Using Your Vortex Smart On Zwift – Step By Step

zwiftStep 1: Install Zwift

You’ll need to download the software from, install it, then run it and create a free account. Warning: installation can take an hour or more.

vortex-squareStep 2: Prep Your Vortex 

Besides just getting your bike set up on the trainer, you’ll need to make sure the firmware is up to date and make sure you are properly calibrated.

Step 3: Install ANT+ USB dongle (or Use Bluetooth)

suuntoPlug the ANT+ dongle into your computer, ideally using a USB extension cord to ensure good reception. (Learn more about dongle options.)  Try to place the dongle within a few feet of your trainer.

More and more Zwifters are using Bluetooth instead of ANT+ to connect their trainers. You can use Bluetooth through the Zwift Mobile App, or even use your computer’s built-in Bluetooth if you are a Mac user.

Step 4: Pair Up

Once you fire up Zwift and sign in you’ll be taken to a pairing screen. Click Search in the “Controllable Trainer” box (bottom right) and click the trainer it finds. This will automatically pair the trainer as your Power Source and Cadence meter as well.


If you want to use a different cadence sensor for improved accuracy you’ll need to click unpair, then search for your cadence sensor to pair up.

If connecting via Bluetooth you will need to click the Bluetooth icon at the top-left.

Step 5: Ride On!

Got problems? See the Tacx Vortex Smart and Zwift Unofficial Guide for help.


About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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1 year ago

zwift loaded fine, but now using bluetooth zwift can’t find my tacx vortex smart. verrrry frustrating.

Devin Nunes' Cat
Devin Nunes' Cat (@n3v3rf0110w)
1 year ago
Reply to  miles

Same issue here. The sensors are recognized but no data is transmitted.
No issue with iPad, just with Windows 10.

Last edited 1 year ago by Devin Nunes' Cat
Devin Nunes' Cat
Devin Nunes' Cat (@n3v3rf0110w)
1 year ago

I’m using Windows 10, and when I disconnect Ant+ (with which Zwift works flawlessly), in the Zwift pairing screen, it says it recognizes my sensors like with Ant+, but also says “No signal”, and when I click on Ride and start pedaling, no cadence/power/speed numbers appear, and the avatar just sits there. Similarly, Rouvy doesn’t connect to my trainer via BLE, only from my iPad. This means there’s something about Windows 10 + Bluetooth + Zwift, that doesn’t work; I just don’t know exactly what it is and how it can be fixed.

5 months ago

I guess I am looking for the simple answer here… I am a Mac user and prefer that over the small screen companion app. Should I use ANT+ connection to make the trainer fully controllable? I have the extension USB cord and ANT+ dongle. Just trying to confirm what the correct/best setup is.

5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thank you Eric for the prompt reply! So either one “should” work the same? No benefit/functionality that one has that the other does not? My firmware is current. I am not sure about the brake firmware and the link to update it appears dead.

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