How to Set Up Bluetooth on Windows 7: Make Your PC Discoverable and Pair Devices
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Bluetooth is a convenient alternative to wires. With Bluetooth, you can connect supported phones, mice, headsets, printers, keyboards, tablets, and many other devices to your computer, as long as it too supports Bluetooth.

Overall, Bluetooth is pretty simple to use, but it can be a bit confusing to new users. To connect two Bluetooth devices together, one (or both) of the devices must be “discoverable.” And this initial Bluetooth connection process is known as “pairing.”

Sound confusing? We’ll show you everything you need to set up Bluetooth in Windows 7.

Turn on Bluetooth on Your Computer and Device

First, ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your computer. Many laptops come with Bluetooth support, but it may be disabled by default to save battery power. Often, you can find a button on your laptop’s keyboard that toggles Bluetooth. You might also have an icon in the System Tray at the bottom-right of the screen or an option in your computer manufacturer’s included software.

If your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth support (which is the case for many desktops), you can buy a cheap Bluetooth adapter How to Add Bluetooth to a Computer: 3 Great Bluetooth Adapters for PC How to Add Bluetooth to a Computer: 3 Great Bluetooth Adapters for PC Computers and laptops come with built-in Bluetooth. But what if yours doesn't? Set up your PC with a Bluetooth dongle. Read More . This is a small USB dongle that provides Bluetooth access on any machine.

Next, ensure Bluetooth is enabled on the device you want to pair with your computer. Bluetooth is enabled by default on Bluetooth mice and headsets, but it may be disabled on smartphones and tablets.

The exact location of this option will depend on your device.

On Android, swipe down from the top of the screen twice to access Quick Settings, then make sure you have Bluetooth enabled. iOS users should open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 or earlier) or swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen (iPhone X or later). Then tap the Bluetooth icon to enable it, if it’s not already.

Make the PC and Devices Discoverable

While Bluetooth is now enabled on both your computer and device, they still can’t see each other. For a Bluetooth device to see another, it must be discoverable. In discoverable mode, your PC or device sends out signals advertising itself. This is disabled by default for security purposes; it only needs to be enabled when you’re pairing devices.

You only need to make one of the devices discoverable. Doing this for either your PC or the device you want to connect will work, but it doesn’t hurt to do it for both.

To make your Windows 7 PC discoverable, click the Start button and select Devices and Printers on the right side of the Start menu. Then right-click your computer name (or Bluetooth adapter name) in the list of devices and select Bluetooth settings.

If you need to do this on newer Windows versions too, we have a guide on how to connect your phone using Bluetooth on Windows 10.

Bluetooth Settings Menu Windows 7

Click the Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer checkbox in the Bluetooth Settings window, and then click OK. Your computer will now be discoverable to other devices.

Windows 7 Bluetooth Options

To make your phone discoverable, go into its Bluetooth options. If you use Android, you’ll find this at Settings > Connected devices. On iOS, head to Settings > Bluetooth. Both will display a message like Now discoverable as [Name] when the device is ready to pair.

If you’re pairing a device like a Bluetooth mouse or headphones, follow the instructions in the manual to put the device into pairing mode. Typically, you’ll need to hold the power button for several seconds or something similar.

Pair the Device

You can now pair the device with your computer. If you’ve made your PC discoverable, you can select your PC from the list of available devices that shows on your phone or tablet to initiate the pairing process.

Alternatively, you can pair a device from your PC, as long as that device is discoverable. First, click the Add a device button in the Devices and Printers panel of Windows 7. (If you want to pair a Bluetooth printer, click Add a printer instead.)

Windows will look for discoverable Bluetooth devices and present them in the list. Select one and click Next to add it.

Windows 7 Add Bluetooth Device

If you don’t see your Bluetooth device here, ensure that it’s discoverable and has Bluetooth enabled. As we mentioned above, this may require a certain button input on Bluetooth accessories like keyboards.

For many devices, you’ll see a passcode. Ensure the key on your PC and the device are the same. This helps you ensure you’re connecting the device to the correct machine, and not another nearby computer.

You’ll have to agree to the pairing request to initiate the connection. When pairing a phone, you’ll need to confirm the code on both your phone and your computer. A window will pop up asking you to confirm the connection. This helps prevent other people from pairing with your device when it’s in discoverable mode.

Windows 7 Bluetooth Pairing Code

Once you confirm, Windows may install drivers as needed. Then you’re all set to start using it.

You can double-click the device in the Devices and Printers window to access more features, such as the ability to send files and play music. The exact features available will depend on your device.

Windows 7 Bluetooth Device Functions

Discover, Pair, and Go

Now that your device and computer are paired, they’ll continue working together. You won’t have to go through the pairing process each time you want to use the device, and they’ll connect automatically when they’re in range and turned on.

