With so many jurisdictions banning the use of handheld mobile phones while driving, Bluetooth headsets and other Bluetooth handsfree devices have increased in popularity. At the same time, many people may not know how to properly connect a Bluetooth device to their cell phones. The pairing process will vary somewhat between different Bluetooth headsets and different mobile phones, but the general instructions remain fundamentally the same across most platforms.
There are a few steps you should take even before you start the actual Bluetooth pairing process.
- Ensure that both your mobile phone and Bluetooth device are fully charged. The connection process, which is also known as Bluetooth pairing, will not work properly if the batteries on both devices do not have adequate power.
- Make sure your mobile phone is turned on and ready to go, but do not turn on the Bluetooth device yet. At this point, you are ready to proceed to the next step.
Connecting a Phone to a Bluetooth Headset
Activate Bluetooth on the Phone
This part of the process will vary based on your cell phone model.
- Enter the settings menu on the phone.
- Look for the "Connection" or "Bluetooth" section in this menu. Check your user manual if you are unsure how to find this area.
- Choose the option to turn on the Bluetooth. It may also ask if you want to make your device "discoverable" to other devices. The answer to this question is yes.
Completing the Bluetooth Pairing Process
For most Bluetooth headsets and speakerphones, there is a slightly different process for turning on the device and for activating the "pairing mode." Check the user manual for specific instructions, but the general steps are similar.
- Hold down the power button for a longer period, usually about five seconds. The Bluetooth device should then enter what is known as pairing mode. Some headsets have a different light pattern to indicate they are in pairing mode. A short press of the power button usually just turns on the device, but you will need pairing mode for the initial connection.
- On your cell phone, there should be an option within the Bluetooth menu to "search for nearby devices" or some variation. Do that.
- The phone will list the nearby Bluetooth devices that it detects.
- Select your device from this list. You can usually recognize it by brand name or model number.
- You may be asked for a passocde to complete the connection process. Most Bluetooth headsets have a passcode of 1234 or 0000, although you may need to double-check the user manual to confirm this. After the passcode is entered, your cell phone should be connected to the Bluetooth device.
- When you are done using the Bluetooth device, you can turn it off, and turn off the Bluetooth mode on your phone.
Subsequent Connections Are Easier
The above instructions are only for the initial pairing between a new cell phone and a new Bluetooth device. After that pairing process has been completed, it does not need to be done again for that particular phone with that particular Bluetooth hands-free device. Instead, the next time that you need to use the same headset with the same phone, you simply have to activate the Bluetooth on the phone, and then turn on the Bluetooth device with a short press of the power button. The connection should happen automatically within a few seconds.