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Completely uninstalling Bose bluetooth headset on Win10

01 May 2020 at 1:01 pm

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​I recently changed from the terrible internal Bluetooth radio on my Asus motherboard to a dirt cheap Bluetooth 4 dongle. After doing this, my headset wouldn’t work and the Bose headset Audio device refused to uninstall. Here is how you fix it.

If you have a Bose headset like I have, you’re not very likely to ​ever have a problem. My main beef with these headsets are how annoying it is that it speaks out loud the name of anythng it tries to connect to. Just connecting would be fine with me. Anyway - if you change bluetooth adapters, the connection may not work so you’ll need to reinstall the device. For some reason, this is not as smooth as it should be.

Click to remove - or not?
Click to remove - or not?

My headset is named “Deep Space Fine”. In theory, I should just click the Remove Device button and then re-pair the Bose QC35 II by holding the power button forward a little and then re-adding it in Windows. Instead, the audio device just displayed the message “Removal failed”.

Whenever Windows gets errors like this, you’ll need to leave the glossy interface of Windows 10 and open one of those programs that have been around since Windows 95 - the Device Manager.

Why do you hide this?

To open the device manager, go to the start menu (CTRL+ESC, or press the dedicated Win-key) and type “Device Manager”. Press Enter to open. When it opens, Go to the View menu and select “Show hidden devices” as in the screenshot below.

It would be great if you just had to remove the single entry under "Bluetooth", but unfortunately you'll also have to go into quite a few more places. Delete all the entries with your device name under the categories: "Sound, video and game controllers", "System devices". There could be more places, so expand all the categories and read through them all. Right click each of the devices you find by right clicking them and selecting "Uninstall device".

When you have done this successfully, you can re-open the Bluetooth settings and add your headset again.

Only one Bluetooth radio at once!

In my case, the BT 2.0 radio builtin on my Asus motherboard always had such a terrible range that I never used it. Adding a second bluetooth transmitter just didn't work, so be aware that Windows 10 will not be able to use more than one Bluetooth radio at once. The solution to this is yet again to pull out the Device manager and right click the internal Bluetooth radio and select "Disable device". This will allow the new Bluetooth radio to access all services after a restart. Disabling the old Bluetooth radio should also improve BT range, since it should turn off the transmitter and thus produce a little less radio signals on the 2.4Ghz band.