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Sometimes the bluetooth on my laptop fails to connect properly (either not at all, or sometimes with terrible quality) to a pair of stereo headphones. Often times I've been able to recover normal functionality by resetting the bluetooth adapter.

However, that doesn't always work. That leads me to take other measures, like restarting the bluetooth services in Windows. This never seems to get anywhere and ultimately I end up rebooting my system and everything works again.

I really don't think rebooting should be necessary to resolve this, and so I'd like to know: Could anyone else suggest some ideas of what other devices / services / processes in Windows might be worth attempting to reset / restart in order to restore proper functionality of the bluetooth device?

Ultimately I'd like to just write a .ps1 script that I could run whenever this thing acts up, but please don't hesitate to answer just because you may not work with PowerShell.

Extra Details:

The specific services I've tried resetting are:

  • Bluetooth Service (\Program Files\ThinkPad\Bluetooth Software\btwdins.exe)
  • Bluetooth Support Service (\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k bthsvcs)

My laptop is a Lenovo T61p with a Broadcom Bluetooth Adapter.

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Try something like the following using an Administrative prompt. You can't restart services as a regular user.

Get-Service -DisplayName Bluetooth* | Restart-Service

If this works, you may want to throw the that snippet into a ps1 file and set up ps1 files to be "Run as Admin," this link may help you with that:

Hope this helps!

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That’s not from the command-prompt (cmd), that is from a PowerShell prompt (powershell). – Synetech Feb 14 '12 at 1:39
Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, that query only hits the services I've already identified and tried resetting, but have had no effect. Nevertheless +1, for explicitly giving a PS example to do that. – merv Feb 14 '12 at 1:55
This works for fixing issues where the 'Listen to Music' operation/service gets caught in a weird state and cannon Connect to BT headphones. There are an infinite amount of forums talking about this issue, and the only solution has been to restart the PC. +inf – CodyF Jun 7 at 14:29

Install latest bluetooth drivers: Normally all components are reset with hardware "radio on/off" button.

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I had a similar problem where my bluetooth headset wouldn't connect after my Windows 7 computer woke up from sleep. Restarting services didn't solve it but turning the bluetooth radio on/off (via laptop's wireless radio settings) did the trick. Didn't have to reinstall any drivers. – Motti Strom Feb 12 '13 at 11:24
This isn't helpful in my case because only Lenovo has compatible drivers for this particular device, afaik. Hard reset, while restarting the device, doesn't resolve the connectivity problem. – merv Jul 24 '13 at 16:12

I've run into this issue as well on my T430. My best resolution so far has been to disable then enable the the Bluetooth Radio device in Device Manager (ThinkPad Bluetooth 4.0 on my machine). This usually lets me reconnect to my headset and everything works fine again. Eventually the machine gets to the point where I have to do this every time to connect, but by then it's been running for a few weeks and needs to be rebooted anyhow :-)

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An alternative (similar) solution:

  1. In command prompt list Bluetooth services:

sc query | findstr /I bluetooth

  1. Run services.msc, find the services by name listed by the above command, right click and select restart or start if stopped.
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