HELP NEEDED: Connecting a smart trainer over BLE on windows 7

I am trying to connect a new Elite Tuo smart trainer to a windows 7 computer over bluetooth. This has so far been a rather frustrating experience for various reasons :confused:

To state the obvious: connecting my smart trainer just doesn’t work over BLE on my windows 7 computer.

I read up on this forum a bit tried to follow advice and links I found here. I have done the following:

  1. Updated the MS VC++ distribution. I ran the update all batch file from the Aug 2020 download bundle, rebooted – made no difference
  2. Ran sfc /scannow as admin with the result of:
    Windows resource protection did not find any integrity violation.

I keep getting the pesky notification that ‘it looks like your bluetooth receiver is turned off’ from zwift. It’s not. It’s on, well and alive and working fine. I see other BLE devices I can connect. Just not my smart trainer (a new Elite Tuo btw) in Zwift.

I also cannot select in zwift the: ‘Use Zwift companion’. It remains staunchly disabled.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with my smart trainer, the zwift phone app picks it up right away and I can connect my garmin heart rate strap, the ‘cadence’ and ‘controllable’ options from the Tuo just as easily. So this rules out anything being wrong with the trainer at least.

Given that other BLE devices are visible and connectable to the computer, this puts the zwift windows app as a primary troubleshooting focus.

After some more reading through this forum, I dropped my log file into ‘zwiftalizer’, which didn’t reveal anything spectacular. But then, I peeked into the log file itself and found this:

[12:20:03] Windows BLE support needs a version of Windows 10 with a build number of 15063 or higher


Why is this setup SO PAINFUL? Is it even possible to connect my Elite Tuo over bluetooth through Zwift on Windows 7?

I also killed the phone app and turned off my Garmin Edge 520 to make sure the smart trainer was not connected over bluetooth to anything else. Needless to say, but just to rule that out as well, every time I tried to connect my Tuo, I gave it a few cranks, made sure it’s blue led came blinking indicating it’s open to pairing.

I know that using an ANT+ dongle would probably remedy all my little problems, but I thought BLE was also supported and I am not ready just yet to give up.

I am also well aware windows 7 is no longer supported even by MS. And I don’t want use zwift on my small phone screen, I want to use it on my TV with the computer I have.

So at this point, I am profoundly puzzled and fuming a bit that this setup is so difficult and just doesn’t work. Or does it?

I appreciate any help.


can you upgrade to windows 10, many times this is a free upgrade.

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You can use the Zwift Companion App to bridge the BLE signal to the Zwift App running on the Win7 PC.

I would highly recommend upgrading to Win10.

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Just to share an (embarrassing) update:

My phone was on a different wifi network, that’s why the ‘Use Zwift companion’ was disabled. Which is kinda silly on my part.
Once I got the phone on the same wifi network, I was able to setup my Tuo on Zwift. So at least that works.

I also get the vibe that BLE simply doesn’t work on Windows 7. Thanks @Mike_Rowe1 and @Paul_Allen