Can’t find Bluetooth headphones / not connecting [Full Fix]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Windows 10 has a lot to offer and Bluetooth technology occupies an important role when it comes to the useful features of this OS.
  • By taking out bulky cables, you can pair devices to your PC wireless. But cases of Bluetooth headphones not connecting are unfortunately not scarce. Here's how to turn this bad scenario into a memory.
  • Take a look at our Bluetooth and Headphones sections for more troubleshooting ideas.
  • Looking for expert-grade diagnostics? Go ahead and bookmark our extensive Laptop & PC Guides.
Windows 10 cannot find Bluetooth headphones

Windows 10 has a lot of useful features including the ability to quickly connect devices to your PC without the need for cables around your desk using the Bluetooth technology.

Bluetooth allows you to use a wide range of wireless devices, such as headphones, speakers, mice, keyboards, and many others.

Out of all these gadgets, Bluetooth headphones are praised for their ability to deliver quality sound without cables so the headphones industry has really embraced this technology and has started producing it on a large scale.

Everything is great about Bluetooth when it works but it is far from being perfect and sometimes you will come across connectivity problems.

If you’re dealing with a case of Bluetooth headphones not connecting, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can follow.

What can I do if PC can’t find Bluetooth headphones?

  1. Make sure the devices you want to pair are compatible
  2. Check if other Bluetooth devices can be connected
  3. Verify if you have correctly paired your headsets with your computer
  4. Bluetooth is missing in Settings – update driver software
  5. Use Hardware and device troubleshooter

1. Make sure the devices you want to pair are compatible

Your headset has a specific profile that spells out the devices with which it can connect. If you are not sure, go ahead and check the user manual.

Also, if you’re using the Windows 10 April Update OS, check your Bluetooth profiles to make sure they’re compatible with this OS version.

2. Check if other Bluetooth devices can be connected

If you can’t connect Bluetooth headphones to the PC, the culprit might not be your headset at all.

Another suggestion is to see if other Bluetooth devices can be connected to your computer. If you cannot connect other Bluetooth devices to your PC, the issue is not with your headphones.

It is actually a Bluetooth issue with the device. If other Bluetooth devices are pairing, check the solution no.3 listed below.

Bluetooth is not working in Windows 10? Check out this step-by-step guide to fix it.

3. Verify if you have correctly paired your headsets with your computer

If your laptop can’t find the Bluetooth headphones, you should also verify that you have correctly followed the pairing steps. In order to do this, use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings and click on Devices
  2. Click on Bluetooth & other devices and turn on the Bluetooth toggle switchBluetooth
  3. Click the Add Bluetooth or other device button to connect your headphones
  4. Put your headphones into what is called Discovery Mode. Every set of headphones accomplishes this in a different way, so you will need to reference your headphone instructions on how to go about the process
  5. Go back to the Bluetooth settings page on your computer and select Bluetooth or other devices
  6. Click on Bluetooth and choose your headphones from the list of devices – it might take a moment, but your headphones will appear in the list
  7. Click the Connect button to pair and then click the Done button

4. Bluetooth is missing in Settings – update your drivers

If the Bluetooth option is missing from Settings, there is a chance that the problem is linked to a driver issue so another idea is to reinstall the Bluetooth driver or install the latest update available through the manufacturer’s support website.

You can also perform an online search with the name of your headphones along with the word driver. We recommend you to follow their instructions to install the driver, but if you cannot find any directions, you can use these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R keys, type devmgmt.msc in the dialogue box and press Enterrun device manager
  2. Once in the Device Manager, expand the category of Bluetooth and locate your headphones
  3. Right-click on it and select Update driver optionbluetooth-update-driver
  4. Select the Browse my computer for driver software optionbrowse my computer for software update
  5. Specify the path for the driver you downloaded.
  6. Click Next to complete the update.
  7. After finishing with the steps, use the instructions mentioned at Solution no. 3 to connect your headphones

If your Bluetooth keyboard is connected, but still not working, here’s what you need to do.

5. Use the Hardware and device troubleshooter

If you are still unable to fix Bluetooth connectivity due to a driver issue on Windows 10, you can use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve this issue:

  1. Type troubleshoot in the search box and press Enter
  2. In the Troubleshooting window, go to Find and fix other problems and choose Hardware and Devices
  3. Click on Run the troubleshootertroubleshoot hardware and devices
  4. Click Next to run the troubleshooter
  5. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the task

We hope that you found this article useful. If you have additional solutions to solving this problem, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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