Connecting Bluetooth Devices to Your Mac

You can connect a variety of standard wireless Bluetooth devices to your Mac, like headphones, speaker systems, keyboards, mice and trackpads. Setting up a new Bluetooth device requires that you look at the documentation that came with the device. Every device has a slightly different way to start the pairing process. On the Mac side, you use System Preferences to recognize and connect to the device.

Video Transcript
So let's take a look at how to pair bluetooth devices with your Mac. So there are all sorts of bluetooth devices. One of the common types is either a set of speakers or a headphone. I've got a little speaker set here that works with a battery. I'm going to pair this with a Mac so that I can play sound through it. Then we're going to look at pairing something completely different. A keyboard.

First, for this and for any device, you need to look at the manual you get with it. Some little quick start page and see how you start pairing. Because with every device it's different. I've seen headphones where there's a pairing button. I've seen one where you have to press and hold one of the volume buttons. All sorts of different things.

In this case there's a special pairing button on here that I'm told that I need to press and hold after I power it up. So I've powered it up and then I'm going to press and hold and after I do that I can see that there's a blue light that is blinking just like the instructions say. I put it down now and on my Mac I'm going to go to System Preferences. In System Preferences I'll go to Bluetooth and it will search for devices. Now it already shows one device that is connected. That's my trackpad. There's the device that I just set to pairing.

So I'm g

Comments: 7 Responses to “Connecting Bluetooth Devices to Your Mac”

    Shirley
    6/29/17 @ 12:06 pm

    Had a Magic Mouse 2 that stopped working, Bluetooth jittered on/off. Called Apple and was told to do a SMC, and several other steps. No luck. Was told to buy a new mouse. Instead I took it to the Apple Store and it worked on two of their Macs. They couldn’t answer why it would’t stay paired. I opened Bluetooth, clicked the X and it re-paired immediately and works fine. Sometimes trying things will save money!

    Dave
    6/29/17 @ 1:28 pm

    i have an android phone which is successfully paired to my iMac but i am unable to transfer a .jpg image from the phone to the Mac . I just get the message “transfer failed” . any suggestions?

    6/29/17 @ 1:54 pm

    Dave: Bluetooth connections for Macs are usually for headphones, speakers, keyboards and mice. They are not usually used for file transfer. It sounds like that isn’t possible between your phone and a Mac.

    Nourix
    6/29/17 @ 1:56 pm

    Hi, first of all I think you are doing a great job here.
    I tried to connect my Sony Xperia cellphone to my MacbookPro through bluetooth connection. Both devices kan see each other but connection fails after 2 seconds am I missing something.

    6/29/17 @ 1:58 pm

    Nourix: There’s really nothing for a phone and a MacBook Pro to “do” over Bluetooth. The phone isn’t a speaker system, headphones, mouse or trackpad, or any other Bluetooth input device. What are you trying to connect the phone for?

    michael holmes
    7/1/17 @ 1:04 am

    Bluetooth: once paired is there an order that must be followed..? i.e.; bluetooth speaker must be on before opening MacBook Air..? Mac Book Air must be on and Spotify must be open before turning on bluetooth speaker..? I find if I am working and get inspiration to listen to music, I have to do a lot of mucking around just to do the equivalent of an old fashioned radio operation, ‘turn-on-radio-select-radio-station.’

    7/1/17 @ 8:33 am

    There is no order. If the device has been pairs with your Mac, you should just power it on and it should connect. Then choose it as your audio output. But devices can sometimes be finicky. I have one set of earphones that always work right away. Another that sometimes need to be re-paired.

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