Zwift Companion to connect Bluetooth trainer to Windows computer

First posting. I’ve just spent hours trying to get Zwift to connect to my Neo 2 using my Bluetooth enabled Win 10 laptop.
Zwift won’t find the Neo…
Can someone confirm whether or not it is necessary to pair the Neo with the laptop via bluetooth before asking Zwift to connect?
I can pair the Neo with the laptop and it appears in Device Manager OK.
Also, do I need to ensure that no Android devices are switched on in case the Neo pairs with them using Ant+ and thus won’t connect with Zwift on the laptop via BT? - I previously used Zwift on an android tablet (and briefly used the Neo via Tacx Desktop App before I got Zwift).

I dont think you need to do that, Zwift should find it without issue. Have you checked for updates of the drivers for your laptop bluetooth?

I’ve spent hours trying to make this work.

In the end I’ve installed Tacx Desktop App on the laptop as an experiment. Guess what - it finds my trainer via Bluetooth straight away and can control it.

This leads me to think that Zwift haven’t properly implemented Bluetooth support and that unless they can recognise this they are unlike to resolve it. If Tacx can reliably work with Windows 10 Bluetooth then surely Zwift can too. Hiding behind ‘just use Ant +’ isn’t ideal…

Unless I’m missing something?

You need to disconnect and forget the Neo from the Windows 10 laptop. To connect Bluetooth devices to Zwift it should NOT be connected to any other device or app (including your laptop) before opening Zwift.

Also make sure that your Bluetooth on your laptop is at least 4.0 and fully updated.

I would still recommend ANT+ or BLE for a more stable and robust way of connecting devices.

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I’ve done all that multiple times. Reinstalled Bluetooth hardware and drivers.

What is frustrating is that TDA works fine so the potential is there

So I’ve worked out how to use the Companion App to enable connection to the Neo. This seems to work fine.
Still bugging me that a direct connection via Bluetooth doesn’t work with Zwift where it does with Tacx DA but at least I can ride on Zwift now.

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What steps, in order, did you use to connect companion to laptop? Mine looks like it’s connected but when I ride nothing happens? Please and thank you

Don’t connect to the trainer in Windows.

Have Zwift Companion App open on your Bluetooth enabled smartphone

Open Zwift on your Win 10 PC. When the ‘connect to hardware’ screen appears choose 'Connect using Zwift Companion ’ from the two options in the selection menu.
Then click on whichever hardware you want to use - in my case the lower right box for controllable trainer.
This finds my trainer in the pop-up found hardware box, click on this and you should be good to go.
Works for me but can’t say why this works when using ‘Connect via Bluetooth’ option doesn’t .

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I have been having these issues as well but yesterday the BLE connection from the PC to the smart trainer worked actually worked. I am not sure if there was another update from microsoft or zwift but everything seem to connect. The only thing that seems off is that there is no option to calibrate the trainer.

I am experiencing massive problems when using Zwift. I can see my vortex in Windows and I can connect with it without a problem as a device. Forgetting all Bluetooth device and start Zwift will not work. Zwift is not picking it up. It used to work on my laptop until November. Might have to do with the Creator update on Windows 10 but it bothers me that only Zwift seems to have problems. Also tried a different Bluetooth dongle without any result. Companion is working but has power stucks. Also yesterday my Zwift session went in the background and I had no way to restore the companion link. Eventually I had to reboot restart Zwift and did a normal ride. It really frustrates me that I have to jump through a lot of hoops before I can get my training session started. Especially because I have to pay for Zwift. I am thinking on switching programs but I like Zwift a lot. Hopefully Zwift will address the issues and will release an update soon…

Quick update. I have deleted Zwift folder in my documents also in program files and reinstalled Zwift. Now it works. I hope this will help some people who are experiencing simulates issues!

I did this, too, before finding this post, but wanted to know what others were doing. My iPhone has never had a problem locating bluetooth devices, unlike zwift + windows.
I was disabling every blutooth device I could find and still having connection issues (keeps finding and losing devices in zwift), so I switched my bluetooth back ON on my phone. Then on zwift in windows, from the options on the top right of the pairing screen, I selected to use zwift companion. Everything popped up perfectly and stayed on. I think between windows and zwift there are a lot of random issues. Not to mention the time a windows auto update took out my bluetooth halfway through a ride until I restarted windowzzzz.