Skip to main content

How to connect Bluetooth accessories to a Mac

Bluetooth is fantastic technology that allows us to use all sorts of accessories wire-free. From earphones to keyboards to speakers, you can connect devices to your Mac using Bluetooth in just a few steps.

Whether you have a new accessory or a new Mac, we’ll walk you through turning on Bluetooth, connecting your device, and checking on the status or battery when needed.

Related Videos




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Mac computer

  • Bluetooth accessory

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac system preferences on

Turn on Bluetooth on your Mac

You have three ways to turn on Bluetooth on MacOS: The menu bar, Control Center, and System Preferences.

Method One: Use the menu bar icon.

Step 1: Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.

Step 2: Turn on the Bluetooth toggle.

Method Two: Use the Control Center.

Step 1: Open the Control Center in the menu bar.

Step 2: Select Bluetooth.

Step 3: Turn on the Bluetooth toggle.

Method Three: Use System Preferences.

Step 1: Open System Preferences using the icon in the Dock or Apple icon in the menu bar.

Step 2: Select Bluetooth.

Step 3: Click Turn Bluetooth On.

When you have the Bluetooth window open, your Mac is considered “discoverable.” This means it’s available to connect to your accessory or be connected to another Bluetooth device.

Connect a Bluetooth accessory

When you’re ready to connect (pair) your device, it’s a few simple steps. Remember to keep the Bluetooth window open.

Step 1: You’ll need to put your Bluetooth accessory into discovery mode. Depending on the type of device you want to connect, the process varies. You may need to hold the Power button or a combination of buttons on the device.

Be sure to check the documentation for your accessory before you take an action.

Step 2: Next, place your Bluetooth device near your Mac, within approximately 30 feet.

Step 3: When a discoverable device is available, you’ll see it appear at the bottom of the Devices list in the Bluetooth window.

Click Connect next to the device.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac system preferences view device

Step 4: After a few moments, your accessory should connect, and you’ll then see it appear at the top of the Devices list with “Connected” next to it.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac system preferences device

Step 5: You can then close the Bluetooth window by clicking the X on the top left.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac system preferences connected device

View the status of Bluetooth devices

You can easily view the status of your connected Bluetooth devices by heading back to System Preferences > Bluetooth.

You’ll see either “Connected” or “Not Connected” below the accessory’s name in the Devices list.

For some Bluetooth accessories, you can also see the battery level. This is available in both System Preferences > Bluetooth and the Control Center in your menu bar.

Disconnect a Bluetooth accessory

You can temporarily or permanently disconnect a Bluetooth accessory from your Mac.

Step 1: Because Bluetooth is always available in the Control Center, this is the fastest way to temporarily disconnect an accessory.

Open Control Center and select Bluetooth. You’ll then see your connected devices.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac control center connected

Step 2: To disconnect the accessory, click it in the list. You’ll see the Bluetooth icon grayed out.

To reconnect it again later, select it once more. You’ll then see the icon highlighted.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac control center disconnect accessory

Step 3: To permanently remove a device so that it longer connects within range of your Mac, revisit System Preferences > Bluetooth.

Then, click the X to the right of the accessory and confirm by clicking Remove in the pop-up window.

how to connect bluetooth accessories mac control center remove device

Troubleshoot connecting Bluetooth accessories

If you’re unable to connect the Bluetooth accessory to your Mac, here are several things to check or try.

  • Confirm that Bluetooth is enabled on both devices.
  • Make sure the accessory is discoverable.
  • Place the accessory closer to your Mac.
  • Be sure that the devices are charged.
  • Unpair the accessory and pair it again.
  • Turn Bluetooth off and then back on.
  • Restart your Mac and the accessory.

For further troubleshooting, check out the Bluetooth section of our how-to guide for fixing common MacBook problems.

Connecting a Bluetooth accessory to your Mac takes only a few minutes. So if you’re ready for a new pair of headphones or want to try out your new speaker, make them easily accessible by connecting these Bluetooth devices to your Mac.

Editors' Recommendations

Get this 17-inch HP laptop for just $300 for a limited time
A woman video chats with her friends on an HP Envy laptop.

Owning a laptop is a necessity these days, but not everyone has the budget to go for the high-end models. If you're looking for an affordable but reliable device, check out the 17-inch HP 17z laptop, which is currently available for just $300 from HP after a $200 discount on its original price of $500.

Why you should buy the 17-inch HP 17z laptop
The 17-inch HP 17z laptop is equipped with the AMD Athlon Gold 7220U processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. These specifications won't let it challenge the best laptops, but if you're only planning to use the laptop for basic functions such as browsing the internet, typing documents, and watching streaming content, they're more than enough. You'll also be able to access the most popular productivity software on the laptop becomes it comes pre-loaded with Windows 11 Home, on a 128GB SSD that should provide ample space for your files.

Read more
9 Apple products we’re expecting in 2023: iPhone 15, M2 Mac Pro, and more
An iPhone 14 sitting on a wood desk.

Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the world of big tech. Rumors of future products seem to develop years ahead of their time, and while we can all speculate as much as we want, we don’t really know what new products Apple has coming until they're announced. For existing products, though, it’s a little easier since most of those tend to be on an annual upgrade cycle, with a few exceptions.

But the rumor mill for new products, like Apple’s mixed reality headset, has been reaching peak levels of hype recently, which leads us to believe its release is imminent. We could also have the first iPhone with USB-C charging, eliminating the need for proprietary Lightning cables, and even a 15-inch MacBook Air.

Read more
The Framework Laptop 16 is officially my most anticipated laptop
framework laptop 16 most anticipated 01

Framework has announced a new addition to its lineup of modular, repairable laptops -- the Framework Laptop 16. It's far from just a larger version of the Framework Laptop 13, though. It takes the idea of modularity to the next level, adding a number of new expansion systems that can be customized to your heart's content -- especially for those who need more powerful graphics.

Before we get to those neat expansion systems, though, just take a look at this design. The two-tone design takes the best of an Alienware gaming laptop and a MacBook Pro, while still feeling totally fresh. I dig it.

Read more