Usually, when things break after a Windows update, it’s an unexpected problem that’s later fixed. We recently saw the October update problems that caused delays into November.
If you recently updated your Windows device and noticed that some of your Bluetooth devices have stopped working, this is due to a deliberate decision by Microsoft for the sake of their OS security.
Why Was this Done?
The reasoning behind this is because people are using “insecure” Bluetooth devices on their computers. These devices are using keys known amongt hackers, and as such, can be easily broken into. Windows is trying to impede these attacks by breaking support for the devices.
This isn’t the first time that a company has done a purge like this. For instance, Chrome began combating Flash vulnerabilities by disallowing it from running automatically.
Even then, however, users can manually activate Flash in Chrome if they want to. This update, however, doesn’t yet have a way to allow Bluetooth devices if they’re blocked.
How Can I Check If Windows Is Breaking My Devices?
Unfortunately, this does mean that you can’t tell if Windows is deliberately blocking your device or if it has stopped working altogether. Fortunately, there is a method to double-check if Window’s policies are kicking in.
To do this, press the Start button, then type “event logs.” Click “view event logs” that appears. Now that you’re in the logs, you’re looking for an entry under “System” that’s called “BTHPORT_DEBUG_LINK_KEY_NOT_ALLOWED” and has the entry text “Your Bluetooth device attempted to establish a debug connection. The Windows Bluetooth stack does not allow debug connection while it is not in the debug mode.”
If you see this message appear, it means that Windows is blocking a Bluetooth device from connecting. If any of your devices have stopped working, you now know it’s Windows instead of the device itself that’s acting up.
How to Fix this Problem
The best way to fix this is to visit the website of your disconnected device’s manufacturer and see if they have an update available. If they’re worth their salt, they should have responded to this update by putting out new drivers that bring your device up to speed.
If they haven’t, you may need to consider getting a new device that’s compatible with Windows’ security. Get a device made by a reputable company that came out recently to ensure your new purchase won’t be blocked.
Alternatively, you can take the other route and get rid of the update itself. Roll back to a previous update and use that instead. This does mean, unfortunately, that you won’t be able to update your operating system at all, which can cause some significant security issues. If push comes to shove, it’s best to look into moving to an alternative operating system.
Rarely do companies release updates that deliberately break compatibility, but it can happen to fix security concerns. If your Windows 10 machine has suddenly stopped pairing with your Bluetooth devices, now you know why and how to fix it.
Was this a step too far for Microsoft? Could they have at least given a bit more warning? Let us know below.