The majority of modern laptops and many desktop computers now have a built-in Bluetooth receiver. Bluetooth enables wireless connections to supported devices such as printers, speakers, headsets, keyboards, mice, and controllers. By switching to wireless peripherals, you can reduce the number of wires on your desk and give yourself the flexibility to move around as you use your computer. For example, if you connect your computer to a TV, you can use your Bluetooth controller or mouse and keyboard to play a game or to control Netflix.
If you don’t have Bluetooth support built into your computer, it’s easy to add by purchasing a small USB Bluetooth dongle. Models are available for both Type-A and Type-C USB ports, both of which can have a tiny footprint, only sticking out a centimetre or so from the USB port.
Alternatively, you can replace or add internal Wi-Fi cards that add Bluetooth functionality, although this requires a little more technical know-how. In desktop’s, this can typically be done by adding a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo card to a free PCIe 1x slot. For laptops, the PCIe mini Wi-Fi card is common and could be upgraded to a version that also supports Bluetooth. These options can be particularly useful for devices without many available USB ports, although you should bear in mind that by using Bluetooth devices all through one adaptor, you may actually be freeing up USB ports from current devices.
Once you’ve got a Bluetooth receiver installed, your computer should automatically install the necessary drivers to function. To check if your Bluetooth device is ready to connect open the Settings app to “Bluetooth & other devices”, then click “Add Bluetooth or other device” and then select “Bluetooth”. If you get a “Couldn’t connect” error before even getting to pick what type of device you want to connect to, then your Bluetooth adaptor isn’t working.
If your Bluetooth adaptor doesn’t automatically install the latest driver, you may have to download and install the software from the device’s manufacturer. Some devices may include a driver CD, but most manufacturers will have a website where you can enter the exact model you have and then download the latest drivers and relevant software.