How To Fix Mac Bluetooth Issues

Published:
Last Updated: May 20, 2019

Written by

Many users have reported Mac Bluetooth issues that cause connected devices to behave erratically. These problems resulted in my Wireless Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and Mouse not working correct fly (i.e., erratic cursor movement) and disconnecting frequently. 

In this post, I describe the steps I took to troubleshoot the Bluetooth issues I have had on my Retina 5K iMac running macOS.

PS: I just purchased a new iMac Pro, running the latest version of macOS, and I have had several disconnects so far. As a result, it looks like as if even Apple’s latest Pro model is not immune from the issues I describe below.

Keyboard And Trackpad

The connectivity issues started a few years ago with my Bluetooth accessories becoming intermittently unresponsive, resulting in erratic cursor movements and clicks that I didn’t cause.

After some initial troubleshooting, I disconnected the Trackpad and paired my old Magic Mouse. After a few days without issues, the Magic Mouse started acting up as well, followed by my Wireless Keyboard sometimes not registering keystrokes.

After every “reconnect” or a reboot, the devices would work for a while. However, after a few days, the connectivity issues would resurface.

Magic Trackpad
Magic Trackpad

Potential Causes

I had OS X 10.11 Public Beta installed and figured the problem was either caused by a corrupt OS X installation or interference. I also learned that the OS X kernel could only handle a limited number of concurrently connected Bluetooth devices without running into congestion and interference issues.

That magic number appears to be 5 or 6; some even say it is as low as 4. But I only had three devices connected at the same time. Because it was unlikely that all three devices had defects, the cause had to be the iMac’s hard- or software.

Wireless Keyboard
Wireless Keyboard

Unsuccessful Troubleshooting Steps

I did some research and found dozens of potential causes and fixes for Bluetooth issues on OS X. Not knowing the exact cause I tried most of them without success.

Ultimately I ended up having the antennas and AirPort card of the iMac replaced. Since hardware issues are not very common, I ran through the following steps first, before taking my iMac to the Apple Store:

Shutdown iMac

I powered down the iMac and before booting it up into Safe Mode, I replaced the batteries of all three affected devices.

Re-Seat Batteries

In addition to using fresh batteries, I took a piece of aluminum foil, rolled it into a tiny ball and put it into the battery compartment before inserting the batteries. Some users reported their issues were caused by batteries not having proper contact on either side of the battery compartment.

Magic Mouse
Magic Mouse

PRAM And SMC Reset

For resetting the iMac’s System Management Controller (SMC), I unplugged everything, waited 30 seconds and plugged the power cable back in.

Then I pressed the power button and booted the iMac up while holding the Command + Option + P + R keys. For more information on how to reset SMC and PRAM, you can check out my earlier post about Mac OS X First Aid.

Boot Up In Safe Mode

After the PRAM reset, I power cycled again while holding down the Shift key. That boots the Mac into Safe Mode. Once I logged in, I power cycled the iMac again and booted up normally.

Un-Pair Devices Via Preference Pane

Until yesterday, I didn’t have a wired keyboard and mouse, so disconnecting all wireless devices would prevent me from controlling the iMac. As a workaround, I enabled Screen Sharing via System Preferences —> Sharing on my iMac and then logged into it from my MacBook.

I deleted the Wireless Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse, entered pairing mode and reconnected all three devices.

Mac Bluetooth issues affect keyboard and trackpad

Delete Bluetooth Preferences (plist File)

Next, I deleted the preferences files associated with Bluetooth and specifically my Bluetooth-enabled devices. I used Finder to navigate to ~/Library/Preferences (you can use the Command+Shift+G keyboard shortcut in Finder), and I moved the following files to the trash.

Mac Bluetooth issues affect keyboard and trackpad
Go to the hidden folder ~/Library/Preferences
Preferences in Finder
Find the related “plist” files
  • com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad.plist – Magic Trackpad
  • com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist – Magic Mouse
  • com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist – wired USB mouse
  • com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad.plist
  • com.apple.preference.trackpad.plist

Update To Latest Public Beta

I would have done that even without having Bluetooth issues, but I updated OS X to the latest 10.11.1 Public Beta.

Remove Anything That Could Cause Interference

Nothing in my immediate environment had changed since I started having issues, but I decided to remove any device that could cause interference from my desk and the immediate surrounding.

Reinstall a Fresh Copy of macOS

Reinstalling OS X was my last hope and one I tried to avoid for as long as I could. I knew that reinstalling would require my iCloud Photo Library to re-synchronize and that’s one thing I wanted to avoid. But since nothing else seems to solve my Bluetooth issues, I had no other choice.

To make sure all Public Beta residue was gone, I re-installed OS X using Internet Recovery (hold Command + Option + R while booting up). That allowed me to wipe my hard drive completely, including the recovery partition.

Bring iMac to Apple Store

At the Apple Store Hunter, my favorite Genius ran a system diagnostics, but it didn’t show any issues. So we re-imaged my hard drive with a developer copy of OS X that is based on 10.11 GM.

A quick test using their Magic Mouse seemed promising, but shortly after I returned home with the iMac, the issue reappeared. Fortunately, Hunter was thinking ahead and already ordered replacement parts, including:

AirPort card
AirPort card
  • 3 Antenna assembly
  • The AirPort/Bluetooth card, identified by its model number BCM94360CD, consisting of:
    • Broadcom BCM4360KML1G 5G WiFi 3-Stream 802.11ac Gigabit Transceiver
    • Skyworks SE5516 Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN Front-End Module
    • Broadcom BCM20702 Single-Chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI Solution with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Support

For more information on those parts, check out iFixit’s teardown of the 27” Retina 5K iMac.

I will get those parts replaced in the next few days and hope this fixes the problem. I don’t know what else it could be. Meanwhile, I bought a wired keyboard and mouse and can’t say I love those cables on my otherwise neatly kept desk.

Temporary setup with wired keyboard and mouse
Temporary setup with wired keyboard and mouse

As soon as I get my iMac back from the Apple Store (3-5 days turn-around time), I’ll update this post and let you know, if replacing the mentioned parts fixed the issues I was having. If you have had Bluetooth issues with OS X as well and knew a fix, please leave a comment. If you haven’t found a fix, I’d also appreciate if you would let me know what steps you took that didn’t work.

Hardware Repair Attempt #1

I got my iMac back from the Apple Store today. They replaced the AirPort module and three antennas and surprisingly also the full display. I immediately updated the iMac to the very latest 10.11.1 Public Beta (Build 15B30a) and so far, the issue hasn’t returned. I’ll keep you posted!

Hardware Repair Attempt #2

The antenna and AirPort module replacement did not fix the problem, and neither did OS X 10.11.1. So I took the iMac back to the Apple Store, and they’re currently replacing the AirPort module again – this time with one from a different manufacturer.

Swapping my Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad for the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 didn’t make any difference either. I’m guessing we’re dealing with a bug in El Capitan that’s related to the iMac’s hardware.

Software Update

Issues have returned despite all the troubleshooting steps above. So I filed a bug report with the Apple development team. Then today, I saw the final OS X 10.11.2 update come in, and it lists BT issues in the release notes. Let’s see if this final build fixes the problem.

OS X El Capitan Release Notes

Updates And Additional Information

Apple Grand Central Dispatch (GCD)

Howard Oakley suspects that GCD is causing many of the issues in macOS, including the above Bluetooth problems. Check out his excellent article on the topic.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Unfortunately, I occasionally still experience Bluetooth issues with my keyboard and trackpad after having upgraded my Mac to macOS 10.13 High Sierra. It’s disappointing that Apple didn’t or couldn’t fix that annoying problem!

macOS 10.13.4 Beta

I have been running Beta versions of High Sierra since Apple made the first Public Beta available. The good news is, I barely experience any Bluetooth issues anymore. The bad news is, they still occur, as infrequently as they may.

Anytime it happens, my trackpad would disconnect for a second or two, before re-connecting. I haven’t done a complete re-install in a while, but I had one planned anyway, to jump off the Beta bandwagon.

How To Solve The Problem?

Since I published this article in 2015, many readers have chimed in and offered potential solutions. Here are the most promising ones, that have helped numerous readers resolve the issue:

Disable Handoff in Preferences Pane

Allow handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices - Mac Bluetooth issues
Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices

Several readers have suggested that the issue isn’t related to BT at all and I think they are on to something. Michael Perry discovered that the culprit might be Apple’s Handoff feature. If disabled, the problem appears to be going away for many. Here is how you do it:

  1. System Preference > General
  2. Uncheck “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
  3. Restart your Mac.

Reset Bluetooth Module Via Debug Menu

Show Bluetooth in menu bar - Mac Bluetooth issues
Make sure “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” is checked

You can also try to reset the Bluetooth module on your Mac, and here is how to do it. Before you start, make sure the Bluetooth icon is visible in your Mac’s menu bar. If it is not, open System Preferences > Bluetooth and make sure you have checked “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” at the bottom of the dialog.

Reset the Bluetooth module - Mac Bluetooth issues
Reset the Bluetooth module
  1. Hold the Shift and Option key on your keyboard and click on the Bluetooth icon in your Mac’s drop-down menu bar
  2. Select Debug > Reset the Bluetooth module

Additionally, you can also try “Factory reset all connected Apple devices.” It helps if you have a wired keyboard a mouse handy while you perform those tasks.

Disable Internal Bluetooth And Use a USB Bluetooth Adapter / Dongle

Some readers have also suggested that switching from internal Bluetooth to an external (USB) Bluetooth dongle* may help. I haven’t tried that, but it may be worth giving that a shot.

VMware Fusion: Disable Share Bluetooth Devices with Windows

If you are using VMware Fusion to run Windows applications on your Mac, you could also try disabling “share Bluetooth devices with Windows” as one reader has pointed out.

Disable 2.4 GHz Band on Wi-Fi Router or Access Point

Mitchel, one of the readers of this blog has reported success with disabling the 2.4 GHz band of his Wi-Fi router. Similar to many wireless network access points, Bluetooth uses the ISM 2.4 GHz band frequency. So it’s possible that your Wi-Fi network interferes with the Bluetooth receiver in your Mac.

Final words – Apple needs to fix that!

If you have found this article searching for “Bluetooth not available on Mac,” “how to reset Bluetooth on Mac” or something similar, I hope some of the tips mentioned above could help to resolve your issue.

Unfortunately, those pesky Bluetooth issues on the Mac do not always seem to have a simple solution. I guess that is because the underlying problem is not well-understood either – at least not by the Mac user community.

Ultimately, Apple needs to fix those issues in its devices via hardware, firmware, or software updates. It can’t be that connectivity issues, like the ones mentioned above, stick around for multiple generations of devices and macOS releases.

If any of the solutions presented in this article have helped fix your Mac Bluetooth issues – and even if they haven’t – please let me know by leaving a comment below!

208 thoughts on “How To Fix Mac Bluetooth Issues”

  1. Michael, thank you so much for your article. I’ve experienced bluetooth problems on my Macs for years. I suspect the problems — well, *my* problems at least — are partly software based. My current MacMini was a direct transfer from a previous MacBook Pro, and it had the same problems. When I boot in SafeMode, I had none of the problems, but I could never identify a particular software program which might have been *the* cause.

    Deleting the bluetooth plist helped; so did resetting bluetooth module. But it didn’t solve the problem. Two things which finally seemed to have sorted it.

    First, manually setting my WiFi channels as described at https://www.codejourney.net/2017/04/wifi-and-bluetooth-interference-diagnosing-and-fixing/.

    Second, in the bluetooth debug menu, using the “remove all devices” option, and then re-connecting my keyboard and mouse. (I could only do that because of your suggestion of using screensharing from another Mac. Don’t know what folks with only one computer can do.) Why that worked when nixing the plist file did not is beyond me.

    But for the first time in a long while I’ve had 24 hours with problem-free bluetooth. Fingers-crossed it continues.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  2. Hi Michael,

    Helpful stuff, thanks! Since you appear still to be reading these comments, I’ll chime in with the very specific and peculiar problem I’ve been experiencing.

    Seemingly at random every few days, my 2018 Mac Mini will suddenly and without warning lose its connection to my Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse for 40 seconds. After 40 seconds, it always resumes as if nothing had happened. Checking the activity monitor immediately afterward reveals no unique process that has been consuming CPU cycles or occupying the BT module. I’ve even tried checking Activity Monitor *during* a freeze by quickly plugging in my keyboard via lightning and then Cmd-Tab switching to it—I always keep Activity Monitor running—but there was nothing unusual.

    I’ve tried swapping in a Logitech mouse and keyboard, but the problem quickly recurred. The freezes really are at random: at one point I didn’t see the issue for a month and cautiously assumed a system update had fixed it, but lately now that I’m working from home, I notice it roughly 2-3x a week. It’s manageable except if I’m in the middle of a Zoom presentation. Then it’s maddening. :(

    A few more data points: the problem actually began with my 2014 Mac Mini and followed me onto my new machine. I don’t have much 3rd party system software running, and nothing Bluetooth related.

    I haven’t tried turning off Handoff yet, as I do use it frequently. But I’d be willing to live without it if it’s a likely culprit.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Eric,

      I think your issue is closely related that what I’m still experiencing (very seldomly though) on my iMac Pro. I just never have the patience to wait and immediately turn the keyboard/trackpad on and off :)

      Next time, I’ll wait and see if the device/connection recovers automatically.

      Cheers,
      Michael

      Reply
      • Thanks for your speedy reply. Here’s what’s interesting though, and what makes me think your issue and mine are *not* related: in my case, if I turn either device off and back on, it has no effect. The *only* thing that works is waiting the full 40 seconds.

        While this specific problem doesn’t appear widespread, it’s not unique either. I’ve found at least one other user online experiencing precisely the same issue, and also on a Mac Mini. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251264476

        It’s unlikely to be intermittent hardware failure, since it followed me from my 2014 machine to my 2018 rig. And I doubt it’s generic BT interference, since in my case the time to reconnect is so consistent.

