Did you know that you can connect your Windows Phone 8 smartphone to your Windows 8 computers or devices via Bluetooth? Once connected, you can transfer files between devices, remote control devices and do many other cool things. But, before doing this, you need to pair them, so that they "speak" to each other. In this tutorial you will learn how to connect any Windows 8 computer or device to a smartphone with Windows Phone 8 via Bluetooth, so that they interact with each other.
NOTE: If you are not very familiar with Bluetooth, how this technology works and how it can be used, we recommend reading this article: Simple Questions: What is Bluetooth & How to Get it on Your Computer?.
Prerequisites to a Good Bluetooth Connection
Before moving forward with the pairing procedure, you need to double check that some prerequisites/dependencies are met:
- Install drivers for your Bluetooth adapter on your Windows 8 computer or device. If you have a laptop or tablet, double check that it has a Bluetooth chip. Some models do not have one. Windows 8 should be able to identify your Bluetooth adapter and install the drivers for it. If it cannot, make sure you install the drivers for it from the website of your computer’s manufacturer or from the disc with drivers shipped with the device. If you have a desktop computer, you need to first purchase a USB Bluetooth adapter, like this one: Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth 4.0 USB adapter.
- Turn on Bluetooth both on your Windows 8 computer or device. On your laptop or tablet, you will find a button/switch, or a combination of keys (Fn key plus something else) to turn on the Bluetooth chip. Some laptop manufacturers complicate things further by not providing such buttons and requiring you to use their custom software to enable this functionality. For example, on Sony Vaio computers, you can enable Bluetooth only from the VAIO Smart Network utility they provide. When Bluetooth is turned ON, you will notice its icon in the taskbar changing as shown in the screenshot below.
Now that the prerequisites have been met, it is time to move forward and configure the Bluetooth settings on your Windows 8 computer or device.
Allowing & Configuring Bluetooth Connections in Windows 8
In Windows 8, right click the Bluetooth icon found in the taskbar or press and hold on it. Then, click or tap Open Settings.
The Bluetooth Settings window opens. In the Options tab, go to the Discovery section and check the option which says "Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer". This will make your Windows 8 computer or device visible to other Bluetooth devices.
You should also enable "Alert me when a new Bluetooth devices wants to connect". This way you can approve or deny Bluetooth connections.
Go to the Share tab. Here, double check that "Allow remote devices to browse, send, and receive pictures, music, and other files" is checked. This allows you to make file transfers between Bluetooth devices.
If you want Bluetooth devices to use the printer connected to your computer, also check the option which says "Allow remote devices to use the printer connected to your computer".
Go to the Sync tab. Check the option which says "Allow Bluetooth devices to send you PIM items such as business cards, calendar items, e-mail messages, and notes", if you want to be able to transfer such items via Bluetooth.
When you are done setting everything, click or tap OK, so that your settings get applied.
Turn on Bluetooth on Your Windows Phone 8
Now it is time to turn on Bluetooth on your Windows Phone 8 and make it discoverable. Luckily, this is done with one setting.
Go to Settings and scroll down to Bluetooth. Tap on it.
Change the Status slider from Off to On, wait for the phone to turn this service on and find other Bluetooth devices.
In our exercise, we connected a Windows Phone 8 (HTC 8X) to a Windows 8 laptop (named Lappy).
Pairing Windows Phone 8 with a Windows 8 Computer
To start the pairing process, make sure both your phone and Windows 8 computer are close by, so that you can move quickly. If you wait for too long, the process fails and you need to start over.
Now, on your Windows Phone 8, tap the Windows 8 computer you want to connect to. You are shown a PIN that will be displayed also on your Windows 8 computer.
Go to your Windows 8 computer or device. There you will see a notification for adding a device. Click or tap on it, before it goes away. Otherwise, the connection will fail in a couple of seconds.
Then, you are asked to compare passcodes. They should be the same.
Click or tap Yes in Windows 8 and also tap ok in Windows Phone 8. You must do this on both devices, otherwise, the pairing will fail with the error message: "That passcode isn’t right. Try adding your phone again.".
If everything went well, your Windows Phone 8 will say that it is connected.
In Windows 8, the Bluetooth Operations window shows up, as well as a small Windows Media Player window.
Also, your Windows Phone 8 will have its own tile on the Start screen.
Then, in Devices and Printers, the phone will be listed in your list of devices.
Now, your Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices are connected and they can interact with each other. More details about what you can do, how to transfer files, media, etc, will be shared in a separate tutorial.
Pairing a Windows 8 Computer to a Windows Phone 8
The pairing process can be started also from Windows 8. Actually, it doesn’t matter which device starts the process.
Go to the Devices section in PC Settings. To learn more about it, read this article: Introducing Windows 8: How to Add or Remove Devices from PC Settings.
Click or tap the "Add a device" button and wait for Windows 8 to detect the Windows Phone 8 device.
Click or tap on it and the follow the same steps as described in the previous section, to pair the two devices.
Removing the Pairing Between the Two Devices
Before you remove a pairing, it is best to disconnect the two devices. You can do this from any of them.
In Windows Phone 8, in Settings -> Bluetooth, tap the Windows 8 device to disconnect from it.
In Windows 8, click or tap the Disconnect button in the Bluetooth Operations window.
Then, go to Devices and Printers in Windows 8. You can learn where to find it, here: What is the Devices and Printers Panel and How to Use it.
Select your Windows Phone 8 and click or tap Remove device.
You are asked to confirm that you want to remove the device. Click or tap Yes and you are done.
Alternatively, you can remove the pairing also from PC Settings. To learn more about it, read this article: Introducing Windows 8: How to Add or Remove Devices from PC Settings.
In the Devices section look for your Windows Phone 8 device and click or tap on it to select it.
Then, click or tap on the minus sign on the right and confirm that you want to remove the device.
After a couple of seconds, your Windows Phone 8 device is removed.
When the pairing is removed, Windows Phone 8 no longer knows how to connect back to your Windows 8 computer. If you tap your Windows 8 computer or device, it just won’t connect. The only solution is to turn off Bluetooth on your phone, turn it back on and start the pairing process again.
As you can see, connecting a Windows Phone 8 smartphone to a Windows 8 computer or device, is not that hard. If you pay attention to the steps described in this article you should not encounter any issues.
If you are looking for more information about Bluetooth, connecting devices and transferring files, don’t hesitate to read the articles we recommend below.