Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Solved: Difficulty Pairing Apple Wireless Keyboard

I have an Apple MacBook Pro, and an Apple Wireless Keyboard.  From the very first day the keyboard has been difficult to pair with things.  Changing it from the computer to an iPad, or iPhone was always a confusing hassle.  The keyboard has only has one button and one status light, and gives almost no feedback.  I am surprised at the trouble it has given me as this is not an inexpensive keyboard.  Lately this hasn't been a problem as I have just left it paired with the MacBook Pro

Recently I paired it with an Android phone.  When I tried to unpair it from the phone, and repair it with my MacBook Pro, nothing worked.  I tried holding down the button, pressing the button and different key combinations, etc.  Most of the time the MacBook couldn't even find it, and if it did, the pairing would fail.

Then I tried to repair it to my Android phone, that didn't work either.  I tried pairing it to another Android phone.  Nothing.  I changed the batteries for new ones (twice).  Most of the time the green light would come on for about two seconds, and then turn off.  This was all very aggravating, since pairing is the must fundamental thing that the keyboard needs to do.  It is unusuable if you can't get it to pair.

Finally I found a good idea online.  I am documenting it here so that if I ever have this problem again, I will remember the steps that I had to take to repair.  I have tried this with both the Android phone, and the MacBook Pro, and it seemed to work with both.


  1. Turn on Bluetooth (if it isn't already turned on).
  2. Begin scanning for devices.
    • In Mac OSX, click on the little Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen.  Click "Setup Bluetooth Device...".
  3. After the computer or phone begins scanning, press and hold the power button on the wireless keyboard.  This is important.  When I tried pressing button first, then scan, nothing happened.  You have start the scan first, then press and hold the button.
  4. At some point the green light usually starts flashing (although not always.  weird).
  5. After a few seconds, it will (finally) notice the keyboard.  You may have to click on the keyboard to tell it to pair.
  6. It will ask you to type a few numbers to verify the pair.  At this point you can release the power button.
  7. Type in the requested numbers.
  8. The pairing should complete.
Hope this helps someone else out there.  I know that at some point in the future I will need to know this information again.


 

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. Totally helpful as I was having the same problem.

mark s said...

Thanks - have the same problem. I did find if you just pull down from the bluetooth icon in the menu /apple wireless keyboard/open keyboard preferences/set up bluetooth keyboard - then hold down the button , the keyboard was immediately found. Thanks for the tip

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I've had the same annoying problem for a while now, and your solution seems to have fixed it. Worked like a charm the first time.
Thanks again!

jereminate said...

Thank you for this! My keyboard has worked without trouble for the last year, with plenty of battery changes. Today I changed batteries and suddenly my MacBook Pro stopped recognizing it. Apple's own troubleshooting -- http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3048 -- didn't help me, but I resolved the issue in seconds with your post. It's curious to me that Apple doesn't provide the (apparently critical) "hold down the power button while scanning" step. Thanks again!

skiddle said...

Thanks - this worked for me, too.

Anonymous said...

Worked for me...Thank you!!

GMC said...

Thanks. This worked. I've never had issues with the keyboard in 2 years then it just decided to be fussy. So much for "just works".

Anonymous said...

Thanks. This worked. I've never had issues with the keyboard in 2 years then it just decided to be fussy. So much for "just works".

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue and I did follow your instruction but I always fail after entering the paring code (the pairing attempt was unsuccessful keyboard...). I search Google for this message and I found this http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1569 with one important step to notice is that "Turn the Apple Wireless Keyboard off". Now I can connect my wireless keyboard to my MBP.

Thanks

torreymoss said...

Likewise, much appreciated!

webdevguy said...

You just saved my ass -- thanks!

The KB articles on Apple's website were useless.

webdevguy said...

You just saved my ass -- thanks!

The KB articles on Apple's website regarding pairing bluetooth keyboards was useless.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem, but your trick does not work for me. The keyboard is found, but no code is seen, and the keyboard does not blink. Any idea?

Jennifer said...

Your blog is very interesting. Nice to find the great details over here

Anonymous said...

I've been super effing annoyed trying to pair this bloody keyboard and your explanation had it connecting in no time flat. Thanks for posting mate.

football said...

Had the same problem I went to the icon for sign in mine is a football and clicked on that .I turned keyboard on and said it wasn't found.I clicked on the icon again and a set of pairing numbers popped up and I typed them in and now it works.

Anonymous said...

Great help, thanks!
For those of you that can't make this work;

My Apple bluetooth keyboard would only show a green light for a moment and then turn off. Finally, after turning off the bluetooth on my other devices (iPhone and iPad) the keyboard was able to pair with my macbook. So try to turn off every other device that might interrupt and follow the instructions on the page. Good luck!

ora gavriely said...

god bless you...

Anonymous said...

god bless you...

Nick C. said...

This doesn't work. I release the power button, type the first letter of the code, and the pairing fails. I have the latest model keyboard (two AA batteries) and a 13-Inch, Mid-2009 MacBook Pro with OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you, it worked for me pairing a keyboard that was used with other laptop. I was able to get the laptop discovered by holding the power button so the green light stayed on, but it wouldn't progress to pairing until I waited to press the power button after scanning started.

TechUserBNH said...

Thanks for the immensely helpful post. Two changes for my case. First, I had to turn off the keyboard before starting the setup of the Bluetooth device (take out the batteries or hold down the power button until the green light turns off, about 3 seconds). After starting the Bluetooth device setup, I had to keep holding down the button until after I entered the pairing code.

Anonymous said...

After a long and fruitless search to pairing Samsung Note 4 with apple wireless keyboard, I found your recommendation. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

But for me, the 4 digit code won't go through! Any idea of how to solve the problem?!.

Anonymous said...

It worked for me! In fact, I'm just writing from my wireless apple keyboard connected to a windows 7 pc.
Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Excellent! Thank you! I tried for hours until I found your solution. Thanks again.

Adam W said...

Thank you for this! A very frustrating experience finally over thanks to this page. You rock!

Anonymous said...

It worked but with an extra step:
1. While pressing the power bottom on the Apple Wireless Keyboard (AWK) which at this time the green light should be blinking, with your other hand, press the Apple Wireless Keyboard that appears on your iPad Bluetooth settings to it can then pair
2. Once you do that, a window will appear to type a random numerical code, and you know the rest.

If you don't keep holding the AWK power bottom while blinking and let go, the keyboard will not pair and then the AWK that was showing in the iPad BT settings will disappear.

Anonymous said...

I never leave comments. But this totally worked. It didn't work when I went through system preferences, keyboard, and "set up a Bluetooth Keyboard". It worked when I went to system preferences , and then bluetooth. When it started searching for devices I pressed and held the power button.

Anonymous said...

Years later your information is still helpful. Thanks

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! Thankfully typing this on my wireless keyboard again.
The key hint I got from your page was to keep holding down the power button all the time even as you click the 'pair' button in the bluetooth prefs (with your other hand). Just having it show up in the list of devices when it scans is not enough.
It's odd though, I successfully paired this keyboard with this Mac several times before and don't remember this was necessary before. Anyway, problem solved, thanks a lot.