Bluetooth & USB 3A guide to resolving your Bluetooth woes

Improve your hardware to use components that emit less interference

So we know that USB 3 devices can produce interference. Some manufacturers are now keen to provide more robust devices that contain more interference reducing shielding. So if you have been considering upgrading some elements of your system or the options suggested so far have not helped then upgrading some of your components to better quality ones may help.

Remember, the USB 3 ports, the internal computer circuitry, USB 3 devices plugged into the ports and any cables that may run between the two elements can all cause the Bluetooth+USB3 problem.

Here you can see the difference between a very basic USB 3 cable (the upper cable) and a shielded one (the lower cable) which is much thicker and slightly more ridged when bentHere you can see the difference between a very basic USB 3 cable (the upper cable) and a shielded one (the lower cable) which is much thicker and slightly more ridged when bent.
The USB 3 cables
You want to be sure that your using quality shielded USB 3 compatible cables. These are noticeably thicker and maybe a little more ridged than some other cheap USB cables but contain insulation to stop them emitting so much interference to their surroundings. It is also possible that magnetic shielding applied to existing cables could reduce interference.



The USB 3 device

Shielding the device itself is often quite difficult. Whilst there are tips on various websites about covering specific external devices to stop them emitting so much interference we are not going to recommend this here as covering certain devices, especially ones that get very hot such as external hard drives could cause the device to overheat and malfunction in some way.

 

If the device in question is an external hard drive one option may be to replace the external case it uses with a better quality one that has better built in shielding.

 


The Bluetooth adapter

In many laptops the hardware Bluetooth adapter is replaceable. Replacing the adapter may in the process also upgrade your laptop's Bluetooth support to a newer revision of the Bluetooth standard, allowing it to accept new devices and with more reliability which can't be a bad thing.


The easy option
- If you want to replace your Bluetooth adapter the simplest way of doing this is to disable the internal Bluetooth support and buy a new USB Bluetooth adapter that can plug into a free USB port on the side of the laptop. Bluetooth USB adapters are now incredibly tiny in size, hardly protruding from the side of a laptop at all, so this is actually a great quick fix!  If you do this make sure the USB Bluetooth adapter is using the latest v4 or 4.1 Bluetooth standard to take full advantage of the recent improvements in the Bluetooth standard.   For assistance in disabling your existing Bluetooth adapter click here.  Remember, when you are ready to install your new USB Bluetooth adapter make sure you plug it into a USB port as far away from the active USB 3 ports as possible!


If the new USB Bluetooth adapter still doesn't resolve your problem and it seems that you have a really serious case of the Bluetooth+USB3 problem then you can very likely resolve the issue by placing a USB extension cable between the laptop and the USB Bluetooth Adapter. Naturally for Laptops constantly on the move this isn't very practical, but for a laptop that is normally desk based it can work very well.






The not so easy option
- Actually replacing the internal component of the laptop that provides the Bluetooth support means opening your laptop, so if you don't have experience with this it's best to take your laptop either to the shop you purchased it from or a reliable third party upgrade and repair center. If you want to follow this suggestion and are willing to open your laptop read our FAQ page on the subject.






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