Zwift + Windows + Bluetooth

(mukul sud) #1

Hey Guys,

I’m super new to Zwift - I just got a Tacx Smart Trainer and am really struggling with getting it connected. I tried Googling for 30 mins and couldn’t get it to work - I don’t think I’m missing anything (I work in tech so I think I have the basics right).

The Zwift software on PC doesn’t recognize my built in Bluetooth drivers - its a standard Intel Bluetooth device that windows pulled drivers for. The software seems overly simplified and doesn’t give me much info - I just see an explanation mark on the top left over the Bluetooth symbol. So dead-end there.

I then read one of Zwifts support articles saying I could connect to the trainer using the Android App. They have screenshots that show that in the Settings Menu there is an option for Sensors - but I don’t see that at all. My app is current and below the Notifications option I only see Connections and not Sensors as the screenshot indicates.

I don’t want to go down the ANT+ route - its an aging technology and all my sensors on my bike + heart rate monitor are Bluetooth.

Any suggestions?

Thank you! 

(E Cheever) #2

Hi there,

This is currently an issue with Tacx Smart Trainers since the 9/29 update. For whatever reason Zwift isn’t recognizing Tacx BT trainers as a power source. There are a few threads following this. Customer Support with Zwift said a patch was coming late this week or early next week. Otherwise your only option is a ANT+ Dongle for now until they push out the update to fix it.


Link following Tacx Vortex issues:

(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #3

Hi Mukul,

The screenshot says “For iOS Only” right above it - the Android app does not need you to turn your sensors on as it does it automatically.

We’ll make it a bit clearer in the article.

As for what E Cheever (I see what you did there) is saying, this is true. There is an odd bug we are trying to resolve regarding Tacx/Elite trainers and Bluetooth. We are hoping for a resolution soon.

(mukul sud) #4

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the reply!

So should I just connect the trainer to my smartphone via Andriods inbuilt Bluetooth software and then open the Zwift App?

Also - is there any fix for the Windows Software? Ideally I would prefer to just use my PC - but its not too big a deal if I need to use my smartphone in addition to the PC.


(Mark) #5

It was my understanding that there was no support of built in Bluetooth on the PC at all? Correct me if I’m wrong.



(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #6

Hi Mukul,

Don’t connect to the phone at all. Just run the Zwift application on Android and make sure it’s on the same WiFi network as the computer running Zwift. Do not pair your trainer/sensors to the phone. The application will detect it on its own.

@Mark - there is no support for built-in Bluetooth on PC at this time. We are hoping that will change as iOS continues to develop.

(mukul sud) #7

Eric it doesn’t connect to my trainer. I’m not sure what you mean by the Zwift application on Android will connect to the trainer and sensors (automatically)? It has to get my permission, I would have thought. Android as an OS will not allow connections to devices without user authorization. I should at least see a Searching for device, or confirm connection option, right? The app’s running, the trainer isn’t connected to any other device, the software is open on the PC (on the same wifi network) but nothing happens.


And because there is no log or no info displayed on the screen I cant even begin to debug this. Is there anyway I can enable debugging and access the logs?

I really want to try Zwift since I have a couple friends who are using it - I just tried TrainerRoad and it connected and worked within 10-15mins, no issues.


If there isn’t built-in Bluetooth on PC what is the BLE icon I see in the software? - future update rolling out?


Apologies, I’m a little annoyed that this is so hard when it really doesn’t need to be. Your website states that it supports the Tacx Vortex both on ANT+ and BLE. Hence Im trying, but maybe you should put an asterix on there saying Not on PC.


(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #8

Is your Android’s bluetooth on? Then it should work. And, funny enough, it doesn’t need your permission to do so.

The steps are thus:

  1. Start and log in to EITHER the game OR the Zwift Mobile Link
  2. Make sure they are both on the SAME Wi-Fi Network
  3. In the game, at the pairing screen, the Bluetooth Icon should show a repeated “radio” pattern - this lets you know that the Mobile Link is connected to the application and is ready to pair your BLE devices
  4. At this point, you can click ‘PAIR’ and navigate to your sensors.

