How to Enable Bluetooth on a Mac

What there is to know

  • Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth > Enable Bluetooth to activate Bluetooth.
  • You can also click Control Center in the menu bar and click Bluetooth.
  • If you don’t have a working mouse, say “Hey Siri, turn on Bluetooth”.

This article explains how to enable Bluetooth on a Mac. It looks at three ways to do this, including how to enable Bluetooth without a mouse or keyboard; it also covers how to pair a new device and what to do if it doesn’t work.

How to turn on Bluetooth on your Mac

Most Macs come with Bluetooth enabled these days. However, if your device is the exception or has been disabled, here’s how to enable Bluetooth on your Mac.

  1. On your Mac, click the Apple icon in the menu bar.

  2. Click on System Preferences.

  3. Click on Bluetooth.

  4. Click on Activate Bluetooth.

  5. Bluetooth is now enabled and ready to pair with devices.

How to Enable Bluetooth on Your Mac Without a Mouse or Keyboard

If Bluetooth has been turned off and you need it to use your mouse or keyboard, you can use a USB mouse or keyboard instead to access your Mac and turn Bluetooth back on. If you don’t have one, here’s how to turn on Bluetooth using your voice.

When your Mac is on, say “Hey Siri, turn on Bluetooth”. Bluetooth will be enabled and your mouse and keyboard will reconnect shortly.

How to turn on Bluetooth using Control Center

It is also possible to activate Bluetooth using the control center in the menu bar. Here’s what to do.

  1. In the menu bar, click Control center.

  2. Click on Bluetooth to turn it on.

  3. Bluetooth is now enabled.

How to pair a new device

Once Bluetooth is enabled, you will need to pair new devices. Here’s how to pair a new device.

  1. In the Bluetooth section of System Preferences, wait for the device to appear in the list.

    The device must be turned on and in pairing mode. You’ll need to read the instructions that came with the device you want to pair, but there’s usually a physical button that you hold down for a while in order to put the device into pairing mode.

  2. Click on Relate.

  3. Wait for the device to connect.

    Some devices require you to enter a PIN which is displayed on your Mac.

  4. The device is now associated with your Mac.

What to do when Bluetooth is not working

If Bluetooth isn’t working on your Mac even after following these steps, it could be for some pretty simple reasons. Here is a quick overview of how to fix the problem.

  • Make sure your device is turned on. Your Mac can only see and use a device when it’s turned on. Check that your mouse, keyboard, or other device has enough battery life and is currently working.
  • Make sure your device is in pairing mode. If you’re trying to pair a new device with your Mac, make sure it’s in pairing mode by following the item’s instructions.
  • Make sure you are close enough. Bluetooth has a distance limit. This varies depending on how old your device is and what version of Bluetooth it uses, but on average let’s assume it has a range of around 30 feet.
  • Restart your Mac and Bluetooth. Restarting your Mac, the device in question, or repairing both can often resolve many Bluetooth connectivity issues.


  • Why won’t Bluetooth turn off on my Mac?

  • Why did Bluetooth suddenly stop working on my Mac?

  • How do I connect AirPods to my Mac?

    To connect AirPods to your Mac, turn on Bluetooth, press and hold the Setup key on the Airpods case, then select Relate in the Bluetooth preferences. To change the audio output, go to the volume menu and choose your AirPods.

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