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On Windows 10 and I've already paired the Bluetooth headset previously. When I turn it on it connects to the last used device (my iPhone; I manually disconnect).

How do I tell Windows "Please connect to this device you've already paired with?". The current Bluetooth UI doesn't seem to have this very ordinary option.

The laptop is a Macbook Pro, booting to Windows 10 via Bootcamp. Bluetooth otherwise works fine.

Windows 10 Settings page

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  • You can additionally create a shortcut that will trigger the device connect side-bar. This is what I do, and pin it to the Taskbar for quick accessibility. The shortcut should point to: %windir%\explorer.exe ms-settings-connectabledevices:devicediscovery
    – flith
    Nov 10, 2020 at 7:46
  • Does Windows not have a command-line debugging utility for it's BT stack? Like CrOS' bt_console? If there is, it's be as simple as writing a short script, then binding it as a native shortcut, a hotkey (e.g., via AHK), or even onto an overlay (e.g., via RainMeter).
    – Arctiic
    Jul 29 at 7:08

3 Answers 3

69

I think I have finally found a reliable answer for this.

  • Win+A brings up the action center
  • If you dont see "connect" you may need to click expand
  • Click Connect and then you can force connect your Bluetooth device.

For those that like shortcuts, Win+K from anywhere in Windows takes you directly to the "Connect" page and allows you to click your device and connect.

Why this isn't anywhere in the devices or Bluetooth connection settings pages I will never know. However, Win+K is about as quick as a shortcut as I could ask for so this is solved for me.

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  • 3
    Win+K for Kinect, I guess. :-) Didn't know that one but sent me down a Windows keyboard shortcut rabbit hole so I might as well leave a link. support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12445/… Dec 5, 2018 at 6:48
  • 6
    This seems to work only for wireless display and audio devices. Is there anything similar for game controllers?
    – fefrei
    Dec 26, 2019 at 15:25
  • Mouse is not shown with Win+K.
    – cipricus
    Jun 30, 2021 at 8:51
20

For those on the regular Windows 10 desktop without touch, you need to open the connect widget from the system tray notifications icon ...

Open the connect widget

Click the existing device to reconnect to

Click the existing device to reconnect to

While this workflow is ok, ideally there should also be a reconnect button in the main control panel too.

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  • 1
    It worked smoothly. Fully agree with the need of a 'reconnect' button on the main control panel of the bluetooth devices -- that would be perfect. :) Jan 23, 2017 at 9:36
  • 5
    that is nice but what if you have the device as "paired" one in the list of Bluetooth devices, but it is not in the "Connect" view? The only way, in this case, is to remove it from the list of paired devices and reconnect it from the beginning which is a kinda annoying
    – Zippp
    Apr 8, 2017 at 13:28
  • Thanks Steve Balmer. Your legacy of capitulatory crapitude continues to proliferate into the next version of Windows. Bravo! Bravo!
    – Sting
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:47
  • 1
    This doesn't work for PS4 controllers. They don't show up in the Connect menu. I have to press "Remove Device" and then pair it again to initiate a connection attempt. Lame :(
    – Vapid
    Jun 29, 2019 at 14:45
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In window 8 through 10 you can REconnect by going to Action Center. On windows 10 swipe to your LEFT from the RIGHT side of your touch screen. There is a tile in the side window that comes up with the word Connect in. Find your device, then click on connect.

If you want to navigate to the same window from a keyboard or mouse, you can use your mouse to go down to the very bottom of the screen and when the task bar comes up go to the very right and by default is what looks like a notification icon. That's right, if you click on it, the ACTIVATION CENTER comes up. so if you want to use your keyboard to get there, look for Notifications.

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