How to enable Bluetooth on your Mac without a mouse or trackpad

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How to enable Bluetooth on your Mac without a mouse
No need to dig out a wired mouse.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

So, you accidentally disabled Bluetooth on your Mac, and now you can’t use your wireless mouse or trackpad. You could dig out a wired mouse to reenable it, but that’s a lot of effort. Instead, just use your keyboard.

We’ll show you how.

Toggling Bluetooth on your Mac is a quick and simple way to solve pesky connectivity issues. It often works wonders, for example, when your AirPods refuse to connect, or your mouse pointer is choppy and lagging.

Many of us forget, however, that our wireless mice usually rely on Bluetooth for connectivity. And once it’s turned off, our mice disconnect and there’s no obvious way to reenable Bluetooth without them.

That’s fine if you’re using a MacBook with a built-in trackpad. But what if you’re using another Mac, and you don’t have a wired mouse you can plug in temporarily? Well, there is a way to reenable Bluetooth with your keyboard.

How to enable Bluetooth with your keyboard on Mac

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Hold the Command (⌘) key then press the spacebar to open Spotlight Search.
  2. Type Bluetooth then use your keyboard’s arrow keys to highlight Bluetooth File Exchange.
  3. Press the enter or return key to open it.
  4. Your Mac will recognize Bluetooth is disabled and ask if you want to reenable it. Simply hit the enter or return key again to confirm.
How to enable Bluetooth on your Mac without a mouse
Open Bluetooth File Exchange, then hit enter/return.
Screenshots: Cult of Mac

Bluetooth will now be reactivated, and within a few seconds, your mouse should be working again.

A restart may be necessary

Of course, this trick only works if you’re using a wired keyboard. If you have a Magic Keyboard or another that relies on Bluetooth, then you will need to connect it to your machine with a cable for wired communication.

If connecting a keyboard or mouse to your Mac via USB isn’t an option, the other alternative is to reboot your machine by holding down the power button. When it boots up again, you’ll be prompted to connect your peripherals.