Connecting Windows 8.1 to a Bluetooth Device

If you have been using mobile devices or even laptops for quite a long time then you should have a good idea of what “Bluetooth” is, what it is capable of doing and what it is used for. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other or even transfer files across each other. It can also be used as a means to transmit sound or even data from one Bluetooth-enabled device to another paving the way to the creation of Bluetooth headsets and other Bluetooth-governed processes such as files transfer.

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At present, most of the latest laptops that were manufactured and even the ones dating back to as old as Windows Vista are Bluetooth-enabled and in this tutorial, we will be looking at the steps involved in adding and connecting other Bluetooth devices to your Windows 8.1 computer.

Turning Bluetooth On

Bigger laptops have a special button dedicated for turning the Bluetooth radio on and have it all ready for sending or receiving files or picking up communication from another Bluetooth-enabled device while smaller portable type computers use the “Fn” key combined with a function key such as “F3” or any of the other function keys having the Bluetooth logo. Take note that you can’t access the Bluetooth settings screen if the hardware (Bluetooth radio) is not yet turned on. If you just upgraded your old machine to Windows 8.1 and you failed to download and install a Bluetooth driver then chances are you won’t be able to turn the Bluetooth radio on from the PC settings but if your computer has really been made for Windows 8.1 then you will not be encountering any problems in turning the Bluetooth feature on or off from the new PC settings section.

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To access the Bluetooth settings section in PC settings, you will first need to press the “Windows+S” keys and after doing so, you will be able to see the Search screen appear from the right edge. From here, all you need to do is type in the word “Bluetooth” into the search input box provided and wait until the search results appears just underneath it. Once the search results appears, just click on the one that says “Bluetooth settings” to open the section where you can tweak some aspects of the Bluetooth feature, connect to a paired device and some other Bluetooth related stuff.

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After clicking on the “Bluetooth settings” shortcut that appeared on the search results. You will be taken to a metro screen which contains all the tweaks that you can do to your machine’s Bluetooth feature. You will also see that your computer will automatically search for Bluetooth-enabled devices that you can connect or send files to and will also inform you that your machine is visible to all the other Bluetooth devices which are around and has been paired to it in a previous time.

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From PC and devices metro screen, you will also have access to a toggle switch that will allow you to turn the Bluetooth radio off simply by dragging the knob to the left as shown on the screenshot above.

Adding a Device

Still on the same screen, you can easily add a new device simply by turning on the Bluetooth radio in the device that you want to add and after you do so, you will notice a new icon under the “Manage Bluetooth devices” section that bears the name of the device which you have just turned the Bluetooth on. Under the name of the device, you will also see a label that says “Ready to pair”.

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To add the device, simply click on its icon ¬†that you see on the same metro screen and after doing so, you will notice a button just below it that says “Pair”. When you see this button, simply click on it to initiate the pairing process. “Pairing” is the term used to describe the authentication process between Bluetooth devices that wishes to connect and communicate with one another.

After clicking the “Pair” button, you will see a prompt on the screen that shows a set of numbers which is called a “Passcode”. When you see these numbers, you will need to check on the device that you are planning to add and compare if the passcode that was generated by your computer is the same as the passcode that appears on your device. If you see that the passcodes are the same, you’ll need to click the “Yes” button on the prompt that appeared on your computer screen but if it is not the same, you can click “No”. If you changed your mind and just want to do the pairing on a later time, you can click on the “Cancel” button.

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If the passcodes on your computer and the one that was displayed on the device that you want to add are one and the same, you can click the “Yes” button and on the device’s screen, you will need to click “Pair”. You will then see a progress bar under the device thumbnail on your computer’s screen which shows the overall progress of the pairing process. Back to the screen of the device that you want to add, you will see another prompt and from here, just click on the “OK” button to complete the pairing or device authentication process.

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You will know that a device is completely added to your computer’s Bluetooth devices list because you will see a label that says “Connected” under it. After doing so, you will be able to start sending different types of files from the device to your computer and the other way around. Transferring files via Bluetooth lessens the possibility of getting viruses across devices since it is a wireless method which is much safer compared to sending files via wired connection or by using storage devices.

Removing a Device

Finally, if the list of paired devices on your Windows 8.1 computer is becoming very crowded, you can remove the ones that you actually don’t need to be paired with anymore such as your friend’s phone, tablet or even his/her laptop. To do this, all you need to do is look for the icon that represents the device that you want to remove from being paired with your computer and when you find it, simply click on it then you will see a “Remove device” button at the bottom part of the thumbnail.

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After clicking on the button, you will see a small box containing a prompt that is asking you to confirm the device removal process. From here, simply click the “Yes” button to complete the process. A device that has already been removed will automatically disappear from the list to give way for some newer devices to appear on the list. All of the available Bluetooth devices will appear in alphabetical order on the “Manage Bluetooth devices” screen so it will be easy for you to locate a device if in case the list gets crowded.