FIX: Bluetooth headsets not showing in playback devices

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • There are two main ways to capture the audio output from your computer: through built-in or external speakers or a pair of headsets.
  • Bluetooth headsets are great if you want to avoid all the headaches caused by cable-based headsets.
  • If your Bluetooth headsets are not showing in your list of playback devices on Windows 10, we found 6 solutions you can use to fix this problem.
  • This guide is part of our troubleshooting hub dedicated to peripherals. Feel free to bookmark it for later use in case your mouse, printer, keyboard and other peripherals stop working.
Bluetooth Headset won't connect windows 10

If you recently upgraded to Windows 10 and you started having issues with your Bluetooth headsets or perhaps they suddenly failed to connect to your computer, you’re in the right place.

In this tutorial, you’ll find what could be causing this issue and how to permanently fix it.

Most of the time, if the Bluetooth headset does not connect or keeps disconnecting, it is mainly because your Bluetooth drivers need to be updated.

Another culprit could also be the power saving feature in your Windows 10 PC. Sometimes, this feature turns off the Bluetooth in order to save as much power as it can thus preventing you from properly connecting your headset.

How to solve Bluetooth headset connections in Windows 10

  1. Set the Bluetooth Service to Automatic startup
  2. Tweak your Registry
  3. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  4. Update Bluetooth drivers
  5. Use the Windows Store Troubleshooter
  6. Uninstall Bluetooth driver

1. Set Bluetoot Service to Automatic startup

  1. Go to Start > type run > hit Enter
  2. Type services.msc > hit Enterwindows services
  3. You now have in front of you the Services window > on the left side pane, search for the following item: Bluetooth Support Service
  4. Double click on the Bluetooth Support Service feature to open itbluetooth support service
  5. Select the General tab located in the upper side of the window
  6. Go to Startup type > change the option from Manual to Automaticbluetooth support service automatic startup
  7. Select  the Log on tab located in the upper side of the  window
  8. Now select the option This Account and enter your account detailsbluetooth account
  9. Remove the passwords in the two boxes you have in the Log on tab.
  10. Close all the windows you have opened
  11. Reboot your Windows 10 device in order for the changes to take effect.
  12. Go on the Manufacturer’s website and look for the specific Bluetooth Headset drivers and download them.
    Note: Make sure that the drivers are compatible with your Windows 10 device.
  13. Uninstall the current Bluetooth drivers and install the recently downloaded ones.
  14. Reboot again your Windows 10 device and check to see if your headset is working for you now.

2. Tweak your Registry

If the Bluetooth drivers are not compatible with Windows 10, there’s no need to worry about it. Follow the steps below and you can install them without any problem.

  1. Go to Start > type regedit without the quotes > hit Enterregedit windows 10
  2. Now that you have the Registry editor window in front of you, go to  the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder situated on the left side panel.
  3. From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder, open the SOFTWARE folder.
  4. In the SOFTWARE folder, select the Microsoft folder.
  5. In the Microsoft folder, go to the WindowsNT folder.
  6. In the WindowsNT folder, open the CurrentVersion folder.
  7. Now that you are in the CurrentVersion folder, go to Current Version file.
  8. Change the version of the Current Version feature to 6.2 instead of what is presently there.windowsNT current version
  9. Save your changes and reboot your Windows 10 computer.
  10. Check again to see if your Bluetooth headset is working for you now.

3. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

  1. Go to Search > in the search box, type Troubleshoot without the quotes
  2. Press the Enter button on the keyboard
  3. After the search is finished, select the Troubleshoot icon
  4. Select Hardware and Devices > if you are prompt to enter user account information, provide the information required
  5. Run the Troubleshooter and follow the on-screen instructions to troubleshooter hardware issuestroubleshoot hardware and devices
  6. After the troubleshooting process is finished, close the window and reboot your Windows 10 computer.
  7. Check to see if your Bluetooth headset is working again.

4. Update Bluetooth drivers

As we said at the beginning of this article, your Bluetooth headset may fail to connect if you’re not running the latest Bluetooth driver version on your computer.

You can manually update the driver using Device Manager. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to Start > type device manager > double-click on the first result to launch Device Manager
  2. Locate the Bluetooth driver > right-click on it > select Update driver

update bluetoot driver

5. Use the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

As strange as this solution may first appear, it helped many users fix their Bluetooth headset connecting issues. So, although it may seem unusual to run the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter in order to fix Bluetooth issues, give this solution a try as it may help you fix the problem.

  1. Go to Start > type Control Panel > double-click on the first result to launch the tool
  2. Change View by from Category to Large Iconscontrol panel
  3. Scroll down and select Troubleshooting > select View all.
  4. Select Windows Store Apps and follow the on-screen instructions.

fix windows store apps

6. Uninstall Bluetooth drivers

Well, if updating your Bluetooth drivers didn’t work, try uninstalling them altogether.

  1. Remove the Bluetooth USB dongle > go to Start > launch Device Manager again
  2. Go to the View menu > Show hidden devicesuninstall bluetooth devices
  3. Uninstall all the devices listed under the Bluetooth category (right click on them > select Uninstall)
  4. Plug the USB dongle back in and wait until Windows 10 reinstalls the drivers.

That’s it folks, there you have six methods to fix your Bluetooth headset issues once and for all on your Windows 10 device.

If you have any additional issues or questions regarding this subject, don’t hesitate to contact us using the comments section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

FAQ: Learn more about Bluetooth headsets

  • Why is my Bluetooth headset not visible?

Your computer may fail to detect your Bluetooth headsets due to low battery issues. Make sure your headsets have enough battery juice left to function normally and check your computer’s Bluetooth settings as well.

  • How do you reset Bluetooth headsets?

You can easily reset Bluetooth headsets by pressing and holding the power button until the LED blinks and changes its color. Usually, when the red LED stops flashing, the reset is complete. You now need to pair your Bluetooth headsets to your computer again.

  • Is there a delay with Bluetooth headphones?

Bluetooth headphones and headsets may have slight audio lag issues, especially if you’re using outdated drivers. Bluetooth headsets don’t always stream in a continuous manner, stopping the stream from time to time so as to conserve energy — which may lead to audio delays and audio sync issues.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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