This happened before and it just 'solved itself', however this time around it doesn't seem to do that.

Issue description

I have a pair of bluetooth headphones Sony MDR-ZX770BN that I have been using with my phone, my work phone, my work computer, and my home computer for a year now. All of a sudden, it stops working with my work computer and can't connect. I look in the settings and there's no bluetooth setting:

Settings, bluetooth option missing

I look in the device manager and the bluetooth setting is not there. When I say this I mean it like really, not the specific bluetooth device for these headphones, the top-level bluetooth setting isn't there:

enter image description here

Troubleshooting done so far

  • Restarted the computer
  • One guide suggested removing it from Device Manager but since it doesn't show up there I can't really do that
  • One guide suggested going to the manufacturers homepage and reinstall the driver, but since the manufacturer doesn't have any drivers available I can't do that.
  • Verified that the headphones work with the other devices (currently using them with my phone)
  • Tried using the 'Add Legacy Device' from the Device Manager, but no bluetooth device shows up in the list of available options, even when setting the headphones into 'pairing' mode.
  • Tried to add it straight from the Settings tab by setting them to 'pairing mode' but they don't show up in the list there either.

Additional sources used in troubleshooting

Current Situation

I have found one thing that might point to the issue, but I'm not sure how to go from here:

  • One guide suggested removing it from Devices and Printers. I can't seem to do that for some reason. This might be where the issue is but I'm not sure how I would proceed from here:

enter image description here

Any help, or additional sources that I can use is very much appreciated!

  • 1
    Have you tried finding the firmware for your bluetooth online and then installing it?? Dec 7, 2016 at 11:21
  • 1
    are you using a laptop or a PC??? Dec 7, 2016 at 11:27
  • 1
    and yes i mean the firmware for the bluetooth adapter in your computer. Sorry for bad English, it isnt my first language Dec 7, 2016 at 11:28
  • 1
    Ensure you don't have the Bluetooth adapter disabled via software or BIOS or a hardware switch. Ensure the Bluetooth adapter isn't just broken (try another, known-good one). Try an alternate OS install. Without more information (make/model of computer, make/model of Bluetooth adapter) I don't believe there's not much more that can be offered. Dec 7, 2016 at 13:23
  • 1
    glad to be of help. will write answer just help me tick it as correct answer Dec 14, 2016 at 12:30

5 Answers 5


For me exchanging the adapter with a spare one lying around helped. I replaced my current adapter booted up and Bluetooth did work again. Aftwards I did a second exchange and my previously not functioning adapter came back to life immediately. If you have the option to do a switch, I would recommend this. Because nothing software-wise did help me to resolve the issue. I had exactly the same issue as the thread starter describes.

Edit: I also noticed, that disabling WLAN via FN keys does completely cut the Bluetooth device (at least on my two Dell notebooks). So it won't be shown in Device Manager and the settings switch is also gone. That might be something worth to consider. The WLAN adapter is still listed but the Bluetooth doesn't show up not even under hidden devices.

  • 2
    Actually, upvoting your answer solved my problem. The Bluetooth finally reappeared. So I recommend everyone trying upvoting you (the last option before suicide). Nothing better than a magic trick to solve a magic issue.
    – JinSnow
    Jun 4, 2019 at 13:18
  • @JinSnow I'm very glad that referencing you on the second thread helped you :). I completely forgot to put the information also in the former one (but I will do that now). I stumbled upon the other solution randomly. So we were lucky :D.
    – thex
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:33
  • I tried many things, I suspect static electricity (unplugging the computer might be the trick). If this is true, it'd be quite frustrating after all efforts!
    – JinSnow
    Jun 7, 2019 at 19:23
  • @JinSnow That's strange, TBH :D.
    – thex
    Jun 8, 2019 at 9:21
  • 1
    I can confirm completely removing power from the PC works(I shutdown, hit the switch on the PSU, and unplugged. Then waited a minute or so). Very weird. I thought my ~3 week old motherboard already had it's Bluetooth adapter die. Thankfully not!
    – gdi
    Feb 13, 2020 at 10:11

I had the same problem with my laptop. I tried most suggestions on this site and others, with no success. What worked for me was unplugging the power to the laptop and restarting. The bluetooth on/off switch reappeared on startup. Bluetooth devices then worked. I could then reconnect power and there was no loss off bluetooth. Hope this helps someone. Cheers, Dave

  • 2
    The question says that restarting has already been tried.
    – Blackwood
    Dec 24, 2017 at 3:39
  • Just to clarify, the question says that restarting does not help, and it didin't help in my case either. Unplugging the power from the laptop, full shutdown and turn on, did fix the issue though. I don't know if it is a hardware or software problem, but i would bet on software.
    – Phoenix
    Jun 4, 2019 at 10:55
  • Worked for me - I did need to physically unplug my desktop machine from the wall, as per the answer. Power cycling did not help otherwise. Mar 20, 2020 at 1:00

First don't uninstall the Bluetooth (BT) driver or and anything else.

