How to turn on Bluetooth in Windows 11

Want to enable Bluetooth on Windows 11? In this version of Windows, there are several options to turn on Bluetooth and connect wirelessly to external devices.

Quick tutorial: Activating Bluetooth in Windows 11

Here are four different options for turning on Bluetooth in Windows 11:

  1. Task bar > Bluetooth symbol > launch Settings > Toggle Bluetooth switch to “On”
  2. Open network settings with [Windows] + [A] > click on Bluetooth
  3. System settings via start menu + cogwheel icon or [Windows] + [i] > “Bluetooth and devices” > Bluetooth switch “On
  4. Windows search > “Bluetooth” > launch “Bluetooth and other device settings” > Bluetooth switch “On”

Why is Bluetooth useful for your PC?

Bluetooth is typically used for smartphones and other mobile devices. PC peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard or speakers can also be connected wirelessly. You can even connect a PS4 controller on a PC via Bluetooth. In addition, Bluetooth makes it easier to stream music from a PC to a music system.

While the range of Bluetooth is much greater than that of a NFC connection, the principle of communication with nearby devices is the same. Bluetooth devices find and contact another, making communication between devices easy. However, the Bluetooth function must be enabled on each device. So how do you turn on Bluetooth on your Windows 11 computer?


Using Windows 10 and can’t find the Bluetooth setting? Find out how to activate Bluetooth in Windows 10.

How to activate Bluetooth via the taskbar

Step 1: Click the thin arrowhead icon in the taskbar at the bottom right of the screen. The Bluetooth icon should appear here.

Taskbar icons with Bluetooth icon
Clicking on the arrowhead icon pointing upwards opens the toolbar with the Bluetooth icon.

Step 2: Click on the Bluetooth icon to open the context menu. Then select “Open Settings”.

Bluetooth symbol: Context menu with “Open Settings”
Clicking on the Bluetooth icon opens the context menu.

Step 3: The dialog that contains the system settings opens.

Step 4: Toggle the switch in the upper right corner to “On” to enable Bluetooth on your computer.

Bluetooth switch “On” in the system settings for Bluetooth devices
A click on the on/off switch activates the Bluetooth function.

How to activate Bluetooth via network settings

At the bottom right of the taskbar you’ll find the network icon. Click it to open an overview of your computer’s current settings. You can open the quick settings menu by pressing [Windows] + [A].

You’ll also be able to check the status of the Bluetooth connection. Click on it to activate Bluetooth under Windows 11.

Network settings with Bluetooth button via the network icon in the taskbar
Clicking the network icon launches the control panel for the Bluetooth connection.

Activate Bluetooth via the system settings

Step 1: Bluetooth can be activated via the Windows 11 system settings. Click on the blue Windows icon in the lower taskbar to launch the Start menu. Look for the gray gear icon labeled “Settings” and click it. Alternatively, use the key combination [Windows] + [i].

Windows 11 Start Menu: Settings icon
In the Start menu of Windows 11, you will find the icon for the system settings.

Step 2: Click “Bluetooth and devices” on the left in the system settings.

Windows 11 system settings: “Bluetooth and Devices” menu item
In the system settings, you’ll find the menu item “Bluetooth and devices”.

Step 3: The page for “Bluetooth and devices” will launch. In Bluetooth devices, toggle the switch for Bluetooth to “On”.

Windows 11 system settings for Bluetooth devices: Bluetooth switch to “On”
Clicking the switch activates the Bluetooth function.

Activate Bluetooth via the search function

Step 1: The “Search” button with the magnifying glass icon is located in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Clicking it launches a window where you can type your search term. Type “Bluetooth”. On the right side of the window, you’ll see the matching system settings “Bluetooth and other device settings”. Click on “Open”.

Windows 11 search bar: Enter “bluetooth” and search result “Bluetooth and other device settings”
Use the search function to find the appropriate link for Bluetooth system settings.

Step 2: By clicking it, you’ll be directed to the settings for Bluetooth. Toggle the “Bluetooth” switch to “On”.

Security risks when using Bluetooth

When using Bluetooth technology, it’s important to be aware of some common security risks.

Not every device trying to connect to your PC or notebook via Bluetooth is useful. When pairing devices with Bluetooth, ensure they’re trusted devices. If you connect to unknown devices, you risk, for example, data theft or even installing ransomware. Moreover, strangers may send you messages or pictures via Bluetooth without permission. This is harassment and known as bluejacking.

When exchanging data using Bluetooth, always make sure that the connection is secure and that you know the devices that you’re allowing to connect with your device. Don’t download files or applications from untrusted sources, and always ensure that your Bluetooth-enabled devices have the latest security updates installed. Different network types have different security requirements.

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