New versions of Bluetooth bring more features, but you need compatible hardware to take advantage of them. For example, you’ll only get the benefits of Bluetooth 5.0 when you pair a Bluetooth 5.0-compatible accessory with a Bluetooth 5.0-enabled system.

You can check this information from within Windows or macOS. The hardware specifications for your model of PC or Mac will tell you which version of Bluetooth it supports, too.

How to Check the Bluetooth Version Your Windows PC Supports

You can find this information using the Device Manager on Windows. To open the Device Manager on Windows 10, right-click your Start button and select the “Device Manager” command.

On Windows 7, press Windows+R, type “devmgmt.msc”, and then press Enter.

Expand the “Bluetooth” category by clicking the arrow to the left of its name

Locate your Bluetooth adapter. Its name will vary, but it will not contain the word “Enumerator.” Ignore any device with “Enumerator” in its name.

In the screenshot below, our adapter is named “Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R).” Yours will probably be called something similar if you have Intel Bluetooth hardware in your computer.

Double-click the adapter.

In the adapter’s properties window, click the “Advanced” tab. If you don’t see an Advanced tab, you didn’t select the correct Bluetooth adapter device. Close the properties window and try double-clicking another Bluetooth device.

You will see an LMP version number here, although it looks a bit different on different computers. This is the Link Manager Protocol version, and it tells you which version of Bluetooth is on your PC.

Here’s how the LMP version converts to Bluetooth version, according to the official Bluetooth specification:

  • LMP 0: Bluetooth 1.0b
  • LMP 1: Bluetooth 1.1
  • LMP 2: Bluetooth 1.2
  • LMP 3: Bluetooth 2.0
  • LMP 4: Bluetooth 2.1
  • LMP 5: Bluetooth 3.0
  • LMP 6: Bluetooth 4.0
  • LMP 7: Bluetooth 4.1
  • LMP 8: Bluetooth 4.2
  • LMP 9: Bluetooth 5.0

For example, in the screenshot above, our PC has LMP 6.1280. This is LMP 6, which means our PC supports Bluetooth 4.0 and below.

Click “OK” to close the Properties window and then close the Device Manager window when you’re done.

If you have an older version of Bluetooth in your PC and need a newer version, you can add Bluetooth to your PC with a USB dongle. You’ll get whichever version of Bluetooth the dongle supports. For example, we successfully used the Kinivo BTD-400 ($11.99) USB dongle to add Bluetooth 4.0 hardware to a PC.

How to Check the Bluetooth Version Your Mac Supports

You can check this same information on a Mac, as well. Open up the Apple menu and click “About This Mac” to get started.

In the About This Mac window, click the “System Report” button on the “Overview” tab.

In the sidebar, expand the “Hardware” category, and then select the “Bluetooth” option.

Scroll down in the list and look for an “LMP Version” entry. On the latest versions of macOS, this displays your Bluetooth version in a nice readable way. For example, “4.0 (0x6)” means you have Bluetooth 4.0, which is LMP version 6.

If you just see a number starting with 0x, this is your LMP version. Ignore the “0x” at the beginning, and consult the following list to see which Bluetooth version your Mac supports. For example, if you see “LMP 0x6”, you have LMP 6. This means your Mac supports Bluetooth 4.0 and below, as you can see from the below list.

  • LMP 0: Bluetooth 1.0b
  • LMP 1: Bluetooth 1.1
  • LMP 2: Bluetooth 1.2
  • LMP 3: Bluetooth 2.0
  • LMP 4: Bluetooth 2.1
  • LMP 5: Bluetooth 3.0
  • LMP 6: Bluetooth 4.0
  • LMP 7: Bluetooth 4.1
  • LMP 8: Bluetooth 4.2
  • LMP 9: Bluetooth 5.0

Close the System Report and About This Mac windows when you’re done.

If your Mac has an older version of Bluetooth and you want a newer one, you can also plug a Bluetooth dongle into your Mac’s USB port. Be sure to get a dongle that supports Macs as well as Windows PCs. Unfortunately, the Kinivo BTD-400 adapter we recommend for Windows PCs doesn’t work with Macs. The Avantree USB dongle ($29.99) is more expensive, but it’s compatible with Macs, advertises Bluetooth 4.1 support, and is also highly rated.

Image Credit: Toria/Shutterstock.com.