In Windows 11 and Windows 10, there is such a problem when, after connecting Bluetooth headphones or speakers, they are not recognized by the system as an audio device. And if Windows does not detect the connected device as a sound output device, then you will not be able to play sound through a wireless speaker or headphones.
In the Bluetooth settings, where all connected devices are displayed, they are divided into categories (input, audio, other devices). So, the problem is that after connecting Bluetooth headphones to Windows 11, for example, they end up in the “Other devices” section. And should be in the “Audio” section.
Why is this happening? There is no one specific answer to this question, just as there is no universal solution. The problem is quite popular, according to my observations, especially in Windows 10. I also noticed that Windows does not detect mostly new Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Therefore, we can conclude that the reason is in an outdated driver or in the system itself. Windows does not understand how to work with the headphones or speaker that you have connected. The system does not detect them as an audio device. And since the driver for specific headphones cannot be downloaded and installed (they just don’t exist), then I recommend updating the Bluetooth adapter driver, installing all Windows updates and also checking Bluetooth services. It is also desirable that when you connect the headphones, your laptop / PC is not connected to the Internet through a limited connection, perhaps Windows itself will try to load the necessary driver and the headphones will work normally.
If you have Windows 7, then this problem looks like this: after connecting, the headphones appear in the control panel in the “Bluetooth devices” section, but there will be a yellow exclamation mark next to the headphones. And if you click on them and run “Troubleshooting”, then the error “Driver for Bluetooth Peripheral Device not installed” will appear. Which only confirms that the reason is in the driver.
How to make Windows detect headphones as an audio device?
- Install all Windows updates. Please don’t ignore this decision. You can run the scan and install in the settings, in the “Windows Update” section. Including install optional driver updates. In Windows 10: “View all optional updates” – “Driver updates”. In Windows 11: “Windows Update” – “Advanced options” – “Optional updates” – “Driver updates”. There may be an update for Bluetooth, please install it.
- Update the Bluetooth adapter driver.
- Check Bluetooth Services in Control Panel.
Let’s look at the second and third points in more detail.
There is a very detailed instruction for this solution: Bluetooth driver in Windows 10, 8, 7 – how to install, update, roll back, replace. It works for Windows 11 as well.
First of all, I recommend trying to find, download and install the driver for Bluetooth from the website of the manufacturer of the laptop, motherboard (if you have a PC and Bluetooth built-in)or adapter (if you are using an external USB adapter).
Checking Bluetooth Services
- Open the old control panel. In Windows 11 and 10, this can be done through the Start menu (search). Open it and start writing “Control Panel”. Select the desired program from the search results.
- Go to section Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers. On Windows 11, this probably won’t work. (new options will open). Therefore, copy “Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers”, paste it into the address bar in Control Panel and press Enter. Or in the settings, go to “Bluetooth and devices” – “Devices” – “Advanced settings for devices and printers”. A window will open in the old control panel. There you need to right-click on the headphones and select “Properties”. Then go to the “Services” tab, check the box next to all services (your list may be different) and click “Apply” and “Ok”.
- Restart your computer and plug in your headphones. If you have all the services turned on there, then try turning them off, applying the settings, and then turning them back on.
Some helpful articles on this issue:
If you have any questions about the article, you can ask them in the comments. I answer everyone and try to help.