How to connect your phone to a computer via bluetooth

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that makes it easy to connect devices and transfer data between them. Most PCs and almost all phones have Bluetooth capabilities. It’s fast, reliable, and battery efficient.

If you haven’t used it much in the past, you are missing out. Let’s see how to connect your phone and Windows PC via bluetooth.

Why not use a cable to connect your phone and computer?

Although a cable is easier to connect between your PC and phone, it is not always the best choice.

To the example, your PC may not have a free USB port. Many small laptops only have one or two – or you might have a MacBook that only has USB-C ports. Even a well-equipped desktop PC will often have all of its USB ports occupied.

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Also, you may not have the right type of cable on hand, or you may already be using your phone to charge your phone and want to charge it asap. Finally, you may want to keep your phone out of sight or avoid the danger of the cables dangling, especially if you are in a public place.

Whatever the reason, connecting to bluetooth is pretty straightforward. Once you’ve completed the initial setup, it can even happen automatically when you reconnect in the future. Anyone who frequently transfers files between their phone and PC should be proficient in Bluetooth.

How to connect your PC and phone via bluetooth

To establish a wireless connection, Bluetooth must be activated on both devices. That’s how it’s done.

How to enable bluetooth on Android or iOS

On most Android smartphones, you’ll see a Bluetooth turn on Quick settings Drop down menu. To access it, swipe down from the top of the screen twice or once with two fingers. Then tap the icon to toggle between bluetooth or long press it to quickly open bluetooth options.

You can too Settings> Connected Devices to access the bluetooth settings.

On an iPhone, if you have an iPhone without a Home button, open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen. Instead, swipe up from the bottom of the screen on models with the Home button. Tap the Bluetooth Toggle icon.

Alternatively, go to settings and open Bluetooth . If you’re having trouble, see our iPhone Bluetooth troubleshooting guide for help.

How to enable bluetooth on Windows 10

Most modern Windows laptops have bluetooth built in, but not all desktops. If you’re not sure, you can check if your computer has bluetooth. If your computer doesn’t support the function yet, you can add bluetooth to your PC with an adapter to make it work properly.

On Windows 10, visit Settings> Devices> Bluetooth & Other Devices . If the Bluetooth Slider above is off, turn it on. Then choose Add bluetooth or another device , followed by the Bluetooth Type. From there, follow the instructions to pair your phone. For more information, see our guide on setting up Bluetooth on Windows 10.

Notes on Bluetooth pairing

During the pairing process, follow any instructions that appear on your PC or phone. In some cases, you will need to enter or confirm a passcode. Often times this is a generic number like 1234 or 0000 . Once you confirm this code, your phone should connect to your PC and will do so automatically in the future as long as the devices are within range.

If you can’t find the devices, one of them is probably not findable. For security reasons, most Bluetooth devices only transmit themselves if you have opened their Bluetooth options.

Check that you have enabled Bluetooth on both your phone and PC and keep the Bluetooth options menu described above open during pairing. You should see that Now discoverable as [Name] or something similar. (If you continue to have problems, there are other ways you can resolve Bluetooth pairing problems in Windows.)

The connection remains active until you turn off Bluetooth, manually disconnect the devices, turn one off, or move it out of range. The exact Bluetooth range depends on the device and depends on the quality of your Bluetooth adapter or chip. In general, you can assume that the link is about nine feet long.

How to transfer files between your phone and PC using bluetooth

Once you’ve paired your phone and computer wirelessly, the actual Bluetooth file transfer process is pretty straightforward. Sharing from your phone to a PC is most commonly available on Android as iOS devices use AirDrop for this.

To transfer from your phone all you have to do is select a file in the app you are using and choose the option to share. The exact method depends on the app, but most have a universal one share Search symbol.

When you see the list of methods you can use to share content, look for the one Bluetooth Entry. Then select your PC as the target device. Windows will then ask for confirmation and begin downloading the file. You may be allowed to choose the location, or it can be saved according to a standard Downloads Folder.

Whenever you’re transferring a file from your PC to your phone, just open File Explorer and right-click on the file you want to transfer. Choose Send to> bluetooth device .

This will open a new window where you can select the device you want to send to. Your phone may ask for your consent. As soon as you confirm this, the file will be transferred via Bluetooth.

You can transfer multiple files in both directions. Just select them all at once and follow the steps above.

Other ways of connecting your phone and PC

If you don’t have bluetooth (or even if you do) then another method of connecting your phone and computer might be better for your needs. Bluetooth can use extra battery life, may not be reliable for large file transfers, and may not always be fast.

In these cases you should try an alternative, such as one of the following options.

Connect your phone and PC with a USB cable

The easiest way to connect your phone and your PC is with a USB cable. No setup is required: once you plug the cable in, Windows should ask you what action you want to take. And if it doesn’t, you can use File Explorer to transfer files yourself.

If you want to browse the contents of your phone memory or transfer a large number of files, it is usually a better option than Bluetooth. It’s potentially much faster and safer.

Move files with email or Cloud storage

When you need to transfer a small number of files, a quick and dirty solution is to email them to yourself. However, this is awkward. Using a CloudStorage service is better because you can organize the files and prevent them from being lost in your emails.

Note, however, that these methods involve both uploading and downloading. If you have a slow or metered connection, then you should think twice about transferring large files.

Specialized transfer apps

Wi-Fi Direct is an alternative to Bluetooth, but it’s not so well integrated with modern devices and therefore probably not worth your while for most people.

Instead, you can try an app like EasyJoin on Android to transfer files over your local network. Those who have an iPhone and a Mac can use Apple’s AirDrop. Check out other file transfer methods between PCs and mobile devices to learn more.

Remote access and tethering

If you need a deeper connection between devices, consider setting up remote access. Check out how to remotely control your computer from your phone to get started.

The other important way to connect your phone and PC is through tethering. This allows you to use your phone’s mobile internet connection on your PC.

Keep your PC and phone connected using bluetooth

Each method of connecting your computer and smartphone has advantages and disadvantages. Bluetooth is great for temporary short-haul connections when you need to quickly zap through a file or two.

USB cable, Cloud-Storage and other types of connections are still important. But bluetooth is hard to beat when you just need something fast and universal.

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