Windows 10 Bluetooth Issues

Hi all. This seems to have been discussed here and elsewhere many times, but I have not found a conclusive fix yet. I am running Zwift on Windows 10 (Lenovo Thinkpad 1.9 GHz i5 - could provide any further required details). Bluetooth is not connecting and there is an exclamation mark in front of the bluetooth symbol in the connection screen (for cycling and running). I purchased a TP Link Nano 4.0 USB Bluetooth dongle hoping it would help and it did not (product claims it does not need a driver to be installed for Windows 10). I have looked through the forums and installed things that were suggested (C++ stuff and drivers). My knowledge is honestly limited and I am looking for further suggestions. Thanks

Uninstall and delete the BT drivers. If the wifi/BT card is Intel, use their drivers. If another brand, use their drivers…try not to let Windows install the drivers.

If that does not work…get an Ant+ dongle from Garmin or Wahoo. You will be much happier.

Some Bluetooth dongles just don’t want to work on some PCs, I’m yet to figure out why. If you’ve installed the C++ packages and are still getting the exclamation mark, then it doesn’t look good. I’d suggest either trying a different dongle, bridging via the Companion app, or just buy an ANT+ dongle instead.


Look for a BT v5.0 dongle that supports BLE. One of my devices refused to connect with any other dongle.

Been faultless since.

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I’ve seen some people have it the other way around; they bought a 5.0 dongle thinking newer = better, and realised later that only a 4.0 dongle worked. I hate it. :rofl:

Removed the BT drivers. Now… after spending a few hours trying, I am unable to reinstall BT drivers. Reinstalled Windows and they did not come back as well. Any tips?

If I buy a newer usb dongle, will it work even if I do not have the bluetooth drivers I removed?

I would minimally want bluetooth for headphones…

If you are on Windows get a ANT+ dongle.

Get driver updates from you PC mfr (HP, Dell, whomever) and/or from the wireless card maker (Intel, Killer, whomever). Intels driver update webpage: Intel® Driver & Support Assistant

Tried that, many times now. Bluetooth remains absent from device manager and it doesn’t seem to do anything. Removing the drivers seems to have been a bad idea and I would not recommend someone else trying it. Any ideas?

Do you have “Use Built-in Bluetooth” or “Use Zwift Companion” selected?

I have a similar screen with an exclamation mark in front of the blue tooth symbol and I am using windows 10. But, once I open the zwift companion app on my phone I’m able to connect to my bluetooth deceives on my laptop since I have “Use Zwift Companion” selected.

Yeah I’m to use the companion app and it works fine. I wanted to see if I could get the built in BT going. But now… After having tried what was suggested, I lost all BT on my laptop

That is not supposed to happen. I have deleted BT drivers and they auto install with no issue. Win7-10 has been horrific, from my point of view, for BT. W11, so far, seems to be better with BT.

What I would do is open the laptop, remove the wifi/BT card, reboot. Shutdown, reinstall card (note model number, etc), and Windows should recognize “New Hardware”. If not, go do Device Manager and add manually. Have the latest driver(s) from the Mfr already on the HD for install.

Also, search for BT issues for your particular PC on the MFR website and on YouTube.

You could also get a new card…get a newer model.

Share your laptop and wifi card (if you know) and I will also search. Sorry i have been slow to followup. My dog is dying and spending as much time as I can with her.