        Thoughts?

        Reply
  3. Thanks !!!
    This is driving me nuts for a few months – both magic mouse and trackpad. The Debug resetting of the BT module seems to have saved me soooo much annoyance.

    Thanks !

    Reply
  4. Thanks for building this resource.

    I have a Macbook Pro 16″ purchased in May 2020. Suddenly started experiencing terrible lag on Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard.

    I followed -> Turn off system hand off, no impact. Reset the Bluetooth module. No apparent impact. I then used the Bluetooth -> Debug > Reset all Apple devices approach which for now seems to have fixed it. It could be the joint reset that has worked.

    I’ve little confidence that it’s a permanent fix, but we will see. I’ll update you if the problem returns. I’ve seen this on multiple apple devices.

    You might get more comments if you move the comment option above the comments :-) With a jerky trackpad it takes time to scroll down.

    Reply
  5. I had an Omron heart rate monitor beside my desk because I like taking my blood pressure. It uses bluetooth to transfer data to my Android phone. About a month ago my magic mouse 2 started acting up a bit. It would move jerky.

    I figured if I could see any bluetooth devices nearby that may be causing the issue. Turns out that it was my heart rate monitor. I popped out the battery on the HR monitor and poof my mouse was fixed. So basically look around for any bluetooth devices and shut them off and see if it helps.

    Jeff

    Reply
  6. I too have experienced this issue with Keyboard and Mouse. I have a 2018 iMac 27″ BOTH at home and at the office (Exact set up) I HAVE THIS ISSUE IN BOTH PLACES CONSTANTLY. To the point that I hooked up a wired mouse and use the Bluetooth until it drops and have the wired mouse next to it. VERY FRUSTRATING. This is prob the biggest MAC issue I have ever faced in 25 years of loyal love for MAC.
    I used your tips – Unclick Allow Hand Off as well as Debug > Reset Bluetooth Module and so far so good!!!! – THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE.
    Apple – Please fix!!!!!!

    Reply
  7. I have a Magic Trackpad that wouldn’t connect under Catalina. Eventually I got it to connect by holding down the power button to enter discovery mode and (and this was the critical step) keeping it held down while I chose Connect on my laptop and until the connection was established. Then I used the debug menu to do a factory reset of the trackpad, for good measure. Now it seems to reconnect ok.

    Reply
  8. On Catalina, had bad lag from bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. Eventually found it only happened when WiFi was turned on but not connected to an access point (when I was using a wired connection).
    Turning off wifi fixed it instantly.

    Reply
    • First of all, thank you everybody for the great input. For the past 6 months my magic mouse 2 in Apple mail on my iMac 27″ with Catalina would “slide Mail to the side”, not click and highlight mail, or it was quite particular where my finger was placed on the mouse itself.

      I just read about wi-fi and thought I would try it. Immediately, the mouse was like the “good old days” acting like a wired/wireless(that worked) in Apple Mail.

      This was never a problem in any browser or other software (Excel, Word, Music, Spotify, Photoshop)…only in Apple Mail.

      I appreciate your help. Hopefully, if other have the exact same problem they can try the fix out

      Reply
  9. MacBook Pro 2018 and Pro 2015 both suffer from unstable Bluetooth connections and reconnects of devices….
    Did almost every solution ment overhere except switching off Handoff. And after doing so it seems the solution. Inmediately stable BT-music connections, no reconnections off the mice en keyboards. It’s a shame that this issue is for more than three years unsolved by Apple!

    Reply
  10. I’ve had 2 replacement BT keyboards for my 2019 iMac so far. Both, and even the latest, place added character spaces (not actual characters) in my text. It happens on some (not all) software programs (FB, Notes, MSWord & WhatsApp). Interestingly I replaced my Apple BT Keyboard with a cheap BT keyboard I’d bought for my iPad. That seems to work perfectly and has done for a few weeks without issue. Maybe its more compatible than the apple ones!!

    Reply
  11. This is really annoying and feel desperate and hopeless because it’s happened to me, AGAIN! The first time was on a Macbook Pro 15` 2018. And this time it’s on a Mac mini 2012.

    I always use a third party keyboard and a third party mouse because the mouse and the keyboard support switching between three computers. Because I got two Macs and one PC. The solution for me was perfect untill the bluetooth issue happened.

    The problem basically is I only got to use a bluetooth device on the first time it paired with Mac. After that, if I disconnect and reconnect the bluetooth device, or toggle Mac’s bluetooth off and on, the bluetooth device would never connect with Mac again. Tried reset SMC, NVRAM and reset from bluetooth module. None of them helps.

    The first time I solved it by upgrading the system from High Sierra to Mojave. I wasn’t able to re-install the Mac because there is a firmware password set by my company. I work from remote but the IT administrator won’t give me the password. That was a hard time because I have to use wired keyboard and mouse for about 5 months. I really hate wired things. One day I decided to upgrade the system and miracle happened. The problem’s gone. But the happiness doesn’t last long because it happened again, on a Mac mini 2012.

    The fix for this time is to install Mavericks first, pair the device, then upgrade to Catalina. I also tried a clean installation of Catalina, but the problem persists, even if I wiped all the data on the disk.

    Funny, right? Only upgrade works.

    Reply
  12. I’ve struggled for over six months with connecting my Macbook Pro to Harman Kardon’s Studio 4 speaker. It used to work, and then suddenly it just didn’t connect. I tried “everything”. Thank you so much for the advice on Handoff, it finally did the trick for me!

    Reply
  13. This problem is seriously annoying and still happens to this day. In my case, it is definitely the Handoff issue, but I can’t disable Handoff as I need to work across three difference devices. Why doesn’t Apple fix this? Argh!

    Reply
  14. Unfortunately I am also a long standing member of this club but only with my MBP at work. And I’m on my second one that has this problem. Usually a restart fixes it but not always. Today the resetting of the bluetooth module did it. I’ve searched for solutions for sometime and nothing you find always works. This article was the first one I’ve seen that mentioned the handoff and VMW fusion bits. I’ll incorporate those into my troubleshooting. Ugh, this is one of the most pesky issues I’ve ever had to deal w/ on OS X. I’m hoping this is finally fixed in Catalina but I don’t have high hopes :-(.

    Reply
  15. Thank you for the great report. I too have the same problem and that I have tried all the above to no avail.
    My system: iMac 27 Late 2013 with Mojave 10.14.6 Public Beta
    I first realized this issue when upgrading to Mojave 10.14.5, or maybe it became worst with the upgrade.
    I have also been tracking system log data on Console to see what is going on, and here is what system logged:
    (1)
    default 02:40:10.458293 -0700 kernel IOBluetoothUSBDFU::probe
    default 02:40:10.458323 -0700 kernel IOBluetoothUSBDFU::probe avoid Bluetooth automatic firmware update because USB Bluetooth active

    (2)
    default 02:40:08.310885 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostControllerUSBTransport][BulkInReadHandler] — calling HardReset()
    default 02:40:08.321026 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — entering ****
    default 02:40:08.321033 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — setting mActiveBluetoothHardware->mBluetoothHostController->mTransportGoingAway to TRUE — this = ****
    default 02:40:08.321034 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — calling mActiveBluetoothHardware->mBluetoothTransport->AbortPipesAndClose( TRUE, TRUE ) ****
    default 02:40:08.321172 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — mACPIMethods->calling SetBTRS() to toggle the GPIO for Bluetooth module — counter = 1 ****
    default 02:40:08.327589 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — SetBTRS() successful ****
    default 02:40:08.327591 -0700 kernel **** [IOBluetoothFamily][USBHardResetWL] — exiting

    (3)
    default 02:40:08.320722 -0700 bluetoothd INIT — Host controller terminated
    default 02:40:08.321430 -0700 bluetoothd Host controller terminated
    default 02:40:08.321460 -0700 bluetoothd -[CBXPCManager hostControllerTerminated]

    (4)
    default 02:35:36.706575 -0700 bluetoothd == IOBluetoothBroadcomSchedulerWorkaround start
    default 02:35:36.707137 -0700 bluetoothd USBProductID 0x828D USBVendorID 0x5AC
    default 02:35:36.707156 -0700 bluetoothd schedularWorkaroundActive? 0
    default 02:35:36.707170 -0700 bluetoothd active? 0
    default 02:35:36.707183 -0700 bluetoothd == IOBluetoothBroadcomSchedulerWorkaround end

    Just want to know if anyone seeing the same log above.

    Reply
  16. I’ve been plagued with this problem for nearly a year. Apple couldn’t help with phone support. I’ve looked at every help article under the sun. I tried every suggestion until the VERY LAST suggestion of changing the router settings to 5Ghz and it worked! At least thus far… I’ll post back if the fix doesn’t last but if you read this then that means it did the trick!

    Reply
  17. Unfortunately none of these hints fixed my jerky Bluetooth mouse. But they did inspire me to look at my macOS VMware Fusion Bluetooth settings. By turning off the “Share Bluetooth devices with Windows” setting for my Windows 10 VM, my mouse jerkiness was fixed.

    So I’d suggest you add this as another possible fix. A lot of people run Fusion so they can run the odd Windows app (e.g. Quicken or TurboTax) on macOS.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  18. I’m having this problem loads on High Sierra! Just ticked the menu bar option and unticked handoff, restarted, and I seem to be up and running! Thanks for your help on this!

    Reply
  19. My mouse had been persistently disconnecting and re-connecting every 2 mins, rendering it useless. I tried another magic mouse and that had the same issues. When I found this blog I had tried many of the suggested solutions and none had worked, however, I tried the Disable Handoff suggestion and this seems to have worked. Thanks very much.

    Reply
  20. It’s 2019, MacOS 10.14.3 on MacBook Pro 15″ 2016 and have been seeing the high latency bluetooth keyboard, and sometimes high latency mouse (both bluetooth and USB dongle). haven’t tried turning off handoff yet.

    The problem only started appearing mid 2018, so 10.13 was working fine for a while…

    Reply
  21. Hi I run a 2017 5K iMac on Mojave 10.14.3 and i still encounter random disconnection of the keyboard, mouse and track pad. So looks like this is an issue that just isn’t going to go away. I have carried out every trick in the book that you have listed and it still happens. resetting the bluetooth module is the normal path to get things working again.

    Reply
  22. Furthermore, I do not have handoff available as my iMac is 2010. Just goest to show, the issue its affecting all ages!

    Reply
  23. Ive just read your article, which was very useful and combined all of the suggested solutions in other web pages, forum etc. into one place. I have just about exhausted all of the solutions to no avail. Except I have just reset the bluetooth module and am now waiting to see if the problem re-emerges. Interestingly, when I reset the BT module, I did not lose connection for more that a few seconds before it all came back on again. I thought I would have to reboot but no, it all came back.
    Thanks for your help. Very useful page.
    iMac 10.13.6

    Reply
  24. This has been a persistent problem for me on my MacBook Pro 15″ mid-2012, running High Sierra. Disabling Handoff seems to have solved the problem. Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  25. Thanks for the issues description.
    I have the issue too and I looked into the macOS kernel logs where you can see clearly that multiple resets of the BT controller is performed when disconnections are occurring hinting towards hardware issue:

    10:41:13.868184 +0200 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostControllerUSBTransport][SetRemoteWakeUp] — deviceRequest() failed: 0xE00002D6 (kIOReturnTimeout)
    10:41:13.868193 +0200 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostControllerUSBTransport][PrepareControllerForPowerOn] — OFF -> ON — SetRemoteWakeUp(TRUE) returned error 0xE00002D6 (kIOReturnTimeout) — this = 0xc000 ****
    10:41:16.110215 +0200 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostControllerUSBTransport][DeviceRequestCompleteHandler] — Received 0xE00002D6 (kIOReturnTimeout) — 0xc000 ****
    10:41:18.868326 +0200 kernel [[0xE000] OpCode 0xFC34 (Broadcom VSC — Enable Radio) from: bluetoothd (104) Synchronous status: 0x00 (kIOReturnSuccess) state: 2 (BUSY) timeout: 5000] Bluetooth warning: An HCI Req timeout occurred.
    10:41:18.868368 +0200 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostController][IncrementHCICommandTimeOutCounter] — increment command timed out counter — 5 — vID = 0x05ac pID = 0x8296 ****
    10:41:18.868398 +0200 kernel [BroadcomBluetoothHostController][PowerRadio] ### ERROR: opCode = 0xFC34 (Broadcom VSC — Enable Radio) — send request failed (err=0x10 (kIOReturnSuccess))
    10:41:18.868412 +0200 kernel REQUIRE_NO_ERR failure: 0x10 – file: /BuildRoot/Library/Caches/com.apple.xbs/Sources/IOBluetoothFamily_kexts/IOBluetoothFamily-6005.4.3/Core/Family/HCI/HostControllers/Broadcom/BroadcomBluetoothHostController.cpp:1806
    10:41:18.868416 +0200 kernel **** [IOBluetoothHostControllerUSBTransport][PrepareControllerForPowerOn] — OFF -> ON — mBluetoothController->CallPowerRadio() failed — result = kBluetoothHCIErrorHostTimeout — this = 0xc000 ****

    Note that I had also my Wi-Fi/BT module replaced without any improvement hinting towards more a motherboard issue.

    I start to believe that the problem is an epidemic hardware issue that impacts many iMAC owners.

    My solution has been to go through an external BT USB dongle using a Broadcom chipset like the kinivo BTD-400 bluetooth 4.0.

    Switching to the dongle can be achieved through the following command: sudo nvram bluetoothHostControllerSwitchBehavior=always

    All details can be found there http://www.courville.org/home/macos-survival-guide

    Reply
  26. In my case it was Little Snitch which disconnected the bluetooth module (not available). I tried everything including fresh installation of high sierra, but it did not help.
    Finally, I found out that Little Snitch interacts not only with the wireless connections but also with bluetooth. I removed it using their special deinstallation app, and my iMac 2017 works smoothly ever since. Now I use LuLu instead.

