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May 13, 2011

Reconnecting the Magic Mouse using Your Keyboard

I don’t know why but my Magic Mouse never reconnects automatically to my Mac Pro after I change its batteries. It works on my MacBook Pro, but on the Mac Pro I have to reconnect manually.

The problem is that manually connecting a Bluetooth mouse isn’t very easy using just your keyboard. That is, it isn’t easy if you don’t know how. Here’s the trick.

Open System Preferences and navigate to Keyboard->Keyboard Shortcuts. Make sure the Full Keyboard Access checkbox is set to All controls. Then, also in System Preferences, navigate to Bluetooth and check the box that reads Show Bluetooth status in the menu bar. Quit System Preferences.

Bluetooth MenuNow, when you want to connect a Bluetooth mouse, press ctrl-F8 (you may have to press fn-ctrl-F8 depending on how you’ve configured the function keys in System Preferences->Keyboard). This will set the focus to the right side of the system menu bar and highlight the leftmost system-owned icon (as opposed to icons that belong to third-party apps). Now simply use the arrow keys to navigate to the Bluetooth icon, press the down key, navigate to the Bluetooth mouse you want to connect (I’m assuming it’s already been paired), select Connect in its sub-menu and press Enter. After a couple of seconds your Bluetooth mouse should be connected.

There’s actually another way to reconnect the Magic Mouse using your keyboard that I’ll mention here for the sake of completeness. You can launch System Preferences using Spotlight, navigate to the Bluetooth preference pane and tab your way through the pane and ultimately select Connect in the cog menu below the list of Bluetooth devices. But I find that way takes longer and isn’t as easy as the aforementioned method.

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  • Simon Sargerson

    You can also press cmd+space, type ‘mouse’ into spotlight and launch the mouse settings directly and by-pass the system preferences form.

  • Tom

    You’d need to use Spotlight to launch “Bluetooth”, not “Mouse”, as that’s where you connect bluetooth devices. But apart from that, yes, you can get to the preference pane a bit faster, but it’s still not as fast as the first method.

  • Bryan Zera

    I’ve needed to know how to do this for MONTHS! Thank you so much!

  • Simon Sargerson

    It does indeed work by searching for ‘mouse’. I do it all the time. Once u bring up the mouse preferences it’s just a case of pressing the enter key ( to connect the bluetooth mouse) to get it to connect.

    I do this on a MacBook Pro tho (in clamshell mode – that’s why I don’t just use the trackpad).

    One problem is that I’d spotlight is slow I get the dictionary menu for ‘mouse’ load up.

    I’ll try your method cheers for the tip!

    • Scott R

      Ditto about the mouse; somehow it never even occurred to me to use the Bluetooth pref pane; I’ve been using Mouse all along.

  • Pingback: Have you ever tried to reconnect your bluetooth mouse on a mac without using a mouse? | Joachims Small World

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