All of Apple's current lineup of Macs, as well as many older models of Macs, include a piece of technology called Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a short range wireless technology, mostly used to reduce the need for wires and cables in personal devices. You are probably familiar with this technology in the form of Bluetooth headsets, which many people use to talk on their mobile phones. But Bluetooth is also used for many other types of devices, including computer mice and keyboards. Especially if you regularly use an Apple Notebook computer, like the MacBook or MacBook Pro, you probably want to consider purchasing and using an external mouse or keyboard.
Now you can purchase wired versions of these devices that plug into your Mac's USB ports, but for a little more money, you can eliminate the wires and use a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard. I carry around a Bluetooth mouse with my MacBook Pro because I find it much easier to use than the MacBook's trackpad, especially for an extended period of time. Now because we are dealing with wireless technology, we have to make sure that your device and your Mac recognize each other, and that someone nearby is not using a Bluetooth device that can take control of your Mac. You accomplish this process by performing a task called pairing your devices. Let's take a look at how we do this.
For example, I am going to set up a Bluetooth mouse. Start by clicking the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences, then click Bluetooth, and you will only see the Bluetooth option if your Mac has Bluetooth. Here, you will find any devices you have previously paired with your Mac. If you haven't paired any devices before, you will see No Devices, and you will see a button to set up a new device. So I will click Set Up New Device. I get this message telling me that my Bluetooth Hardware is turned off. I usually turn it off to conserve battery power on my MacBook, but obviously I need to turn it on to use a Bluetooth mouse, so I will click the option to turn Bluetooth on.
So at this point, my Mac is searching for any nearby Bluetooth devices. Now, in order for it to discover Bluetooth devices, the device has to be placed in Discoverable mode, sometimes called Pairing mode. This is a state in which the device is sending out a here-I-am signal. You will have to check the instructions for whatever devices you are trying to pair with your Mac to see how to put it into this mode. I will go ahead and put my mouse into Discoverable mode, and there is my mouse. With it selected, I will click Continue, and after a few moments, I am told my pairing was successful, and I can now use my mouse, which I am using right now.
Now depending on your device, you might have been prompted to type in a passcode in order to complete the pairing process. This is an extra security measure some devices use to make sure the person controlling the computer is the one who wants to pair with the device. If your device requires a pass code, you will find that code in your instruction manual. I will click Quit to close the Bluetooth Setup Assistant. So at this point, my mouse is paired with my Mac, and you only have to do this pairing process once, by the way. After pairing, you should be able to turn on your mouse and start using it right away. Now, in my Bluetooth Control panel, you can see my mouse appears as one of my Bluetooth items.
If I wanted to pair another item, I could just click the Plus button. Now while you are in here, you might also want to check the option to Show Bluetooth Status in the Menu bar, which you can see puts a little Bluetooth symbol in the Menu bar up here. You can click that to display your paired devices. The ones in bold, like the MSI Mouse that we see right here, are the ones that are currently connected to your computer, and you can also choose to disconnect or reconnect it from here as well. Now, if you ever want to un-pair your mouse from your Mac, just go back to Bluetooth Settings, select your device, and click the Minus button, click Remove to confirm that you do want to remove this device, and at that point your mouse will no longer work with your Mac until you pair them again.
So this pairing process is the same, regardless of the type of device you are using. Just put your device into a pairing or Discoverable mode, open up System Preferences, and run the Bluetooth Setup Assistant.
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