    Reply
  27. Thank you for this article, I had the exact same problem, and this blog helped me to diagnose my issue. On top of having Bluetooth disconnect when the iMac wakes up from sleep, I also noticed that plugging in USB peripherals was causing the bluetooth to automatically disconnect my mouse and keyboard. I eventually took my late 2015 iMac into the Apple Store. They replaced the Airport card, and it did not solve the problem. I took it back into the store, and they replaced the the Airport yet again, but also replaced the Logic Board, as the store believed the USB ports had problems, and were interfering with the Bluetooth module. This ended up fixing the problem completely. I’ve had my iMac back for 3 weeks now, and not a single bluetooth issue. I believe this is a hardware issue, and that the USB or Thunderbolt ports on the logic board are going out, and causing Bluetooth issues. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  28. I’ve had this issue for a year, and have cured it! I literally woke up at 4am a month ago with the idea. It was to do with Keynote Remote on my iPhone; simply removing the iMac that was having Bluetooth issues from the iPhone’s ‘Keynote Remote’ device list has solved the problem. I guess my iMac and iPhone where having some sort of illicit Blue(tooth) liaison without me knowing.

    Sorted! I’m guessing here that many of you don’t have Keynote Remote set up, and it certainly doesn’t show up on the Bluetooth connected devices list, but maybe you have another app on your phone or Mac that could be set up in a similar way?

    Reply
  29. Sorry I had a whinge in reply to an earlier post, but neglected to say thanks Michael and everybody here for the suggestions. It’s early days yet, but I’m almost certain my issue was the USB 3.0 interference. I had several USB 3.0 drives connected and all around the new Mac Mini. Very jittery mouse. Shifted them all as far as the cables would allow and the jitteriness seems to have gone completely. Worth checking if anybody has USB 3.0 drives.

    Reply
  30. HI, this problem just developed on my 2014 iMac. My trackpad starting connecting and disconnecting was unusable. Worked fine with a mouse. Tried a bunch of things. Finally tried disabling the handoff. Problem resolved. How weird. I have a problem with a Mac book pro with random shutdowns that is eliminated by getting rid of ethernet driver. I’m not sure apple is trying to fix these things, thank goodness for the internet to distribute this information since they don’t. .

    Reply
  31. Thank you soo much! It worked! Was having issues connecting my favorite Bluetooth speaker EVERY TIME I USED MY MAC. Unchecking handoff appears to have worked, I also reset Bluetooth module, Duh, Thanks again.

    Reply
  32. I have noticed that my the problem seems to occur when I am running off the batteries. When the level gets low my bluetooth keyboard connection drops. This morning the battery power was not that low at 35%, but after leaving my computer inactive for about half an hour I came back to find no bluetooth connection to my keyboard. After 10 minutes trying to connect it, I plugged in the power cable and the bluetooth immediately fired up and connected the keyboard, without any prompting. This is about the third time recently that switching on the power supply has resolved the issue.
    Is this problem related to any resource management settings / implementations?

    Reply
  33. Hello. This has worked for me again and again. These are the same steps I use when my iMac won’t recognize my Bluetooth input devices on startup.

    1. Shut down the iMac.
    2. Unplug power supply cord at the back of the iMac.
    3. Unplug all USB devices from the back of the iMac.
    4. Turn off the wireless mouse and all wireless input devices.
    5. Leave it all unplugged/turned off for 30 seconds.
    6. Turn on the wireless mouse.
    7. Turn on your wireless input devices.
    8. Plug in all USB devices to the back of the iMac.
    9. Plug in power supply at the back of the iMac.
    10. Restart.

    That’s worked for me every time. (This problem crops up every six months or so.) I hope it works for you.

    Reply
  34. It definitely works, turning off the handoff. I had a similar problem in my iMac 5k, late 2014 on Mac OSX High Sierra 10.13.6 with a more immediate and noticeable problem: every BT headphone, even AirPods got intermittent sound. After turning off handoff they are working perfectly. It was a solution I definitely would not ever think off.
    Congratulations!

    Reply
  35. Using an apple keyboard, mouse, and trackpad (all wireless), my keyboard has been going haywire every time I woke up my imac. It would send hundreds of keystrokes and then becomes unresponsive – quite annoying, especially if the email app had the focus.

    Simple fix – I took the batteries out of the trackpad. Now I just use the mouse and the keyboard and the problem has not recurred after a full week. The loss of the trackpad (which I rarely used, I prefer the mouse) is well-worth it.

    Reply
  36. Yes Samuel you are great!

    It helps also for me, I delete “Android file transfer” app and now I have no bluetooth problems !!! :-)

    5k iMac late 2015

    Reply
  37. In case it helps anyone, I had precisely the problem listed above and spent the last two months reinstalling, having apple support reset and replace Bluetooth cards instead.

    Ultimately I found the “Android file transfer” app that I had installed to blame. Removed from startup items and all is well again.

    5k iMac late 2015
    10.13.6

    Reply
  38. I agree with all 95 simple steps outlined in this helpful post. I would only add the helpful tip gleaned elsewhere of running around your home or apartment building 7 times shouting Apple sucks! Apple sucks! Apple sucks! And of course, slathering your body in bacon fat before touching the keyboard. And one other thing that actually works for most users — just turn your Magic Trackpad off for 15 seconds, and then back on.

    Reply
  39. I am so done with Apple, I am a developer and I have two computers at least. The other one is my dell with LINUX. No problems with that one but APPLE wow, with all the money we spend on your hardware, it is a disappointment to have to deal with your bugs.

    Reply
    • A very valid point Irene, for the money we should have something that just works. I was running a Hackintosh, but that has its own limitations. Decided to treat myself with the new Mac Mini, but these mouse issues have really made me question that decision.

      Reply
  40. The issue for me has vanished, probably about 3 months ago but I’m not sure when as I can’t remember the last event. The only thing I changed was the connections into my iMac including power supply. I had that many cables etc running to and from the Mac that I decided to pull them all out and reinsert so they were no longer a jumble. I also changed my power board at this time to properly accommodate all the drives, etc so that plugs didn’t get in each others way. During this period there has also been a couple of OS updates.

    Whether it was replugging connections or the software up dates I don’t know but the problem no longer exists for my Magic Mouse 2.

    Reply
  41. My Bluetooth woes affected my Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 3. Nothing worked (even the above fixes were to no avail). When I plugged in the cables for both wireless devices, bingo, the connection was suddenly made! Bluetooth was on again!(。◝‿◜。)

    Cheers, Walter Tonetto
    http://www.indocoin.com

    Reply
  42. Clearly a software issue.
    Tried every recommendation in the book and none work for ONE of my two 2015 MBPs.
    I have 1 OWC SSD 1TB in each MBP.
    When I was getting BT always on with no way to switch it off, I swapped both SSDs.
    Upon reinstalling the always on BT MBP # 1 now let me turn BT off. It will say that the trackpad is connected, but the curser does not move.
    MBP# 2 works flawlessly with BT and the SAME external track pad, which does not work with MBP 1.
    BT in the non functioning MBP must get corrupted over time.
    Both MBPs are on the latest High Sierra 10.13.6
    Next I will compare all the files in the library to see if any are different.

    Reply
  43. Hi all, just spoke to Apple senior manager this morning, explained situation, advised of this forum and the fact that this is a frustrating widespread issue affecting many users. I’ve taken some snapshots of bluetooth process from Console when issue occurred and sent these over to Apple engineering team. In the meantime, HandOff feature has been turned off and I’ll will keep an eye if Bluetooth drops out again.

    On the flip-side, Apple would invite everyone to leave a feedback through the correct channel – https://www.apple.com/feedback/

    Whilst this forum is great Apple would not go searching the web for forums and rather rely solely on users getting in touch either by phone, email or feedback.

    Thanks

    Reply
  44. Hi, great post and comments. It is clear as day it’s a widespread issue Apple need to address ASAP in next OS release. I was lucky to come across this post just by accident & glad I did not proceed to troubleshooting SafeBoot/ reinstall/ erase & list goes on which was suggested by Apple. I think I’ll just disable HandOff and hope it resolved issues like it did for others.

    Reply
  45. “Keyboard losing connection” hmmm … Mac users have endured this since 2004 with the G4.

    My iMac 2012 has problems with connectivity so it’s obviously a problem Mac hasn’t resolved conclusively for at least 13 years.

    Reply
  46. Also, very important, disable Icloud Drive on settings. (System preferences, Icloud). I forgot this before.

    Excuse my English.

    Reply
  47. Hello from Spain. I´ve been suffering this issue since Yosemite came out.

    Still not solved in latest MacOs High Sierra 10.13.6

    Finally managed to solve it (after 4 years!) by turning off ALL of the continuity related functions that makes background use of bluetooth and wifi at the same time, which causes the interferences.

    1). Disable Handoff in the General Tab of System Preferences.

    2)- Remove Bluetooth PAN from the list of networks interfaces in the Network Tab of System Preferences.

    3).- Open FaceTime, go to preferences, and uncheck Iphone Phone Calls.

    4)- Disable Airdrop (you can turn it on again when needed).

    Follow these steps to disable AirDrop on a Mac:

    Open up the Terminal utility by going to your Applications Folder –> Utilities Folder –> Terminal

    Copy and paste the following text into the Terminal: defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool YES

    Hit enter

    Log out of your account by going to the Apple Menu (top upper left corner of your computer) –> Log out

    Log back in to your account and AirDrop will be disabled

    When all of this is done, reboot your Mac. Enjoy faster loading websites (dont ask me why), and 100% stable bluetooth connection with

    keyboards, mouses and bluetooth headphones.

    Let me know if its worked for you.

    :)

    Reply
  48. I’ve been dealing with this problem for about 4 years now with my Magic trackpad mouse on a Mac Mini. I have tried everything and what works for some doesn’t work for all. “All” being Me. NOTHING worked for me. It just seemed like the problem would subside a little on its own every now and then, but in a matter of nano seconds, it was back.

    I’ve just about destroyed my house and short of burning it down due to the anger and frustration of this BT issue with Apple.

    Last week I was doing a search, yet again, for this issue and ran across some gentleman that said to try changing the automatic channels under wireless/wireless options in Airport Utility. I thought, “no way”. That’s not gonna’ work. However, never underestimate the power of desperation.

    Set the 2.4Ghz to 1 and 5Ghz to 161 or the highest. I thought there was no way that this would work and I had the matches and gasoline ready by this point for the house, and I was just about to run my Mac Mini, 4K monitor; everything short of my car through the tree shredder out back.

    I’m making an educated guess here, but I’m guessing all of you can relate to the same frustration I’ve gone through with this.

    Since making this change; I can’t believe it, but I haven’t had an issue since last week and I spend hours on my Mac with my magic trackpad about 6ft away from the Mac Mini.

    I don’t know if it will work for others and I can’t believe it worked at all for me to be honest. Zero erratic mouse movements and the trackpad and keyboard have finally stopped the intermittent dropping and reconnecting.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Hi Mitch,
      I, too, have been having the same problems with my iMac and not just one iMac, but two. My husband has been so vocal about his mouse going crazy. I on the other hand have lost my sanity over this. I even took the two Magic Mouses down to an Apple store, over an hour away, just to find out that the mouses are working properly (that after 1 hour on the phone with Apple) It was a needle in a haystack that I came across this webpage and after seeing all the entries and reading a lot of them from the top down, I decided to go to the bottom and work my way up and yours was the second one. I, like you, was so skeptical, but I did it anyway and low and behold, the problem IS FIXED. My hubby is a happy camper again, sitting over here playing Facebook Words with Friends. And it makes me so happy to know things are working back to normal again. I do have a few glitches on my computer though that I need to figure out as I was trying various things and now getting some weird messages pop up. Thank you so very, very much for posting your FIX. I hope others find it as well. The problem has been going on for months, seeming like it happened more and more often after having upgraded to the Sierra and then the High Sierra OS. Again THANK YOU!!!!

      Reply
      • You are most welcome, Ma’am! I glad it worked for you. I am still having zero issues which is still hard to believe.

        Hopefully you’ll get the glitches worked out your iMac, Linda.

        Take care,
        Mitch

        Reply
  49. I recently upgraded from a mid-2011 iMac 21.5″ to a 2017 27″. I now have frequent Bluetooth issues. I’ve been watching the Pref Pane and my Bluetooth radio is actually turning off and turning back on. None of the solutions on this page have worked. I have Hand Off disabled and always have. My old iMac worked fine but this new one is constantly having trouble.

    Reply
    • I solved my intermittent connectivity issues by replacing the stock cables on my USB 3.0 hub and my USB-C external drive. I have no random disconnects now at all. Unfortunately, I still have predictable disconnects every time I wake up from sleep overnight. If it sleeps for a couple of hours I have no issues. But when it sleeps for 6-8, I have to wait for the BT devices to wake up. Usually takes 1-3 minutes.

      Reply
  50. Hi,

    I’m running macOS Sierra (10.12.6) on a 27″ iMac Late 2014. I’m interested in updating to High Sierra.

    Did the latest version of High Sierra fix these issues?

    Reply
  51. Thank you so much for your article! You solved a problem I’ve been having for a year!

    Turning off the stupid “Hand-off Feature” (by unchecking “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”) worked for me.

    I think it is pretty much the worst feature ever! Has added NO VALUE to my life whatsoever and had caused MAJOR Bluetooth issues with all of my connected devices (wireless mouse, keyboard and trackpad), constantly disconnecting and eventually Bluetooth connectivity constantly dying over time.

    I’ve had to spend countless months with major Bluetooth issues BECAUSE of this feature. Went through hours of rigmarole with Apple Support trying to troubleshoot it (resetting bluetooth software settings, deleting p.list files and reinstalling the OS to death) and I’ve even had to have my new IMAC’s Bluetooth and wireless module and entire motherboard completely replaced. AND it has NOTHING to do with Bluetooth, just this irrelevant software feature.

