Connect an Android smartphone to a Windows 10 laptop (tablet or PC) using Bluetooth

Bluetooth may not be the latest wireless technology, and it is surely not the most reliable, at least when it comes to using it for file transfers. However, it is still one of the most widely used methods of interconnecting various computing devices. One of the most common situations involving Bluetooth is when you want to connect your Android smartphone with your Windows 10 computer or device so that you can transfer files between devices or perform other tasks. Today, we're going to show you how it is done:

NOTE: To show you the process involved, we used a laptop with Windows 10 and a Google Nexus 6P smartphone with Android 8 Oreo. Although the screenshots might look a bit different on other Android smartphones, the steps involved are the same. You should not have any problems even if you use an Android 6 Marshmallow device or even one with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Step 1. Enable Bluetooth on your Windows 10 PC or device

The first step you have to take is to make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your Windows 10 computer or device. You can find complete instructions on how to do that, in this guide: 2 ways to turn Bluetooth on or off, in Windows 10.

The quick path to do this is to go to "Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth & other devices." If Bluetooth is turned Off, click or tap on its switch to turn it On.

Windows 10 Bluetooth settings

Once the Bluetooth chip or adapter is enabled, your Windows 10 computer or device automatically begins to search for nearby Bluetooth devices. Also, as long as you keep the window with Bluetooth settings opened, your Windows 10 computer or device can be discovered by other devices using Bluetooth.

IMPORTANT: If your Windows 10 computer or device does not have a built-in Bluetooth chip, you might not see the On/Off switch, and you cannot make a Bluetooth connection unless you add a Bluetooth adapter, like this one.

Step 2. Enable Bluetooth on your Android device

After you have enabled Bluetooth in Windows 10, do the same thing on the Android smartphone or tablet that you are using. The easiest way to do that in Android is to use the quick settings. To get to them, pull down the Notifications from the top side of the screen. Among all the quick settings displayed by your Android device, you should also see a Bluetooth icon. If it's disabled, tap on it to enable it.

The Bluetooth icon in Android's quick settings

You can find all the ways to enable Bluetooth on Android phones, and tablets, in this tutorial: 3 ways to enable or disable Bluetooth, on Android smartphones and tablets.

Step 3. Connect your Windows 10 laptop (PC, or tablet) to your Android phone or tablet, through Bluetooth

Once you enable Bluetooth on Windows 10 and Android, your PC and smartphone should start looking for nearby Bluetooth devices.

On your Windows 10 computer or device, go to "Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth & other devices." There, click or tap the button that says: "Add Bluetooth or other device."

Add Bluetooth or other device in Windows 10

In the "Add a device" window from Windows 10, click or tap Bluetooth.

The Add a Device wizard in Windows 10

Your Windows 10 laptop (tablet or PC), spends a couple of seconds looking for nearby Bluetooth devices. As soon as it finds your Android phone (or tablet), click or tap on its name.

Adding a Bluetooth device in Windows 10

Windows 10 displays a code on the screen. The same code also appears on your Android device. In Windows 10, press Connect and then immediately, on your Android device, press Pair. You need to do both these things as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the pairing fails. If that happens, your Windows 10 device displays an error message recommending that you add the Bluetooth device again.

Pairing Windows 10 and Android devices through Bluetooth

If everything worked well, your Windows 10 computer is now paired and connected to your Android smartphone or tablet. You are told that your device is ready to go. Press Done.

The Bluetooth device is set up in Windows 10

Now you can start using the Bluetooth connection between Windows 10 and Android. The next time you want to connect the same two devices, you won't have to go through the pairing process again. The pairing is going to be performed automatically.

What can you do with a Bluetooth connection between Android and Windows 10?

After you connect through Bluetooth your Android and Windows 10 devices and computers, you can use Bluetooth to transfer files between the two. For example, in Windows 10's window with Bluetooth settings, you see a link for "Send or receive files via Bluetooth."

Send or receive files via Bluetooth in Windows 10

When you click this link, you start the Bluetooth File Transfer wizard which helps you send or receive files via Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth File Transfer wizard from Windows 10

We promise to cover this task in an upcoming tutorial.

Did you successfully connect your Windows 10 PC with your Android smartphone or tablet?

Using Bluetooth to connect your Windows 10 PC with your Android smartphone or tablet is not very complicated. However, if you do not move fast with confirming the pairing through Bluetooth, the process may fail. Before closing this guide, tell us whether everything worked well for you. What kind of Windows 10 computer did you try to pair with what Android device? Comment below, and share your experience.