Hardware Dev Center

General Bluetooth Support in Windows

Which versions of Windows support Bluetooth wireless technology?

The following versions of Windows include in-box support for Bluetooth wireless technology:

Windows 10 for desktop editions (Home, Pro, and Enterprise)
Windows 10 Mobile
All SKUs of Windows 8.1
All SKUs of Windows 8
All SKUs of Windows 7
All SKUs of Windows Vista
All SKUs of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and later

The following versions of Windows do not have in-box support for Bluetooth wireless technology:

All SKUs of Windows Server Technical Preview
All SKUs of Windows Server 2012
All SKUs of Windows Server 2008 R2
All SKUs of Windows Server 2008
All SKUs of Windows Server 2003
All SKUs of Windows 2000

Although these versions of Windows do not have in-box Bluetooth wireless technology support, third-party Bluetooth drivers might be available from independent hardware vendors (IHVs).

Note   The Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (SP1) release supported Bluetooth wireless technology, but did so with a driver that was available only to PC system partners. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) integrated Bluetooth wireless technology support into a regular service pack release and was available to all customers.

Which Bluetooth versions does Windows support?

Windows supports Bluetooth version 1.1 and later versions. Windows does not support Bluetooth version 1.0 because that specification lacks several critical updates that Windows requires to support Bluetooth wireless technology well. Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows 7 both support Bluetooth version 2.1. Note that Bluetooth version 2.1 radios and devices are backward compatible with earlier versions of Bluetooth and will run on Windows XP and Windows Vista without SP2. However, these Windows versions cannot take advantage of the full Bluetooth version 2.1 feature set because the Bluetooth version 2.1 specification was not ratified before Windows Vista was released.

Windows 8 is Bluetooth Smart Ready, it supports Bluetooth version 4.0, and is able to connect with Bluetooth Smart devices.

Windows support for different versions of the Bluetooth specification depends on the Windows version, as shown in the following table:

Windows versionSupported Bluetooth versions

Windows 2000

Not supported.

Windows XP

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Windows Server 2003

Not supported

Windows Vista

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR**

Windows 7

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR*

Windows Server 2008

Not supported

Windows Server 2008 R2

Not supported

Windows 8

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR*

Version 4.0

Windows 8.1

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR*

Version 4.0

Windows Server 2012

Not supported

Windows 10 for desktop editions

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR*

Version 4.0

Version 4.1

Windows 10 Mobile

Version 1.1

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 with EDR*

Version 2.1 with EDR*

Version 4.0

Version 4.1

Windows Server Technical Preview

Not supported

*EDR support starting in Windows Vista and later is enhanced relative to the Bluetooth stack for Windows XP.

**Version 2.1+EDR is supported in Windows Vista with SP2.

 

Windows Support for Bluetooth Versions

What’s new in Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 includes the following enhancements to the Bluetooth stack and related software:

  • Inbox radio management control for Bluetooth version 4.0 radios.
  • Windows Runtime API support for RFCOMM and GATT protocol access.

What’s new in Windows 8?

Windows 8 includes the following enhancements to the Bluetooth stack and related software:

  • Support for Bluetooth version 4.0:
    • Bluetooth Low Energy support allows Windows to connect with Bluetooth Smart peripherals.
    • eL2CAP enables enhanced re-transmission and flow control for profiles that require this functionality.
  • An extensible transport model allowing support for Bluetooth radios on non-USB buses
  • Support for the HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP Profiles

What is new in Windows 7?

Windows 7 includes the following enhancements to the Bluetooth stack and related software:

  • Support for Bluetooth version 2.1:
    • Secure Simple Pairing allows Windows to determine the best pairing method to use between devices, rather than requiring users to make that determination.
    • Extended Inquiry Response enables sharing a device’s friendly name much earlier in the pairing process.
  • An improved user experience that enhances management of Bluetooth devices
  • Improved installation of USB Bluetooth radios

Any USB device with a USB\Class_E0&SubClass_01&Prot_01 hardware ID will install as a Generic Bluetooth Adapter.

What is new in Windows Vista?

