Bluetooth version and profile support in previous Windows versions

Note

Looking for drivers for your Bluetooth audio device? See Fix connections to Bluetooth audio devices and wireless displays.

Note

For information about Bluetooth support in Windows 11, see Bluetooth Support in Windows 11.

Which previous versions of Windows support Bluetooth wireless technology?

The following previous versions of Windows include in-box support for Bluetooth wireless technology:

  • All SKUs of Windows 10
  • All SKUs of Windows 8.1

The following previous versions of Windows do not have in-box support for Bluetooth wireless technology:

  • All SKUs of Windows Server 2016
  • All SKUs of Windows Server 2012 R2

Although these versions of Windows do not have in-box Bluetooth wireless technology support, third-party Bluetooth drivers might be available from independent hardware vendors (IHVs).

Which Bluetooth versions do previous versions of Windows support?

Windows supports Bluetooth version 1.1 and later versions. Bluetooth version 2.1 radios and devices are backward compatible with earlier versions of Bluetooth.

Windows 8 is Bluetooth Smart Ready, it supports Bluetooth version 4.0, and is able to connect with Bluetooth Smart devices.

Windows support for different versions of the Bluetooth specification depends on the Windows version, as shown in the following table:

Windows version V 1.1 V 2.0 V 2.0 with EDR V 2.1 V 2.1 with EDR V 4.0 V 4.1 V 5.1
Windows 10 (version 2004) X X X X X X X X
Windows 8.1 X X X X X X

What's new in Windows 10?

To learn more about the new features and hardware developer recommendations for the different versions of Windows 10, see Bluetooth in the Hardware component guidelines section.

What's new in Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 includes the following enhancements to the Bluetooth stack and related software:

  • Inbox radio management control for Bluetooth version 4.0 radios.
  • Windows Runtime API support for RFCOMM and GATT protocol access.

Which Bluetooth profiles have in-box support in previous versions of Windows?

Windows 10 in-box Bluetooth profiles

Windows 10 (version 2004) supports Bluetooth version 5.1.

Core specification

Windows 10 supports Bluetooth core specification 5.1, including the following:

Profile or protocol Abbreviation
4.0 Host Controller Interface HCI
Attribute Protocol ATT
Generic Access Profile GAP
Generic Attribute Profile GATT
Logical Link Control and Adaption Protocol L2CAP
Service Discovery Protocol SDP
Security Manager Protocol SMP

GATT profiles and services

Profile or service Abbreviation Version
Device Information Service DIS 1.1
HID over GATT Profile HOGP 1.0
Scan Parameters Profile client ScPP 2.1

Traditional Bluetooth profiles and protocols

Profile or protocol Abbreviation Version
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile A2DP 1.3.2
Audio/Video Control Transport Protocol AVCTP 1.4
Audio Video Distribution Transport Protocol AVDTP 1.3
A/V Remote Control Profile AVRCP 1.6.2
Bluetooth Network Encapsulation Protocol BNEP 1.0
Device ID DID 1.3
Dial Up Networking Profile DUN 1.1
Generic A/V Distribution Profile GAVDP 1.3
Hands-Free Profile HFP 1.7.2
Hard Copy Replacement Profile 1.2 HRCP 1.1
Human Interface Device HID 1.1
Object Push Profile OPP 1.1
Personal Area Network Profile PAN 1.0
Radio Frequency Communication RFCOMM 1.1
Serial Port Profile SPP 1.2

Windows 8.1 in-box Bluetooth profiles

Because Windows 8.1 provides both kernel-mode and user-mode programming interfaces for its Bluetooth stacks, hardware and software vendors can implement additional profiles in both kernel mode and user mode. We encourage vendors that create such profiles to test their software by using the appropriate Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) test suites and have their software packages digitally signed

Do users have to re-pair their Bluetooth devices after they upgrade a system to Windows 8.1?

If users upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, they must perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1. In this situation, any Bluetooth software that the OEM provides must be re-installed and all devices must be re-paired. If users upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, complex devices such as phones might require re-pairing so that third-party drivers will reload. However, a simpler device such as a keyboard or a mouse does not require re-pairing.

Therefore, pairing information is preserved if users upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 for some devices, primarily Bluetooth keyboards, mice, and audio devices. This ensures that customers are not required to use a wired keyboard and mouse to upgrade their Windows version. They can use their Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the entire procedure.

What programming interfaces were introduced in Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 introduces new Windows Runtime APIs for accessing the RFCOMM (over standard Bluetooth) and GATT (over Bluetooth Low Energy).

See also