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Bluetooth: How to set up your Apple Wireless Keyboard

The Apple Wireless Keyboard uses Bluetooth wireless technology to provide cable-free operation so you're free to type wherever you like. Learn how to set up, pair, and unpair your Apple Wireless Keyboard.

There are several versions of the Apple Wireless Keyboard; each uses Bluetooth technology to communicate wirelessly with your computer. Learn more about Bluetooth and how to enable it in the Bluetooth Quick Assist.

If your Apple Wireless Keyboard wasn't included with your computer, refer to How to identify your Apple wireless keyboard or mouse to determine which model you have and whether it is compatible with your computer. When you've confirmed that your keyboard is compatible and Bluetooth is enabled, it's time to pair the Apple Wireless Keyboard with your computer.

Choose the scenario below that best reflects your situation, then follow the accompanying instructions.


Setting up an iMac with Apple Wireless Keyboard

If you purchased an iMac with Apple Wireless Keyboard in the box, then your Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse were pre-paired at the factory, making setup quick and easy.

  1. Press and release the On/Off switch on the keyboard to turn it on.
  2. Turn on your new Mac and follow the onscreen instructions in Setup Assistant.


Pairing your Apple Wireless Keyboard with another Mac

Learn how to switch a paired Apple Wireless Keyboard from one computer to another.

First unpair the keyboard If the unpaired Mac is within 33 feet (10 meters) of the computer your keyboard is currently paired with:

  1. Press and release the On/Off switch on the wireless keyboard to turn it off.
  2. On the currently-paired Mac, choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu, then choose Bluetooth from the View menu.
  3. Select the Apple Wireless Keyboard on the left side of the Bluetooth preferences pane.
  4. Click Delete (-) in the lower-left corner.
    Bluetooth preferences pane

Now pair the keyboard with the computer:

  1. Press and release the On/Off switch to turn on your wireless keyboard.
  2. The green LED should begin blinking if the keyboard is not already paired and connected to another computer. The blinking LED indicates that the keyboard is in the discoverable mode. If you don't pair your keyboard with your Mac within three minutes, the indicator light and keyboard will turn off to preserve battery life. If this happens, press the On/Off switch to turn your keyboard on again. Note: If the LED doesn't turn on, make sure you have good batteries in the keyboard and that they are properly installed.
  3. On the computer you wish to pair the keyboard with, choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu, then choose Keyboard from the View menu.
  4. Click “Set Up Bluetooth Keyboard ...” in the lower-right corner to open Bluetooth Setup Assistant.
  5. Select your wireless keyboard, then follow the onscreen instructions to pair it with your Mac. You will be asked asked to enter an 8 digit passkey.  Important: You MUST press Return after you enter the 8 digit code.

 8-digit pairing code in the Keyboard preferences
Note:
You need to enter the 8-digit code and press Return within a certain timeframe or the process will time out. If this happens, repeat the pairing process from step 1.


Replacing a USB keyboard with an Apple Wireless Keyboard

Follow these steps if you are switching from a USB keyboard to an Apple Wireless Keyboard.

  1. Press and release the On/Off switch to turn on your Apple Wireless Keyboard.

Location of keyboard on/off switch

  1. Press and release the On/Off switch to turn on your wireless keyboard.
  2. The green LED should begin blinking if the keyboard is not already paired and connected to another computer. The blinking LED indicates that the keyboard is in the discoverable mode. If you don't pair your keyboard with your Mac within three minutes, the indicator light and keyboard will turn off to preserve battery life. If this happens, press the On/Off switch to turn your keyboard on again. Note: If the LED doesn't turn on, make sure you have good batteries in the keyboard and that they are properly installed.
  3. On the computer you wish to pair the keyboard with, choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu, then choose Keyboard from the View menu.
  4. Click “Set Up Bluetooth Keyboard ...” in the lower-right corner to open Bluetooth Setup Assistant.
  5. Select your wireless keyboard, then follow the onscreen instructions to pair it with your Mac. You will be asked asked to enter an 8 digit passkey.  Important: You MUST press Return after you enter the 8 digit code.
    8-digit pairing code in the Keyboard preferences
  6. You can now disconnect the USB keyboard from the USB port and begin using your Apple Wireless Keyboard.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jul 24, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jul 24, 2013
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