Features of Bluetooth and challenges in pairing

Updated April 17, 2017

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other when they are placed in proximity. Most devices have a range of 10 to 50 metres. It works by using short-range radio waves and is built into many products including mobile phones, computers, cars, headsets, speakers, keyboards and medical devices. It can handle simultaneous transmission of voice and data, and can be used to share music, photos, data files and videos without the need for cables. A major challenge with Bluetooth is to get your chosen devices to pair up.

Place two Bluetooth enabled devices in close proximity to each other. In many cases they will automatically establish a connection quite quickly. If this does not happen then follow the steps below until pairing occurs.

Choose Search Mode for each of your devices. Most devices will have Bluetooth Settings as an option in the Settings menu, where you can choose Search Mode, or turn the Bluetooth setting from Off to On. For some devices the option may be Discoverable Mode which means other Bluetooth devices can “see” it while they are searching.

Once connections have been made you may need to go back to the Bluetooth menu of the device that was searching. It may have found several devices and you need to use the menu to select the required device. Sometimes one or both devices will ask for a security code or passkey to confirm the connection is genuine. These can be found in your instruction booklets.

Turn Bluetooth off after using the devices and they will “remember” each other the next time you want to pair them. You only ever have to establish a connection between two devices once.


Turn Bluetooth off when not in use to preserve your battery life. Bluetooth settings vary for different devices so consult your instruction booklet or manual for device-specific instructions. Devices with security codes or passkeys for pairing include the code with the instruction booklet.


Poor connections can occur if devices, particularly headsets, are not fully charged. Sometimes two Bluetooth devices will recognize each other but will not be able to communicate. This means they have different profiles. Most devices include many profiles, but if this problem occurs consult the manufacturers website.

If a device is not recognised by a PC, try removing and re installing the device through Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Bluetooth Devices.

Things You'll Need

  • Two Bluetooth enabled devices
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