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How to Connect Bluetooth Devices

Shah Newaz Alam
Who doesn't know or use Bluetooth? This amazing wireless technology has become a part and parcel of many major communication devices such as laptops, smartphones and MP3 players. But how can you connect Bluetooth-compatible devices to each other? Read on to know how.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that can be used for transferring data over short distances. The typical range within which data can be sent from one Bluetooth device to another, is 100 meters. These devices operate in the radio frequency range.
The typical frequency of a Bluetooth device is 2.4GHz. It is designed to provide a simple, easy and secure way of data transfer, in a wireless and quick way.

Connecting Bluetooth Devices to your Computer

Say you want to use a wireless keyboard with your computer. The keyboard will connect to your computer using Bluetooth. If your computer has a built-in Bluetooth antenna, then no additional hardware is required. If it doesn't, then you will need to use an external Bluetooth USB adapter or dongle.
This adapter acts as a plug-and-play antenna, that will allow your computer to pick up the radio signals. Once you install the adapter on your computer, your computer will be Bluetooth-enabled, as long as the adapter is plugged in and turned on.
The given steps illustrate connecting your computer to a smartphone in different ways, based on operating system model.

Windows XP

  • Plug the Bluetooth adapter into your computer. Make sure it is on (a light should flash on the device).
  • If your computer's Bluetooth is built-in, you may need to turn on the switch. Turn the phone's or device's Bluetooth on.
  • You can access the Bluetooth facility by clicking on the small Bluetooth icon in the bottom-right corner of the main screen or in the taskbar.
  • Alternately, you can also double-click on the My Bluetooth Places icon on your desktop's main screen.
  • Double-click the Find Nearby Bluetooth Devices icon icon. A small screen will open and then a small phone icon (depending on the device) will appear on the screen.
  • Right-click on the icon and select the Pair Device option. You will need to set a passcode. Type the same code on the computer and on the phone. Click OK.
  • The icon should now have a check mark next to it, indicating it is paired. You can now double-click on the icon to connect or right-click on the Bluetooth icon in the taskbar and select Quick Connect.

Windows Vista

  • The first two steps are the same as the XP section's first two steps.
  • Open the Control Panel ( Start → Control Panel).
  • Look for the option Bluetooth Devices. Double-click it.
  • A dialog box will open. Click on the Options tab and check the Allow Bluetooth devices option.
  • Also check the Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer box.
  • Click on the Apply button below if you have made any changes.
  • Then click on the Devices tab. Click on the Add button below.
  • The Add Bluetooth Device Wizard will open. Check the option My device is set up and ready to be found . Then click on Next.
  • Look for your phone's name in the active devices list. Select it and clickNext.
  • You are then asked if you want a passkey to connect the device or not. You can choose to enter your own passkey or skip the step and continue without one.
  • Your phone should now request permission to connect to the PC. Allow the connection and enter the passkey, if you have set one.
  • A Found New Hardware window will appear. Select the Locate and install driver software option.
  • Let the drivers install uninterrupted. An Insert the disc that came with your Bluetooth Peripheral Device window will appear.
  • If your phone came with a CD, you may need to insert it in the computer. If you do not have the CD, select the I don't have a CD. Show me other options message.
  • Windows will attempt to install the necessary drivers on its own. Let it do so. You should see a Successful Connection message. Click onFinish.

Windows 7

  • The first two steps are the same as the XP section's first two steps.
  • Open the Control Panel ( Start → Control Panel). Look for the Hardware and Sound tab.
  • Click on the View devices and printers option. Click on the Add a Device link.
  • A new window will open. Look for your phone's name in the active devices list. Select it and click on Next.
  • A new window with a This device has been successfully added to this computer message will appear. Click on Close.
  • Once again, you are at the Devices and Printers screen. Look for your device in the list of connected devices.

Mac OS X

  • Click on the Apple icon and select System Preferences.
  • Click on the Bluetooth icon and then click on the Settings tab.
  • Check the Discoverable option and the Show Bluetooth status in the menu bar box. Click on the Turn Bluetooth On button to turn on this feature.
  • Enable Bluetooth on your device as well.
  • The Bluetooth icon will appear in the menu bar. Click on it and select Set up Bluetooth Device.
  • Or you can go to System Preferences → Bluetooth and click on the Devices tab. Below there should be a Set Up New Device button, click on it.
  • A new window, called the Bluetooth Setup Assistant, will open. A list of active Bluetooth devices is shown, select yours from the list and click on Continue.
  • You may be asked to <Select Device Type, from a list of options. Select according to what the external device is.
  • Your Mac will now connect with the device, you may be asked to enter the passkey displayed in the window.
  • Enter the code on the other device. Then click on Quit. Your Bluetooth devices are now connected.
If you are trying to pair a headset with a phone or connect two phones for file transfer by Bluetooth, then the process is very simple, as compared to connecting to a PC. Simply turn on the Bluetooth ability in both phones, make sure both are discoverable. From one phone, search for all devices.
Once the name of the phone it wants to connect to appears, select the phone. The other phone must accept the request. At this stage, a passkey may be asked. Both phones should enter the same passcode. Then they are connected.
Connecting devices using Bluetooth is actually simple, you just need to get the hang of it by connecting a few times. Some devices like headsets have default passcodes, which cannot be changed. Refer to manuals or documentation to learn if such codes are present.