Connecting a keyboard or mouse wirelessly can be more convenient than relying on wires. Tablets and smartphones transform into mini workstations. There’s no more tangle of cables to deal with at your desk.
Wireless peripherals use Bluetooth as a means of connecting to your device. While most smartphones and tablets have Bluetooth inbuilt, some computers and laptops do not.
So how can you tell if your device is equipped with Bluetooth technology? Keep reading. You’ll learn how to check for Bluetooth capabilities and how to use a wireless keyboard and mouse even if there’s no inbuilt Bluetooth option on your computer.
Does My Device Have Bluetooth?
To connect a wireless keyboard or mouse, you’ll need to have Bluetooth connectivity.
To check whether your device has Bluetooth technology inbuilt, you can check in its settings. The settings you have available will depend on which device you’re using.
For Windows, you can check by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘Devices’ > ‘Bluetooth and other devices’. If your device has Bluetooth enabled, you’ll see an option to connect or pair a new device.
Another way to check is to navigate to your system tray (next to the clock in your taskbar). You may see a Bluetooth symbol indicating you have the option to switch it on.
For Mac, choose the Apple menu > System settings > Bluetooth. From here, you can add new devices if your computer has Bluetooth installed.
Nearly all modern tablets and smartphones have Bluetooth inbuilt, but to check, you can find the Bluetooth menu in your connection or wireless settings.
How To Switch Bluetooth On
Once you’ve discovered your device has a Bluetooth option, you next need to figure out how to switch it on. This is relatively simple!
From your device’s Bluetooth settings, you should find a switch you can toggle to enable and disable the Bluetooth feature. When you switch it on, your device can scan and discover any peripherals, like keyboard and mice, that are ready to connect.
Some devices like laptops have a physical switch that you have to slide to enable Bluetooth. If you’re not sure, check your device’s instruction manual.
What if My Device Doesn’t Have Bluetooth?
If you’ve checked your connection settings and discovered you don’t have a Bluetooth option, you can still use a wireless keyboard and mouse! You can purchase a separate adapter like our Goldtouch Bluetooth USB Dongle that plugs into a free USB port. Your computer can then connect to any Bluetooth device.
With an adapter, you’ll need to double check the installed drivers to ensure they’re up to date, so devices can connect with no issues. You’ll usually find these on the manufacturer’s website.
If your device does have a native Bluetooth option, avoid using an external Bluetooth adapter. This can affect how devices connect to your computer and cause further problems.
I Have Bluetooth But It Doesn’t Work
If you’re confident that your device does have Bluetooth capabilities, but you’re having trouble connecting your wireless keyboard or mouse, you’ll need to troubleshoot to find the cause.
One main reason for connection issues is relying on an old or out of date Bluetooth adapter. Older adapters may not support newer devices, or might only be able to support a single connected device.
Another issue may be that you haven’t made your Bluetooth device discoverable by your computer – check your device’s instructions to learn how to put it into pairing mode.
Extra Tips for Using Bluetooth
Hopefully you understand more about Bluetooth technology and how to enable it so you can go wire-free! As wireless devices work differently than their wired counterparts, here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of Bluetooth.
Stay Close to Your Computer
Bluetooth relies on radio waves to connect wirelessly, but they only travel a short distance. To stay connected, make sure you don’t move your wireless device out of range of your computer. Bluetooth’s range is about 30 feet, so in most cases you shouldn’t have trouble — unless you walk away from your desk holding your keyboard or mouse, which could cause it to disconnect.
Charge the Wireless Device’s Batteries
Wired devices don’t usually need an independent power source, as they rely on your computer’s power to work. Wireless devices aren’t connected to anything that keeps them charged and instead have removable or rechargeable batteries. Once the battery runs out, your device will disconnect and won’t work again until you charge it. Keep an eye on its battery level to avoid getting interrupted while working.
Auto-Update Your Drivers
Bluetooth technology uses a receiver, either inbuilt or externally connected via USB, to pair with wireless devices. This receiver needs drivers installed on your computer to help it run as it should with your operating system. Manufacturers regularly update drivers to fix problems, so it’s vital you have the latest drivers installed.
So you don’t miss an update, switch on automatic updates, so your operating system checks and updates drivers whenever they’re available.
You can connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your computer if it has Bluetooth inbuilt. If it doesn’t, you can use an external USB adapter. To check whether your device has Bluetooth, visit your Wireless or Device settings to find the Bluetooth menu. If it has Bluetooth, you can toggle it on or off with a switch.
Sometimes Bluetooth is installed but doesn’t work as expected. Check to see if your drivers are installed correctly, if you’re using an old USB adapter, and make sure your Bluetooth device is in pairing mode.
To keep Bluetooth working seamlessly, ensure your Bluetooth device has charged batteries, stays within range of your computer, and auto-updates necessary drivers.