FIX: Unable to start the Bluetooth stack service

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Most Laptops and PCs come with a built-in Bluetooth device that allows wireless connectivity and file transfer with a lot of devices.
  • Sometimes the Bluetooth driver can encounter errors, and that is when a guide like the one below can come in handy.
  • We have plenty of other guides like this in our dedicated Bluetooth hub, so make sure you check that out as well.
  • For more great articles, check out our Laptop and PC Fix page.
can't start the Bluetooth stack service

After restarting your Windows computer, you may encounter the unable to start the Bluetooth stack service error due to Bluetooth control driver malfunctioning. The message can also occur when trying to connect to another Bluetooth enabled device.

Several users have reported similar errors in the Microsoft community forum:

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I am aunable to transfer imajes via blue tooth  to my laptop from my camera – failure reason- this transfer is forbidden by the target device.
I keep on getting BTTray – unable to start the bluetooth stack service after some time on the laptop.

If you are also troubled by this error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the unable to start the Bluetooth stack service error in Windows.


How do I fix the unable to start the Bluetooth stack service error?

1. Remove WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver 

Unable to start the Bluetooth stack service

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Click on Apps and features.
  4. Search for the WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver from installed apps.
  5. Click on WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver and select Remove.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the action.

The WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver by Broadcomm in Dell laptops is a known cause of Bluetooth stack service error. Several users have reported that removing the driver did help them resolve the error in Windows.


2. Start Bluetooth Support Service

Unable to start the Bluetooth stack service

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type services.msc and click OK to open Services.
  3. In the Services window, locate Bluetooth Support Service.
  4. Right-click on Bluetooth Support Service and select Properties.
  5. If the service is running, click Stop.
  6. Click the drop-down menu for Startup Type: and select Automatic.
  7. Click the Start button to start the service again.
  8. Select Apply and OK to save the changes.

If the issue persists, even after restarting the Bluetooth Support Services, do the following:

  1. Open Services.
  2. In the Services window, locate all the services with Bluetooth in it.
  3. Double-click on the services and click Stop. Make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic.
  4. Click the Start button once again and click OK to save the changes.
  5. Repeat the process with all the Bluetooth related services.
  6. Close Services and check if the error is resolved.

3. Disable Bttray from Startup

Unable to start the Bluetooth stack service

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. In Task Manager, open the Startup tab.
  3. Locate the Bttray or Bluetooth Tray option in the startup apps list.
  4. Select Bttray and click on Disable. This will prevent the app from starting during startup.
  5. Close Task Manager and check if the error is resolved.

4. Update Bluetooth driver

Unable to start the Bluetooth stack service

  1. Press Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open Device Manager.
  3. In Device Manager, expand the Bluetooth category.
  4. Right-click on your computer’s Bluetooth device and select Update Driver.
  5. Select the Search automatically for updated driver software option.
  6. Wait for Windows to download and install any pending updates for the Bluetooth device.
  7. Once installed, reboot the computer and check if the unable to start the Bluetooth stack service error is resolved.

Install Windows updates

Dell Bluetooth device error

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  1. Click Start and select Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Open Windows Updates.
  4. Download all the pending Windows updates.
  5. Reboot the computer and check for any improvements.

Updating your Windows OS can fix bugs and glitches with the previously installed drivers and other compatibility issues.

The unable to start the Bluetooth stack service error is most common to Dell laptops due to the WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver being used to manage the Bluetooth function. However, the driver is known to cause the blue screen of death and other issues during startup.

If removing the WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver did not help, follow other steps in this article to resolve the issue. If you managed to solve the error using any other method, do leave it in the comments and we will try to update the article.


FAQ: Learn more about Bluetooth Stack services

  • How do I fix the Bluetooth stack error?

This particular issue, along with many others, have already been covered by us in this extensive article on fixing Bluetooth connectivity errors.

  • What is the Bluetooth user support service?

The Bluetooth user support service is responsible for the discovery and associate of remote Bluetooth devices in Windows devices. The proper functioning of the service is important for a smooth Bluetooth connection.

  • Why doesn’t my Bluetooth work?

A variety of issues can cause your Bluetooth to not start at all. For more information on the matter, check out this article on what to do when your Bluetooth doesn’t launch at all.


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