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I have a Mac, and a Magic Keyboard paired with it.

I now want to use the keyboard with my iPad. To do so, I first need to unpair it from the Mac.

But what if the Mac isn't with me right now? Is there a way to force the Magic Keyboard to unpair itself from whatever device it's currently paired with, perhaps by pressing some key combination?

Some articles say to hold the power button down for three seconds, but the keyboard doesn't have a power button to hold down.

PS: The reverse direction is easy — getting a Magic Keyboard that is paired with an iPad to pair with a Mac. Just plug it in to the Mac, and it will pair. This question is about the opposite: the keyboard is already paired with my Mac. How do I force it to unpair itself from the Mac?

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  • I am also having this probelm... i see there was no answer, did you find one eventually? Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 2:50
  • No, unfortunately, but consider taking it to an Apple service center. They may have a solution. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 2:59
  • Fixed, I had to remove the wired USB keyboard i had plugged in, and I also held the power button down on the keyboard while bluetooth searching for it. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 3:00

3 Answers 3

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Fixed, I had to remove the wired USB keyboard i had plugged in, and I also held the power button down on the magic keyboard while bluetooth searching for it.

The response on this forum dated Dec 24, 2010 2:29 PM helped me: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2693201?start=0

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This answer is now obsolete since the High Sierra update removed the options below. If you're on older OS still, please read on for what used to work for me.

No - the pairing record on the Mac will remain until you remove it from that Mac. It's a sleeping dog situation when the Mac isn't nearby.

You can get a factory wipe of Apple's Bluetooth keyboards using this debug feature in macOS: - https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/15291/5472

  • Hold shift and option (only) when clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar of the Mac
  • Select Factory Reset for each device you wish to reset
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    This works only if the keyboard is paired with a Mac, and the Mac is with you. As stated in the question, the Mac isn't with me. Say I've sold it. Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 3:13
  • Thanks for this answer! I used shift-option to access factory reset for a magic mouse 2. To force the mouse to pair, I used this answer: apple.stackexchange.com/a/294637
    – bdemarest
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 21:26
  • The debug menu seems no longer available in Ventura. Shift/opt brings up more info, but not the full debug mode.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 7:54
  • Very good comment @Tetsujin I don't have a good fix yet for the macOS / Sealed system volume era and the old developer tools / debug menu are long gone as options now.
    – bmike
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 12:06
  • Ah, at least I can stop kicking myself, just in case it was still there at Monterey, which I've only just updated from as part of my issue at apple.stackexchange.com/q/459317/85275 It was still there at Mojave, btw, though I can't test for anything else between that & Ventura now.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 12:11
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if the Mac it is paired to is out of Bluetooth range your keyboard will have no problems pairing with your iPad(providing the batteries are good). If it is still in range simply turn off the Bluetooth on the Mac temporarily until it connects to your iPad. If like me you store your iPad turned off(fully charged is best) then your keyboard will reconnect automatically to the Mac as soon as it has BT turned on and the iPad is turned off(or just disable iPad Bluetooth to give it back to the Mac whilst both are on) Your Bluetooth device can be paired to multiple devices....it can however only connect to one at a time. Keep the "Show Bluetooth in menu bar" option ticked in preferences to make this a simple option.

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    It doesn't work that way — once paired with a device, it doesn't pair with other devices whether or not the first is in range. Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 3:11
  • I'm not sure what keyboard you are using but I have 3 wireless Apple Magic Keyboards, (Both 3 battery and 2 battery models) and they will pair with any of my Apple computers/devices Unless you have a very strange keyboard .. I have connected all my keyboards to multiple devices. All I can suggest is that your keyboard MUST be connected to another device if it won't pair with your MAC. Try turning off Bluetooth on all other devices you have in the house..then you can power on your Mac and keyboard and I see no reason (except possible damaged Bluetooth) why they should not happily connect. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 23:19
  • Try this experiment: pair your keyboard with a Mac. Then shut down your Mac and try to pair it with another device. You can't, except by turning your Mac back on and unpairing first. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 2:59

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