    The fact that this feature is ON by DEFAULT is going to cost Apple MILLIONS of dollars in wasted money and technical support because of this stupid feature which clearly has ISSUES and is a systemic cause for customers assuming the issue is with Bluetooth.

    Whichever team worked on this, invest a bit more in your QA before causing many customers and Apple’s wasted time, money and grief!

    Reply
  52. macOS 10.14 beta available now.
    I’ve updated yesterday and as of now my Magic Trackpad 2 doesn’t freeze during two-fingers scrolling anymore… Will cross my fingers ))

    Reply
  53. Disabling handoff worked for me. My issue was after not using my iMac for a day or two, my BT keyboard and mouse would stop working, and would not reconnect. The only thing I could do was reboot, which I had to do pretty much every time I went to use it. I have not had an issue since I disabled “Handoff”.

    Reply
  54. After doing all the tips&tricks, still same with my MacBookPro12,1 (2015) + Magic Keyboard + Magic Mouse both first generation. Using DisplayPort to retina DELL and a USB3 Hub from inatek with eth-connector. Disconnecting with all imaginable combinations.
    It happens not always, but very often when returning from sleep (I guess when sleep is a longer period like overnight)

    In an German Forum I found the hint to the 2015 chipset 20703A1 of bluetooth becoming suspicious.

    Great Article so far and many thanks.

    Reply
  55. I have this issue that both bluetooth keyboard and mouse don’t work after resuming from sleep (iMac 27″ with High Sierra, purchased on May 2018).
    I contacted Apple Support but apparently “this is not a known issue for them” so they take the long route to check everything from the most basic stuff to basically purchasing a new computer (insert 200 random checks/steps in between).
    Thanks for creating this thread – hopefully I’ll someday find a fix.

    Reply
    • Not a know issue?! I guess Apple employees don’t know how to use Google. That’s what drives me crazy with them. They pretend nothing is wrong, while time runs out on the warranty.

      Reply
  56. I have the same issue with a iMac 5k 2015, with bluetooth turn gray, I tried all the possibly fixes found in internet and nothing works, i tried an external usb bluetooth and sadly it didn’t work either, after hours and hours of testing, I find a solution, downgrade to El Capitan and install the Cambridge external usb bluetooth, its the only way I can use my magic mouse and magic keyboard, hope it helps to someone.

    Reply
  57. If for anything at all, I am very glad that there are others who share in this problem; I don’t have to keep blaming my Mac. I’m running on 10.13.4 up-to-the minute, and can confirm that this nightmare is still here. Good progress on post so far, tho.

    Reply
  58. So it lasted for 2 days, then when right back to Bluetooth disconnecting after waking computer. The shift-option debug stopped working! I no longer get the ‘debug’ in the dropdown when I hit shift-option. So…. I was back to the Mickey Mouse dance of turning off the bluetooth, turning it back on, that roulette spinning wheel of insanity.. waiting… waiting… waiting… then I shut off the wireless keyboard, turned it back on, then the keyboard finally appeared in the bluetooth prefs and I was able to connect.

    Going to try the solution to bypass the buggy Bluetooth module inside the laptop and go external bluetooth via USB. Will repost here soon.

    Reply
  59. Having this issue too!
    Mac Mini 2012, ‘magic’ keyboard and mouse (v1).
    Tried all the suggestions and still having issues…

    Reply
  60. I also have disconnecting issues with my Magic Keyboard and Mouse using iMac 27″ 5K. Just disabled handoff to see if that’s the culprit. I’ll report back in a few days.

    Reply
  61. Thank you for these technotes! I’ll leave some feedback here of my challenges…

    Running:
    MacBook Pro (Mid 2015) and OS 10.13.4
    Hooked up to external 32″ monitor via DisplayPort cable.
    Using Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad through Bluetooth

    Had consistent issues with the Bluetooth disconnecting after waking laptop from sleep mode. Have to disconnect, reconnect the bluetooth via the sys prefs, and after 10 minutes of wrestling with it.. deleting the keyboard profile, trying to reconnect…, it would somehow reconnect.

    I first tried the ‘Uncheck “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.’, which did work for a few days. Then the same problem appeared again.

    Then just yesterday it decided to completely shut off. I couldn’t even turn on or off the Bluetooth via the sys prefs. As if the bluetooth module in the laptop crashed. The Bluetooth icon in the Mac’s menu bar was also deactivated.

    Did a restart, fortunately the bluetooth icon appeared active in the Mac’s menu bar. Then did the shift-option ‘Debug > Reset the Bluetooth module’. Also did the ‘Factory reset all connected Apple devices’. This allowed me to reconnect keyboard via Bluetooth sys prefs.

    Now after multiple times waking the laptop from sleep mode, the Bluetooth has been working so far and not disconnecting.

    {{Knocking loudly on wood several times here…}}

    I’ll update this comment if other issues arise.

    CD

    Reply
    • So it lasted for 2 days, then when right back to Bluetooth disconnecting after waking computer. The shift-option debug stopped working! I no longer get the ‘debug’ in the dropdown when I hit shift-option. So…. I was back to the Mickey Mouse dance of turning off the bluetooth, turning it back on, that roulette spinning wheel of insanity.. waiting… waiting… waiting… then I shut off the wireless keyboard, turned it back on, then the keyboard finally appeared in the bluetooth prefs and I was able to connect.

      Going to try the solution to bypass the buggy Bluetooth module inside the laptop and go external bluetooth via USB. Will repost here soon.

      Reply
    • So it lasted for 2 days, then when right back to Bluetooth disconnecting after waking computer. The shift-option debug stopped working! I no longer get the ‘debug’ in the dropdown when I hit shift-option. So…. I was back to the Mickey Mouse dance of turning off the bluetooth, turning it back on, that roulette spinning wheel of insanity.. waiting… waiting… waiting… then I shut off the wireless keyboard, turned it back on, then the keyboard finally appeared in the bluetooth prefs and I was able to connect.

      Going to try the solution to bypass the buggy Bluetooth module inside the laptop and go external bluetooth via USB. Will repost here soon.

      CD

      Reply
  62. I notice that you said you hoped that High Sierra 13.4 might fix the problem. That is where my problem began. I have tried a couple times with Genius Bar and an authorised repair agent without success as it would not replicate in this places. I am now hoping your advice on the disabling of hand-off might do the trick. Have tried isolating outside devices but each time I thought I had found it, the problem would show up again. all of my problems have been only with the keyboard. It seems to function quite well as long as you get it going but as soon as you leave the computer for a short while and return, the problem reappears. Like a delay in a keystroke initially or all keys acting like they are stuck.

    Reply
    • I notice that you said you hoped that High Sierra 13.4 might fix the problem. That is where my problem began. I have tried a couple times with Genius Bar and an authorised repair agent without success as it would not replicate in this places. I am now hoping your advice on the disabling of hand-off might do the trick. Have tried isolating outside devices but each time I thought I had found it, the problem would show up again. all of my problems have been only with the keyboard. It seems to function quite well as long as you get it going but as soon as you leave the computer for a short while and return, the problem reappears. Like a delay in a keystroke initially or all keys acting like they are stuck.

      Reply
  63. Thank you for all of your effort and help with this issue, and excuse me for my bad english.
    I unchecked “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.” and restarted nvram from terminal with sudo nvram -c.
    Until now I haven’t had any problem with my bluetooth magic mouse and keyboard.
    Thank you again.
    Best regards from Spain.

    Reply
  64. Bluetooth Mouse, Trackpad, Keyboard issues all still present. Issues still remain on all our MacBook Pros, all my MacAir’s (3 of them), my iMacs (all 3)

    We tried everything and every solution we could find online. Not one worked..

    We officially hate APPLE! The company sucks and its their own doing, with each OS upgrade the are bogging down perfectly useable hardware and king it so only th absolutely new hardware works.

    You will not force us to by all new computers, instead you are making us hate a company hate ere once loved and were once loyal to.

    Your iPhones suck too for the same reason and you have recently been called out for throttling older iPhones in an attempt to force us to buy your useless iPhone X. We are all merely waiting to jump ship to another company, likely and I cannot believe I am saying this buy Microsoft and Android.

    Reply
  65. I have always loved Apple products, this is my 3rd iMac and the last.. We have Retina 5K, 27 inch late 2015 model. Since whatever timeframe this started, we lose our bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse connections so much, ironically I have a wired Dell Keyboard and Dell Mouse hooked up to our iMac and haven’t used bluetooth since I don’t know when. I’ve researched and performed more troubleshooting steps that I could ever imagine. We had a total of TWO bluetooth connections, the keyboard and mouse. Apple iMac and iPad continue to break things as they come out with enhancements. No longer will I waste the time troubleshooting regardless. Apples quality is null, not like they used to be. Regardless who has this much time to continually troubleshoot these issues with no true resolution. Occasionally we have Wifi issues as well on 5ghz band and we are at barebones. However Wifi issues are only once in a great while, not nearly every day like the bluetooth was. Thankful to have wired Dell keyboard and mouse handy.

    Reply
  66. High Sierra on a retina iMac27. Never had a problem until a few weeks ago when Apple wireless keyboard and mouse began disconnecting for no apparent reason. With the exception of installing old BT drivers and such, I tried every method suggested on your much appreciated page here. What initially seemed to work was using an older wireless Apple keyboard. That worked for several days and made me order a replacement Apple magic wireless keyboard. When that arrived it first worked fine for a few days, then also began disconnecting. Next on my list is getting a better shielded USB 3.0 cable for my 5TB backup drive. The disconnects often seem to happen when the external backup drive is spinning and Apple suggested (https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht203729) that USB 3.0 may cause BT disconnect issues.

    Reply
  67. Not just MAC’s but my iPad has also had Bluetooth issues especially with keyboards but speakers also. Is it just that Bluetooth is flaky or that the hardware between the devices isn’t real compatible? Of course the only solution is re pair the device which isn’t really a solution but a bandaid for at least continuing to use the device. I buy good Bluetooth devices from Bose and Logitech so I can’t accept these devices are just bad. I finally gave up on my Logitech keyboard because it would cause so many other issues with touch screen on my iPad I finally just pitched it. Afraid to buy another keyboard because they all appear to give some users grief. My Mac’s have all had their share of Bluetooth issues even with Apple devices. I remember the last mouse from Apple was notorious for not working. I’ve concluded Bluetooth is just unreliable and prone to incompatibilities or interference that causes major issues that apparently can’t be resolved other then re pairing.

    Reply
  68. Had this problem when I went from El Capitan to High Sierra on my 2014 retina iMac.

    Whenever the computer would wake the wireless apple keyboard’s (A1314) keys would freeze. I’d press one key, there would be a lag in the password dialogue, then the field would populate as if a key was being held down.

    The only way to get past this would be to power off the keyboard and power it back on. Then normal function would resume until the next time I tried to wake the iMac up from sleep/lock.

    I eventually removed all my bluetooth devices and started introducing them one at a time to see if I could narrow down the issue.

    First I reintroduced the apple keyboard, then the magic trackpad, then the airpods, and finally the magic mouse again.

    I had no issues until I reintroduced the magic mouse and I have no idea why.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I had the same issue with my Late 2014 27″ iMac. Apple Support pretended it had no idea this was an issue for so many. They made me downgrade back to Sierra (10.12.6). I have not had any keyboard issues since.

      I check this article occasionally to see if it is safe to upgrade to High Sierra. I guess it is not safe yet. It’s a shame they make us go through this considering how much we pay for their devices. How can they expect us to run the latest OS, if they can’t find and fix bugs more timely?

      Reply
  69. Having same issues on a 2009 Mac Pro with a third party Airport card.

    This BT issue only seems to affect the Apple Magic keyboards, no other bluetooth devices are affected when the magic keyboard cuts out.

    Reply
  70. Should we sue apple for this bluetooth issues? If we sue them for slowing down our ios?

    I have the bluetooth issue in my mbp2017, i report this bug everywhere, but apple just dont give a shit to us. This is not acceptable for a $1,000+ laptop cannot using mouse/trackpad from it own company, shame on you apple.

    Reply
  71. I had a problem where certain keys on my wireless Magic Keyboard all of a sudden stopped working on my iMac (OS 10.13.4) but they would work when the keyboard was paired with my iPad. The keys were i, j, k, l, m, o, and u. A wired keyboard worked fine on the Mac, however. After trying several of the easy possible fixes on this site, my husband did some searching and ultimately saw something that said to try pressing the Option key five times. Worth trying. It worked! That’s because somehow Mouse Keys had gotten turned on in Accessibility preferences, and this turns it off. Now all my keys are working again. I guess if you don’t have an extended keyboard, you can use these keys to work the mouse if you toggle in and out of Mouse Keys. If you look at the layout of these keys on the keyboard it makes sense. You might also want to go into Accessibility and just uncheck Mouse Keys so it doesn’t accidentally get turned on again. An easy fix for me fortunately. Hope it helps someone else.

    Reply
  72. I’m using a 2017 27” iMac with OS 10.13.4 and all three of my Bluetooth devices (Magic Mouse, trackpad, and apple keyboard) randomly disconnect periodically throughout the day. I’ve tried Debug > Reset, removing devices and re-adding them, and toggling Bluetooth off and on. Haven’t messed with system files yet. The only reliable temporary fix I have found so far is a cold reboot when the Bluetooth stops working. Once it boots back up the Bluetooth will work for a while. Luckily I have a USB mouse, but losing the keyboard is getting to be an issue. Any update on a permanent fix for this? Thanks!

    Reply
  73. 27″ iMac 5K (Late-2015): Nothing above really seems to work for me, either. Apple is either unable or unwilling to address the issue. Thank you very much for looking so closely for so long at this issue.

    Reply
  74. Been having this problem for months. In my case, Bluetooth turns off and the “Turn Bluetooth On” button is greyed out. One solution is to shut down the Mac, disconnect all usb devices, wait five minutes, then reconnect and start up. Disabling the handoff feature also seems to help. FYI I’m an occasional correspondent with Tim Cook about tech problems. My latest letter will go in the mail Sunday April 8.

