This is part of a new weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that lets you connect computers and devices to each other without cables. Many people have devices—speakers, printers, smartphones, headphones and more—that are Bluetooth-enabled, yet don’t know how to take full advantage of this technology.

You can easily establish Bluetooth connections and “pair” devices to your Lenovo or Think system to transfer files, make hands-free phone calls and even stream music and movies.

Think of Bluetooth as your "personal area network”—a lighter version of more expansive WiFi networking. With it, you can use radio frequencies to connect devices that are within close proximity of each other.

Setting Up Bluetooth

“Pairing” a Bluetooth device to your system is easy to do. Here’s how to get it set up on a Windows 8.1 system:

First, be sure your Bluetooth-enabled device is turned on and ready for your computer to recognize it. You may want to check your manufacturer’s website for tips on how to make it “discoverable.”

Next, be sure your computer’s Bluetooth is turned on:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of your screen
  2. Go to Settings, then Change PC settings
  3. Tap or click PC and devices, then Bluetooth
  4. Turn Bluetooth on
  5. Wait while Windows searches for Bluetooth enabled devices

If you place your Bluetooth-enabled device next to your PC or tablet, a connection should be established fairly quickly. Simply tap or click the device you want and follow instructions on your screen to finish pairing it.

Troubleshooting Tips

If Windows isn’t finding your Bluetooth-enabled device, here are a few things to try:

Make sure airplane mode is turned off and wireless communication is turned on.

Make sure your Bluetooth device is "discoverable." Making the connection work properly can vary widely from device to device, so consult the manufacturer’s manual or instruction booklet. In some cases, it may be as simple as figuring out how to switch Bluetooth settings from “off” to “on.” 

Check the Windows Compatibility CenterThe center lists thousands of popular devices to help you easily identify what will work with Windows 8.1. If you’re having trouble establishing a connection, you can use the site to see what other users have to say about product compatibility.

When to Turn Bluetooth Off

To preserve battery life, get in the habit of turning Bluetooth off when it’s not in use.

Lenovo Companion—Your New Go-To App

Read more content like this in the Lenovo Companion app. Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers. 

Lenovo Companion is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems. You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.

Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade

Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post