Bluetooth is used to connect audio devices and wireless input devices like a keyboard or a mouse. For the most part, you will never have any trouble connecting any of these devices to your system. They’re meant to be used by a large number of users who will have systems with varying configurations. If they were to limit users to certain hardware specifications, it would make it harder to sell a device. Users likewise might have a harder time picking one to use. That said, Bluetooth, like any other bit of hardware evolves over time. The latest Bluetooth version, at present, is 5 though this one isn’t as common just yet.
Bluetooth 5 is fairly new and not a lot of people have hardware that supports it. In contrast, Bluetooth 4.0 is far more common and services, like Nearby Sharing use Bluetooth 4.0 to work. Here’s how you can check the Bluetooth version on your system.
Check Bluetooth Version
Make sure your Bluetooth is turned on. You can turn it on from the Action Center toggle, or you can open the Settings app and go to the Devices group of settings and turn it on from the Bluetooth tab. You do not need to connect a Bluetooth device in order to check the version.
Once you make sure that Bluetooth is on, you need to open Device Manager. In the Windows search bar, type Device Manager.
In Device Manager, expand the Bluetooth set of devices. You may see one or several devices under this. Look for Interl(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R). Right-click it, and select Properties.
In the Properties window, go to the Advanced tab. Here, you will see a Firmware Version entry with something like LMP followed by a number. LMP stands for Link Manager Protocol and the number will correspond to the version of Bluetooth that you’re running.
You can view a complete table of which LMP value maps to which Bluetooth version. In the previous screenshot, the LMP value is 8.4096 and the LMP value 8 as per the table below maps to Bluetooth 4.2.
Changing Bluetooth Version
You cannot change the Bluetooth version on your system without upgrading your hardware. A firmware or driver update will not do the trick. You might have a device that supports newer and older versions of Bluetooth e.g., a device that runs Bluetooth 4 will also be able to connect a device that requires Bluetooth 3 however this is more about backward compatibility.
You can check with a hardware vendor to seee if the Bluetooth on your system can be replaced, or you can buy a dongle that can be connected via a USB port.