A new GNOME Shell extension makes it easier to check Bluetooth battery status in Ubuntu 23.10.

Emphasis on easier as we can already see battery level for connected Bluetooth devices from the Settings > Power pane, no extensions required.

But out of sight, out of mind!

Not so with the Bluetooth Battery Meter GNOME Shell extension.

Bluetooth Battery Meter

Bluetooth battery levels in the top panel of the Ubuntu desktop
You can see Bluetooth battery levels in the panel

Once installed, it puts icons for levels (compatible) connected Bluetooth devices in the top bar, beneath which are dots to convey the charge level: 4 dots is 100-85%, 3 dots ~75%, 2 dots ~50%, 1 dot ~26%, 1 red dot

Additionally, the Bluetooth Battery Meter extension also integrates with the Quick Settings > Bluetooth pod. Here it places a battery icon next to a compatible, connected Bluetooth device. An option to display battery percentage is available in the extension’s preferences.

Bluetooth battery levels showing in the Quick Settings menu of Ubuntu
Quick Settings integration, with option to show battery percentage

GNOME developers improved the Quick Settings menu in GNOME 44 to make connecting to previously-paired Bluetooth devices faster, but battery levels for connected devices, like mice, keyboards, headphones, game controllers, etc, aren’t displayed.

If you just want to see battery levels in the Quick Settings menu you can disable the indicators that appear in the panel from the extension’s preferences.

Bluetooth battery meter gnome shell extension on the Ubuntu desktop
Preferences let you choose what shows where

Now, there are a few things I should mention with regards to Bluetooth devices and battery levels.

Firstly, not every Bluetooth device that has a battery reports its battery level to host devices.

The older a device is, the less likely. If you own Bluetooth device which reports battery level correctly when paired to Windows, macOS, Android, etc it should show in Linux (if not, enable experimental features in Bluez, the Bluetooth stack Ubuntu uses).

Secondly, as the developer of this extension notes, Bluetooth devices vary in how they report battery levels. While one device may give a continuous reports (e.g, 100%, 99%, 98%, down to 0%), others may reports in other increments, such as 5, 10, or even 20 — so YMMV.

But give it a go and see how you get on — and let me know what you think of it below!


GNOME Extensions