If you do, you might struggle (even more). There might be better ways.

(I suspect it has nothing to do with the driver, but the switch that connects/disconnects the hardware. Then the computer can't recognize it. It might be just some static electricity that disables it).

in brief: I tried many things (BT comes and go once or two per week), the only way I found that always works (which is also the quickest, but maybe not the safest) is to physically remove (plug out) the Bluetooth hardware (the WLAN card). Then boot the computer. When windows are loaded, shut it down, put back the WLAN card, and reboot again. The Bluetooth will then be reconnected/recognized. It takes 5-8 min.

I tried many times to uninstall/reinstall the BT driver, reboot (removing the plug and battery after it) sometimes it works (but I suspect for other mysterious reasons), but it failed most of the time.

Don't forget to Describe your bug in the feedback hub (it's an MS app).

I'm not sure these step will change anything (try it if you believe it's a driver issue)

  • in troubleshoot settings/diagnostic data enable "full". In troubleshoot/recommended troubleshooting, set it to "fix the problem for me without asking" (I guess you have more chance to get help).
  • it's possible to contact a windows technician: just type "help" in windows menu. You will first talk with a (dump) robot, then with a technician.
  • then ask the Microsoft technician your Bluetooth driver. He will ask you your name (you can give mine) your windows version and your bios version (run dxdiag to find out, to copy past, you need first to "save all information").
  • before trying to install the driver after you uninstall one that did not work, you might need (or not) to run the Device Cleanup Tool (thanks to Uwe Sieber!). Run it as admin, it will give you the list of phantom devices, delete the one related to a connection (I deleted every one, but read this before doing it). Notice that if the BT show under "hidden devices", it'll then be removed. (Not sure this is useful though).
  • install the driver given by the Microsoft technician. (Which in my case come from dell, and did not work).
  • then go in device manager, look in view/"show hidden device", and update it
  • reboot
  • unplug your computer for 10 secs, then plug it back.
  • if the driver only shows in the hidden device (eg. in the section "other devices"), but don't work, wait on this step and bite the bullet. Unless you have magical power, don't try anything else. Just connect the computer to the internet, just wait for Microsoft to solve it automatically (it might take a few days ― praying and offering sacrifice to Gods might help). In my case trying to fix it after this step was just a waste of time.
  • if you are not sure which driver you should install don't point the driver but the folder of drivers (try to driversStore folder in system32)
  • if you completely uninstall your driver you can:

And then, if you are a brave man/woman, run this (black) magic PowerShell command Disable-NetAdapter * so you will have to start the whole process again (it might break again your Bluetooth). But... you will definitely gain more wisdom like Sisyphus. (But before trying read this)

ps: the problem occurred on a Dell Inspiron 3520, BIOS Ver: 04.06.05. The MS technician asks me to download this driver from Dell (with it, the driver only shows in the hidden device, as mentioned above), but he told me that all drivers provided by Dell for my computer would work (even if they don't specify Windows 10 "because the computer, runs then in Compatibility mode and some of the updates on the drivers were done back on 2018".)

Some ideas:

Reading this comment gave me 2 ideas that might help: it said: "you need the vendor-specific software for Windows to turn Bluetooth ON again" (it's not a driver but the switch provided by the "vendor-specific software for Windows" ― something equivalent to the Software Wireless Switch discussed here. On Linux, there’s rfkill.

  • I tried connecting the Bluetooth running some random Linux/Ubuntu ubuntu command (is more an alchemist experiment than anything else). (No need to install it, Ubuntu can be run from a USB). Actually many people have the same problem with Ubuntu. Look at this thread: How to unblock something listed in rfkill? "Hard blocked" cannot be changed by software, look for a wifi toggle on your keyboard or edges of the laptop; the device can also be hard blocked if disabled in the bios. "Soft blocked" means "blocked by software". A faulty driver or other kernel modules can lead to connectivity loss. (Is there a PowerShell equivalent of rfkill unblock Bluetooth?).

... I also tried to restore windows using a system image that was working with Bluetooth. But it did not work. So it doesn't seem to be a driver issue, nor stored in the registry. Can it be solved by editing the bios file? Or is it simply static electricity that disables the device (which would explain the plug trick).

If that doesn't work, just buy an external USB BT hardware.


As a lot of people keep finding this question useful, here's the answer that @LuciferAngel posted in the comments that solved it for me: Reinstall the Bluetooth Device driver. I went to Dell's homepage and downloaded the bluetooth driver, reinstalled it, and that was it. Hope this helps anyone else having similar issues.


I had a similar problem where my portable speaker tried to connect and it ended up somehow removing Bluetooth from my Windows 10 laptop.

I went to device manager, selected View-> Show Hidden Devices, and uninstalled the first entry under Bluetooth ("Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI)" for me) by right clicking and then selecting "Uninstall device". I then simply reset the PC and Windows 10 reinstalled Bluetooth automatically, and the Bluetooth icon appeared back in the tray!

May want to make a restore point just in case the above doesn't work.

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