Handsfree Telephony is a functionality on Windows PCs that enables users to initiate and receive phone calls by connecting a Bluetooth audio device to their PCs. To utilize this feature, the Bluetooth audio device must support the Handsfree functionality. This attribute is advantageous while traveling. It is enabled by default for Bluetooth headphones. However, if you wish to disable it for any reason, you can do so. We will demonstrate how to activate or deactivate Handsfree telephony in Windows 11.
Activate or deactivate Handsfree Telephony in Windows 11
To activate or deactivate Handsfree Telephony in Windows 11 for your Bluetooth speaker or headphones, initially connect it to your Windows 11 PC. After performing that, follow the subsequent steps:
- Open Windows 11 Settings.
- Select the Bluetooth & devices category from the left side.
- Now, click on Devices.
- Scroll down and click on More devices and printers settings. This will open the Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel.
- Right-click on your Bluetooth device and select Properties.
- Go to the Services tab.
- If the checkbox for Handsfree Telephony is already selected, then the option is activated. To deactivate it, deselect the checkbox.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
To reactivate handsfree telephony, simply select the aforementioned checkbox again.
What transpires after deactivating Handsfree Telephony?
After deactivating Handsfree Telephony, you can still initiate and receive phone calls on your Windows 11 PC, but you will not hear any audio from your Bluetooth device during the call.
How does this operate? When you connect a Bluetooth audio device to your system, if the device supports the hands-free feature, Windows installs a dedicated driver for it. You can view this driver in the Device Manager. Ensure that your Bluetooth device is still connected to your system. Now, follow the provided steps:
- Open the Device Manager.
- Expand the System Devices category.
- There, you will find the Handsfree driver for your Bluetooth audio device (if the Handsfree Telephony feature is activated).
When you deactivate the Handsfree Telephony feature for your Bluetooth device, Windows will automatically uninstall the Handsfree driver of your Bluetooth device, and you will not find the driver in the Device Manager. Consequently, the Handsfree feature of the Bluetooth audio device ceases to function after disabling this feature. However, other audio output functionalities of your Bluetooth audio device remain unaffected.
Furthermore, when you navigate to the Hardware tab in the properties window of your Bluetooth device, you will not find any Hands-Free driver for your Bluetooth device. The above screenshot signifies that Windows removes all the Hands-Free drivers for the Bluetooth audio device after disabling the hands-free telephony feature for that specific Bluetooth audio device.
Unable to activate Handsfree Telephony on Windows
Some users reported that after deactivating the Handsfree Telephony feature for their Bluetooth audio device, their audio device ceased to deliver audio output. Additionally, when they attempted to reactivate the Handsfree Telephony feature, they were unable to do it. This action resulted in the display of the following error message:
The parameter is incorrect.
Handsfree Telephony parameter is incorrect
If you are unable to activate the Handsfree Telephony feature for your Bluetooth audio device due to the aforementioned error message, or if your Bluetooth audio device stopped functioning after deactivating this feature, the solutions provided below will assist you:
- Uninstall and reinstall the Bluetooth device driver
- Uninstall and reinstall the sound driver
- Run the Audio Troubleshooter
- Inspect the sound settings
- Remove and add your Bluetooth audio device
Let’s dive into the detailed explanation of these fixes.
1] Uninstall and reinstall your Bluetooth device driver
Access the Device Manager and expand the Bluetooth category. Then, uninstall the driver for your Bluetooth audio device and restart your computer. Windows will automatically reinstall the missing driver upon restart. Now, check if you can enable the Handsfree Telephony option or not.
2] Uninstall and reinstall the sound driver
The subsequent fix you can attempt is to uninstall and reinstall the sound driver. The steps to accomplish this are identical to the previous fix. However, this time you need to expand the Sound, video and game controllers category. Subsequently, right-click on the driver for your audio device and select Uninstall device. Afterward, restart your computer.
3] Run the Audio Troubleshooter
Aptly named, the Audio Troubleshooter is designed to diagnose and resolve audio-related issues on a Windows computer. You can run the Audio Troubleshooter via the Get Help app on Windows 11.
4] Inspect the sound settings
You should also assess your sound settings. It is plausible that the default audio device is not selected, resulting in the absence of audio output from your Bluetooth device. Follow the provided steps:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Type Sound into the search bar.
- Select Sound. This will prompt the Sound properties window to open.
- Under the Playback tab, right-click on your audio device and select Set as default device.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
5] Remove and add your Bluetooth audio device
If the error “The parameter is incorrect” persists even after attempting to activate the Handsfree Telephony feature for your Bluetooth audio device, remove and add your Bluetooth device. Follow the steps below:
- Open Windows 11 Settings.
- Select Bluetooth & devices from the left side.
- Click on the three dots on your Bluetooth device and select Remove device.
- Restart your computer.
- Add your Bluetooth audio device once again.
After adding the Bluetooth audio device, Windows will automatically activate the Handsfree Telephony feature for that device. You can confirm this by inspecting your device properties on the Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel.
At this point, the issue should be resolved.
Read: No Audio on computer; Sound is missing or not functioning in Windows.
How can I modify the audio device in Windows 11?
You can modify the default audio device in Windows 11 via the Sound properties. Open the Sound properties window through the Control Panel. From there, you can designate any audio device as the default device under the Playback tab.
How can I deactivate an audio input device?
To deactivate an audio input device, open the Sound properties window via the Control Panel. Under the Playback tab, right-click on the audio input device you wish to deactivate and select Disable. Subsequently, click Apply and then click OK.
Read next: Prevent Windows from changing audio devices.