Have you ever tried to reconnect your bluetooth mouse on a mac without using a mouse?

The Magic Mouse is great.

At least most of the time.

When it’s working.

It is, however, an ironically lousy piece of expensive crap when it comes to its battery compartment. You need to stuff some paper into it to keep the batteries in a certain position. If you change batteries and do it wrong, you will – and I repeat: YOU WILL!!! –  lose connection to your mouse and it is very likely it won’t reconnect automatically. I am using Apple Rechargeables, maybe that is my biggest problem. I’ve read some threads on the web who found out certain makes of batteries (much cheaper ones, btw) work better.

There are things with your mac you get used to.

But one thing that is hard to get used to is sitting in front of your giant screen and having a disconnected Bluetooth Mouse that you need to reconnect. Without using a Mouse, to be exact. You feel so embarassed by the fact that this beast is staring at you and loughing its lungs out of itself watching you desparately trying to find a keyboard shortcut to get to any of the places where you can connect a Bluetooth device.

First idea: Navigate to the menu bar (Ctrl-F2 or Ctrl-Fn-F2) and press tab until you are at the Bluetooth Icon in the menu bar.


The menu does not include the shortcut icons in the top right corner, so you won’t reach the Bluetooth icon there.

Second Idea: Once I am at the Menu Bar, why not open the System Preferences and reconnect the Magic Mouse from there.


You can of course open System Preferences, and you can also open the Bluetooth Preference Pane. But then you are stuck: The mouse is in the left hand list, which you can navigate through, but there is no way to connect a device in this list by pressing tab, enter or whatever once the mouse is selected on the list.

[Update: There actually is a way to do it in System Preferences, but in the hectic of wanting to start working real quick I overlooked it:

You can launch System Preferences [..], navigate to the Bluetooth preference pane and tab your way through the pane and ultimately selectConnect in the cog menu below the list of Bluetooth devices.

My point, however, still stands: Mac usability is a myth. It’s no more usable than Windows.]


So there is really only one thing (other than rebooting with your fingers crossed or getting an old USB mouse out of some drawer and try that) that you can do: you need to find out how to navigate to these damn icons in the menu bar. Luckily, there are sources on the web like this one, where you can find how to do that.

Finding that is not too easy without a mouse: first switch to Safari (it was running) using Cmd-Tab, Open a new Tab (Cmd-T), and enter a search term, and there you go. You can get to the status icons using Ctrl-F8 (or Ctrl-Fn-F8) and then use tab and arrows to go where you want. Reconnecting the mouse was easy then, luckily I hadn’t forgotten what I wanted to do in the first place.

Ah, BTW, I just found out how to navigate google search results with Arrow up and down. That’s really great. So if there was anything positive in this episode, then it was a new love for Google’s search results pages 😉

So this is just another episode of my complicated relationship with Apple gear and those little things that make your day as a developer so joyful and satisfying by providing those little victories over seemingly tiny problems.

So back to work, before the mouse disconnects again…!


3 thoughts on “Have you ever tried to reconnect your bluetooth mouse on a mac without using a mouse?

  1. Hi, I’m sorry to hijack the comments to this post, but the comments for https://joachimtuchel.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/more-on-the-fusionlion-caret-story-both-are-not-guilty/ are already closed.

    I’m not sure if you already found a solution for that stupid ^ and < swap problem with the Logitech k750 but here's my solution anyway:

    In VMWare Fusion you can go to the settings of your virtual machine and edit the keyboard and mouse profile. Under "Tastaturzuordnungen" (I use a german version) you can map < to ^ and ^ to < and the keyboard will finally work as expected. I only tested this with Windows 8 in my virtual machine but I'd guess it will work with other versions too.

    Feel free to move or delete this comment. I just wanted to let you know.

    1. Hi Stefan,

      thanks a lot for your comment. I remember having trouble with the keyboard mappings tool in VMware fusion back then, but maybe I should just give it another try. I am on the road right now, but I’ll try when I’m back.

      I also tried sharpkeys but it wouldn’t install on Win 7. Maybe there is a newer version now that would work. I somehow came to accept that stupid thing but now that you tell me there is a solution for it, I guess I cannot accept it any more 😉



    2. Hi Stefan,

      you were spot on. I tried and changed the key mappings for my Windows and Ubuntu VMs and they work like a charm now.

      I guess my main problem back when I tried was that you have to select the shift key with a mouse click instead of the tool recording the state of Shift,Ctrl etc. But once you figured it out, that is pretty easy.

      So thanks to your comment, my Windows and Linux VMs on my iMac work so much better. It may be hard to believe, but as a programmer, always mistyping ^° is a real pain…

      I am glad you dared hijacking a post of mine 😉 So again: thanks a lot!

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