How to Reset an Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, Mouse or Trackpad (Troubleshooting Pairing and Other Common Problems)

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660 thoughts on “How to Reset an Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, Mouse or Trackpad (Troubleshooting Pairing and Other Common Problems)

  1. It does work for sure. You have to turn off the keyboard first just like it says above. I then went to the window to set up bluetooth keyboard and then tilted the keyboard sideways on my knee and held the power button during the whole process, until the code came up for me to type in. With my free hand I clicked to connect to the keyboard when it was discovered (still holding the power button). When I received the code, I stopped pressing the power button and typed in the code. 🙂

    1. worked for me as well! easy peezy . I had forgotten the holding down the power button, this step wasn’t mentioned on the other sites I searched. Thankyou!

  2. My grandson has a MacBook Air whose keyboard is unresponsive. He cannot get past the sign on screen. When powering down/up he gets a message saying “NO KEYBOARD FOUND”.

    I have not tried to connect a wireless keyboard …. and am not sure how to given I cannot get into the Bluetooth menu until I get past the sign on procedure!! Tried resetting using Shift, Alt, cmd & power buttons. Also Ctrl, cmd, P & R keys.

    Any/all help greatly appreciated – fearing an expensive trip to Genius Bar and then a new (previously owned) box!! Cheers – Marin

    1. If you can’t choose on-screen options to shutdown, hold down the Power button until the power cuts off.

      You seem to have tried a PRAM reset (but it should be Cmd-Opt-P-R, and you should here the chime when the Apple logo appears at startup, keep the keys pressed until you have heard the chime twice to be sure), but also try an SMC reset (Shutdown, not sleep), then hold Shift-Ctl-Opt on the left side only and also hold Power for 10 seconds, release all keys then press Power as normal to switch on).

      If that doesn’t resolve it, get an external wired (USB) keyboard (one from any PC will do) so you can get past the login and look at the System Preferences and/or Console Log to check if there are other problems.

  3. Thank you for your help. My problem was that the keyboard icon appeared in the Bluetooth list of my Macbook Air but I kept getting a message that it would not connect. I found in the end that the solution for me was to remove the keyboard and then add it again. Once it was rediscovered, the code appeared and now everything is fine.

  4. My problem is with the latest, rechargeable “Magic” keyboard which has recently decided to disconnect at 30 sec intervals and the immediately reconnect. The annoying notification appearing in the bottom centre of the screen. There is not the same switch on this model as the AA battery type so the above procedure is not appropriate.

    1. You’re right, the switch is not the ‘momentary’ switch like the older keyboards. However, your problem is not with establishing a connection with the Mac, but in maintaining it. This suggests that the keyboard may be experiencing interference from other devices on the same frequency as Bluetooth, namely 2.4Ghz, which is also used for wifi in some instances. It would be good to see if you can reduce sources of interference, or look at how the keyboard and the Mac are situated to see if there is a source of interference or something that might be otherwise degrading the signal. Also, check the batteries you are using, power fluctuations might be affecting the keyboard circuitry and its ability to maintain a connection.

  5. Magic mouse issue, which appeared when I updated Abode Flash (not sure if its coincidence or not). The mouse now only tracks vertically, in line, and not allow any other movement. I reset the bluetooth as you described and now the mouse can very slowly move around a little bit at a time. But still not any where need the speed one would fine acceptable.

    I’ve talked with Apple tech support and they had me reinstall the OS and set up a new guest account to see if that would change the mouse action, but it didn’t.

    I haven’t tried connecting the mouse to another iMac yet, but that’s my next step. And if it still persists guess I’m taking it into an Apple store to get it looked at.

    Thanks for the suggestions/instructions though. I didn’t know about them before…and the Apple tech didn’t suggest that procedure either, although we did do some bluetooth reconnects.

  6. I ave a new Apple brand bluetooth keyboard. (Side note) I saw it had a USB cable so I bought it thinking it was USB. Silly me…. Numerous previous attempts to pair had failed. The Mac said the keyboard was there, but pairing failed.

    My keyboard has a slide switch.

    I first had my Mac (and older MacBook Pro, circa 2013) forget all Bluetooth devices it knew about. I then slid the switch to ON and held it there. (Yes, probably silly. It’s a slide switch…) After a few seconds the keyboard appeared in the Bluetooth. I clicked on Pair and it worked.


  7. Thanks for this Dave. I have an older model magic keyboard and a 2017 MacBook Pro. It’s started playing up since upgrading to OSX Mojave. I carried out these steps to get the keyboard connected. Whether it stays connected remains to be seen!


  8. After many attempts using several links on the internet to reset a wireless keyboard to my computer, your instructions were CLEAR and TO THE POINT. Within seconds, I was able to use the keyboard. Thank you!

  9. my keybaord is connected well to my mac mini but the letters (m\j\l\o\m) are not working for writing instead they only move the poniter up \down\ or to side how to solve

    1. Sounds like you have enabled ‘Mouse Keys’, which is an accessibility feature. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse Keys to configure or switch it off.

  10. I battled with a green flashing light from two different keyboards for 30 mins and one MacBook Pro discovered them but not the Mac mini which I needed it for. I changed the batteries and it worked first time on the Mac mini. Apparently it’s too expensive to put a red light in a keyboard these days. Green light also means low batteries I guess.

  11. After cleaning my magic keyboard (taking care of doing it with a slightly humid cloth) I can’t connect it again with my iMac. I do have the doubt if some humidity entered as I first connected when I turn it on but then disconnected by itself Trying to pair it the bluethoot can’t find it even if I connect with a lighting/usb cable It’s there anything I can do or should I consider that I ruined it?

    Thanks and regards

    1. Can you see that the keyboard is powered on (status light)? Check the battery compartment to make sure the batteries are still correctly installed and the compartment cover is fitted (may have got dislodged). If you search for the keyboard on another device, can you see it? If you connect the keyboard to another device via USB/lightening, does it work? If none of the above works there maybe is received damage during the cleaning process. This seems unlikely with a damp/humid cloth though. You could put the keyboard somewhere warm (airing cupboard, window cill in sunlight) for several hours to ensure that any moisture inside the case has evaporated, as moisture might cause a temporary short circuit. Alternatively, seal it in a bag with those packets of silica gel desiccant beads that extract moisture.

  12. Strange, I am having the exact same issue. Just update Adobe Flash and my wireless mouse is lagging horribly. I actually have to turn over my mouse pad to the grippy side to get my mouse to work at all. Any luck?

  13. How do you solve the connection issue when you can’t access any screen (let’s say to be able to click on the Bluetooth icon) because you just booted your machine and you can’t even type the password?

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