You probably use Bluetooth every day to listen to music on your wireless headphones or a speaker. Or use a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard with your computer.
You may not feel the need to know the Bluetooth version of your PC as your devices will work just fine with it. However, newer technologies such as Bluetooth 5 offer several advantages: to take advantage of them, you must first know the Bluetooth version of your PC. So let’s see how you can do that and how easy it is to upgrade to Bluetooth 5.
Check which Bluetooth version your Windows PC supports
Your PC’s Device Manager is where you can determine which Bluetooth version your computer supports. Let’s see how:
- Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Windows icon on the taskbar and select Device Manager. Or type device manager in Windows Search and press Enter.
- Click on the arrow next to Bluetooth to expand the Bluetooth category. You may find many Bluetooth items in the list, including any devices you have connected to your computer, such as phones, speakers, and headphones. You can identify them by their name, model number, or brand.
- But what you should look for is your PC’s Bluetooth adapter. The name of the adapter depends on which one is on your PC. It may have the word Adapter or Adapter at the end. In the screenshot below it is: Mediatek Bluetooth Adapter. Or it could be something like Intel(R) Bluetooth Wireless(R). But it wouldn’t have an Enumerator in the name, so you can skip those items.
- If you don’t know what to look for, right click on each item you think is the adapter and click on the corresponding Properties.
- The Bluetooth adapter has the Advanced tab in his Propertiesthe other items do not.
- Click on the Advanced tab, search for Firmware or Firmware versionand check the version number of LMP. LMP is short for Link Manager Protocol and you can get to know the Bluetooth version of your PC from the LMP version. As you can see in the screenshot below, the LMP version is 6.6-meaning this PC supports Bluetooth 4.0 and below.
- Refer to the LMP Bluetooth table below to check and determine the Bluetooth version of your PC. And just assign your LMP version to the Bluetooth version number.
|LMP version||Bluetooth version|
|LMP 5||Bluetooth 3.0 + HS|
|LMP 6||Bluetooth 4.0|
|LMP 7||Bluetooth 4.1|
|LMP 8||Bluetooth 4.2|
|LMP 9||Bluetooth 5.0|
|LMP 10||Bluetooth 5.1|
|LMP 11||Bluetooth 5.2|
Can you use Bluetooth 5 devices on your old PC?
So you have checked the Bluetooth version of your PC and found that it is Bluetooth 4.2, 4.0 or older. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Bluetooth 5 or higher version devices.
Bluetooth 5 is backwards compatible with older Bluetooth versions and Bluetooth 5 devices such as headphones will work with your Bluetooth 4 PC. But they only work as Bluetooth 4.2 headphones. You cannot use the enhanced features of Bluetooth 5.
For example, a cool feature of Bluetooth 5 is that you can connect two headphones or two Bluetooth speakers to your PC at the same time. You can even stream your favorite songs to your headphones and play a different piece of music for your friend on his speaker from your PC at the same time.
In addition, indoor Bluetooth 5 has a range of 40 meters, 4 times the range of Bluetooth 4.2. This means you can enjoy music on your wireless headphones even when you are far away from your PC. There will also be less audio dropouts.
Bluetooth 5 offers higher reliability and also consumes less power, which means longer battery life. Your headphones will last longer until the next charge.
Bluetooth 5 is also faster, with data transfer rates of up to 2 Mbps, which is twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.2. You can read our article on a few steps to take to ensure fast Bluetooth transfers.
You can upgrade your old PC to Bluetooth 5.
You will be pleased to know that it is quite easy to enable Bluetooth 5, 5.1 or 5.2 support on your Bluetooth 4 Windows PC. You just need to buy a Bluetooth USB adapter and connect it to your computer.
You can easily buy Bluetooth 5 USB adapters online. They are inexpensive and also come in small sizes, such as a mini USB drive that you can plug in and leave behind.
If you prefer the higher Bluetooth 5.1 or 5.2, those adapters are also available. Yes, they are more expensive, but won’t break the bank.
First, disable your PC’s built-in Bluetooth adapter
Before installing and using your Bluetooth 5 USB adapter, please disable your PC’s Bluetooth adapter. This will ensure that you don’t run into stability issues and conflicts as Windows may recognize the old adapter.
To disable your old adapter:
- Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Windows icon on the taskbar and select Device Manager.
- Fold the . from Bluetooth category and right click on your Bluetooth adapter.
- Then select Switch off device option in the menu that opens.
- You’ll get a prompt to confirm if you want to continue, such as: If you turn off this device, it will stop working. Click Yes to confirm.
Once done, your PC will no longer communicate with the old Bluetooth adapter and you should have no problems installing and using your new Bluetooth 5 adapter.
Check if your Bluetooth 5 adapter is recognized by your PC
After connecting the Bluetooth 5 adapter, the driver should be installed automatically if your PC is connected to the Internet.
Next, make sure your Bluetooth 5 USB adapter is recognized:
- Search Bluetooth in Windows Search and below Best matchclick on Settings for Bluetooth and other devices. The Bluetooth settings page opens. Check if the Bluetooth on and on toggle switch visible, which means that your Bluetooth 5 adapter is installed correctly. If the Bluetooth on/off switch is missing, there was a problem adding the Bluetooth 5 adapter and you should try again.
Once the adapter and driver are installed correctly, you will see the Bluetooth 5 adapter listed under: Bluetooth in Device Manager. Now you can connect Bluetooth 5 headphones and other devices and enjoy the benefits of advanced technology, such as connecting multiple audio devices to Windows.
If you’re considering buying new wireless headphones, speakers or earbuds, check out our comparison of aptX Low Latency and Bluetooth 5 to make an informed decision.
Enjoy the latest Bluetooth devices with your Windows PC
Bluetooth technology evolves and newer versions offer many exciting features. But you don’t have to wait to buy a new PC for that – just upgrade to a higher Bluetooth version and enjoy the latest Bluetooth devices.