How to Pair Your Android with a Bluetooth Peripheral - dummies

How to Pair Your Android with a Bluetooth Peripheral

By Dan Gookin

To make the Bluetooth connection between your Android and another gizmo, such as a Bluetooth keyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the Bluetooth radio is on.
  2. Make the Bluetooth peripheral discoverable.
    Turn on the gizmo and ensure that its Bluetooth radio is on. Keep in mind that some Bluetooth peripherals have separate power and Bluetooth switches. If so, press the Bluetooth button or take whatever action is necessary to make the peripheral discoverable.
  3. On the Android, open the Settings app to access the Bluetooth screen.
    The Bluetooth screen shows already paired and available peripherals, similar to what’s shown in the following figure. If not, tap the SCAN button or tap Action Overflow and choose Refresh. If the Refresh icon is available, shown in the margin, tap it.
  4. Choose the Bluetooth peripheral from the list.
  5. If necessary, type the device’s passcode or otherwise acknowledge the connection.
    For example, with a Bluetooth keyboard, you may see on the touchscreen a prompt showing a series of numbers. Type those numbers on the keyboard, and then press the Enter or Return key. That action completes the pairing.
Finding Bluetooth gizmos.

After the device is paired, you can begin using it.

Connected devices appear in the Bluetooth Settings window, under the heading Paired Devices, as shown here.

  • Bluetooth peripherals stay paired whether you turn off the Android, turn off the device, or disable the Bluetooth radio. The connection is reestablished automatically when you turn things on again.
  • Yes, your car can be a Bluetooth peripheral, if it has a Bluetooth radio installed. That way, you can use an Android phone hands-free while driving. Pairing the phone with your car works differently for each vehicle, though the general steps proceed as outlined in this chapter. Do be aware that the car will not pair while it is in gear; stop the car to being the pairing process.


  • To stop using a device long-term, you unpair it. To do so, visit the Bluetooth screen and tap the Settings icon by the peripheral’s entry. Tap the FORGET button or the Unpair action. The device is unpaired.
  • Unpair only the devices that you plan never to use again. Otherwise, turn off the Bluetooth device when you’re done using it.
  • The Bluetooth radio consumes a modicum of power. It’s not a lot of juice for the Android, but could be for the peripheral. If you don’t plan to use the peripheral for a while, turn it off.