How To Fix SteamVR Bluetooth Not Available

When you’re ready to dive into the immersive world of virtual reality but are met with the frustrating “Bluetooth Not Available” message in SteamVR, it can quickly dampen your enthusiasm.

Fortunately, this common issue can often be resolved with a few troubleshooting steps. Here’s a detailed guide to help you get your SteamVR Bluetooth connection up and running.

Why does SteamVR Bluetooth Not Available error occur?

The “Bluetooth Not Available” error in SteamVR can occur for several reasons:

  1. Bluetooth Support: Your PC may not have Bluetooth capability, or it may be disabled in the BIOS or operating system settings.
  2. Driver Issues: Outdated, missing, or corrupted Bluetooth drivers can prevent SteamVR from recognizing or using Bluetooth hardware.
  3. SteamVR Settings: Bluetooth options within SteamVR may not be correctly configured, or the feature may be turned off.
  4. Interference from Other Software: Antivirus or firewall settings could be blocking SteamVR’s Bluetooth functionality.
  5. Hardware Issues: There could be a problem with the Bluetooth hardware itself, such as a faulty Bluetooth adapter or issues with the VR headset’s built-in Bluetooth.
  6. SteamVR Software Glitch: Sometimes, SteamVR might experience a software glitch that can cause Bluetooth to be incorrectly reported as unavailable.
  7. Incorrect Permissions: The necessary permissions for SteamVR to access Bluetooth services may not be set correctly on the computer.

How To Enable Bluetooth On SteamVR?

Before getting into the fix make sure the Bluetooth is enabled on SteamVR.

To enable Bluetooth in SteamVR, you can follow these steps:

  • Open the “Steam client” on your computer.
  • Click on “Steam VR icon” at the top right of the Steam client
  • Click on the “three lines” in the top left corner to open the menu
  • Select “Settings” from the dropdown and click on “General
  • Check the checkbox “Enable Bluetooth communication” to turn on Bluetooth.
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How To Fix SteamVR Bluetooth Not Available Issue?

Step 1: Verify Bluetooth Compatibility

Ensure your PC has built-in Bluetooth capability or that you have a compatible Bluetooth dongle installed. Not all systems come with Bluetooth support, so this is an essential first check.

Step 2: Check Bluetooth Settings On Your PC And SteamVR

If Bluetooth is not activated on your PC/StemVR, you will get a Bluetooth Error message. Make sure Bluetooth is activated in your Windows settings.

To Check The Bluetooth Setting Status On Windows:

  • Type “Bluetooth and Other Device Settings” on the search bar and Click On it
  • Toggle the Bluetooth switch to ‘On’.

To Check The Bluetooth Setting Status On SteamVR:

  • Launch “SteamVR.
  • Access the ‘‘Settings’‘ menu and select ‘‘Bluetooth.’
  • Ensure ‘‘Enable Bluetooth communication’‘ is checked.

Step 3: Power Cycle the Link Box (for HTC Vive)

Restarting both the PC and the link box can clear up minor technical hiccups and resolve any signal communication issues.

  • Shutdown your PC
  • Unplug the power cable from the CPU and remove all USB connections.
  • Wait 2 minutes, replug the Power cable and power On your PC.
  • Unplug the power cable from the link box.
  • Now Restart the device you want to connect with Bluetooth
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Step 4: Update Bluetooth Drivers

Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause Bluetooth issues. So update the Bluetooth driver On your PC and SteamVR.

To Update Bluetooth Driver in Windows:

  • Open ‘‘Device Manager’‘ by right-clicking the Start button and selecting it from the menu.
  • Expand the ‘‘Bluetooth’‘ section, right-click your Bluetooth adapter, and choose ‘‘Update driver’.
  • Select ‘‘Search automatically for updated driver software’‘ and follow the on-screen instructions.

To Update Bluetooth Driver in SteamVR:

  • Open the “Steam client” on your computer.
  • Click on “Steam VR icon” at the top right of the Steam client
  • Click on the “three lines” in the top left corner to open the menu
  • Select “Settings” from the dropdown and click on “General
  • Click on the “Install Drivers” button under Enable Bluetooth communication to install the updates.

Step 5: Adjust Windows Security Settings

Windows Defender’s ‘Core Isolation’ feature can interfere with Bluetooth and stop Steam VR from detecting Bluetooth Devices.

Follow The Step to Check The Windows Defender Setting:

  • Type ‘‘Device security” in the search bar and click on it.
  • Click on ‘Core Isolation Details’ and turn off ‘‘Memory integrity’‘ if it’s enabled.

Step 6: Manually Install Bluetooth Driver

If automatic updates don’t work, try a manual installation:

  • Go back into the SteamVR settings and once more turn off Bluetooth communication.
  • Manually install the Bluetooth driver by running the installer found at the following path: /Steam/steamapps/common/SteamVR/tools/lighthouse/bin/win64/vivebtdriver.exe.
  • Right-click on “vivebtdriver.exe“. and Clik “Run as Administrator.
  • Repeat the power cycle process for both the PC and the link box as you did before.
  • Re-enable the Bluetooth communication in SteamVR settings, and then test to see if the issue has been fixed.
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Step 7: Update The Steam in Beta Mode

Sometimes, a minor bug or corrupted files can cause the Bluetooth not available error in SteamVR. These errors can be resolved by opting for the latest “beta updates“.

To access beta updates, follow these steps:

  • Click on “Steam” in the upper left, then choose the “Settings” menu. (Preferences on Mac)
  • On the “Interface” tab under “Client Beta Participation” select the dropdown menu
  • Select the “Steam Beta Update” from the drop-down list and click “OK”
  • You will be prompted to restart Steam, please select the “Restart Steam” button
  • Use the dropdown menu to opt-in to the available beta updates.
  • Close the window and let Steam download the updates.
  • Once downloaded, “Restart PC” and launch the SteamVR again.

Step 8: Check Firewall and Antivirus Settings

Security software can sometimes block necessary connections.

  • Temporarily disable your firewall and antivirus software to test if they’re causing the issue.
  • If SteamVR Bluetooth works with security software disabled, create an exception for SteamVR in those programs