Bluetooth® Changes In Windows 10 Creators Update

This month Microsoft released the Creators Update to Windows 10. Among its many changes, it offers a few updates to how Bluetooth functions in Windows, as well as two new Bluetooth features. In this article, we’ll quickly go over the highlights so you can make the most of your Plugable Bluetooth adapter.

New Bluetooth Interface

One of the biggest changes is that Bluetooth devices are now grouped with other devices in the Settings > Devices options instead of appearing separately in their own Bluetooth management window. Because of this, adding new Bluetooth devices has become more complicated, requiring a couple more clicks than in previous Windows 10 versions.

In previous Windows 10 versions, some devices, such as headphones that used both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy, were listed twice in the settings window. This made it easy to connect to the wrong service by mistake. In the Creators Update, they are now listed as a single device.

New Features

Audio Improvements

While some remaining issues with audio profile selection still cause Windows to use low-quality audio, there are some new improvements in this release. The biggest changes are the inclusion of Wideband speech support for Bluetooth devices that have this capability. This means Cortana, which previously disallowed the use of Bluetooth headsets, can now use them! Lastly, Windows applications are also able to use more of the buttons and controls on devices, such as pick-up, hang-up, hold, call waiting, and others if applications choose to use them.

Proximity-based System Lock

Monitoring the proximity of Bluetooth-enabled devices like smartphones and fitness trackers can be a great way for your computer to know if you’ve stepped away from it. Windows 10 Creators Update takes advantage of this ability by offering a proximity-based locking feature.

Just navigate to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options to find the options shown above.

Changes Under The Hood

For now, most changes under the hood apply primarily to developers, but they will likely become useful to end-users as well as developers integrate the new functionality into their apps. The biggest improvements are the inclusion of a GATT server that allows Windows to expose data to other devices through Bluetooth Low Energy, and the ability to communicate with Bluetooth Low Energy devices that aren’t explicitly paired to the PC.

You learn more about these under the hood changes in Microsoft’s blog article posted earlier this year in anticipation of the Creators Update release.


That’s all there is to Bluetooth changes in the Creators Update. On the whole, this is good news as it shows that Microsoft is continuing to support development of Bluetooth capabilities in Windows, while lessening the need for third-party Bluetooth software stacks that can result in large downloads for users. With Bluetooth 5 around the corner, it’s great to see Bluetooth 4.0 features finally being embraced in mainstream PCs.

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8 comments on “Bluetooth® Changes In Windows 10 Creators Update”

  1. Vergil Reply

    Audio over bluetooth 4.0 gets out of sync after a long period of Windows 10 Creators Update Enterprise 64bits session, I have to restart audioendpointbuilder service to reset audio syncing. I tried with different drivers. Is that a known issue?

    • Andy D. Reply

      Sometimes gradual sync issues can arise because the adapter is retransmitting some data due to interference. I would make sure that there is a clear line-of-sight between your Bluetooth adapter and your audio device. If you’re using an adapter like our USB-BT4LE, it is also important to avoid plugging it in to the back of a tower-style PC, and to avoid poorly-shielded USB 3.0 ports that can cause broad-spectrum radio interference.

  2. Jim Lewis Reply

    I have had problems with Bluetooth connectivity with an old Logitech v470 Travel Mouse on an old Gateway NV59 laptop running under AC power. I have found the following to fix my problems (I had already run PlugDeBug and eliminated extraneous BT drivers, etc).

    Went to Device Manager, found Plugable device under Bluetooth settings. Mouse right click and on the Power Management tab, UNCHECK “Allow computer to turn off this device to save power.” Once I did that, I had no further issues with mouse connectivity. Previously, I was losing mouse connectivity every few minutes.

    I first had this problem in acquiring the Plugable adapter along with the Spring Creators Update (v1703). I changed the setting then, fixed the problem, and forgot about it. Apparently, the the Fall Creators Update (v1709) with Microsoft knowing best, changed the setting back to the power-saving mode, causing my BT connectivity problems again (also changed my SSD driver to the wrong one). (it’s possible that running the Plugable driver setup again changed these settings back, too – haven’t controlled for that).

    • David Roberts David Roberts Reply

      Hi Jim, Thank you for posting this useful fix! We have also seen Windows 10 updates re-enable that setting. And we have experienced issues where Windows Update re-enabled Bluetooth adapters that were previously disabled so that the Plugable adapter could work. But as you say, Microsoft knows best!

  3. Bora Yoon Reply

    It’s been more than a year since the release of Bluetooth 5 and Intel 9260/9560 Wifi cards with latest Bluetooth version is starting to appear on laptops. However, there is still no Bluetooth 5 USB dongle yet for use with PC. Is there any ETA or when Plugable Bluetooth 5 dongle will hit the market or it’s not happening?

    • Andy D. Reply

      Developing a new USB Bluetooth adapter is a complex process. We are of course keeping an eye on the market as well as what chipsets are being produced that support Bluetooth 5.

      Currently there isn’t really OS support for Bluetooth 5 features, and Bluetooth 5’s feature set is largely centered around IoT solutions. There have been some companies saying they believe there will be advantages for audio as well, but that remains to be seen.

      An additional note worth mentioning is that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group isn’t particularly interested in having devices specifically marketed as Bluetooth 5 since it creates unnecessary consumer confusion when devices will largely remain compatible and have the same features across Bluetooth generations. For example, headphones that are advertised as Bluetooth 4.x often just use Bluetooth Classic features from previous generations when it comes to transmitting audio data. Bluetooth 4.0/LE is important to distinguish simply due to the lack of Windows 7 support for LE features, and devices that are only communicating over Bluetooth Low Energy. The biggest improvement to Bluetooth 5 is an increase in bandwidth for Bluetooth Low Energy to make things like firmware updates faster, but the functionality should largely remain the same.

      With regards to the Intel implementation, they usually have quite a lead on newer Bluetooth implementations. However, their solutions are essentially always integrated with their internal Wi-Fi solutions for OEMs, rather than as an add-in for existing systems. Bluetooth solutions for USB tend to lag behind a bit and will generally be made if there is a broad need for it, as opposed to companies like Intel serving the needs of developers and cutting-edge research applications.

      Thanks for the question, I hope this helps.

  4. Tom Reply

    Is possible to user your USB Bluetooth adapter on Windows 10 to connect to a Philips SHB5850 headset. This headset needs Bluetooth 4.1

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hello Tom,

      Thank you for your question!

      Generally speaking, Bluetooth devices are intended to retain backwards compatibility. Bluetooth audio relies mostly on older Bluetooth profiles that are part of previous Bluetooth specifications. That being said, some manufacturers incorporate features that utilize newer Bluetooth Low Energy features for a better experience on smartphones that can cause issues mostly in older versions of Windows and Linux that do not support Bluetooth Low Energy.

      We discuss some of this in more detail in our other blog post about the Bose QuietComfort 35, including solutions for how to get newer audio devices working well. For Windows 7 and Linux, this means installing specific Bluetooth drivers/software. For newer versions of Windows, this may mean updating to the latest drivers we have on our product page for the USB-BT4LE.

      If you encounter issues getting your headphones working well, please feel free to contact us at and we can help with getting them working. We’re happy to help!

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