Troubleshoot: Phone Link won’t generate QR code or PIN

When the Phone Link app fails to generate a QR code or PIN, the screen displays an error message stating ‘It’s not you, it’s us. We’re experiencing service issues, so please try again later’. However, retrying does not make any difference as well.

Phone Link App Won’t Generate a QR Code Or PIN
Phone Link App Won’t Generate a QR Code Or PIN

There can be several causes for Phone Link not generating a QR code or PIN in Windows, such as some of the essential services for this feature like Bluetooth being disabled. You might also be experiencing issues due to firewall interruption, outdated drivers, and issues within the Phone Link app itself.

Below, we have discussed the troubleshooting methods you can try to resolve the problem on your computer. Proceed with the methods that fit your situation the best.

1. Ensure Bluetooth is enabled

The Phone Link app in Windows uses Bluetooth to establish a connection between the computer and the phone. It will not be possible to generate QR codes or PINs when Bluetooth is not enabled on either the computer or the phone.

If you are facing issues with Phone Link not generating QR code or PIN, the first thing that you should do is ensure that Bluetooth is enabled and working fine on both the computer and the phone.

If the Bluetooth service is working fine, move to the next method below.

2. Update Windows to the latest build

Phone Link requires a compatible version of Windows to work properly. This is because the app relies on certain features and functionalities that are only available in newer versions of Windows.

Here is how you can update Windows:

  1. Press the Win + I keys together to open Windows Settings.
  2. Choose Windows Updates from the left pane.
  3. Click the Check for updates button on the right side of the window.
    Click on the Check for updates button
    Click on the Check for updates button
  4. The system will now scan for the available updates. To install each update, click on Download & install after the scan is complete.
    Download and install the updates
    Download and install the updates
  5. Finally, restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

The Phone Link app in your phone must also be updated to the latest version if you want it to work with your computer. You can check the app store of your phone to see if there are any updates available.

3. Temporary disable antivirus

A firewall and antivirus software are designed to protect your computer from malware and hackers. At times, they can block or restrict certain programs, including the Phone Link app, from accessing the internet or the computer’s resources.

This can prevent the app from establishing a connection with the phone, and it will not be able to generate a QR code or PIN.

To fix the issue, you can try disabling the antivirus program and then use the Phone Link app. We have shown how to do this using the Avast antivirus. If you are using a different security program, the steps might differ for you a bit, but the basic principle will remain the same.

Here is how you can proceed:

  1. Right-click on the antivirus icon on your taskbar.
  2. Choose Shields control > Disable until the computer is restarted.
    Disable the antivirus temporarily
    Disable the antivirus temporarily
These steps were shown for Avast antivirus, each antivirus have different UI and steps to disable their engine. See more, How to Turn off Antivirus. Where we have steps to disable common antiviruses.

Now, try using the Phone Link app again and check if it works now.

4. Update drivers

You might also be facing the problem due to the outdated drivers on the system.

The Phone Link app relies on the proper functioning of certain drivers, such as Bluetooth driver, to establish a connection with the phone and generate a QR code or PIN. It is possible that your computer’s drivers are outdated and are not compatible with the Phone Link app, resulting in the issue.

To fix the issue, you can try updating the drivers on your computer by following these steps:

  1. Press the Win + S keys to open the Windows Search utility.
  2. Type Device Manager in the search area of the taskbar and click Open.
  3. Expand the Bluetooth drivers section and right-click on your Bluetooth driver.
  4. Choose Update driver from the context menu.
    Update your Bluetooth driver
    Update your Bluetooth driver
  5. Click on Search automatically for drivers.
    Search the system for updated driver version
    Search the system for updated driver version
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the driver.

We also recommend looking for any warning signs (yellow exclamation marks) with the drivers in the Device Manager utility. These drivers are either corrupt or outdated and can be fixed by updating them. If updating the drivers does not work, consider reinstalling them.

5. Reinstall the Phone Link app

Finally, if the troubleshooting methods above have not worked for you, you can try reinstalling the Phone Link app. Reinstalling the app will replace any corrupt or outdated files with fresh ones. It can help resolve any issues caused by a problem with the app’s files.

Here are the steps to reinstall the Phone Link app on Windows:

  1. Press the Windows + S keys together to open the Windows Search utility.
  2. Type Windows Powershell in the search bar and click on Run as administrator.
  3. Click Yes in the User Account Control prompt.
  4. In the Powershell window, type the command listed below and hit Enter to execute it.
    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.YourPhone -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
    Execute the entered command
    Execute the entered command
  5. Once the app is uninstalled, open the Microsoft Store and look for the Phone Link app.
  6. Click on the Get button for it and wait for the installation to complete.
    Click on the Get button
    Click on the Get button

We also recommend reinstalling the app on your phone and then checking if the problem is resolved. If you doubt that the issue is within the system rather than the app itself, you can run an SFC scan to rule out such problems.


Zainab Falak

Zainab Falak is a highly educated professional with a background in actuarial science and a strong passion for technology. Her expertise lies in the field of data analytics and she is a proficient programmer in languages such as Python and R. At Appuals, Zainab shares her extensive knowledge of Windows 8, 10, and 11, covering a broad range of topics related to these operating systems. Zainab's ability to effectively communicate technical concepts in a clear and concise manner has earned her recognition and respect in the tech community. She is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and providing readers with insightful and informative content.