    And many, many thanks for this excellent discussion.

    Best,
    Tony Lima
    Silicon Valley, CA

    Reply
  75. Having bluetooth issues for approximately two weeks now. I have tried all the suggested remediation actions with no success. I have MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 installed and problems didn’t go away (especially coming back from sleep mode — no bluetooth connection anymore and I have to reboot the Mac then it works again for a couple of minutes or even one or two hours – then same issue again). I have installed a fresh copy of MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 on a external hard drive. I let the system run for almost one day – without any bluetooth issues (even after sleep mode bluetooth was still working)! On the other hand, if I use an USB Bluetooth dongle with my primary MacOS installation (the one which causes the problems) bluetooth works without any issues so far (is still working after sleep mode). So this is really weird: Is this now a hardware problem of the built in bluetooth module or a MacOS problem that causes the issues with the built-in bluetooth module but not with external USB Bluetooth dongles? Quite hard to say…. Any other observations from anyone?

    Reply
  76. I own a Macbook Air that I purchased in August 2013. I recently purchased the first generation Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad so that I could operate my Macbook in clamshell mode and port the display to my monitor. The magic keyboard and trackpad worked fine for about a week before they started acting erratically.

    I don’t use my Macbook for anything but to write papers, check my social media feeds, and email. While I’m writing a paper, my magic keyboard will stop registering my keystrokes and instead activate different things on my menu bar. For example, if I press the letter “p”, my Mac will bring up print preview as if I am going to print my current page. If I press a different key, it will close out all of my tabs on Google Chrome. Another key will open up the Apple spotlight. My keystrokes will do everything except enter the letter I need on my word processor.

    My magic trackpad will also start acting up. When I attempt to open up my iMessages on my desktop, clicking on iMessages will open up the Finder window and show the applications folder where iMessage is located. It won’t open the iMessages app itself. The issue persists when I try to open up the Notes app on my desktop bar. My Mac will instead open the Finder window and show the applications folder where the Notes app is located.

    Can anyone help me? :(

    Reply
  77. Having similar issues.

    My 21 iMac (2011) is running 10.12.6 and I have the Magic Mouse 1 (non-rechargeable) and Magic Keyboard 2. Around 2-3 times per day, my iMac intermittently loses connection to my mouse and trackpad, such that moving the mouse or typing on the keyboard produces no results on screen. Then, around 20 seconds later, they both reconnect and all is well…that is, until today.

    I came back to my iMac after lunch and attempted to wake it from sleep and was unable to do so. I soon discovered that both of my peripherals had (seemingly) permanently disconnected from the iMac and would not reconnect despite my efforts to restart them both. So, I followed the steps to reset bluetooth and trash the bluetooth preference files. Things are working well…for now, but I doubt this is the last I’ve seen of this issue.

    Reply
  78. I am of sound mind an body. Don’t drink of smoke but have been witnessing my Magic Mouse and USB mouse do whatever it wanted to without me even touching it. Usually goes to the trash can an opens it up but has started apps on the dock. Very distracting if trying to write Python. I was ready to put my MacBook in the middle of I95! Read all above article, tried all suggestions (NVRAM, PRAM…) but the mouses continued to do what they wanted to do.

    So I decided to bite the bullet and scratch my system disk and do a bare metal reinstall of the latest, greatest OS X. Now over 24 hours and lots of IDLE3/Python activity the mouse is behaving normally. YEAH! Running HS 10.13.3 same as before.

    The article at https://michaelkummer.com/technology/mac-bluetooth-issues-affect-keyboard-trackpad/ is a great community contribution. Just wish Apple Support was a good.

    I’ll post again if the symptoms reappear.

    Reply
  79. Had same problems on my iMac when using more then 2 bluetooth devices. Had them for over a year. Yesterday I called again with apple support. Advice was to reset the NVRAM which I did. One minute of work and……. my problems disappeared immediately. I have 4 bluetooth devices working perfectly!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  80. Along with many others, I’ve been vexed with nonfunctioning Bluetooth and I’ve tried all of the remedies mentioned on this site and on the Web. Some worked for a while but the problem always recurred. Today I plugged in an old USB BT dongle into my iMac and it worked. I had bought this a few years ago for a basic Lenovo laptop that did not have BT but it didn’t work with Windows 7. It does work on the my iMac. Amazon has several brands of USB BT dongles for sale in the $10-$15 range. Give it a try, just make sure it says it’s Mac compatible.

    Reply
  81. I tried many of the “solutions” proposed in the article without result. I unchecked the iCloud handoff thingy and did a restart. The BT icon disappeared from System Preferences panel! Then a did a shutdown and reboot and the BT icon is back and my mouse works (but for how long?). I keep the BT keyboard always plugged in with a Thunderbolt cable so it always works.
    iMac late 2015, MacOS 10.13.3.

    Reply
  82. I realize I’m late to this party, but for what it’s worth here’s my version of issue and resolution. (Machine is Apple-refurb 13″ MPB late 2016; OSX 10.3.3.) Nerve damage in my fingers created typing problems, so I started using an Andrea WNC–2100 headset with OSX’s built-in Dictation application. (No way spend big bucks for system-level buggy Dragon for Mac.) At first, great results. But then the headset started losing BT connection after 30 seconds or so.
    Short story (skipping failed solutions): interference at antenna, which is in the hinge area. Was using a Henge tethered dock sitting under the MBP (i.e., directly under the BT antenna). I moved the Henge dock off to one side, away from the computer; now the headset remains connected.

    Reply
  83. Just adding one more person the the list with a MacbookPro 2016 model (the one with touch bar) that experienced the issue where the “Turn Bluetooth Off” menu item was missing from the finder and in the System Prefs it was grayed out. Adding to that, only one bluetooth peripheral would pair and connect at a time. I tried all the fixes listed here and elsewhere–including debugging, factory reset all bluetooth apple devices, resetting the Bluetooth module, resetting pram, clearing SMC, delete com.apple.Bluetooth and associated plist files, disk first aid, all with appropriately designated complete shutdown & cold start in between each. NOTHING WORKED. Then I tried disabling the “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.” as a last ditch fix. What a relief, it worked! Actually I was able to pair both the Apple Keyboard and Magic TrackPad 2 to my MBP flawlessly, even before rebooting. To be certain I was in the clear, I rebooted and it still appears all fine. Bonus, the bluetooth menu option to turn off Bluetooth reappeared!

    This issue showed up for me when I returned back from a week oversees where I was holding off doing any updates. One of the updates I applied this morning was a system update (Security Update 2018-001) and the other was for an app from the iTunes store. The iTunes store required me to reauthenticate to download the iTunes-purchased-app update. My suspicion is, I had not authenticated with iCloud for a while such that whenever the Allow Handoff feature was introduced that I was not syncing due to lack of recent authentication. Again, my suspicion only, my guess is that when I reauthenticated I was all of the sudden set up for Handoff and that was when the issue was introduced this morning.

    Thank you compiling this information. It solved my issues and I hope it helps others

    Reply
  84. after not using the trackpad for 18months I got it out again. connected fine. however, when typing into numbers the keypad was seriously impact, letters appearing a 5-10 seconds after pressing the key. as soon as I turn off the trackpad, all returns to normal. will try again after reboot. late 2013 27-inch with latest OS (10.13.2)

    Reply
  85. Mid 2010 MacBook … Erratic trackpad after High Sierra installation … Noticed that the trackpad worked ok if the internet wifi was turned off … Changed internet wifi channel from 5G WiFi to 2.4G and trackpad seems to be working ok for now.

    Reply
  86. I am actually using Version 10.13.2 and can confirm I still see that problem. Maybe less than before, but don’t quote me on this, because in my past experience, problem comes when I type for longer duration or use computer constantly for few hours. I will be checking it today and will keep you posted.

    Reply
  87. The switching off Handoff as detailed in the Last Resort addition solved the problem for me – MacBook Pro with Retina (two thunderbolt ports) and MagicMouse. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Imac 27 experience with bluetooth keyboard and trackpad is the same, uncheck Handoff also worked…. for now.
      Any more issues Rob?

      Reply
  88. It happened to me yesterday and I know exactly what I was doing when this went off. I started an Android emulator, Genymotion and I believe this messed up my BT on HighSierra (MBP Early 2013)

    Reply
  89. Thank you for the excellent detail. It helped me fix the problem with the Apple magic mouse.

    When I upgraded from Mac OS Sierra to High Sierra, had the same problems with the Apple mouse, but the Apple BT keyboard works fine. Turned off the BT mouse and used a generic Logitec wireless with USB dongle. It still had some problems. Plugged in a cheapo wired HP mouse and it works fine. Just need to adjust to different use of the wheel when going back and forth between Win and Mac.

    I read your troubleshooting, unchecked the “Allow Handoff Between this Mac and your iCloud Devices” and rebooted. The Apple magic mouse now works fine (and BT keyboard still works fine).

    Reply
  90. Just a follow up from my previous post
    I can most definitely confirm that this is a fix. I ran into a slight problem with my BT keyboard not wanting to connect with the mouse connected? anyway I switched back the files one at a time and rebooting in between and checking it each time.

    I can pretty much narrow the issue down to one file
    Bluetooth Setup Assistant.app

    I am not sure on the dependencies of the other files
    AVRCPAgent.app
    BluetoothAudioAgent.app

    but for now I have retained this until I can eliminate them later only after reverse engineering the main app and its resources?

    BT i silky smooth with no stutters or glitches though. So thats a plus. Both devices are connected .
    Only thing is that the BT icon isn’t in the top bar?

    If I reverse engineer things and find the glitchy code and can manage to patch the original I will provide instructions for you all.

    Reply
    • Awesome in-depth analysis, James. I’ve experienced the same infuriating problem on my Mac Mini, and more recently purchased Mac Pro (both since running High Sierra). I’ve eliminated almost everything apart from software, and you have confirmed my worst fears. I’m not yet desperate enough to start swapping out system libraries, but if this carries on much longer, I will be doing so! Earlier this evening I even got to the point where the system bar BT icon was greyed out with a “Bluetooth not available” hint, even when the bluetooth was working! (I have no cabled keyboard and mouse) – very odd.

      On a related note, I’ve recently been using Logic Pro X, and had read of a stuttering-sound bug (requiring re-launch). I recently experienced this bug myself, and it coincided perfectly with the stuttering of my mouse cursor (leading to inevitable disconnects)… I am pretty sure that these two bugs are intrinsically linked. This happened on my Mac Pro, and I can confirm very low (<5%) CPU usage when these problems occur, so feel it's likely a GCD issue where some critical minor thread is bring totally overloaded, despite plenty of headroom, and critical services such as sound and bluetooth are simply collapsing. Not sure if that helps anyone, but thought I might throw it out there :)

      Reply
      • @Nick I believe you’re onto something there, in my case seems when BT drops out, Airplay audio (which is through wifi) starts stuttering as well. Definitely issue affects multiple areas of OSX.

        Reply
    • Outstanding. Many thanks, James. I have your solution as a pdf file here and would be happy to share it with you via e-mail.

      Best,
      Tony

      Reply
  91. Hey Guys,

    I just completely fixed this stupid bluetooth issue that’s been driving me mad not only on my current MacBook Pro (10,1) 2013 i7 16GB 15″ but also on the previous MacBook Air 2012 i7 8GB 13″ (that I have since given my mum for Xmas coming up).

    Anyway I can assure you this will definitely work and will work flawlessly! I have been trying to fix this for so long now that it is driving me absolutely bonkers! Mouse works perfectly fine in all versions of Windows (on the same Macbooks) yet go spaz soon as I boot into OSx?
    Anyway I’ll cut to it….basically we all know that there is some form of clash happening between the bluetooth adapter and the network adapter that has happened somewhere in more recent versions of OSx? Disabling the hand off feature is a good start as I believe this has a significant influence in making the BT stutter much worse. So turn that off first.
    Does anyone here remember having any of this BT issues way back in say Maverics? Good ol Mavs was a nice stable OS in my Opinion. Ok it’s not fancy but everything worked and worked well. I don’t recall EVER having a BT issue in Mavs? Do you? Like things connected instantly and pairing happened in a matter of seconds……none of this searching and waiting to even see the devices list like we see in Sierra (and below) in this day and age….
    With that in mind I figured I’ll tare apart a maverics installer and snoop for all the BT files from within system ;-)
    I found an old Maverics Installer app, right click -> show package contents. Somewhere down deep down inside the installer package is a Packages directory and within that I pulled 3 files of interest called
    Essentials.pkg
    BaseSystemBinaries.pkg
    AdditionalEssentials.pkg

    I extracted these with an app called unpkg (handy to have for things just like this). I extracted those packages to a mavs folder on desktop.
    Now somewhere inside one of those extracted (I think it may have been Essentials?) There is System -> Libraries -> CoreServices
    From within this directory I took these files (at least one, some or all of these maybe required? I will do further investigating and narrow it down and possibly just upload the exact file(s) required to make things easier you guys?)
    AVRCPAgent.app (conveniently missing from Sierra?) – May or may not be required?
    Bluetooth Setup Assistant.app
    BluetoothAudioAgent.app (again also conveniently missing from Sierra?)
    BluetoothUIServer.app
    Directory called Menu Extras -> which contained Bluetooth.menu
    OBEXAgent.app

    Next disable BT and to be wise also remove it from Network settings in System Preferences.

    Reboot into recovery (Press Command + R) from startup after completely shutting down OSx.

    Next we need to disable the inbuilt and enabled by default from Yosemite+ what is known as OSx SIP (System Integrity Protection) feature.
    In recovery navigate the system menu (like finder) and you will see your EFI utility and then under it Terminal.
    Open Terminal and type csrutil disable
    Note it would be advised that after completing this tutorial that you should boot back in to recovery and run the command to re-enable SIP using the command csrutil enable.

