Bluetooth goes missing in your system’s Settings mainly because of issues in the integration of the Bluetooth software/frameworks or due to an issue with the hardware itself. There can also be other situations where Bluetooth disappears from the Settings because of bad drivers, conflicting applications etc.
First of all, you should check if Bluetooth hardware is indeed present on your device (or your system supports Bluetooth). If it is, it means that there isn’t a proper configuration because of which you are facing this difficulty. Take a look at the solutions listed down below.
Boot into Safe Mode and then Back to Normal Mode
- Hold the Windows Key and Press R. Type msconfig and click OK
- Go to the Boot tab and put a check on Safe Boot.
- Reboot the PC and it should boot into Safe Mode. Once in Safe Mode, the drivers should be installed automatically.
- Repeat Step 1 and 2 to uncheck Safe Boot and boot back into Normal mode and check to see if the issue is resolved.
Checking the Bluetooth Service
The most common reason why Bluetooth doesn’t show in Settings is that its service isn’t enabled. By default, the service startup type is set as Manual instead of Automatic. We can try starting the service again, changing it to automatic and check if this solves the problem.
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once in Services, navigate through all the entries until you find “Bluetooth Support Service”. Double-click the service to launch its properties.
Do note that in some devices, there may be other services as well such as ‘Bluetooth Driver Management System, etc.”. Make sure that you perform these changes to all of them.
- Start the service first by clicking the “Start” button and set the startup type as “Automatic”. Press Apply to save changes and exit.
- Go to settings by pressing Windows + I and then navigate to “Devices” and check if the problem is resolved.
Installing the Default Drivers
Another workaround to solve this problem is to install the default drivers for the hardware. We can do this by uninstalling the device and then checking for hardware using the device manager.
- Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once in the device manager, expand the category of “Bluetooth”. Your Bluetooth hardware will be listed here. Right-click on it and select “Uninstall”.
- The Bluetooth category will completely vanish from the device manager. This means that the device was successfully uninstalled.
- If you cannot see Bluetooth devices there, click on View menu, then click on Show Hidden Devices.
- Right-click on any space and select “Scan for hardware changes”. Your computer will now scan all the hardware connected. After it comes across the Bluetooth hardware, it will automatically install the default drivers.
- Open the Bluetooth category again and check if the driver was successfully installed.
- Now you can check if the option is back in the settings. If it isn’t, restart your computer and check again. Do note that you might have to scan for hardware changes more than once if it doesn’t detect it on the first try.
Note: You should also check if the device is enabled. Right-click on the device and select “Enable device”.
In rare cases, the driver for your hardware is corrupt or isn’t compatible. In that case, right-click on the device, and select “Update driver”. There will be two options available (Automatic and Manual). Opt for automatic and make sure that you have an active internet connection. Windows will now search for drivers online and update them.
If you can’t find any drivers automatically, try using the manual method and install the drivers after downloading them from the manufacturer’s website.
Enabling Bluetooth using the Physical Key
On many laptops, there is a separate key present for enabling/disabling the Bluetooth device. Make sure that the Bluetooth is indeed enabled using that physical key on your laptop.
Many laptops have a shortcut of Bluetooth on their keyboard. These keys are usually Fn + F12 etc. Check your keyboard thoroughly and make sure that Bluetooth is indeed enabled. It seems that the physical keys always override the software so software alone cannot start/initiate your Bluetooth.
Enabling Bluetooth on the Taskbar
If you want to add Bluetooth to your notification area, you can do so easily by changing the settings. By having it on your Taskbar, you can perform actions but just right-clicking the icon instead of navigating to settings and performing them there.
- Press Windows + S to launch the search bar. Type “Bluetooth” in the dialogue box and open the most relevant application which comes forth.
- On the left side of the screen, there will be additional options. Select “More Bluetooth options”.
- Once in Bluetooth settings, check the box which says “Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area”. Press Apply to save changes and exit. The Bluetooth icon will automatically be present on your taskbar.
If you can’t see it, press the arrow on the taskbar to show hidden icons. It will most probably be present there.
Run the Bluetooth Troubleshooter
Windows 10 has many built-in troubleshooters to help users in solving many Windows 10 problems. It has a dedicated Bluetooth Troubleshooter as well. This troubleshooter automatically checks your existing Bluetooth hardware and makes sure that it is integrated with the OS properly. If it isn’t, it will try to reinitialize everything again from scratch and reconfigure the hardware. This may take some time so make sure you let the process complete.
- Press Windows key, type Troubleshoot and then click on Troubleshoot Settings.
- In the right pane of the window, scroll down and Find Bluetooth.
- Now click on Bluetooth and then click on Run This Troubleshooter.
- Now follow the instructions displayed on the screen.
- Once the troubleshooter has completed its process, restart the system and check if the Bluetooth icon is back.
Hopefully, your system is clear of the Bluetooth problem. If not, then try to reset your BIOS to “Factory Settings“.
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