Windows Vista includes the following enhancements to the Bluetooth stack and related software:

  • Improved enhanced data rate (EDR) performance
  • Adaptive frequency hopping (AFH). This feature improves the coexistence of Bluetooth radios and 802.11 (Wi-Fi) network adapters, both of which operate in the 2.4-GHz frequency range
  • Synchronous connection-oriented (SCO) link support. This support is necessary for the headset and hands-free profiles
  • Kernel-mode device driver interface (DDI) support for Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP), Service Discovery Protocol (SDP), and SCO.
  • New Bluetooth hardware IDs, which are listed in the following table:

Vendor identifier (VID)

Product identifier

Description

03F0

011D

Hewlett Packard integrated Bluetooth module

03F0

011D&Rev_0017

Hewlett Packard nc4200

03F0

171D

Hewlett Packard integrated Bluetooth module

03F0

D104

BT450 Bluetooth wireless printer and PC adapter

044E

300A

Sony Bluetooth USB adapter

044E

300C

Sony Bluetooth USB adapter

049F

0086

Hewlett Packard integrated Bluetooth module

049F

0086&Rev_1393

Hewlett Packard nx7000

0930

0508

Toshiba Bluetooth adapter

0930

0509

Toshiba Bluetooth adapter

0A5C

201E

IBM integrated Bluetooth IV

0A5C

2110

ThinkPad Bluetooth with EDR

0B05

1712

Generic Bluetooth adapter

0DB0

6855&Rev_2000

Message signaled interrupt (MSI) Bluetooth device

413C

8120

Dell wireless Bluetooth module

413C

8126

Dell Truemobile 355 Bluetooth + EDR

 

New Bluetooth Hardware IDs for Windows Vista

Which Bluetooth profiles have in-box Windows support?

Windows includes in-box support for the Bluetooth profiles that are listed in the following table:

Profile

Description

HID 1.0

Human Interface Device

PANU

Personal Area Network User

SPP

Serial Port Profile

OPP

Object Push Profile

DUN

Dial-Up Networking

HCRP

Hard Copy Replacement Profile

 

Windows 7 and Windows Vista In-Box Bluetooth Profiles

Windows 7 and Windows Vista include additional and updated Bluetooth profiles as listed in the following table:

Profile

Description

HID 1.1

Human Interface Device

PANU

Personal Area Network User

SPP

Serial Port Profile

OPP

Object Push Profile

DUN

Dial-Up Networking

HCRP

Hard Copy Replacement Profile

HFP 1.5

Hands-Free Profile

A2DP 1.2

Advanced Audio Distribution Profile

AVRCP 1.3

Audio/Video Remote Control Profile

HOGP

HID over GATT Profile

 

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 In-Box Bluetooth Profiles

Because Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista provide both kernel-mode and user-mode programming interfaces for their Bluetooth stacks, hardware and software vendors can implement additional profiles in both kernel mode and user mode. We encourage vendors that create such profiles to test their software by using the appropriate Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) test suites and have their software packages digitally signed

Which Bluetooth versions does Windows support?

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 support Bluetooth version 4.0.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista with SP2 both support Bluetooth version 2.1. Windows Vista and Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) both support Bluetooth version 2.0 with EDR.

Note  Windows Vista with SP1 also supports Bluetooth version 2.1 if it includes a package that was made available only to system partners. Windows Vista with SP2 integrated the Bluetooth version 2.1 support into the service pack release so that it is available to all customers.

How many Bluetooth radios can Windows support?

The Bluetooth stack in Windows supports only one Bluetooth radio. This radio must comply with the Bluetooth specification and the latest Windows Hardware Certification Program requirements.

Do users have to re-pair their Bluetooth devices after they upgrade a system to Windows 8.1?

If users upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, they must perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1. In this situation, any Bluetooth software that the OEM provides must be re-installed and all devices must be re-paired. If users upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, complex devices such as phones might require re pairing so that third-party drivers will reload. However, a simpler device such as a keyboard or a mouse does not require re-pairing.

Therefore, pairing information is preserved if users upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 for some devices, primarily Bluetooth keyboards, mice, and audio devices. This ensures that customers are not required to use a wired keyboard and mouse to upgrade their Windows version. They can use their Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the entire procedure.

What programming interfaces were introduced in Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 introduces new Windows Runtime APIs for accessing the RFCOMM (over standard Bluetooth) and GATT (over Bluetooth Low Energy).

What programming interfaces were introduced in Windows 8?

Windows 8 introduces new APIs for accessing Bluetooth Smart peripherals via Bluetooth Low Energy, creating a bus driver for non-USB Bluetooth controllers via an extensible transport model, and creating enhanced L2CAP channels. For more information about these APIs, see Bluetooth Devices Reference.

What programming interfaces were introduced in Windows 7?

