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How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Issues on Your Windows Network

Like anything else you add to your computer, a Bluetooth gizmo introduces change. That change can cause problems. You can have problems with other devices that are incompatible with your Bluetooth device, you can have problems with the Bluetooth device itself, or you can have issues with the Bluetooth networking hardware.

To check on the status of the Bluetooth hardware, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Bluetooth icon in the notification area.

  2. Choose the command Open Settings (in Windows 7) or Open Bluetooth Settings (in Windows Vista).

    The Bluetooth settings dialog box appears. Use the dialog box to check the various settings for the Bluetooth hardware, to ensure that it’s working properly.

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    For example, to check for updates to the Bluetooth driver, click the Driver tab and then click the Update Driver button.

    When the adapter is acting oddly, you can click the Restore Defaults button to erase any settings you may have made that screwed things up.

  3. Click the OK button to close the Bluetooth settings dialog box when you’re done.

Here are some other suggestions for working with your Bluetooth gizmos, as well as general Bluetooth troubleshooting:

  • It’s possible to use Bluetooth to connect multiple devices to your computer, such as more than one mouse or keyboard ― nothing wrong with that. In fact, you can connect multiple input devices by using the PC’s USB ports as well. All input devices (mice and keyboards) remain active.

  • When you can’t do something on your PC, or input is acting oddly, check to ensure that a second keyboard or mouse isn’t being manipulated beyond your control. For example, if a book is pressing the Shift key on the second keyboard, it may explain why all your text is in uppercase.

  • Ensure that the wireless radio is on: Click the Bluetooth icon to confirm that it’s on for your PC. Check the Bluetooth gizmo itself to ensure that it’s broadcasting a Bluetooth signal.

  • Some Bluetooth dongles feature a teensy button you can use to wake up the wireless radio.

  • Because Bluetooth devices are wireless, they use batteries. To help preserve battery life, most Bluetooth devices have an automatic sleep or stand-by mode. You may need to wake the device before it can be used: Press or click a button on the device to wake it up.

  • Wireless devices consume batteries. Always have fresh batteries on hand. If a device doesn’t work, change the batteries. Properly dispose of used batteries.

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