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

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

  1. This was very helpful! Thank you. I have an older Apple wireless keyboard with circle power button and it was not was not working with the newest macOS Catalina. I reset the Bluetooth device firmware as suggested in this article above and am now typing from that very same keyboard. Thank you!

  2. I just got a Mac mini, conectes it to the monitor turned it on and it ask for me tu turn on my wireless mouse and it paired right away but my wireless keyboard (power switch button not the sliding) doesn’t pair and I can pass the window that says ‘pair your keyboard’ so I don’t have the possibility of going to system preferences…

    1. Make sure that the keyboard is unpaired from any other device, and carefully follow the instructions regarding holding down the power button.

  3. Thank you Dave. I don’t know why my keyboard stopped working and wouldn’t reconnect for me. As you rightly said: “So just to clarify, the trick is to continually HOLD DOWN THE POWER BUTTON.”

  4. Just wanted to add, even though this article is from 2018, it solved my keyboard issue.
    My wireless Apple keyboard suddenly started draining batteries at an alarming rate.
    2 new batteries would drain in under 3 days.
    Tried everything, but what worked for me was resetting the OS X Bluetooth Device List and the Bluetooth Controller.
    After doing this my keyboard drains batteries at the normal rate ( to be honest it seems better than before).

  5. Thank you very much for this thorough explanation!
    Keeping the button pressed was the trick for me. I got my keyboard connected.

  6. Hi Dave, I know this was written in 2018 – but THANK YOU! I really like my OLD Gen 1 Apple Key board, works perfectly, until today when it decided to just simply stop.

    Keeping the button pressed was the trick for me, yes now back typing in the trusted old Gen 1. Many thanks

  7. Thank you so much- I’ve been struggling to resolve this for about an hour, scouring youtube and *even* Apple help- your advice actually worked! Keep the button pressed…

  8. Thanks for the good tip! I seem to have to re-learn this every time I pair my keyboard. I always forget that I need to KEEP holding the power button.

    I’m writing the procedure on the bottom of my keyboards now, so hopefully I’ll see it and remember next time!

    BTW, you’re the only one I’ve seen on this go around that mentions holding the button until the keyboard is paired. That seems to be the magical missing step.


  9. mine was being detected but while connecting, it would ask to type a password into a text box (instead of showing the password and asking to input it into the keyboard) i tried the usual 0000 but it didn’t work.

    finally i went to control panel and under devices and printers, i clicked on add a device, clicked to add apple wireless keyboard (it again asked for a non-existent password) but i noticed a link underneath the box for inputting text that said “try typing password into device” or something like that. after clicking that it showed the usual string of numbers, which i typed into the keyboard and hit enter (voila it connected)

    again mine was showing up as discoverable but kept asking for a password instead of supplying a password like it usually does. i was wracking my brain why it wasn’t showing the password in the first place, and i’m pretty sure it was windows’ fault.
    KB: apple wireless keyboard 2nd gen
    OS: windows 8.1

  10. OK, I’m stumped. My Bluetooth keyboard (A1314) randomly disconnects from my iMac. It just stops working, I get the gray “Connection Lost” window, then after about 3 seconds it reconnects (yes, the gray “connected” window comes up) and works normally. New batteries haven’t fixed it. That’s maybe the other clue—I’ll often get a message that says “keyboard batteries are very low but when I check the Bluetooth icon in the memory bar it says 85% or some other plenty-big number. After removing the keyboard from the Bluetooth list of devices, I re-connected it and used your “keep the power button held down” trick. Didn’t solve it. ANY other ideas? Does something inside it just finally give up? It’s only 11+ years old…
    THANKS!! GREAT post, BTW; clear, concise, logical, beautifully done. We need more like you!

    1. It sounds like it might be interference from another Bluetooth or 2.4ghz Wi-Fi device. Or just bad batteries (try a different brand if you are using budget batteries). Don’t use rechargeable. And yes, devices can just go wrong, but this does sound like something environmental.

      1. Hi Dave, Thank you! I assume as well that it is an environmental issue.

        I tried to connect my MacBook (late 2013) and also my iMac 27″ (late 2014). It drives me nuts! I am working for days on it with no result. No success.

        Usually I am relaxed, but this drives me nuts! I am very familiar with these machines and I’ve been working with apple machines since 1998. I’m an old lady. 🙂 . But I’ve never had a problem like this. Have to finish a video in Davinci Resolve. It is almost impossible to work like this. –Back to wired?

    2. I have the same problem. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse disconnect every 30 seconds, then come up for maybe a minute, then disconnect … I

      Working on this problem for days now. It is nerve wracking!!! Apple store is of no help. They don’t know what to do.

      Did this now:

      I don’t know if it will help. Thumbs up!

  11. Thanks, it worked with a Magic Keyboard from before 2015 (don’t know exactly year as it was a present) and a quite new Macbook pro from 2020.
    The macBook recognised the keyboard but didn’t want to pair as everyday, so I just holded ON/OFF button of the keyboard and double click on the Keyboard device at the Bluetooth list display. Then it paired automatically.

    Thanks Dave.

    1. Did this:

      1) Open Terminal on Mac.

      2) Copy and paste this command in Terminal: sudo pkill bluetoothd

      3) Enter your Mac’s password when asked. Note that you won’t get any visual confirmation when you enter the password in Terminal. Simply type the correct password and hit the enter key.

      4) Click the Apple icon > Restart to complete Bluetooth reset.

  12. I was getting getting bluetooth dropout/reconnects when using the 3-battery wireless with my m1 Macbook pro … I was girding myself to retire this beloved piece of hardware, but re-pairing with the power button down seems to have resolved the issue.

    Thanks for this great piece of advice, and keeping online to save vintage keyboard lovers like myself!

  13. Awesome info! My mac air would not discover the Apple wireless keyboard that a friend gave to me. It worked on my macbook pro fine, so I knew it was a good keyboard. Nothing worked until I found “Resetting the OS X Bluetooth Device List and the Bluetooth Controller”. The debug did the trick!! TY for the fabulous post!

  14. thanks for the post. I have an older wireless mouse that was getting sluggish. I had accidentally set my AirPods in line of sight between mouse and mac mini. Moving them unexpectedly solved the problem.

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