    Next boot back into OSx.
    Now we want for the heck of it (and for simplicity of reverting should we need to?) to back up the files we are about to swap/replace
    Open finder and navigate to System -> Libraries -> CoreServices
    and backup these files:
    Bluetooth Setup Assistant.app
    BluetoothUIServer.app
    Directory called Menu Extras -> which contained Bluetooth.menu
    OBEXAgent.app
    I just saved this in a backup folder on desktop

    Now you can swap and replace the files we extracted from Maverics in place of the originals by simple copy and paste (do the directory separately as if you accidentally choose replace all you will empty the Menu Extras folder and be left with 1 file – Bluetooth.menu which wont be cool!
    Copy all the apps in first.
    Copy the Menu Extras next and choose merge
    Choose overwrite if prompted to replace the Bluetooth.menu files

    For the hell of it I decided at this point to do a disk utility repair first at a drive level then at a sub level on the OSx partition as a secondary.
    I opened System preferences -> Bluetooth and enabled BT and then rebooted OSx.

    Upon logging in I simply opened System Preferences -> Bluetooth again and simply searched and found my BT mouse and connected instantly without a hassle.
    Note: I realised that ticking the option box to make the Bluetooth icon appear in the Finder Preferences bar doesn’t work and is likely due to differences in versioning between Maverics and Sierra.

    BT Mouse now works flawlessly exactly how it always should have worked! This has been the only thing I have tried so far that 100% proves to be a noticeable fix and not just some placebo that in 2 hours slowly degrades back to how it was like nothing changed? (as per nearly every other fix I’ve tried in the 2 years prior to today).

    I will investigate further with these files and try narrow things down to the exact files and may even do a bit of reverse engineering later on to pinpoint an exact fix maybe?
    I think just a feeling that if I swap back the Bluetooth.menu file from Within Menu Extras that this may bring back the BT icon from the top bar?

    Enjoy you fixed Bluetooth! Hooray

    Reply
  92. Yup my brand new 5K iMac i7 1TB ssd has this problem. first the mouse disconnects then the keyboard :-( was fine up till the latest public beta of High Sierra which makes me think it’s a software issue

    Reply
  93. Hi!!
    Thanks for the insights. I was suffering it in my old MacBook Pro, and as you’ve told it’s something that’s coming and going.

    I’ve just updated to High Sierra 10.13.1 and I also removed the HDD of my computer, which was where the superdrive was –I had one of those custom fusion drives, and replace it with only a SSD located where the original HDD was. In my Mac the wi-fi and bluetooth card is just next the superdrive location.

    I really think that the issue is a mix, or sum, of factors. i.e. Probably the spinning of the HHD created interferences, plus your wifi networks (all of us have more wi-fis around than in the past) create also interferences and as you pointed out the Grand Central Dispatch isn’t been really fine or tune up.
    If your Mac is under pressure (high load) your hard drive is spinning more (more interferences) and the Grand Central Dispatch is suffering, so the issue is probably amplified.

    I think all of these because I’ve noticed that, at least in the past, the issue arose usually under high load. Since I’ve update to High Sierra –and removed the HDD located next to the wi-fi and BT card– I’ve noticed that the issue is showing less –I think that only once and for a couple of seconds.

    I don’t know, It’s just a theory, but usually when the source of an issue is difficult to pinpoint it’s because has more than one cause.  

    Reply
    • I can confirm now that the issue is now present in High Sierra too. I think it’s less acute, or at least it’s only showing up under really high loads. For example, while I’m compiling software. But it’s there. I think this confirms that it’s mainly cause by the GCD in macOS. Any of you have contacted apple and told them about this and that we think it’s the Central Dispatch?

      Reply
  94. Thanks for every other excellent post. Where else may
    anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect way of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

    Reply
  95. I have the same problem after upgrading my 2011 iMac from 10.9.5 to High Sierra. No problems with old OS, but I was forced to upgrade in order to use the newest Adobe apps. I use BT keyboard and trackpad plus a wired wacam tablet. Now, on reboot I can work for a while, maybe 1/2 to 2 hours, then for no apparent reason I get a message that the BT trackpad “connection is lost”. I actually lose both BT keyboard and trackpad. No way to turn BT back on or shut down, except hard reboot. VERY frustrating! It’s crazy for this serious of a problem to exist for years unaddressed. Wow.

    Reply
    • I have also upgraded to High Sierra and encountered the same issue with both the wireless mouse and keyboard disconnecting permanently and could only be reactivated thru hard reboot. I’ve tried everything from BT debug to SMC/PRAM resets, to disconnecting and reconnecting BT devices and so on and no solution yet. Since I do not have utility to uncheck icloud handoff, I’ve signed off from icloud to see if there is some connection somehow. so far no problem yet. I’ve used my wired mouse to reboot and it works but the problem with the wireless still remain. Hope somebody finds a solution soon.

      Reply
  96. Brand new iMac 2017 27 inch has this problem with a Japanese keyboard. It can get into a state where it won’t even recognize an older Apple wireless kbd. Taking the battery out of that kbd and re-powering it up solved the recognition problem. I think this is probably a timing dependent problem in the BT interrupt handling. It might even be that Mac OS sends garbage back to the keyboard, or that the keyboard itself has an internal timing issue. Unfortunately substituting a non apple kbd won’t work if you want a Japanese keyboard.

    Reply
  97. Encountered keyboard issue after MacOS 10.13. After several similar steps with Apple I supplied a data dump. The engineers traced it to the fact I’m using a BT keyboard, trackpad, and mouse and advised they’re working on it and the workaround was disconnect either the mouse or trackpad. So far, so good.

    Reply
      • Suggest forwarding your system image to Apple via L2 AC. Haven’t experienced keyboard problem that was a constant issue after 10.13 upgrade once, since their analysis. I’m not suggesting using my solution. I suggest availing yourself of their analysis.

        Reply
  98. Further to my previous comment (I posted as Ric, not Holden4th) the last ditch solution is to totally reset the BT system using Apple’s debug feature. I’ll see what happens with my mouse for the next few days but if the issue continues I’ll attack the problem at what I believe to be the source, Apple’s BT setup.

    Reply
  99. OK, I love trying to solve problems. The iCloud handoff is not available for me so I’ve done what was suggested way back and deleted the bluetooth preference list. Interestingly, when I rebooted the mouse was immediately there and available for use.

    What I think is important is that when my mouse stopped working, the bluetooth symbol showed that BT had been turned off. I went via system preferences yet it would not turn BT back on no matter what I did. The only way was a restart.

    There is a simple solution to the whole thing. I connected an HP wireless mouse into my USB ports just to see what would happen. It doesn’t use BT and it’s working flawlessly. I can’t determine the model number. I imagine that the keyboard that came with it would also work. Maybe it’s time to throw the magic mouse into a draw somewhere. Since I’ve been typing this there has already been one disconnect.

    Reply
  100. I’ve just installed High Sierra and can tell you that the problem still exists. I’m going to try the iCloud hand off fix (if I can, it’s a 2012 iMac).

    Reply
  101. Michael, thank you for such a fantastic and thorough article. I’ve been having the same issues with the same hardware configuration. I’m going to try turning off the handoff feature, but it sounds like that hasn’t worked for you. Even as I type the lag time between keystrokes and printing on screen is over a second sometimes. Driving me crazy. When I reboot it seems to work sometimes for a couple hours. Sometimes for 5 minutes. Please keep us posted on your findings. Running V10.12.6 on my iMac Retina 5K late 2014 build. I was thinking it was a software conflict with Craft (Sketch) or Adobe CC, or Google Drive on Cloud? I suspected the bluetooth hardware. I also wondered if it was interference near my mac, but nothing definitive. All other bluetooth objects in same vicinity work fine. Using Magic Keyboard and Trackpad2 as well. (9/19/17)

    Reply
  102. Great post! I’ve also experienced intermittent disconnection and erratic behavior of the keyboard and trackpad for a while but it started getting much more frequent the last few days.

    The only difference I can think of is that I’ve started sharing my ethernet connection via wifi (since I’ve changed my wifi configuration and temporarily don’t have a wifi access point near enough). I noticed that when I turned off wifi the issue went away and so far it has stayed so even when I turned wifi back on.

    I’m assuming that this configuration is pretty unusual so it might have slipped past their test procedures.

    MacBook 12″ 2016, 10.12.6, “classic” wireless keyboard & trackpad

    Reply
  103. I have posted about the erratic and jumpy behavior of my mac-book pro (mid 2012, 15’) almost a week ago and now I am problem free and solved it. I have gone through removing OS Sierra and installing Yosemite (less graphic construction and less heat and so less erratic jump), El-Capitan, and High Sierra Beta twice. Nothing has been changed on these different OS’. As some people suggested on the Internet that this problem could be due-to by either old thermal paste on the CPU or dirty/coupled/displaced tracking mouse pad. They were right! I disassembled my logic card and put fresh thermal paste on the CPU and graphic chip and cleaned the mouse tracking pad with alcohol (see YouTube video for 10 mins) even there was not much dirt on it. Right on! My jumpy and erratic mouse problem has gone away. The culprit highly likely is the mouse tracking pad! Love and hate! I have my good old days back! Final note that Apple knows this well and they should openly state about it on their web page. Until solved, so many people would be frustrated and suffered! But now it is over for me and thanks God!

    Please clean your mouse tracking pad well and replace your thermal paste on your system’s CPU and graphic card chip -if you have.

    Reply
  104. I have the similar computer and the same exact issue and it still continues as of today July 29, 2017. Have the latest updated version of Sierra 10.12.6. My mouse’s erratic behavior even right now goes on like crazy. I certainly believe that it is a software bug, not a hardware problem at all. It does the same crazy movements as I use Logitech external mouse. It does not matter whether magic mouse or else. I even turned of 5GHz internet connection that I suspected it, but it was not.

    Reply
  105. Turn off Handoff helped me in my case. However, this does not solve the problem completely because I would like to use this feature ..

    Reply
  106. Firstly let me say, well written article! Now I’ve had this problem on & off with my keyboard & trackpad for a good 18 months gradually getting worse over the last 2 months. Rendering my mid 2012 iMac useless of late.
    It’s even more frustrating as I’ve just moved from my office using a windows computer to working from home full time. And now using the mac as my main work device.
    All seemed rosy until the keyboard constantly started to switch on & off halfway through taking a card payment from customers, they’ve read out the number and I’m having to ask them to constantly repeat themselves, slightly embarrassing.
    Anyhow I’ve turned the hands off function and restarted and hoping for the best. I’ll post again should all go fine or not.

    It really amazes me that they haven’t really bothered applying a suitable fix for so long considering so many people seem to have some sort of problem. Being apples own products, weather it’s down to the software or not., surely they should realise that the trackpad / mouse & keyboard are integral parts that make up the experience. Poor show on Apples part in my opinion. Why should we need to wait this long? When spending large amounts for a premium product!! Rant over
    ;-)

    Reply
    • I have a Mid 2012 Mac-book Pro and the same exact issue and it still continues as of today July 29, 2017. Have the latest updated version of Sierra 10.12.6. My mouse’s erratic behavior even right now goes on like crazy. I certainly believe that it is a software bug, not a hardware problem at all. It does the same crazy movements as I use Logitech external mouse. It does not matter whether magic mouse or else. I even turned off the 5GHz internet connection that I suspected it, but it was not. I can’t believe why Apple is not bothered with this!? I think they know the problem well by now.

      Reply
  107. i think, though not sure, the issue is the proximity of the mouse with the track pad. (the problem goes away when i turn the track pad off.)

    Reply
  108. I have been battling this same issue since I bought my 5K in late 2014. My wireless keyboard is highly unresponsive and the solution has been to disconnect and connect…

    they have tried EVERYTHING, re-install software, removing apps, etc…

    a few weeks ago i was told by apple that the only fix is to pick between the mouse and the trackpad. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? After several apple “senior advisors” and endless hours and emails this was their fix. I am extremely frustrated as I was very used to have the trackpad working as well.

    I have apple care (2 yrs extension) until December 2017 so I am asking for your advice whether I should create a new case but with further guidance to fix any parts (if you think that would solve the issue).

    many thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Tiago!

      I convinced it’s an issue in macOS as even the brand-new 2017 iMac is affected. So I would wait until Apple released macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which hopefully fixes the issue for good.

      Reply
    • I’m not even sure the ‘pick between’ fix will work. Unchecking “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” in System Preferences-General did make a dramatic reduction in my jumping mouse problem with my 2012 Mac mini, but it didn’t go away.

      Despite now having a USB mouse, my mouse cursor occasionally hops around wildly. Like Michael, I suspect it’s a macOS issue not a hardware one. It happens with a wide variety of Mac hardware, old and new. It looks to me like noise on the Bluetooth frequency is been interpreted as mouse (or whatever) input, resulting in that rogue behavior.

      I am glad to know that you tied down Apple “senior advisors” for “endless hours.” That gives Apple all the more reason to fix this long-troublesome issue. Support like that costs them money. Perhaps more people should call.

      Reply
  109. Thanks for this article!!

    My new Magic Wireless Keyboard had to be plugged in all the time to work, after my.update to Sierra OS 10.12.5. I followed the steps in the article to go to:
    System Preference –> General
    Uncheck “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
    Restart your Mac.

    And now it works wirelessly– without even restarting. I never “Synch” to the cloud anyway, I have no smart phone (which means I am very smart).

