How to install a Bluetooth adapter replacement on Windows 10

Windows 10 add another Bluetooth adapter
Windows 10 add another Bluetooth adapter (Image credit: Windows Central)

Bluetooth is a ubiquitous short-range wireless technology that allows compatible peripherals (for example, mice, keyboards, headphones, and speakers) to communicate with a computer without the need for cables. It's typically used as a medium to transfer low-rate data between devices, such as phones, laptops, and desktops.

Usually, when you have to replace a broken Bluetooth adapter, you can just remove it and install the new replacement. However, if the adapter happens to be integrated onto the wireless card or motherboard, even when it does not work, Windows 10 can still see it, making the new adapter install a challenge. The reason is that you only want to have an adapter per device. Otherwise, you are likely to run into stability problems connecting devices.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to install a second Bluetooth adapter on your computer if it's not possible to remove the old wireless radio adapter.

How to install second Bluetooth adapter

On Windows 10, before installing a new Bluetooth adapter, you must first disable the old adapter permanently to avoid conflicts and other problems.

Disable old Bluetooth adapter

To disable a defective Bluetooth adapter on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Expand the Bluetooth branch.
  4. Right-click the wireless adapter and select the Disable device option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, the system will no longer interact with the device, preventing problems with the new adapter.

If your Bluetooth adapter is up for a replacement, we recommend the Techkey USB Mini Bluetooth 5.0 dongle because of the compact design and USB connection that makes it the perfect option to add reliable short-range wireless connectivity on any laptop or desktop running Windows 10. The adapter uses Bluetooth 5.0 EDR technology, but it is compatible with previous versions of the standard.

Install new Bluetooth adapter

To install the new Bluetooth adapter on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Connect the new Bluetooth adapter to a free USB port on the computer.
  2. Allow Windows 10 to detect and install the driver automatically.

After you complete the steps, it's recommended to check the new short-range wireless radio is configured and working correctly.

Check new adapter

To determine whether the Bluetooth adapter was correctly recognized, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Devices.
  3. Click on Bluetooth & other devices.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm the Bluetooth toggle switch is available.

If the toggle switch is available, the device was correctly installed. Otherwise, if you only see an Add Bluetooth or other device button, there was a problem adding the short-range wireless radio adapter.

Install driver manually

On Windows 10, setting up a Bluetooth dongle should be a plug-and-play process. However, in some cases, you may be required to install the driver manually.

It's always recommended to check your device manufacturer support website to download the latest drivers and use their installation instructions. However, most manufacturers also publish their drivers and make them available through Windows Update, making the setup process a lot easier.

To install a Bluetooth driver manually with Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the Check for updates button (if applicable).
  5. Click the View optional updates option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Driver updates tab.
  2. Select the driver you want to update.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Download and install button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to connect wireless devices to your computer without problems.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

  • I purchased this Sabrent Bluetooth adapter based on it being a featured deal on Windows Central a few weeks ago. I was disappointed that it does not support Bluetooth with Low Energy Peripheral mode, so it will not enable me to use the "Phone Screen" feature of the Your Phone app. It would be really helpful to provide a list of which adapters have this feature, as, apparently, most do not.
  • Glad to see this. My generic 4.0 adapter doesn't support that either, so I was considering this one as a replacement until seeing your comment.
  • Does anyone know of a BT adapter that will support LE peripheral mode?
  • I have been looking for one that supports a low energy peripheral mode, but none really has provided any info, does it even exist?, I am frustrated because I have been asking this for a while an no answer so far, I am starting to believe that this exists in the never land