Windows 7 introduced new Ex versions of previous APIs to provide enhanced functionality. For example, the BluetoothAuthenticateDeviceEx function lets out-of-band data be passed into the function call for the device that is being authenticated. Similarly, the BluetoothRegisterForAuthenticationEx function includes pin request and numeric comparison functionality. Also, the BluetoothSendAuthenticationResponseEx function is called when an authentication request to send the numeric comparison response is received. For more information about the new Ex versions of these APIs, see Bluetooth Functions.

What programming interfaces were introduced in Windows Vista?

Windows Vista introduced a kernel-mode DDI for Bluetooth wireless technology, which provides access to SCO, SDP, and L2CAP. The DDI is included with Windows Driver Kit (WDK) build 6000, which was released with Windows Vista, and all later builds of the WDK. We do not intend to make the kernel-mode DDI available on earlier versions of Windows. The Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) can be used to verify that kernel-mode Bluetooth drivers comply with standard driver development practices and use the DDI correctly.

Windows Vista with SP2 and Windows 7 also support the user-mode RFComm and Bluetooth APIs. For more information, see ”Bluetooth” on the MSDN Web site. The WDK includes documentation for the new kernel-mode DDI. For more information about how to download the WDK, see ”How to Get the WDK” on the WHDC Web site. The HCK includes documentation for Driver Test Manager (DTM). For more information about how to download the HCK, see the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) documentation.

How can Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios coexist effectively?

Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios operate in the 2.4-GHz frequency range, so they could momentarily try to use the same frequency. The frequency hopping technique that Bluetooth wireless technology uses prevents such a conflict from causing a complete connectivity loss, but it could reduce the transfer rates for both radios.

Version 2.0 of the Bluetooth specification supports AFH. With AFH, a Bluetooth radio senses traffic from other types of radios, marks the busy channels as ”noisy,” and avoids those channels as it hops frequencies. Windows Vista improves AFH even further by treating the ”air” as a shareable spectrum. This feature lets wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi adapters report which channels they intend to use. When the Bluetooth stack becomes active, it is notified of the reported in use channels and marks them as noisy.

How do I enable AFH in Windows?

Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista include a shared-spectrum model to support AFH for Bluetooth radios that are based on version 2.0 and later versions of the Bluetooth specification. However, this feature is disabled by default. For a system to support the shared spectrum model, the OEM must explicitly enable the feature and specify the width of the frequency band that should be blocked around an active Wi Fi channel. To specify the width of the frequency band, create a value of type REG_DWORD that is named ChannelAvoidanceRange under the following registry key:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\BthServ\Parameters

The ChannelAvoidanceRange value enables or disables spectrum sharing and specifies the width of the blocked frequency band. To enable spectrum sharing, set ChannelAvoidanceRange to the full width of the frequency band that should be blocked around an active Wi-Fi channel. The units are in MHz and can range from 20 to 40 (0.02 to 0.04 GHz). OEMs must determine an appropriate bandwidth based on a selected set of radios, antenna characteristics, and radio manufacturer feedback.

A new ChannelAvoidanceRange value takes effect only after the system has been rebooted. Ideally, the OEM should set the ChannelAvoidanceRange value during the preinstallation process.

For the Windows shared-spectrum model to work effectively, Wi-Fi miniport drivers must report their channel usage to the networking connections manager. The networking stack then passes the channel-use information to the Bluetooth stack.

How do I enable remote wake in Windows?

Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with SP2 provide software support that lets Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and mouse devices wake the computer from sleep (S3) or hibernate (S4) system power states. For such a wake to be successful, the Bluetooth module must be self-powered and must have enough power to wake the computer. Even if Windows enables wake from the S4 system power state, the computer will not wake if the Bluetooth module has no power when the computer is in S4.

To enable Remote Wake in software, verify that the Bluetooth module can support wake and set the following registry values:

  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Bthport\Parameters \SystemRemoteWakeSupported : (DWORD) 1
  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\<vid_pid>\<Bluetooth Radio ID> \Device Parameters\RemoteWakeEnabled : (DWORD) 1
  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\<vid_pid>\<Bluetooth Radio ID> \Device Parameters\DeviceRemoteWakeSupported : (DWORD) 1

Note  If the Bluetooth radio’s property page in Device Manager has a Power Management tab, the radio can support wake. If no Power Management tab exists, the radio might support wake, but it is unlikely.

 

 

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