Purpose

I have multiple machines and multiple Bluetooth headsets. Depending on the circumstances, I may have to open the Bluetooth device list and click Connect to tell my current headset which machine is the active machine. By default, this is a multi-click process.

Here is how to create a taskbar shortcut directly to the Bluetooth & other devices settings panel in Windows 11. This way of creating a shortcut works for any predefined Settings URI. See the Microsoft Learn article for additional shortcuts.

Instructions

Create a new shortcut

Right-click on the desktop, hover over New. Click Shortcut.

Screenshot of new shortcut menu progression

Enter the Bluetooth settings shortcut

Enter explorer.exe ms-settings:bluetooth in the “Type the location of the items:” textbox and click Next.

Screenshot of the "What item would you like to create a shortcut for?" dialog box

Give the shortcut a meaningful name

Enter Bluetooth Settings in the “Type a name for this shortcut:” textbox and click Finish.

Screenshot of the "What would you like to name the shortcut?" dialog box

Get a Bluetooth icon

Windows 11 icons must be .ICO files. I’ve created one and made it available here. Right-click the link and select Save as to download the file.

Drag the icon on to the toolbar

Drag the icon on to the toolbar. Once in place, you can delete the desktop shortcut, but you will have to recreate the shortcut if you accidentally unpin it from the toolbar.

Screenshot of the "What would you like to name the shortcut?" dialog box

To remove the shortcut from the toolbar

Right-click the shortcut and select “Unpin from taskbar”.

Endnotes

  1. Launch the Windows Settings app: Microsoft Learn article on Windows Settings’ predefined URIs and how to access them
  2. Bluetooth (R) Experience Icons document (PDF): archived document that describes the Bluetooth logo(s).
  3. GNU Free UCS Outline Fonts: Free font family that supports the Runic Unicode block needed to create the H and B runes in the Bluetooth logo.
  4. Inkscape: Open source SVG editor used to create the Bluetooth icon.
  5. ImageMagick: Open source image converter used to convert from SVG to ICO.
  6. Discussion on GitHub Gist: Discussion on the needed parameters for converting SVG to a transparent ICO using ImageMagick.