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.

8 Answers 8


Try something like the following using an Administrative PowerShell 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: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-run-as-administrator-to-any-file-type-in-windows-vista/

Hope this helps!

(Adding * in front of Bluetooth* solved my issue with an intel chip.)

  • That’s not from the command-prompt (cmd), that is from a PowerShell prompt (powershell).
    – Synetech
    Feb 14, 2012 at 1:39
  • 4
    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, 2012 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, 2016 at 14:29
  • 2
    If you want to forcibly restart it, add -Force after the last command
    – smac89
    Mar 13, 2017 at 1:41
  • 1
    Get-Service -DisplayName *Bluetooth* | Restart-Service -Force did restart the service but it did not work since the BT hardware isn't recognised by windows (it has been disconnected by "Enable/Disable NetAdapter")
    – JinSnow
    Jun 3, 2019 at 10:48

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 :-)


This is the cmd way of restarting the bluetooth service:

net stop "Bluetooth Support Service" && net start "Bluetooth Support Service"

If you're using a localized version of Windows, you may need to replace the name of the service with whatever name your service has. Run net start to get the name, this will display the list of all running services.

Or you could use a hybrid approach independent of the service name, calling powershell from cmd:

powershell -command "Get-Service -Name bthserv | Restart-Service"

You need to have elevated/admin rights in both cases. This fixes my Bluetooth stack when it stops connecting to devices.


On Windows 10, I've had success with restarting the Radio Management Service (RmSvc). I'm doing a lot of testing with Bluetooth Low Energy devices, and that fixes the occasions where I stop being able to scan for local devices, even after resetting the Bluetooth adapter.

However, the first time I tried this in Powershell, it worked fine, but I was subsequently getting "Cannot top RmSvc service on computer '.'". At that point, resetting the service from the Task Manager worked.


Install latest bluetooth drivers: http://www.broadcom.com/support/bluetooth/update.php Normally all components are reset with hardware "radio on/off" button.

  • 1
    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. Feb 12, 2013 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, 2013 at 16:12

If you have the Bluetooth icon shown in the system tray, the easiest way to restart the Bluetooth radio is to right-click it to open the context menu, select Turn Adapter Off, right-click it again immediately before the icon disappears and select Turn Adapter On.

Bluetooth icon context menu

To turn the Bluetooth icon on, open the Start menu and search for Change Bluetooth settings (I really don't know where it's located), open it and on the Options tab, check the Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area checkbox.

Bluetooth settings dialog


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.

FOUND THE SOLUTION I never had luck with restarting Bluetooth services and would have to reboot when the device was connected but there was no sound. Today I finally found what service I can restart to fix the issue. I restarted the "Windows Audio" service and immediately I had sound restored to my bluetooth headphones. :)

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