Easily return native Bluetooth functionality to
Windows 8.1 after upgrading from Windows 8.0

By Bret A. Bennett, 2/12/2015



After upgrading from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1, my elderly but trusty Azio Bluetooth Adapter (a USB 2.0 dongle/stick) ceased to function. Btw, this particular Azio stick is based on a Toshiba chipset.

The stick worked fine in Windows 8.0 for basic file transfers from my smartphone. No special software or drivers were required. Just insert the stick into a USB port on the PC and I immediately had the familiar Bluetooth (ie. BT) icon appear in the Windows System Tray (ie. where you see the Clock and Volume icons).

To make a long story short, in Win8.1, the only way to get that BT icon and functionality back again was to go to the Toshiba site, download the complete “Bluetooth Stack for Windows by Toshiba”, and install that (ie. TC00442200F.exe). It was 82MB of far more BT functionality than I needed. Additionally, when I transferred multiple picture files from the phone to the PC, I had to approve each file transfer one at a time, and that was a real pain in the drain.

I’ve found an easy fix for Win8.1 that returns the PC to the exact same BT operation that I had in Win8.0, as follows:

1.     Leave your BT stick inserted. It’s not necessary to remove it from the PC for these procedures.

2.     Btw, after upgrading to Win8.1, and before installing the Toshiba BT Stack, your Windows 8.1’s Device Manager will look like this:

That may look pretty and workable, but you will NOT have any BT icon in the System Tray to right click on to receive files, Enable/Disable BT, etc..

Also note that you will not see any “
Bluetooth Support Service” running in Task Manager’s “Services” tab :

3.       If you then installed the Toshiba BT Stack to regain BT functionality in Win8.1, Device Manager then looked like this:

The BT icon’s right click (in the Windows System Tray) menu looked like this:

and . . .

You will still NOT see any “
Bluetooth Support Service” running in Task Manager’s “Services” tab. But now, you now have a TOSHIBA Bluetooth Service running :


4.       Uninstall the “Bluetooth Stack for Windows by Toshiba” from Control Panel’s “Programs and Features”.

To Toshiba’s credit, that uninstalls as cleanly as it installed. Nice routine Toshiba

After the uninstall completes, Device Manager will not yet show any BT devices:

To remedy that, simply remove your BT stick, wait about 5 seconds, and reinsert it (or restart your PC). BT is back to the Win8.1 native state it was in after the Win8.1 upgrade:

Note that now there’s no BT icon in the System Tray.

And note that once again, now we two BT services running in Task Manager :

Unfortunately, simply right clicking and selecting to Start the bthserv service not return the BT icon to the System Tray.

5.       The Fix:

Right click Generic BT Radio in Device Manager and select  these prompts . . .

Click Next

The driver installs and we see this:

Click the Close button.

6.       The Joy:

We now have our Windows native BT icon back in the System Tray:

Device Manager now looks the way it did in Win8.0 :

A right click on the BT icon in the System Tray reveals the familiar Win8.0 native functions, now available in Win8.1 :

Task Manager now shows that the Windows native bthserv service is running automatically :

I hope this procedure helps to bring a Bluetooth smile back to you !



Did my work help you solve a problem, save time or save money?
Please show your appreciation with a PayPal donation you consider reasonable


Copyright © 2015 by Bret A. BENNETT. All rights reserved. 
Reprints by permission only: Please contact bret@bretabennett.com . 
(Reprints for personal non-commercial use do not require permission) 
(Comments and corrections are welcome)


Legal Notice
Last modified: 10/14/2018 12:23 PM -0400
Copyright © 1997-2018 BRET A. BENNETT, All rights reserved.
Lost in space? Click here to return to our doorway at www.bretabennett.com
Click this link to contact us with questions or comments about this web site.