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Windows 7 Bluetooth Problems Troubleshooting

written by: Terry Caron•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 8/13/2010

In this day and age, wires are becoming a thing of the past. Wireless technologies, like bluetooth, are helping us get rid of the spaghetti we all know but don't love. Windows 7 is very adept at using Bluetooth technology, however, Windows 7 Bluetooth problems are not extinct.

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    Windows 7 bluetooth problems, a history.

    Windows 7 has had a number of problems with Bluetooth devices since its beta testing began. This is not unlike it's predecessor, Windows Vista. Both of these operating systems had issues with a number of devices and the problems they had typically stemmed from driver compatibility. For Windows 7 it takes some time for manufacturers to catch up with the drivers they are currently producing to reach compatibility with the latest Microsoft OS. This in turn generally causes users to revert to a previous version of the driver and this can often times cause a problem with the device and Bluetooth is no exception to this caveat.

    There are some simple troubleshooting steps to take when working on Bluetooth issues with Windows 7. We will be discussing those steps here.

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    Adding Bluetooth devices in Windows 7.

    The first step in troubleshooting is to avoid problems altogether. This section is going to walk through the steps to properly add Bluetooth devices in Windows 7.

    1. Start by opening the control panel.

    2. Select "view devices and printers" under the "hardware and sound" menu.

    3. Select "add a device".

    4. You should see the device listed for add. (See images below for reference.)

    Tip:

    Make sure that wireless is turned on and the power to the devices is on.

    There are other great articles for device specific Bluetooth device headsets.

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    Images of the installation process.

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    Driver issues.

    As stated previously, often times it may be a result of a driver that is causing problems with Bluetooth devices. To find the latest drivers for your Bluetooth device check with the device manufacturer or their website. To find the device manufacturer follow the steps listed below.

    Make sure you are logged on as administrator or an administrator on the PC.

    1. Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound then click device manager.
    2. Double-click Bluetooth Radios to expand that section.
    3. Right-click the Bluetooth adapter, then click Properties.
    4. Click on the Driver tab.
    5. Next to Driver Provider, you will see either Microsoft or another provider's name. Contact that provider for assistance.
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    Reinstall the device

    If you have the latest driver installed and there is still a problem with the device, try reinstalling the Bluetooth device.

    Go into the device manager. (See step one under "Driver Issues".)

    1. Select the device that's not working, and then click Remove.
    2. Click Add, press the reset button on the device (Make sure the device is discoverable by following the instructions provided with the device), select the My device is set up and ready to be found check box, and then click Next.
    3. If the device is not found, repeat the previous step. When the device is found, select it, and then click next.
    4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the wizard.
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    Check the simple stuff.

    There are some other simple things to check that may be causing problems.

    1. Check the distance of the device. The information that came with the Bluetooth device will provide the correct distance for the device to work properly. For instance, if the device is too far away it won’t work properly.

    2. If you have multiple Bluetooth devices paired with your computer, make sure your computer is trying to connect to the correct device. If you have a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard and other external Bluetooth devices there may be problems with the connection or too many connections at once. Your computer may also be connecting to a co-workers Bluetooth device at a nearby workstation. Make sure the name and serial number of the device shown match the device you are using or installing. This can be checked by right-clicking the device during the installation or in device manager.

    3. Make sure Windows 7 can accept incoming Bluetooth connections.

    Click start > control panel > hardware and sound > Bluetooth devices.

    Click on options tab and select the check box for “Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer" then click OK.

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    Working with Bluetooth devices can remove the hassle of working with cables and chords. Windows 7 has the latest in Bluetooth technology available and in most cases works very will with a number of Bluetooth devices. Although windows 7 Bluetooth problems can arise, many of these are resolved with some simple steps.