    : – )

    Reply
  110. So, I got a brand new late 2015 – 5K iMac. Of course, I was like a kind in the candy store and got this puppy all kinds of set up in a hurry. Part of that process was installing 2 new 8GB sticks of RAM from crucial, to bring my total to 24GB. Now, the random mouse thing. Keyboard disconnect, mouse disconnect. (Magic Mouse and Keyboard 2 with charging plug). Keyboard randomly stops accepting input and then after a pause the cursor just goes flying across the screen on it’s own mission. Or, you are typing and the characters aren’t populating and that little weird menu pops up over the cursor that has all the O’s in it with accent marks…its just random. A few times, when trying to open a folder such as dropbox or google drive, the cursor moves and I hear the system ding and tones and this weird clicking noise. I did many of the steps outlined in the OP article to no avail. I just removed the Crucial RAM to see if that perhaps makes it go away, but I am at a complete loss. I have chatted with apple support a half a dozen times already, but all they do is tell me how sorry they are and send me a web link for some other scheme that doesn’t work. Im wondering if returning this machine is worth it or should I just hang in there until Apple is done making cars, watches and iPads and gets back to computers for it to work ? ;) I’d hate to buy a wired mouse and keyboard…its just so frustrating

    Reply
  111. It’s not hardware. I use four different macs (a 2016 rMBP, a 2011 Air and two different 2014 Mac minis) with apple wireless keyboards and magic mice, and all four have become increasingly problematic over the last six months or so.

    I’m just about to buy a logitech mouse to see if that’s any better.

    Reply
    • In a sense, this may not be a Bluetooth device issue. I’m again troubled with the mouse cursor jumping about wildly, and I’m using a third-party (iHome) USB mouse.

      I am, however, still using Bluetooth with an Apple BT keyboard, so it may be that Bluetooth is still the issue. Noise coming in on Bluetooth is somehow being treated as mouse input. Crazy, but that’s the only explanation that makes sense.

      My hunch is that, with all the ways Apple is using BT in its ‘go wireless’ fever, it has created BT code that’s a mess. This should have been fixed long ago. If the condition is hard to replicate, then it should just rewrite all the code from scratch, taking more care this time. Apple has a quarter of a trillion dollars in the bank. It can afford to throw a few million to fix irritating problems like this one.

      When I get a chance, I’m going to pick up a USB keyboard and turn off BT entirely. For now, I deleted my sole remaining setup for, one for a BT Microsoft mouse. Now macOS has absolutely no reason to see any BT mouse input.

      Reply
  112. I do have the same issues, clearly described by Stephen Lee. I guess I have it for over a year now.
    Nothing worked. Cory’s reply did not work since I have an iMac and there is no build-in trackpad.

    I just don’t use the trackpad anymore till we have the real solution to this problem.

    Reply
  113. Hey! Thanks for this write up! It has worked on my Late 2015 iMac, with Magic Mouse 2. I was having real drama’s with it disconnecting all of the time about 2 days after I turned hand-off on. Having turned it off, all just glides once again… Thank!
    Still sucky having a feature that is not usable because of glitches like this.

    Reply
  114. I too have had similar problems when all three–Trackpad, Magicmouse AND Keyboard are attached. Poor response, delays, and/or erratic movement from both track and mouse and foreign letters being entered from keyboard. These problems persist with Yosemite, El Capitan and the newest Sierra. I have tried all of the above suggested solutions (except replacing internal computer hardware), but the only thing that works for me is to disconnect either the trackpad or the mouse. I even purchased a new apple keyboard when this problem first occurred. (No problem with a usb powered, but PC style keyboard). In other words, the machine will not function properly with both MM and TP connected. FWIW.

    Reply
  115. The only thing that fix mine after updating to Sierra was restarting in safe mode? To be extra careful I did also after reading this turn off handoff..it makes sense , for me I could use my wireless mouse but then the keyboard would stop or the mouse , both would not work together? For now all appears to be working but if I get the problem again I will reinstall and try again. You should try reboot in safe mode and take off handoff as first approach.

    Reply
  116. Sorry to be so late to the party, but I just had El Capitan installed on my late 2011 iMac (sadly too old to try the Handoff fix)… I “had El Capitan installed” because I had my local Apple repair shop do the job—too afraid to do it myself given the following:

    Mavericks: after installing myself on the above machine, all matter of craziness ensued, e.g., (in Finder) renaming a folder/file in the lower left of screen was difficult because the rename text box would appear in the upper right of screen—what—15″ away?—often hard to find at all. Just on example of about a dozen screen shots I sent Apple after calling about Mavericks issues.

    Yosemite—Son installed on 2010 15″ MBP and camera died. None of the dozens of online fixes helped and shop says camera is actually “broken” and must be replaced w/ display ($800 w/ installation). Amazing—camera worked fine for 4 yr w/o a hitch and broke exactly at the point he installed Yosemite.

    El Capitan—Daughter installed on late 2012 iMac: immediately slowed to a crawl/stalled. Figured bad installation and reinstalled—doorstopped! Shop says HD is trashed: $400–600 to replace. His explanation: El Capitan checks HD “very thoroughly” before installation and won’t install if HD isn’t good enough—check apparently missed a problem that was revealed by the new OS. Again, HD worked flawlessly for 4 yr and failed exactly on OS update!

    El Capitan—my 2011 iMac: Told shop to run thorough diagnostics (especially camera and HD!) and install—my 3rd party RAM turned up “bad” (not entirely surprising—requirements get more and more stringent) and Magic Mouse is all but useless (though no disconnects yet—have to keep it on the desk for up-scrolling since that function on my Apple Mouse died years ago). All I’ve done to this point is switch out for a different Magic Mouse (no help) and search the ‘net for ideas. Have to say I’m really tired of each OSX update being more fragile than the last—wouldn’t have bothered at all except we couldn’t sync our iPhones any more because they required a later iTunes version that wasn’t supported by older MacOS…

    Love to hear any other suggestions since hardware replacement doesn’t seem to help this one…

    Reply
    • HeyMikey: unfortunately I have zero experience with older hardware as I usually don’t keep it longer than what AppleCare covers. Pretty much all software issues I experienced were with then current hardware and were ultimately fixed by Apple. But I agree that it takes sometimes much too long for a fix.

      Reply
  117. My config: late 2014 MacBook Pro connected to a Dell 27″ 5K monitor, bluetooth keyboard and trackpad.

    I recently purchased the brand new Force Magic Trackpad on Amazon. It’s the slim rechargeable one. Ever since using it, I have had problems with the mouse jumping over the page as I type. Today, I thought I would turn it off and keep typing. Lo and behold, no more issues with the cursor jumping. Only problem was I had no trackpad, so I had to revert to the laptop’s one. Then I reconnected my old Magic Trackpad I have had for 5 years (the battery version). Turns out no issues at all with that. I even typed this post without a problem. So, you know where my new one is going? Some deserving person on eBay!

    Sort yourself out Apple. This is unfair to have to be subject to this rubbish technology. Fix it!

    Reply
  118. Turn off your trackpad and check the response. had the same problem and it has now been working for over two weeks all ok. Turn the trackpad on when you need to use it otherwise stick with the mouse only.

    Reply
  119. Hi! Update #5 – the solution! No more trouble with my keyboard after waking up the computer from sleep. I was close to buying a new Keyboard! THANKS!!
    BUT: I’m angry. At Apple. Yes, Mavericks had a few minor glitches. A few. Minor. When upgrading two computers to Yosemite I regretted it from minute one: Unbearable trouble with Wi-Fi I never had before. Millions of tips on the internet for a thing Apple should have gotten right in the first place. From the very beginning. So I went back to Mavericks and here I am again: Trouble I never knew before. Many ideas and tips for a thing that should never have happened. I’m with Apple because it simply works. Well, I’m still with Apple because I simply worked. Let’s see how long that’ll be. Problems like this are ok for a public beta or very special setups. They are absolutely not ok for an everyday computer with a standard setup and no exotic accessories.

    Reply
    • I’m glad the issue was finally resolved for you! I switched handoff back on the other day and the issue hasn’t come up yet. It seems like Apple has fixed it in one of the last point releases. I’m currently running 10.11.4.

      Reply
      • I have a mid -2010 iMac running 10.11.4, i have this issue with my mouse – random disconnects every 30 seconds or so for a period of time, then proper operation again for a while.
        This mac doesn’t support handoff, so disabling that is not an option. Has anyone seen another potential fix for this issue?

        Reply
  120. on my apple imac i have been having bluetooth keyboard issues. keyboard starts conjuring up weird characters, inserts spaces and other wise misbehaves. new apple bluetooth keyboard didn’t resolve issue. system works fine with amazon generic bluetooth keyboard. tried pram reset and system worked with apple keyboard for about two weeks. thought problem solved. however, issues reoccurred and after another pram reset the problem came back after only an hour. now will try disabling handoff.

    Reply
      • Interesting. Did that contact drop a hint as to the cause? We’ve been making all sorts of guesses. It’d be great to know which was right.

        While the suggestion I made above solved 99% of my troubles, a tiny bit remained. About a week ago, my Bluetooth mouse started to have a jumpy cursor. Switching the a USB mouse ended the problem, but I still fret that it could again trouble my Bluetooth keyboard. I don’t have a USB replacement for it.

        Reply
  121. None of the solutions above worked for me but a clean reinstall was the miracle fix – took around an hour.

    I did the following…
    1. Backed up all documents into (cloud or external hard drive and listed the apps I have)
    2. Held Command-R down on boot to get OSX Utilities pop up window
    3. Selected Disk Utility and then deleted everything on hard drive
    4. Back to OSX Utilities main pop up window, and selected Reinstall OSX
    5. Once new OS was installed downloaded documents, and reinstalled apps

    Background…
    – Mouse/keyboard bluetooth kept disconnecting/reconnecting randomly and frequently enough to be highly annoying… was doing my head in
    – Issue started in Summer 2015 after an OS upgrade and didn’t get better (or worse) with time or fixes tried
    – iMac 27 late 2012, El Capitan 10.11.3 currently, 1TB drive, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB
    – Upgraded RAM from 8GB to 16 GB to see if it was some weird compressed vs. wired memory issue but didn’t have any impact on bluetooth issue
    – 4 MobileMe/icloud accounts running on the machine, Guest User switched off
    – I came across the fix as I was trying to downgrade back to Yosemite but system would let me do it easily. I tried just updating the OS but that didn’t seem to improve things. It was the complete hard disk delete and then OS upgrade that seems to have done the trick.

    Thoughts on this… I could be completely wrong, but…
    – The sudden arrival of the Bluetooth issue, and the fact that no environmental factors had changed, make me think it is purely a software issue
    – An OS upgrade in the Summer of 2015 created the issue
    – There is some link somewhere between OS and some settings/code that doesn’t get changed when you do an OS upgrade, as just reinstalling the OS didn’t seem to help

    Reply
    • Glad that solution worked for you. I know how irritating these keyboard/mouse woes can be. Solving them in an hour is well worth it.

      I can’t help but wonder what Apple is doing about this very ghostly problem. Were I them, I make some of those troubled a ‘can’t turn it down offer.’ Users move all the personal stuff off their machine and confirm the problem still exists. Then Apple exchanges their troubled Mac for a newer and better model. The user gets something better for his trouble. Apple gets a machine that has that pesky issue in abundance to troubleshoot.

      I used to work in electronics. The worst problems to solve are those that come and go seemingly at random. You can’t get them to appear to track down the problem when you want. Then when it does appear, you don’t know if some change fixed it or if it has just gone away temporarily again. It’s like trying to track down a ghost.

      My hunch is like yours: That it’s a Bluetooth issue that’s connected with either the recent enhancements to Bluetooth are all the new Bluetooth related features that Apple has been added to link OS X and iOS devices.

      Reply
  122. Disabled “Hand-Off”. It has now been three days with NO mouse Disconnect/Connect problems. Before, these problems were occurring about ever two hours. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Just keep in mind that multiple problems with multiple causes may be at play in some cases. Recently, my BT keyboard disconnects went from rare to a mere minute or two apart. The cause was staring at me on my screen. OS X was constantly reminding me that the battery my keyboard was very low. I ignored that because when it first appeared, there were no disconnect issues. When they grew bad, replacing the batteries—no surprise there—fixed the problem.

      A few years back, I did a lot of writing in a public library. Quite a few times, typically about noon, the library’s WiFi became unusable. It didn’t seem to be users. There were no more then than before and beside the problem came suddenly and went suddenly. Thinking it might be a microwave oven, I checked with the librarians, and they said they didn’t have one. I never found the cause, but I suspect one of the eateries nearby at a RF-leaky, commercial-grade microwave on 2.4 GHz that they used to heat up food around lunch time.

      This is why I’m no fan of going wireless for everything. I like not having to klutz with cables when I use my smartphone and tablet around the house. But anything wireless comes with a downside. Intrusions can ride in wirelessly as well. All too many ‘gee whiz’ technologists don’t realize that.

      There is even a historical spin to this. As the U.S. Army advanced across France, the generals became comfortable with the information Enigma radio intercepts provided them about German troop movements. Not being able to trust the French phone system, the Germans used radio inside France. But when most German forces pulled back into Germany in late 1944, they no longer had to worry about telephone security and thus didn’t have to use radio. That’s why they could plan and execute what became the Battle of the Bulge without American or British generals (except for Patton) becoming suspicious. Patton had enough sense to realize that, when someone has their back to the wall, they often do the unexpected.

      Much the same is true of intercepts of digital communications between terrorists. Get too used to information being culled from those controversial bulk intercepts could mean becoming blind without being aware of it when terrorists change how they communicate. And the sheer size of those bulk intercepts can lull officials into feeling more secure than they are.

      Reply
  123. Yes, it is most ridiculous that what’s probably the most economically beneficial use of the spectrum, those little 2.4 GHz and 5.6 GHz unlicensed sections for WiFi and Bluetooth, have become so crowded with all sorts of uses, including microwave ovens. It’s an FCC that’s backwards looking, assuming that radio needs to be as rigidly licensed in 2016 as it was half a century ago. Having unlicensed users is an offense to that mindset and its best to stick them in little tiny corners of the spectrum.

    It’s also an FCC driven by lobbyists. The FCC keeps scrambling to find spectrum to sell for large sums to cellular companies, but it seems little interested is enlarging the most used and used part of the radio spectrum by far, that for WiFi. That’s why talk about adding 900 MHz to WiFi surprised me.

