Add a Bluetooth Mouse

Add a Bluetooth Mouse
Mac Tip #227/25-January-2006

This Tip was made possible by the kindness of Magnum Mac in Wellington who lent me a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

The cord on a mouse and keyboard can be very annoying. It always seems too long or short and tangles round stuff on the desk. You may decide at some point to get rid of the problem and switch to wireless. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless connection method perfect for a mouse or keyboard. It operates within about 3 metres.

Your computer must be equipped with Bluetooth too. Many modern Macs have it built in, but if you have an older Mac you can buy a cheap Bluetooth adapter that plugs in to a spare USB port.

To actually get the computer and mouse or keyboard to work together you must pair them up. Here’s how.

Install fresh batteries and slide the switch at the bottom of the mouse so you can see the red LED shining. If you have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard slide the small switch in the centre top underneath the keyboard towards the tiny black dot. You should see a green LED.

Set Bluetooth to On.

Set Bluetooth to On.

Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of the screenshots.

Now go to your System Preferences (under the Blue Apple menu) and click on Bluetooth. In the Settings tab make sure Bluetooth is On. You will probably want to check the box which allows your keyboard or mouse to wake the Mac if it’s asleep. Choose to Show Bluetooth status in the menu bar. Then close the System Preferences.

Now go to the menu bar and choose Set up Bluetooth Device… from the Bluetooth menu icon. The Bluetooth Setup Assistant will open and you should click Continue.

Choose either Mouse or Keyboard as appropriate and click Continue. Your Mac will look for the Bluetooth device and show any it finds in a list.

Set up a Bluetooth device.

Set up a Bluetooth device.

There may be a couple of problems at this point. If you’re sitting shoulder to shoulder with a co-worker who also has a Bluetooth mouse your Mac may find that one as well as yours. You should be able to tell which is which though, and at worst you could ask your colleague to turn off their mouse for a moment.

If your mouse has gone to sleep you may need to switch it off and on again using the slider on the bottom. This should wake it. If nothing happens then make sure the batteries are good and that you’re within 2 or 3 metres of the Mac.

The Mac finds the Bluetooth device.

The Mac finds the Bluetooth device.

When you select the correct item from the list and click Continue the computer will go on to ‘pair’ the device with your Mac. This means that your nearby co-worker can use their Bluetooth mouse on their Mac and it won’t interfere with yours.

Once the devices are paired you can happily turn them off when you don’t need them. When you turn them on again they’ll just start working.

If you have problems as time goes by then you should check the batteries first and go through the Setup process again.

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