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What is Bluetooth® Pairing?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 16, 2024
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Bluetooth® pairing is a process in which two Bluetooth® devices, usually a cell phone and headset, communicate with each other through an established connection. This connection is made when a passkey is entered that both the headset and the cell phone agree upon. The passkey is usually found in the manual sold with the Bluetooth® device.

The process of Bluetooth® pairing between a cell phone and a headset is rather simple. It begins with placing your Bluetooth® device in discovery mode. When in this mode the Bluetooth® device is able to be detected by the cell phone. When your Bluetooth® headset isn't being used you can turn it off to prevent other Bluetooth® devices from detecting it and compromising your privacy.

Once the headset is in discovery mode, also known as Bluetooth® pairing mode, the cell phone is programmed to find the headset. When detected, the Bluetooth® device's name will appear on the cell phone. This will be the name it was originally programmed with or that you gave it.

After the pairing has occurred, you will be required to enter a passkey. As previously mentioned, this passkey is found in the manual that comes with the Bluetooth® headset. Often times this passkey is either a zero, or a series of zeros. A secure connection is established when the headset receives the the passkey and the two devices interact simultaneously.

Bluetooth® pairing can also occur between two computers. This is done to allow two computers to interact and share information. In order for it to occur between the two computers, one of the computers must be discoverable. To place the computer in discover mode use the "Options" tab on the Bluetooth® device.

Several steps are then required to be completed on your computer to finish the Bluetooth® pairing. Click on the "Start" menu and select "Run." In the box, type "Bthprops.cpl" and select "OK." Click "Add" in the "Bluetooth® Settings" box, then select "My device is set up and ready to be found."

Bluetooth® pairing will be completed after the computer has searched for and discovered the other Bluetooth® device. When the other computer is detected, select it on screen and click "Next." Enter your passkey on the discovered Bluetooth® device and follow the prompts on the wizard. Pairing is now completed and the two computers can interact and share information.

Bluetooth&reg pairing can also be done between a computer and modem or a computer and printer. The steps taken for this process vary depending upon the model type. Instructions for how to pair these devices can be found in the manuals.

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Discussion Comments
By EchoVision — On Feb 02, 2014

My wife's car uses Bluetooth to sync with her cell phone and import her contacts to the car's computer so she can use the hands-free dialing. The linking process in the car is pretty easy, but there have been other Bluetooth devices and computer-to-computer linkages that I've attempted in the past that weren't so easy. Sometimes the discovery process is kind of clunky, particularly between computers.

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