Here’s an interesting note from the Windows Support team. Dated June 11, 2019, it coincides with the “Patch Tuesday” updates for Windows 10 that month. The title explains things: “Some Bluetooth devices may fail to pair or connect after applying June 11, 2019 or later updates.” In simpler terms, this means that recent security updates to the Bluetooth stack in Windows 10 may prevent certain USB devices from pairing successfully with Windows PCs and devices. Microsoft characterizes affected items as “unsecure Bluetooth devices” in the Support note. It also explains that “Any device using well-known keys to encrypt connections may be affected.” Devices that fall into this category apparently include “certain security fobs” (though Microsoft declines to identify any specific devices that will fail as a result of the updates).
How to Tell if June 1903 Updates Block Certain USB Device Pairings
The symptoms should be obvious. After installing the updates, USB devices that used to pair successfully with Windows 10 will no longer pair up successfully. In addition, inspection of the Windows Event log will produce entries in the System log, with source IDs of either BTHUSB or BTHMINI, and an event ID of 22. Microsoft kindly provided a table of event trace information in the afore-linked security note that provides a little more detail:
If a USB device fails, then refuses, to pair with Windows 10 and you see this kind of info in the event log, your BlueTooth device is affected.
[Click image for full-sized view.]
What to Do If You’re Affected?
Alas, there’s not much you can do in the short term if you lose a Bluetooth device, and you confirm that Windows 10 is preventing it from pairing for security reasons. You’ll have to quit using the device until its maker provides a new driver that meets Windows 10’s security requirements for encrypting Bluetooth communications between the device and your PC, laptop, tablet, or whatever. To read more about this situation and get a sense of industry reaction and feedback, check out these stories in Forbes and at the Windows Latest website.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.