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How To Quickly Connect Paired Bluetooth Devices On Windows 10

Bluetooth devices, whether they’re keyboards, headphones, or speakers, are common peripherals that people use with their computers. Both Macs and PCs support Bluetooth peripherals. Windows 10, like its predecessors lets you pair Bluetooth devices. In fact, it’s neat Dynamic Lock feature relies on a Bluetooth connection with your phone to work. Pairing a Bluetooth device is not the same as connecting to it. A device may be paired with your PC but not connected to it. You can pair and connect paired Bluetooth devices on Windows 10 from the Settings app. The only problem is that pairing is something you do once when you set up your device. Connecting and disconnecting the device is something you do often and you don’t want to dig through the Setting app each time you want to do it. Fortunately, Windows 10 has a great shortcut that lets you connect paired Bluetooth devices.

Connect Paired Bluetooth Devices

You can quickly connect paired Bluetooth devices from the Action Center. Click the Action Center icon in the system tray, or use the Win+A keyboard shortcut to open it. Expand the toggles at the bottom of the Action Center panel. Look for one called ‘Connect’.

Click the Connect toggle and the Action Center panel will show you devices you can connect to, including all paired Bluetooth devices. Assuming your Bluetooth device is On, and within range, you can select a device from the list to connect to it. It should connect within seconds. If your Bluetooth device has any indicators that show it is connected, it too will confirm the connection as well.

Disconnecting a device is just as easy; open Action Center and click the Connect toggle button. When the panel of paired devices opens, select the device that you want to disconnect. A Disconnect button will appear under it. Click it to disconnect from the device.

Microsoft deserves a little praise with how it’s implemented this feature. Connecting a Bluetooth device from a list of paired devices takes just one click. You don’t have to first select a device, and then click a Connect button to connect to it. Disconnecting however requires that you explicitly disconnect the device via a Disconnect button.  You’re unlikely to accidentally disconnect a device but connecting is still a one-click process.

We should mention that some devices show up in the Connect panel regardless if they’re On or not while others need to be turned On before they will appear in the panel. For example, if you’ve paired speakers with your PC, they will show up regardless if they are On or Not. If you’ve paired your Android phone with your PC though, the phone will have to be turned On before it appears in the panel.

36 Comments

  1. It only connects wireless display and audio devices this way. Other devices like mouse and keyboard still need to be connected via “Bluetooth and Other devices” settings. what a bummer!

  2. Terrible. Your title and instructions are not aligned.

    You said “Connecting a Bluetooth device from a list of paired devices takes just one click. ” But that is not true. Following your instructions, it takes many clicks to get to the list…that is if you know what the “action center” is and go through 20 clicks to find it. Then, when you get to the very end of all that rigamarole, you have just one click left to do the connection. How is that helpful?

    I want a button (or shortcut or whatever you want to call it) to connect my headset. Or to disconnect it. I can launch large complex applications with a single click on a shortcut button. Why can’t I connect or disconnect my headset (or any other paired bluetooth device) with a single click instead of going through multiple steps and screens a dozen times a day. Every single time. Every. Single. Time.

  3. Thank you, I think it works, but I was looking for a solution that I can tell to my mum.
    I can’t explain her all this steps, I need just an icon, a double click and… voilà!
    Is it possible?

  4. Sometimes my keyboard doesn’t connect after a boot. even though it’s paired and turned on and within a foot of the PC. And the keyboard and mouse never show up on the Connect window. Any suggestions?

  5. Thank you so much for this tip! I’ve been digging into the Settings app every time I connect my headphones to my Surface and every time I’m upset that the Bluetooth icon in Quick Actions just toggles Bluetooth on and off instead of giving me a list of devices to connect to. All this time the feature I wanted was right there in the exact place I wanted it to be, just one icon over!

  6. The proliferation of bluetooth devices has resulted in a possible problem. Consider: you have three devices bluetooth enabled; a desktop, a laptop, a phone. You use them all simultaneously and the bluetooth is very handy for transferring files back and forth. Then, you get a new set of bluetooth (phone) earbuds that AUTOMATICALLY CONNECT when you remove them from their case. What device do they connect to? What if you want to listen to an audiobook on the laptop — but the earbuds have automatically connected to the phone? Looks like the only sure way to handle this arrangement is to — in advance — disable bluetooth on all devices and re-enable it on the one you want the earbuds to connect with. Right? Which then means if you want to transfer files again you have to re-enable bluetooth on the other two independently. Right? That seems like a hell of a lot of work … compared to having non-automatic connecting earbuds and affirmatively connecting the one device you want to connect to them. Right?

  7. Probably not the perfect thing…
    What about single shortcut on desktop, linked to connect single specific device directly? I would wish you can right click on some bt device, selecting “place shortcut on desktop” in the drop down menu…
    Any idea?

    • This post is nicely written to make us believe that connecting a bluetooth device on win10 is quick. It claims one click. Well, I’m interested in actions:
      1. win A
      2. click connect
      3. click the desired device name.

      I win7, you could right click on the device overview, and create a shortcut to the desktop (exactly what Emanuel Velebir said in 2018). A simple double click on that desktop shortcut did the job: 1 action instead of 3. Why do we have to do as if win 10 was better than its predecessors ?

      Emanuel, me, and surely many other bluetooth users are still waiting for a one-click solution

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