Zwift PC Bluetooth issues

I started with Zwift on my work laptop, a 2019 HP, nice and fast and up to date. Like zwift, but wanted to use a personal PC instead. Running it now on an HP Zbook (i7 - 4800MQ @2.7GHZ; 16gb; NVIDIA Quadro K1100M). Running Bluetooth 4.0.

On my previous laptop, everything connected to zwift fine, no companion app required. But on this laptop, I cannot get zwift to connect bluetooth directly. I can get it to run through the companion app, but not on its own. What gives? Zwift is giving me the yellow dot telling my my BT is off, which it isn’t. My laptop can see all my devices (HRM, PT, Tacx), but zwift won’t connect them. What should I try first?

It can be that the built in bluetooth is just not compatible. So try updating all your drivers, even uninstalling the bluetooth drivers and reinstalling.

Depending on your setup, if your trainer is ANT+ compatible then go get a ant+ dongle, it is just less hassle and more reliable.

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When I was first starting up I was told by Zwift tech support to skip ANT+ and do everything with BT. nice to know that has changed.

It depend on your equipment, if you don’t have Ant+ equipment like HR and trainer then yes you should stick to Bluetooth.

But in all my time with zwift and helping friends getting started ANT+ has always been stable.

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It sounds like you are running Windows, in which case, we might have an answer.

A recent windows update, the Windows 10, Version 1903 update, broke the native BLE in Windows 10 Devices.

It primarily effected speakers and other audio devices, but we also noticed it has effected pairing trainers and sensors.

The best work around is to use the Zwift Companion, as that will pair just fine, or to use this workaround, provided by Microsoft.

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Yeah, the issue is actually not with Windows 10 1903 itself but with the July update for 1903. It has since been resolved with the latest September update.

I have the exact same issue

There are a few issues on this thread, can you elaborate a little more.

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I cannot connect my Kickr directly with Bluetooth.

Zwift is giving me the yellow dot telling my my BT is off, which it isn’t. My laptop can see all my devices (HRM, PT, Kickr), but zwift won’t connect them

Running Windows 10 1909, Bluetooth 4.0 - everything updated!

What is the device and OS that is running on it?

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Running Windows 10 1909, Bluetooth 4.0 - everything updated!

I have been active on these forums for a few years now and have seen many issues with Bluetooth. So saying that I will give my go to answer; I would suggest an ANT+ dongle with a USB extension. In my opinion ANT+ is more stable and less susceptible to interference.

Ok, back to BLE. How far away is the PC from the trainer.

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I don’t want to use ANT+ cause i end up being stuck in a bug called ‘Sticky Watts’.

  • that can only be avoided with direct bluetooth connection

I have used Bluetooth through the Companion app.
This works, but this can also leave me with sticky watts.

It’s like right next to it - 3 meters max

3 Meters is a not very close and could be the issue. I would use a BLE dongle and a USB extension to get it much closer to the Kickr. Having it at the distance you do could invite interference from electronics (fans, lights, other BLE devices and so on).

Maybe @Gerrie_Delport has an idea how to solve the “Sticky watts” issue.

I have tried multiple times to get the ANT+ “sticky watt” bug on my system but I could not.

I tested with two different brand ANT+ dongles and with my Powetap G3 and my Saris H3.

I assume you refer to the one where you spin at high watt and then coast and your watt stay the same for 3 sec.

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hi again Paul

My Bluetooth in Windows 10 finds my kickr in no time.
It is only Zwift who says my bluetooth is turned off when it isn’t!

So i’m 100% sure the distance is not the issue!

BLE on Windows for Zwift seems flaky at best (I did use BLE last night for my Stryd without issue).

Are you using a Bluetooth dongle or the built in Bluetooth.

When you were using ANT+ for the Kickr were you pairing it using ANT+ FE-C?

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I want to use the built-in bluetooth 4.0 - it should not be necessary with a dongle
As i said - it works with the companion app.

I was using and ANT+ USB dongle - i dont remember the brand

When you are connecting a trainer using ANT+ you will have a couple options and you should ALWAYS choose the ANT+ FE-C option on the pairing screen.

The ANT+ dongle could have also cause the sticky watts issue.

I have seen on these forum other Zwifters having better luck with a 4.0 BLE dongle than with the builtin BLE.

‘The ANT+ dongle could have also cause the sticky watts issue.’

  • that is why i want to use Bluetooth.

I dont trust USB dongles - its like converters, they always won’t work as good and reliable as the built-in

I want to use the built-in bluetooth since it’s bluetooth 4.0