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How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Many laptops come with built-in speakers, but they often lack the power to really do justice to your music at the volume or level of clarity you want. That’s why it’s a good idea to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your laptop.

Some of the best Bluetooth speakers can be picked up for less than you might imagine, and once you’ve made your pick, connecting a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker is a simple task. No longer will you struggle to hear people on Zoom calls, or fail to decipher song lyrics in a jumble of echoing sound.     

You will, of course, need a laptop with Bluetooth capabilities in order to connect a speaker. However, most machines come with this functionally as standard, so if you bought your laptop within the last several years then chances are it’ll support Bluetooth. 

If your laptop’s internal speakers just aren’t getting the job done, here’s a guide on how to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker. 

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker: Windows 

1. Opens Settings. Open the Settings from the Start Menu, or use the search bar in the bottom left corner to search for it. 

2. From the Settings windows select Devices. If you have any trouble locating it make use of the search bar at the top of the window.

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — Settings on Windows

(Image credit: Windows)

3. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. From the Devices submenu, you are able to turn Bluetooth on or off using the slider. Ensure that it’s set to on.

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — turn on Bluetooth

(Image credit: Windows)

4. From the Devices menu click add Bluetooth or other device. This will bring up a second window, and from there you need to select the top option labeled Bluetooth.

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — select Bluetooth

(Image credit: Windows)

5. Now your laptop will start searching for Bluetooth devices to pair with, so make sure your speaker is discoverable. Consult the manufacturer (or supplied instructions) if you’re not sure how to do with your particular device. 

6. If your laptop is searching for Bluetooth devices and your speaker is set to be discoverable, then it should appear in the list. Select your speaker when it appears in the Add a Device list.  

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker - select speaker

(Image credit: Windows)

7. Your laptop should now connect to your Bluetooth speaker. Perform a volume test to ensure it’s functioning normally by playing sound through your laptop.  

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker: macOS 

1. Open the Apple menu. To open the Apple menu click the Apple icon in the top right corner of your screen.  

2.
This will open up a new window with several options. Select System Preferences.  

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — system preferences

(Image credit: Apple)

3. From the System Preferences menu click Bluetooth.  

How to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — click Bluetooth

(Image credit: Apple)

4. Your Mac will now start searching for any Bluetooth devices nearby, so ensure that your Bluetooth speaker is discoverable. Consult the manufacturer (or supplied instructions) if you’re not sure how to do this with your particular device.   

5. Click Connect when your speaker appears in the Bluetooth devices list. It should only take a few moments for your device to appear.  

how to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — click connect

(Image credit: Apple)

6. Your speaker should now be connected to your laptop. Perform a volume test by playing sound through your laptop to ensure everything is functioning as expected.   

how to connect a laptop to a Bluetooth speaker — volume check

(Image credit: Apple)

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.