Bluetooth works on both PC and Mac via the Mobile Link. It has only *just recently* supported built-in Bluetooth with Mac.


(K Young (Killinchy CC)) #9

Having the same problem but its because I have the Tacx Vortex.  My iphone app connects to Zwift with the BLE symbol flashing in the Pair devices screen, but wont connect to  the trainer.  I take it this is the problem currently being addressed?

Do I need to connect my laptop to the trainer via its BLE (Win 7)? Says it unsuccessful driver load.

(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #10

@Keith - Unfortunately, this is correct. We are working on trying to solve this as quickly as possible. Really apologize for the trouble.

Native BLE on PC is currently not implemented though is being considered. Right now, BLE on PC is through the Zwift Mobile Link (which is currently broken for Tacx and Elite trainers).

(Daniel Abbott [Ride3R]) #11

Hi Eric,

I am wondering if there is anything we can do as users to implement native BLE on PC?

My PC pairs with all my BLE devices (Wahoo: Kickr, Tickr and RPM).

But, since native BLE it is not currently supported in Zwift they do not show up on the Zwift pairing screen. I am of course using the Mobile App as a bridge currently.

Just wondered if there was a work-around? I guess not since this is most likely requires a change to programme code - but I thought I would ask anyway.

(Andy Spratley) #12

TrainerRoad W10 App supports BLE and Garmin Mobile W10 App supports native Bluetooth.

I will not be buying any iOS based devices. So, Zwift Mobile link is not an option.

Why is Zwift stuck on “being considered”?

(Vincent Mensen) #13

Hi Eric C, is there any followup to this issue? I have a new Elite Rampa, and I have the same issue (Mobile Link works, the program on the laptop recognizes it, but only as Cadence & Controllable trainer, not as Power Source). I am unable to use Zwift now, and I’m very much hoping for a solution. Thanks!

(joel easttow) #14

I’ve been trying to use the mobile app while riding in front of my windows PC monitor but the sensors keep dropping off-line. I end up killing the mobile app & restarting it, in a one hour workout this happened three times. Since it takes me a couple of minutes to correct the problem each time this is really annoying. 

I’ve got Bluetooth on the PC I would like to take my phone out of the loop. Bkool sees the sensors why can’t Zwift? Any estimate on when Bluetooth will be supported?


 BTW when it is running there seems to be a huge lag between what I’m doing & what happens on the screen. I was doing a workout and ended up being forced to lead out every sprint by ~10 seconds.

(i SteveMQ [Kura-1%PM]) #15

native BLE needs to be supported directly on the PC, I don’t like the idea of using a smartphone as a bridge, it just complicates things and could add some latency.  I purchased a new smart trainer (Elite Drivo) to improve responsiveness on sprints, etc. Adding a smartphone as a bridge just to use the bluetooth protocol is sort of a “backpedaling” idea.  my 2cents =)

(George Drosoulakis) #16

has this been resolved yet? is it included in the next release?

(Vincent Mensen) #17

It still has not been solved. They say they are working on it and to use ANT+ in the meantime.

(Jim Palistrant (Team Audi/Cary)) #18

I have not yet subscribed to Zwift, I am considering Zwift or TrainerRoad.  If Zwift will not connect to my Windows 10 PC thru native BLE Blit is a serious drawback and really is pushing me towards TrainerRoad.

(Mark) #19

It doesn’t work through native BTLE on the PC. But that’s really not a big deal as you can just buy an ANT+ dongle for £20 then you’re sorted. I don’t see why having to plug a dongle into a USB port is a reason to dismiss the entire system.

(Serhiy Tymoshenko) #20

Mark Hewitt there are many reasons:

  • having  BLE cadence, speed sensors, HRM

  • no long cables with ant+ dongle

  • freedom to choose place for the bike in multiuser room

- ble devices are cheaper