One important feature to consider when looking for a new laptop, in particular a Chromebook, is its Bluetooth function. It isn’t too far from the truth to say that nearly all laptops and Chromebooks released in recent years have a Bluetooth function.
A Chromebook that doesn’t have Bluetooth can be limited in terms of connectivity. This means that it won’t be able to connect to things like Bluetooth-based printers or Bluetooth keyboards.
In this article, we give an overview of what Bluetooth is, what makes Chromebooks different from other laptops, which Chromebooks have Bluetooth, a step-by-step guide on how to connect your device to your Chromebook.
What is Bluetooth?
In a nutshell, Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology used to transfer data between two or more devices. For example, if you need to transfer a document from your laptop to your cell phone, one way to do this is to use Bluetooth.
Or if you want to listen to music using headphones but do not have an audio jack, Bluetooth allows you to connect your headphones, if your headphones have the Bluetooth function, to your Chromebook wirelessly.
Bluetooth works using UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio waves over short distances. The main advantage of having Bluetooth functionality is that it serves as an alternative to wired connections.
How are Chromebooks different from other laptops?
The biggest difference between Chromebooks and other laptops is the OS (Operating System). Whilst laptops like Apple Macs use iOS, Chromebooks use Google’s Chrome OS.
This has a number of advantages, mainly that if you use the Google Suite of Apps (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets for example) these applications are preinstalled on a Chromebook.
They are also incredibly fast compared to other laptops, they can power up in roughly 8 seconds due to their SSD (Solid State Drive).
Chromebooks also have built in virus and malware protection thanks to its Chrome OS. They’re also extremely family friendly and have extensive Parental Controls.
In 2017 Chromebooks expanded to run Android apps alongside Google Play apps. However, not all Android apps are supported for use with Chrome OS.
Which Chromebooks have Bluetooth?
The short answer to this question is that most Chromebooks do have the Bluetooth function.
In particular, Chromebooks released in recent years will most certainly have Bluetooth, some earlier models of the Chromebook, however, may not have Bluetooth. There are a number of ways you can check to see if your Chromebook has Bluetooth.
One thing to consider is that if your Chromebook was issued to you by your high school or college, then the administrators managing your Chromebook might have revoked Bluetooth privileges. This is usually standard practice and in line with security standards.
How do I know if my Chromebook has Bluetooth?
As mentioned there are a number of ways to check if your Chromebook has Bluetooth, we outline the main ways below:
On your Chromebook’s home screen, click the time in the bottom right corner of the screen. This should bring up the device’s control/notification panel. Next to your Wi-Fi connection, there might be the Bluetooth symbol, if so your device has Bluetooth functionality.
Checking the user manual of your Chromebook is another way to see if your device has the Bluetooth function.
Go to your device manufacturer’s website. Say your Chromebook is made by Samsung, if you visit Samsung’s website and find your device, they have hyperlinks to the User Manual and a FAQ section.
How do I connect my device to my Chromebook using Bluetooth?
Once you have established if your Chromebook does have Bluetooth capabilities, connecting a device to your Chromebook is very straightforward.
Firstly, you want to ensure that the Bluetooth device you want to connect (for example headphones, mouse, or keyboard) is switched on and “discoverable” meaning it is ready to pair with your Chromebook.
Secondly, ensure that the Bluetooth function on your Chromebook is turned on. Clicking on the time in the bottom right corner of the screen will bring up the device’s control/notification panel.
Next to the Wi-Fi button, there will be a Bluetooth button, this should be toggled to on (the button will become blue when Bluetooth is active).
Once the Bluetooth on your Chromebook has been toggled on, it will automatically begin scanning for “discoverable” devices to pair with your Chromebook.
This will bring up a list of devices within range of your Chromebook, select the device you want to pair, and it will connect.
To check whether you have paired the device with your Chromebook, select “Paired Devices” from the menu mentioned in the previous step and look for your device.
Is it possible to remove a paired device?
Yes, all devices, including Chromebooks, have a function which allows the device to “forget” paired devices.
Much like the process of connecting the device, forgetting a device paired to your Chromebook is simple enough.
Firstly, click on the time at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Once you have the control panel up, there should be a small white arrow pointing down next to Bluetooth.
Clicking on this arrow will reveal all Bluetooth devices paired with your Chromebook. Left-click on the settings cog.
This will bring up a list of all Bluetooth devices associated with your Chromebook. There will be three dots at the right of each device name. By left-clicking on the three dots an option will appear to ‘Remove from List’, by clicking this option the device will be forgotten by your Chromebook.
Some easy ways to check if your Chromebook has Bluetooth are:
- Checking the manufacturer’s website or the user manual of your device
- Going to the control/notification panel of your Chromebook (see How do I Know if my Chromebook has Bluetooth above) to see if your device has the Bluetooth option toggle.
Most Chromebooks released in the last few years have Bluetooth functionality. Bluetooth is very handy if you want to reduce the amount of wires being plugged into your Chromebook, among other things.