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Troubleshooting Your Mac Wireless Keyboard

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 5/11/2011

As with anything that has a wireless connection, there is a vast list of things that can disrupt the function of a wireless keyboard. From bad batteries to faulty signals, here's a list of things to watch out for, and how to fix them.

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    I Own a Wireless Keyboard: Why Isn't It Working?

    g wirelesskey If you're one of those people who either doesn't have a long enough cord or can't stand having all those extra wires hanging around behind your computer desk, you may have opted to purchase a wireless bluetooth keyboard for your Mac. At first, things probably worked great, but now all of the sudden you're having trouble: It doesn't seem to hold its connection for very long, or perhaps it stopped connecting altogether. If that's the case, there are a number of things you can try before calling the manufacturer of the device. Here's a list of everything you should try before picking up the phone.

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    #1: Check Your Batteries

    It may sound a bit simple for an online article, but you'd be surprised at how many people forget to do the obvious: checking to make sure the batteries in their wireless devices aren't dead. If you're not using the proprietary Apple wireless keyboard, your keyboard won't give you a notification telling you that you should charge up-- with wireless keyboards and mice, they just die and then that's that. There is no "warning", so check your batteries.

    If, however, you are using the Apple wireless keyboard (as seen above), and you know you've replaced the batteries recently, try making sure your keyboard is on by pressing the power button on the right hand side of the device.

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    #2: Make Sure the Hub Didn't Get Rattled/Wrecked

    Another reason why your wireless keyboard loses connection could be that the wireless "hub" got rattled, knocked out, or wrecked by excessive handling. What a "hub" is is basically what it sounds like: It's the hub for the wireless signal from the keyboard to travel to, and it is usually represented by a small plastic/metal USB device, or in rare cases, a firewire device. First, find this wireless hub and check for damage. If it appears to be in good working order, blow in it to remove dust, and then put it back in the computer and try your keyboard again.

    Note: This step is not necessary for proprietary Apple wireless keyboards.

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    #2a: Make Sure Bluetooth Is Turned On

    If you're using one of the Apple-made wireless keyboards, you won't have a USB hub, so to speak. Instead, the keyboard should connect with the bluetooth that's built into your Mac (assuming it's a newer computer), and if it's not, the problem could very well be that your Bluetooth is not enabled. If this is the case, you need to turn on your Bluetooth capabilities by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the upper right of your screen on the top bar.

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    #3: Check For Wireless Interference

    mnjepkpa40549 A lot of you may be thinking "How much will the equipment cost me to check for wireless interference?", but I have some very good news: You don't have to pay a cent to figure out if wireless interference it stopping you from using your keyboard. If you're someone who uses multiple Bluetooth wireless devices in your house, chances are that at some point your computer is going to mix up which is which and you'll run into trouble because of it, especially if two or more of those devices are of the same brand. Turn off all other wireless devices (including phones with Bluetooth capabilities), and then try your keyboard. If it works now, you know its faults were caused by wireless interference. To fix this, simple reinstall your keyboard to your computer.

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    Lastly, Call the Manufacturer

    If none of these tips seem to work, it's really left up to the manufacturer of the keyboard to help you out, because the problem isn't user error. Look for the name of the brand of keyboard and type it into Google. Follow your links to their website, hit the "Contact Us" button, and dial the number listed on the screen. This should connect you to a representative who can help fix your problem.

    If, for some reason, this doesn't even help, leave a comment. I'll do my best to get back to you and help out however I can.

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    1. Information Reference: All information is/was prior author knowledge of the devices listed above.

    2. Image References: