How to turn on bluetooth on a Mac and pair a new device

Xiaobai Software  2022-04-15 18: 32  read 225 views

All modern Macs have Bluetooth, so you should know how to use Bluetooth on your Mac to pair various devices with it.It's a simple feature, but some parts can be confusing if you're not familiar.

Here's how to turn on Bluetooth on your Mac, pair and connect devices, and master this useful tool on macOS.

Does my Mac have bluetooth?

All modern Macs (released in 2011 or later) have built-in support for Bluetooth.You don't need to buy anything special to use Bluetooth with your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac.

Just follow the steps below to enable Bluetooth on your Mac and start using it.If you don't see the relevant Bluetooth option in the System Preferences pane, your Mac may be outdated and not equipped with Bluetooth.

In this case, you might be able to purchase an adapter to add Bluetooth support to your computer.However, most of these adapters are designed for Windows, so make sure you get one that's compatible with macOS.

If your Mac is too old to support Bluetooth, you should consider replacing it.Lack of Bluetooth support is one of the many problems with older models like this.

How to Turn On Bluetooth on Your Mac

Using Bluetooth on a Mac isn't difficult, but you need to enable it first.To turn on Bluetooth, open the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.In the window that appears, select Bluetooth.


On the left side of the Bluetooth panel, you'll see the Bluetooth icon with its current status below.If its status is off, click the "Turn on Bluetooth" button to enable it.

That's all for turning on Bluetooth on a Mac.Here, we recommend ticking "Show Bluetooth in menu bar" if it's not already enabled.This will place a bluetooth icon at the top of your screen, giving you easy access to bluetooth connections without having to go into this panel every time.

How to Connect a Bluetooth Device to Your Mac

Before you can use a Bluetooth device with your Mac for the first time, you need to pair it.If you've used Bluetooth on other devices before, you should be familiar with the concept of discoverability.

Because it is common for many Bluetooth devices to be in close proximity, you must manually pair the devices for security.And you can only do this if the device is discoverable (also known as being in "pairing mode").

As mentioned above, your computer is discoverable when you open the Bluetooth settings panel on your Mac.

Pair the new Bluetooth device with your Mac

The exact details of the Bluetooth pairing process in macOS depend on the device you want to pair.

Like macOS, most other operating systems (including Windows, Android, and iOS) make themselves discoverable when you open the Bluetooth options page.For devices without a user interface, such as Bluetooth keyboards, mice, headsets, and similar devices, the exact method of entering pairing mode depends on the device.

Typically, this involves holding down the power button for a few seconds or pressing some combination of buttons.Check your device manual for more information.

Once your other device is in pairing mode, you should see its name appear under Devices in your Mac's Bluetooth settings.Click the connect button next to the device you want to add.


For many Bluetooth devices, you will need to confirm that the PINs provided match on both devices.Especially if you're in a crowded area with a lot of equipment.

If you have to manually enter the PIN (usually only on older devices), this is usually a common combination like 0000, 1111, or 1234.


Once done, you can successfully pair your Mac with other devices via Bluetooth.They connect automatically when they are turned on and within range of each other (about 30 feet).So you don't need to repeat the pairing process every time you use the same device.

If your device doesn't connect automatically, you can connect manually.existBluetooth In the settings panel (and the menu bar icon shortcut), any devices you have previously paired will appear under devices.Make sure the device is turned on, then double-click its name to connect to the device.

If that doesn't work, first disconnect the paired device from any other paired computers.Most Bluetooth devices will have issues if you try to use them on multiple devices at the same time, although the latest Bluetooth standards are working to fix that.

To forget a device, right-click the device in the device list and select Delete.Once you do this, the device will no longer automatically connect; you must pair it again to use it.

Understanding the macOS Bluetooth Icon

If you've enabled the aforementioned bluetooth menu bar icon, you'll see the bluetooth logo always there.You can click it to quickly turn Bluetooth on or off, connect to a device, or open the full preference panel.

Depending on the status of the Bluetooth, you will see the icon change.A normal icon indicates that Bluetooth is turned on.Also, if Bluetooth is turned off, you'll see a slash across the Bluetooth logo.

In previous macOS versions, the Bluetooth icon had other visual changes to convey useful information.Unfortunately, Apple removed these starting with macOS Big Sur.

In older versions of macOS, when you had at least one Bluetooth device connected to your Mac, you would see three dots on the Bluetooth icon.You may also see a chevron line on the icon when there is a problem with Bluetooth.If you see this, restart your Mac, then if you're still having issues, go through Bluetooth troubleshooting (described below).

How to turn on bluetooth on a Mac without a mouse or keyboard

Many people use a Bluetooth mouse and/or keyboard on their desktop Mac.As you can imagine, a sudden turn off of Bluetooth can cause problems here, since you need these devices to access the Bluetooth menu.

Thankfully, for Macs without a trackpad, macOS won't let Bluetooth turn off unless you connect a USB mouse.If you power on without a keyboard or mouse detected, your Mac should display the Bluetooth Setup Assistant.However, in case something goes wrong with these tools, you can re-enable Bluetooth on your Mac using just your mouse or keyboard.

On a MacBook, you have a built-in keyboard and trackpad, so this isn't an issue.But on an iMac, you'll need to connect a USB mouse or keyboard to do this.

To turn on Bluetooth without using a mouse, press Cmd+Space to open Spotlight search.Search for Bluetooth File Exchange and press Return to launch the utility.Once the app starts, it will display a window letting you know that Bluetooth is disabled.

Hit Return again to accept the prompt to turn on Bluetooth.If you need to open the Bluetooth panel, open Spotlight again and type System Preferences, then use the search box in that menu to search for Bluetooth.


If you don't have a keyboard available, just use your mouse to access the Bluetooth menu bar icon or the System Preferences pane.

As a last resort, if you don't have any USB devices handy, try disconnecting all but the power cord from your Mac.Next, use the physical power button to turn it off.Make sure your Bluetooth device is charged and turned on, then restart your Mac.

This should trigger the Bluetooth setup wizard and connect your device again.

Advanced Bluetooth settings (for earlier macOS versions)

macOS used to offer some additional Bluetooth options.However, as of macOS Monterey, these options are no longer available.If you're using macOS Big Sur or earlier, it's worth taking a look at these additional Bluetooth settings.You can find them under the Advanced button in the Bluetooth System Preferences pane.


the first two openedBluetooth The Setup Assistant option is for pairing convenience.As mentioned above, they cause the Mac to automatically open the Bluetooth settings panel if the computer is turned on without a keyboard, mouse or trackpad connected.This makes it easy to put your Bluetooth accessory into pairing mode and connect it without fumbling through menus.

If you want the bluetooth device to bring your computer out of sleep mode, enable the third option "Allow bluetooth devices to wake this computer".When it's on, pressing a key on the keyboard or clicking a mouse button on a connected Bluetooth device will wake the sleeping computer.

Troubleshooting Mac Bluetooth Issues

Are you having bluetooth issues on your Mac?Keep in mind that there is a practical limit to how many Bluetooth devices you can connect to a computer.If you connect more than three or four devices at a time, you may experience poor performance and be unable to add more devices.So try to pair only with devices you plan to use frequently.

Also, keep in mind that Bluetooth has a distance limit.This is usually around 30 feet, but depends on the specific equipment you're using.Interference from other wireless devices or obstacles can also affect this range.

If you see an "unavailable" Bluetooth icon in the menu bar or are having other issues using Bluetooth on your Mac, your system may have a hardware issue.

Enjoy Bluetooth on Mac

Now you know everything about turning on Bluetooth on your Mac and how to use it.In most cases, after you pair a device, it should connect and work without issue.The ease of using wireless devices and near-universal support make Bluetooth an attractive tool.


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