Connect to Bluetooth

Some of this information applies only to devices running Android 5.0 and higher. If your device is running 4.4 or lower, the Menu icon looks like this . If your device is running 4.3 or lower, the Settings icon looks like this .

To connect to a Bluetooth device, first turn on your device's Bluetooth. Then, the first time you use a new Bluetooth device, you need to "pair" it with your device so that both devices know how to connect securely to each other. After that, they connect automatically.

Important: If you're using a tablet with multiple users, each user can change the global Bluetooth settings.

Turn Bluetooth on or off

  1. Open your device's Settings menu .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Bluetooth.
  3. Touch the switch to turn Bluetooth On or Off.
  4. A Bluetooth icon at the top of your screen will indicate when Bluetooth is turned on.

Bluetooth visibility

If your device is running Android 5.0 or higher, it will be visible to nearby devices while Bluetooth settings is open. If your device is running Android 4.4 or lower, you may need to make your device visible by touching Menu Menu > Visibility timeout and then choosing how long you want to make your device visible to other devices.

Tip: To extend the life of your battery between charges, turn off Bluetooth when you're not using it. Bluetooth is turned off when you switch to Airplane mode.

Pair your phone or tablet with a Bluetooth device

You have to pair your phone or tablet with a Bluetooth device before you can connect to it. Once you pair your phone or tablet with a Bluetooth device, they'll stay paired until you unpair them.

Pair with a Bluetooth device
  1. Open your phone or tablet's Settings menu .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Bluetooth.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on and your device is set to visible.
  4. Your device will scan for and display all available Bluetooth devices in range under "Available devices."
    • Android 4.4 and lower: If your mobile device stops scanning before your Bluetooth device is ready, touch Search for devices at the bottom of the screen.
    • Android 5.0 or higher: If your Bluetooth device isn't showing in the list, touch the Menu icon Menu, then touch Refresh.
  5. Touch the name of the Bluetooth device you want to pair your device with.
  6. Follow the instructions to complete the pairing. If you're prompted to enter a passcode, try entering 0000 or 1234 (the most common passcodes), or consult the documentation that came with the device. If the pairing is successful, your device connects to the device.

Connect to a Bluetooth device

Once you've paired with a Bluetooth device, you can connect to it manually—for example, to switch devices or to reconnect after it's back in range.

Connect to a Bluetooth device
  1. Open your device's Settings menu .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Bluetooth.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  4. In the list of paired devices, touch a paired but unconnected device.
  5. When your device and the Bluetooth device are connected, the device is displayed as connected in the list.

Configure or unpair a Bluetooth device

Some Bluetooth devices have multiple profiles. You can also change the name of the Bluetooth device as it appears on your device.

Configure or unpair a Bluetooth device
  1. Open your device's Settings menu .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Bluetooth.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  4. Select the Bluetooth device you want to configure.
  5. Touch the Settings icon beside the paired Bluetooth device you want to configure. If you're running Android 4.4 or below, your settings icon looks like this .
  6. On the screen that opens, you can change the device's name, unpair it, or select profiles. Touch the back button when you're finished.

Change your device's Bluetooth name

Your device has a generic Bluetooth name by default, which is visible to other Bluetooth devices when you connect them. You can change the name so that it's more recognizable to you.

Change your device's Bluetooth name
  1. Open your device's Settings menu .
  2. Under "Wireless & networks," touch Bluetooth.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  4. Touch the Menu icon Menu.
  5. Touch Rename this device, Rename phone, or Rename table depending on your device.
  6. Enter a new name for your device.
  7. Touch Rename.

Connect to Bluetooth Smart devices

Bluetooth Smart technology uses the low-energy feature of Bluetooth 4.0 and allows phones and tablets to connect to low-power sensors and other devices. To connect to a Bluetooth Smart device, you'll need to use an app designed to be compatible with it; many device manufacturers develop dedicated apps for this purpose.

Connect to Bluetooth Smart devices

Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013), and select Google Play edition devices are certified Bluetooth Smart Ready devices. Other Nexus and Google Play edition devices support only traditional Bluetooth technology at this time.

If you’ve purchased a Bluetooth Smart sensor or device, and the manufacturer doesn't have an app to go with it, you can browse the Google Play store for compatible apps.

Kit is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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