When you’re not actually pairing devices, for your security, you should make sure that both the device and your PC aren’t discoverable. You may also want to disable Bluetooth when you’re not using it, which can help save battery power on both your computer and your device.

For more on this topic, check out our FAQ guide to Bluetooth What Is Bluetooth? 10 Common Questions, Asked and Answered What Is Bluetooth? 10 Common Questions, Asked and Answered What is Bluetooth and how does it work? We take a look at Bluetooth, why it's so useful, and how to use it. Read More .

Explore more about: Bluetooth, Troubleshooting, Windows 7.

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  1. Chrissie
    February 16, 2019 at 2:05 am

    I've added a bluetooth speaker and it worked for a couple of weeks, but now when I select the device it just has the properties dialogue box come up. I've tried reinstalling the device and updating drivers, but still no success. Why won't the connection work?

  2. Jay
    February 3, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Good lord do people still have that fossil, Windows 7? Time to move on, folks!

    • lol
      March 10, 2019 at 1:48 am

      yep, some people prefer the more simple and light version of windows.
      even if it means not having a god-awful useless menu and a slightly better looking search bar.

  3. Gaurav ray
    August 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

    if we don't have Bluetooth in our device so How to install it

  4. SAVITA
    July 16, 2016 at 5:24 am

    AFTER CHANGING ALL THIS SETTING STILL MY LAPTOP DEVICE NOT ADD ANY DEVICE

  5. Devil
    June 23, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for such a good advice but i have been blessed with LENOVO with windows 7
    And i can find my lappy bluetooth ever form other devices .

  6. Lenovobites
    April 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I am cursed with a Lenovo with Windows 7 so Windows 7 advice is pretty much useless.

  7. Nicole
    March 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    My phone is paired to the computer but no connection when I try to play my tunes. The only option when I double click my cell is sms service. I'm very frustrated can anyone help?

  8. Bottersnike
    March 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Surprisingly, I struggled immensely pairing my WP8 to my laptop but this helped load. Thanks.

  9. John Ford
    February 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

    There are some security concerns - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Security_concerns.

    Great article but: I have to pair every device every time I want to use it on my laptop (when running any windows operating system). My phone, Android tablet and powerbook seem to remember anything I've used before. Does anyone else have this problem?

  10. Debbie
    February 3, 2015 at 10:07 am

    If you use bluetooth in the office between tablet and pc is the connection secure? I want to transfer sensitive photos from device to computer for storage via bluetooth.

  11. Salubrious
    January 27, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Mine neither - maybe this is a fault of this dongle? Going to research and find out!

  12. preval
    January 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    This is really simple except my csr 2.0 dongle wont open up the settings can any body help me figure out why

  13. Aaron Guzman
    October 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I had the worst time getting a Motorola Android cellphone to connect to my PC. Read this and finally got it to work. Thanks!

  14. fatihamzah
    October 9, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Thanks :) i think i'll try with this step

  15. kendall sencherey
    October 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    thanks for that but i all ready know how to set that up, it cool any wAY.

  16. GrrGrrr
    October 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I have used Bluetooth for 2 purposes

    photo transfer between Laptop-Phone
    contacts transfer between Phone-Phone

  17. susendeep dutta
    October 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    A very nice informative article.

    I use Bluetooth to transfer data among smartphones and tablet.It's a very essential technology for me and without this facility,I don't like to see any such tablets or smartphones.

  18. Félix S. De Jesús
    October 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Good one ;)

  19. Reý Aetar
    October 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    that was use ful but that blue soliel is also great software for this job

  20. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Thanks! Finally have a use for that dongle I bought ages ago!

  21. Ashwin Ramesh
    October 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Really nice article. Thanks for the tip, Chris!

  22. scott boyer
    October 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    what are the benifits of pairing my samsung s3 with my dell xps laptop?

    • Kantanon Wanitpisittana
      October 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

      I always use bluetooth connection to transfer small file(s) between my computer and cell phone: updated music, pdf files to read on the road, etc. It is too troublesome to connect them with the supplied cable.

      When I say small file(s) I mean less than 25-30 MB because anything larger than that can be very slow. However, the speed also depends on the version of bluetooth you have.

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Yup, you can transfer files without a cable -- that's the main benefit with a phone

  23. Kavita
    October 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    this was fine..but can we make a wifi hub usin windows

    • Kantanon Wanitpisittana
      October 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

      Yes, you can. Use a program called Connectify from http://www.connectify.me.
      There is a lite (free) as well as a pro version.

      • Chris Hoffman
        October 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Connectify is quite good; I was impressed.

  24. Alex Perkins
    October 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you! I've been wondering about how I would go about this with my new laptop that has BT built-in.

    • Gig whang
      May 14, 2015 at 1:13 am

      Yeah

  25. Roman Vávra
    October 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the useful set up :)