How to Connect Multiple Bluetooth Devices
By Andrew Tennyson
Most smartphones, tablets and computers can connect with several Bluetooth devices simultaneously. Use the Settings app on your mobile device and the Manage Bluetooth Devices screen on your Windows 8.1 computer to establish multiple Bluetooth pairing connections.
Connect Multiple Bluetooth Devices to Smartphones and Tablets
Set each device you want to pair to discoverable mode. Bluetooth devices must be discoverable before you can connect them to your smartphone or tablet. The method for making a device discoverable varies depending on the device. Some simply need to be turned on, while others have dedicated buttons that make them discoverable. Consult the device's manual for additional information on entering the discoverable mode.
Open the Settings app on your smartphone or tablet and select Bluetooth on the main menu.
Images here are from a Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone running the Google Android 5.0 operating system. Although these images differ somewhat from iPhones, iPads, older Android phones and Windows Phone devices, the process for connecting multiple Bluetooth devices is essentially the same.
Touch the virtual Bluetooth switch to turn Bluetooth functionality on, if it's not already enabled. Wait a moment for the smartphone or tablet to display a list of discoverable Bluetooth devices currently within range.
Touch the name of the first device you want to connect and touch Yes, Pair or OK, depending on the device, to authorize the connection. Enter the device's pairing code, if prompted to do so. Repeat this process for each device you want to connect to your smartphone or tablet.
Not all devices require a pairing code. If yours does and you don't know what it is, try 0000 or 1234. These are two of the most common pairing codes for Bluetooth devices.
Connect Multiple Bluetooth Devices to Your Computer
Set each Bluetooth device to its discoverable mode. Devices must be discoverable before you can connect them to your computer. Consult each device's manual for information on how to make it discoverable.
Go to the Start screen on your Windows 8 or 8.1 computer, press Control-C to open the Charms menu and then click the Settings icon.
If your device has a touch screen, swipe in from the bottom-right to display the Charms menu.
Choose PC Settings, click PC & Devices and then select Bluetooth to open the computer's Bluetooth settings screen.
Click the Bluetooth switch to set it to the On position to enable Bluetooth connectivity on your computer.
Some older computers don't have built-in Bluetooth capabilities. If your computer doesn't, purchase a Bluetooth dongle that you attach to the USB port of the computer to add Bluetooth functionality.
Select the first device you want to connect by Bluetooth and then click its associated Pair button. Click Yes or OK to confirm the connection request and then enter the device's pairing code, if required. Repeat this process for each Bluetooth device you want to pair with the computer.
Types of Bluetooth Devices
You don't have to stop at connecting your phone to a nearby printer, your laptop to a keyboard or your tablet to a wireless headset. A computer, smartphone or tablet is not required for every Bluetooth connection. You can connect a Bluetooth headset to a car stereo, or a TV to a set of Bluetooth speakers. How you pair these types of devices varies. Consult the manuals for information on how to make these devices discoverable and how to pair them with other Bluetooth-capable devices.
- In order for the Bluetooth devices to work properly together, they should be within 30 feet of one another. This is the maximum range for signal transmission for many of the Bluetooth devices that connect with mobile devices and computers.
- If you experience signal dropouts or interference, evaluate the environment in which you're using the Bluetooth devices. The quality of a Bluetooth signal is negatively affected by concrete walls, microwaves and other wireless devices such as cordless telephones.
Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.