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I have a Magic Keyboard and use it on my MacBook. I also want to use it occasionally on my iPad.

As soon as the Magic Keyboard was paired to a device and is then paired to another device, the Keyboard cannot be paired to the first device again, except if you "forget" the Keyboard and discover it as new one.

This AskDifferent Question from 2011: Can you pair Mac AND iPad with same Apple Wireless Keyboard? solves this for Apple Wireless Keyboards, but does not work for Magic Keyboards anymore.

Can you pair macOS and iOS device with same Magic Keyboard and switch between them without having to set it up as new device everytime?

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No - Apple's firmware on the keyboard remembers the last paired device.

Some bluetooth keyboards can switch back and forth, but that feature isn't available on Apple's current hardware.

  • My older Apple Bluetooth keyboard DOES seem to remember the last two devices. However, I have no control as to which device the keyboard chooses when both are in range and switched on (it seems to prioritize the one it most recently connected to). – Wowfunhappy Nov 7 '16 at 15:38
  • @Wowfunhappy You can pair to both, but then it's a race and pain to manage which connects and when. My life is simpler when I just have one pairing so it "just works". I get the request and it sure would be nice to have it switch hit. – bmike Nov 7 '16 at 15:46
  • @bmike For me, as soon as I have paired it to the second device, I cannot make it connect to the first device again by switching of the bluetooth on the second device. It says the keyboard cannot be found (iOS) or the keyboard has to be paired again (macOS). – Paul Klemm Nov 7 '16 at 16:00
  • @bmike I totally agree, and I never said it was a good solution—but it DOES technically work, which by extension means that Apple's firmware IS remembering more than just the last paired device. However, I have no idea if the Magic Keyboard is different. – Wowfunhappy Nov 7 '16 at 19:05
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You can remove pairing from the Mac when you hold Shift-option and click the bluetooth symbol on the menu bar. Bluetooth should be on. It then offers the possibility to remove it, whereupon it becomes disoverable again to the iPad.

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This works for me. I have an iMac (late 2013) and an iPad Air 2. I have set up my Magic Keyboard to be recognized by both devices. You can force pair a 2nd connection by holding down the power button on the Keyboard (maybe you are missing this step). You don't want either device to "forget" the keyboard. Once you've done that, you can then disconnect the keyboard from the iMac (in your case Macbook) using the bluetooth drop down in the finder menu bar, then connect to the ipad using the Bluetooth settings on the ipad. When you want to switch back again, first disconnect (don't choose forget) on the ipad bluetooth settings (using the (i) in a circle) then go back to the bluetooth menu/Keyboard option on the iMac finder menu and choose connect. I don't have to turn off bluetooth completely on either computer.

  • 1
    That's an excellent answer. – sznowicki Jun 14 at 10:16

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