Steve August 5, 2020
how-to-turn-bluetooth-on-and-off-in-windows-10

Bluetooth is a wireless protocol that enables the transmission of data over short distances. Since the late 90s, Bluetooth technology has been widely adopted by many consumer electronics, including personal computers. Microsoft’s latest overhaul of the Windows operating system has introduced a more material design. Unfortunately, this has marked a shift from legacy tools such as the Control Panel. This has caused some frustration with longtime Windows users due to the difficulty finding simple system controls, such as Bluetooth. If you’re struggling to turn Bluetooth on and off on your Windows 10 PC, we’ve rounded up some of the easiest fixes.

Method 1: Windows 10 Settings

As we mentioned above, if you’ve been using Windows for a while and you’re experiencing problems with Bluetooth, your first reaction is to dig around in Control Panel. While Control Panel still exists in Windows 10, Microsoft has largely sidelined it. Instead, they’ve sought to streamline things in an all-encompassing Settings menu.

Accessing the Settings menu is very easy. The first thing you’ll want to do is click on the Start button. This will open the Start Menu. On the left side of the Start Menu, click on the Cog icon which is directly above the Power icon. This will launch Windows 10 Settings.

With the Settings window open, click on “Devices.”

Windows Settings Devices

This should bring you to the “Bluetooth & other devices” page. If it doesn’t, simply click on “Bluetooth & other devices” from the menu on the left. Here you will find a toggle switch labelled “Bluetooth.” Simply click on it to turn Bluetooth on or off.

Windows Settings Enable Bluetooth

You can also add Bluetooth devices from your Windows 10 PC to this page by clicking the button labelled “Add Bluetooth or other device.”

Method 2: Action Center

A quick way to turn Bluetooth on or off is via the Action Center. The Windows 10 Action Center is where Windows 10 users can find app notifications. Additionally, users can find quick toggles of the most commonly used Settings, including things like Airplane mode, Network settings and Bluetooth.

Bluetooth Windows Action Center

To Launch the Action Center, click on the speech bubble icon on the far right of the Windows 10 taskbar. Alternatively, you can press Win + A to launch the Action Center. To turn Bluetooth on or off, simply click on the Bluetooth tile. When Bluetooth is active, the tile will be blue, and when it’s turned, off it will be grey.

Method 3: Use Your Voice

It’s okay if you forgot about Cortana, as most people have. If you have no idea who or what Cortana is, it is the name given to Microsoft’s virtual assistant. With Cortana, you can issue voice commands to your Windows 10 PC, including turning your Bluetooth on or off.

Bluetooth Talk Cortana

To talk to Cortana, click on the circle icon on the taskbar. If you haven’t used Cortana before, she will tell you that she can learn the sound of your voice to better understand you. You can choose to enable this or not.

With Cortana open, click on the cog icon on the left. This will open the “Talk to Cortana” section of Windows 10’s Settings. Here, you’ll find a bunch of toggle switches. Make sure the one labelled “Hey Cortana” is turned on. This allows you to talk to Cortana by saying the wake phrase, “Hey Cortana.” Additionally, you can also enable the keyboard shortcut by flicking that toggle switch to the on position. This will allow you to wake Cortana by pressing the Win + C. Now that Cortana is activated, get her attention by saying the wake phrase, “Hey Cortana.” To turn your PC’s Bluetooth on, simply say “Turn Bluetooth on.” To turn it off, say “Turn Bluetooth off.”

Method 4: System Tray

Bluetooth System Tray

Longtime Windows users will be familiar with the System Tray. The System Tray is found in the Windows Taskbar and contains miniature icons for commonly-used system functions, including Bluetooth. With the introduction of Windows 10, the System Tray has fallen out of favor, as the Action Center acts as a replacement. However, old habits die hard, and Microsoft hasn’t eliminated the System Tray from Windows 10 (at least not yet).

To open the System Tray, click on the arrow icon on the far right of the Windows Taskbar. You should see a tiny Bluetooth icon. Clicking on the icon will allow you to access your device’s Bluetooth settings as well as other functions. If you don’t see the Bluetooth icon in the System Tray or you accidentally hit “Remove Icon,” there is an easy way to restore it.

Windows Settings Bluetooth Notification Area

To restore the Bluetooth icon in the System Tray, click on the Start button. Next, click on the Settings (Cog) icon. From here, select “Devices,” which will open the “Bluetooth & other devices” window. On the right side of this window, underneath the “Related settings” header, click “More Bluetooth options.” A pop-up window will appear. Ensure that the Options tab of this window is selected. Finally, click the box labelled “Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area” and click the “OK” button. The mini Bluetooth icon should now appear in the System Tray.

What do you use Bluetooth for? Do you know of any other ways to turn your Windows 10 device’s Bluetooth on and off? Let us know in the comments!

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