Archive for May, 2012

Bluetooth Mouse Disconnects Randomly

May 7, 2012

For as long as I’ve used a Bluetooth mouse, I’ve had random disconnects that occur, well, randomly.  Sometimes I can go a day without issues, but more often than not, every few hours my mouse would simply go away.  I’d be happily moving the cursor when suddenly it would come to an abrupt halt.  I’m using a Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 on an HP EliteBook, but the same behavior occurred on other laptops I’ve owned.

I was certain that this was some problem with the Windows 7 Bluetooth stack or drivers, but numerous driver reinstalls never resolved anything.  And alas, Windows 8 Consumer Preview didn’t resolve the issue for me either.

It turns out that this isn’t a driver stability issue, but rather a configuration issue related to the Bluetooth stack installed on the machine.  By default, the Bluetooth driver is configured so that it can be disabled by Windows to conserve power.  I suspect that Windows can potentially turn off Bluetooth if there is no activity for a period of time; however, it seems that Bluetooth is getting disabled when there is plenty of activity.  Bug or “feature?”

The fix that worked for me was to configure the Bluetooth adapter on the PC so that it’s no longer disabled to conserve power.  You can make this change in Device Manager:

  • Open Device Manager and right click on your Bluetooth adapter.

  • Select Properties in the context menu to configure the device.
  • In the Power Management tab, uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” check box and click OK to save the changes.

Making this small configuration change has resolved the random Bluetooth connection disconnects on my PC – hopefully it will work for you as well.