this section for helpful information that might apply to your situation.
  • Read the instructions that came with the Bluetooth device carefully. There may be special requirements or software that needs to be installed. Consult the device manufacturer's web site for software updates and information.
  • Make sure the device you are trying to connect is compatible with Windows 7.
  • Tips for connecting Bluetooth enabled printers:
    • Make sure the printer is within 10 meters (30 feet) of your computer.
    • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on the printer. Use the control panel on the printer and look for wireless settings or Bluetooth.
    • To add your printer, click Start and enter Bluetooth into Windows search.
    • When pairing, HP printers use a code called a passkey. Match this code with your pairing code when first setting up your printer.
  • Tips for connecting Bluetooth mice and keyboards:
    • Look for a small USB dongle. Many, not all, Bluetooth Mice and keyboards use a special USB receiver device that plugs into a USB port on your computer. These are small and can easily be mistaken for a storage device or thrown away with the packaging. If you are not already using one, double-check and make sure a receiver is not required.
    • Bluetooth mice go through a Plug and Play process and do not require a sync code.
    • For troubleshooting purposes, make sure the mouse has new batteries from the same package or is fully charged.
  • Tips for headphones, headsets, or speakers:
    • If your speakers, headphones or headset appears in Windows, but you can't hear them, set them as the default playback devices in Windows sound properties for speakers (and microphone).
    • Unpair or disconnect other paired devices if more than one Bluetooth device is connected.

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