    One result it that for using WiFi/Bluetooth and cellular devices, location is everything. My location means few WiFi hassles. The neighborhood population density is low and my brick building means little signal gets in or out. Alas, it also means lousy cellular service. Where I live, only Verizon has decent coverage inside buildings. In cities, both WiFi and cellular can be overloaded and both the FCC and cellular companies seem to think the answer is more spectrum not using it more intelligently. A lot of what is filling up cellular data channels, individual streaming video of ball games, should be broadcast in mass, perhaps by digital TV stations. And smartphones should be smart enough to subscribe to and store those broadcasts.

    I worked briefly as a cellular engineer in the mid-1980s for McCaw Cellular, which was bought out by AT&T for billions. The original idea for cellular developed by Bell Labs was to shrink cell coverage when demand grew. I see little of that. In small-town America where I live, cellular means 200-300 foot towers covered with antennas that are expected to cover dozens of square miles. In big city Seattle where I used to live, it means hidden antennas on 3-4 story buildings that are expected to cover square miles. Neither work all that well because the larger distances mean coverage is blocked either by hills (my town) or buildings (big cities). Cellular should now be covering small enough areas that every bit of terrain and building use can be taken into account to give good coverage. Tall towers mean lots of radio shadows.

    My neighborhood has lousy cellular coverage because, although we are at the top of a hill, there are higher hills in three directions. Only Verizon has a tower close enough to see over those hills. I tried T-Mobile and AT&T before going to Verizon. With the former two, I was losing half my calls. AT&T has two retail stores closer to me than their closest tower. That’s crazy.

    If I were to summarize all our woes into one statement, it’s that much of high-tech is dominated by a marketing mindset. Wireless gets pushed into areas where it doesn’t fit because marketing likes it (sell more data plans) but doesn’t know how to do it right. I’m now using a small cable company (Wow!), because my other options, Charter, has no interest in giving me what I want, moderately fast broadband only. It only offers faster-than-I-need broadband at a deliberately inflated price intended to force me to buy a package with TV and telephone. It also refuses to allow me to use my own cable modem even thought the payback time for that is under a year.

    Hopefully, Wow! indicates a better future much like T-Mobile is ending much of the folly of two-year cell plans. Some of these woes are a result of public that’s still learning good sense through bad experiences. It will get better, although not as fast as you or I might like.

    You want to know what WiFi would sound like if we could hear the interference. I was a ham in the mid-1960s, when SSB hadn’t quite replaced AM. Tune in 40-meters on a Saturday afternoon and it would be a chaos of howls as AM carriers clashed with other carriers. It was amazing that anyone could talk with anyone. Carrier-free SSB eventually eliminated most of that.

    Personally, I’d like to see the FCC deal with the rotten-to-non-existent Internet coverage in rural areas by creating a Data Technician license. It’d be like ham radio in that those with it would have to pass a test that would give them access to certain slices of the microwave spectrum. It’d not be like ham radio in that the license would allow them to install microwave data links for others that could be used for any purpose including commercial. No authorization for their installations would be required, sparing a lot of trouble and cost. Like ham radio, they’d simply have to stay inside their assigned bands and put up with interference from others, perhaps with gentlemen’s agreements. They might, for instance, give a farmer on top of a high hill free coverage in exchange for hosting a series of links to his neighbors in the valleys below.

    Even within cities, it’d allow those who’re willing to go to a little trouble to bypass cable TV companies.

    –Mike Perry

    Reply
  124. @ Mike Perry, fyi, turning off Allow Handoff doesn’t improve anything at all for me. Also, for me, it didn’t start happening a version or two back in OS X, it started with El Capitan. I can reboot my computer into Yosemite, and all works fine. The problem I’m having is exactly as Michael Kummer describes in the article. Sounds like you’re experiencing something else than, or in addition to, that. Sorry you’re having so many “mouse woes”.

    @ Michael Kummer, javascript popup ads for wallets and keychains, triggered if I move my mouse out of the window – really? That’s a bit tacky & tasteless…

    Reply
    • Oops, sorry about the double post. This site doesn’t play well with my Firefox installation. Must be all the crazy javascripts :-)

      I’m also a ham, and always amazed that the 2.4GHz band works for anything at all these days, what with everything but the kitchen sink using it – and probably that soon too! The behaviour does feel like radio interference, exactly the same as I used to get when my computer was on WiFi and I’d be downloading a file, and my magic trackpad cursor would become very sluggish and erratic. But I’m using an ethernet cable now and have WiFi turned off. I suppose it could be from the neighbours in my apartment building. But the trackpad is only two feet away from the computer. And as I said, it goes away if I reboot into Yosemite. I guess you’re right that Apple must have tweaked the Bluetooth drivers or something. Who knows.

      I can’t tell you what happens if I turn Bluetooth off, since I can’t stand using a mouse. I just have to put up with it. Hm, maybe I could try using an external USB Bluetooth dongle…

      Reply
  125. Fyi, unchecking “Allow Handoff” does nothing to improve the problem for me. I still experience the same erratic “sticky” cursor and random disconnects, roughly every half hour or so.

    Also it doesn’t date back a version or two in OS X – it started with El Capitan. I can reboot the same hardware into Yosemite from another drive, and the problem is gone.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry that your problems have continued. Before, my Mac was becoming almost unworkable with the mouse-driven cursor jumping all over every few seconds. I turned off Allow Handoff, and both my BT and USB mice have been perfectly well-behaved since. Even the random BT keyboard disconnects have gone away.

      That problem has been around for a while, but was manageable. It only turned terrible after the most recent upgrade to El Capitan, an upgrade not the version that originally shipped. My hunch is that Apple has been tweaking the I/O to handle new features with additional I/O paths and more powerful versions of BT, and that’s created several issues. My 2012 Mac mini is pretty bare bones, so that may keep my issues down. It only needed on fix.

      As a radio ham, I’ve never been impressed with Apple’s zeal to make I/O as wireless as possible. I know just how cluttered the spectrum can be in urban areas. Signals on one frequency can mix in rusting rain gutters and the like with those on another and result in signals all over the spectrum. It is call intermodulation. So your RF environment may be a factor. You might see if the problems goes away with both WiFi and BT turned off. That would at least cut off the input.

      I’m residential, with no radio towers nearby and woods on two sides. In my case, it looked like there was a door left open through which random radio noise could get in and be treated like mouse input. Turning off Allow Handoff closed that door.

      Reply
  126. The preference tweak has certainly fixed my problem. No more mouse woes—at least with a USB mouse—and the BT keyboard disconnects are far rarer. Tim Cook should be happy. I was going to send him a bill for all my lost time.

    My hunch is that “Allow Handoff” is a bit like leaving a door unlocked. It’s not the entire problem. That erratic mouse data has to come from somewhere. But it does provide a path for other problems to get in and wreak havoc.

    Reply
    • I should correct that to no more really weird mouse woes. My BT keyboard no longer disconnects every 10 minutes or so and my mice (BT or USB) aren’t making giant leaps across the screen anymore. That was the largest problem. But I’m wondering if it is the only one.

      Working with Photoshop this afternoon, I’ve been struck by a slight sluggishness in the response of both a USB and a Bluetooth mouse. It’s like there’s just enough hesitation when I make a mouse movement to sense but not enough to be obvious. Delays in mouse movement that might have once been a few hundredth of a second are now a tenth of a second or so. I’ve used Macs for a quarter of a century now and I’ve never noticed this before. It must be new.

      I’m wondering if Apple has made some tweaks in how mouse input is handled for some other purpose, i.e. Hand Off, new IO devices or whatever, and unintentionally screwed it up for users who need fine and precise mouse adjustments. And I don’t seem to be the only one. I seem to recall a coming across a gamer website when I was looking for a fix to this problem. Gamers need a fast and quick mouse, and they were not only complaining about delays in comparison to Windows, but suggesting a conspiracy theory—that Apple was tilting IO in favor of its own high-profit-margin devices.

      I don’t know about that. I do know that I now prefer working on my seven-old MacBook running 10.7.5 to my far more recent Mac mini running 10.11.2. The mouse on it is smooth and responsive in a way that the mouse on Apple’s newest OS isn’t. It’s like the latter has some ‘irritation factor’ built in, one so slight I’m not supposed to notice but do, partly because I shift between 10.7 and 10.11 several times a day.

      Someone who can run multiple versions of OS X on similar hardware back to 10.7 might want to see it they can put some hard facts to this subjective impression.

      Reply
  127. Stand up and cheer! Googling all over for a solution to this problem, I got more and more confused. It was appearing on so many differing Macs and with mouses from all sorts of vendors that it was hard to believe the problem was hardware. It also seem to date back a version of two in OS X, which made me wonder what kind of bug this might be.

    Then on one webpage a guy made a quiet remark that for himself and everyone he knew the problem went away if you:

    1. Went to System Preference—General

    2. Unchecked “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”

    3. Restarted your Mac.

    I tried that and, wonder of wonders, my almost continual problem went away. No mad mouse behavior at all. Even the occasional BT keyboard disconnect seems to have disappeared. It’s almost like having a new Mac.

    The fix also fits with my observation that the behavior was like having a “ghost mouse” attached giving random mouse movements based on electromagnetic noise. Rather than only listen for an iCloud device when one was formally attached (like it ought), OS X seems to be listening all the time and interpreting random 2.4 GHz noise as mouse input. Turn off that listening altogether, and the problem disappears.

    You might respond if that seems to help or not help with your situation.

    –Mike Perry, Inkling Books

    Reply
    • I heard that before but never followed up on it. I have disabled that now on my Mac. Let’s see how it goes. I also got a response from Apple R&D saying my bug report is a duplicate, so they are aware of the issue.

      Reply
    • Turning off Handoff seems to have worked for me, though its only been a couple of days now.

      I first started having this problem only when I placed a particular backup drive near my Mac, and assumed it was interference. But recently I started having it more frequently with no clear explanation regarding interference. Thought my bluetooth trackpad was going bad, it was an old one. So I got one of the new pricey trackpads and that had the same problem. Very frustrating.

      Thanks for this tip. Handoff seems like a nice concept but it never worked all that reliably. Still needs more R&D at Apple.

      Reply
      • Fantastic – turning off Handoff worked for me as well. I was worried that there was more of a hardware issue occurring. Many thanks for sharing!

        Reply
  128. Definitely not Bluetooth—or at least not just Bluetooth. I pulled the batteries out of my BT mouse and installed a USB one. There’s still the same madness, with the mouse pointer suddenly moving when the mouse hasn’t moved.

    My next move is to look for a compact USB keyboard, so I can turn off Bluetooth entirely to see if these glitches are totally independent of Bluetooth. This is a really irritating bug.

    Reply
  129. It’s not just iMacs. My 2012 Mac mini has these same issues: My Apple BT keyboard disconnects very often, say once every couple of minutes, and my Microsoft BT mouse behaves erratically, with the cursor suddenly disappearing or moving far away. And if anything the problem has gotten much worse with 10.11.2. No fix there.

    It may not even be a Bluetooth problem. I had this same erratic behavior with a USB mouse before I switched to that Bluetooth one, including the mouse losing USB power. The problem may lie in the USB bus that handles keyboards and mice.

    We need to escalate this problem in a way that’ll get Apple’s attention. Start encouraging those having these problems who’re still under warranty to take their Macs in for service. Replacing all the hardware you’ve detailed above will cost Apple a lot of money and will be particularly irritating to management when the problem remains unfixed.

    Mine isn’t under warranty, but I may try the slow drip approach. At the end of every day when I’ve been troubled with those issues, I plan to file a trouble report.

    And to show how bad it is, both problems have come up while I’ve typed this short note. I write and edit books. This problem is costing me an irritatingly large amount of time.

    –Mike Perry

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,

      just the other day I noticed keyboard issues on my 12″ Retina MacBook running 10.11.2. So I agree, this problem is not limited to BT but affects INPUT in general.

      Reply
  130. I’ve been having this issue with my Mid-2012 MPBr 15″ ever since 10.11.0. The recent 10.11.2 update got my hopes up because of the release notes, but the problem has since returned. Glad (and sad) to see others with the same issue. I’ll check back with any info I come across.

    Reply
    • I have the similar computer and the same exact issue and it still continues as of today July 29, 2017. Have the latest updated version of Sierra 10.12.6. My mouse’s erratic behavior even right now goes on like crazy. I certainly believe that it is a software bug, not a hardware problem at all. It does the same crazy movements as I use Logitech external mouse. It does not matter whether magic mouse or else. I even turned of 5GHz internet connection that I suspected it, but it was not.

      Reply
  131. Everything was fine until the last update, 10.11.2, now my magic mouse disconnects from time to time if I stop using it for a couple of seconds, this is very annoying Apple -.- they didn’t fix a sh!t

    Reply
  132. I’ve had the same issue after updating my 2012 MacBook Air to El Capitan. The 10.11.2 update seems to have stopped the disconnects, but I still get intermittent erratic cursor movement from my magic trackpad and missing keyboard strokes from the wireless keyboard. You?

    Perhaps it’s a strategy to sell the new magic trackpad 2?

    Reply
    • I use both the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 and have issues – so I’m guessing Apple still hasn’t resolved the BT issue in 10.11.2. I have a ticket with Apple R&D pending – let’s see what they come back with.

      Reply
        • Disabling handoff worked also for me. Thanks – like you I was getting frustrated and had tried everything I could think of. Appreciate your careful documenting of fixes and ideas.

          Reply
          • Same here. Disabling handoff worked out all the bluetooth issues with my magic mouse/keyboard. Thanks!

    • I thought the update to 10.13.4 fixed the BT problems but it did not. Apple has to address this issue and also the inability of Safari to run Netflix videos. Both are long standing problems, probably from recycling code from previous versions. Chrome browser plays those videos with no problems. Also, with Safari, I can only view the first five or six images of online galleries. Why? Who knows. iOS on my iPads works well in these areas.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

[Fit In 40 Seconds]
[Fit In 40 Seconds]