My bluetooth mouse batteries died, and when I replaced them, the mouse didn't reconnect. Now how can I get OS X to discover and connect my mouse without having a mouse to open the mouse dialogue?

  • Alternative, easier solution: connect wired mouse. Use wired mouse to click buttons to connect wireless mouse. Does require you having a spare wired mouse lying around though. – ArtOfCode May 11 '17 at 23:00

You can open the Mouse System Preferences by using Spotlight search.

  1. Press ⌘-Space to open Spotlight. Type "mouse" to find the Mouse System Preferences and press Enter.
  2. When the Mouse Preferences are opened, make sure the mouse is on and wait for it to be discovered. The "Connect" button should be blue, so you can press Enter to connect to it, and you're done.
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    Spotlight might be disabled though (I mean when all kinds of indexing are turned off) – Sarge Borsch May 11 '17 at 15:38
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    If Spotlight is indexing or disabled: Cmd+Tab to Finder, Cmd+Shift+A to open applications, 'sys' to go to system preferences, Cmd+O to open it, type 'mouse', then hit enter. Should open the mouse preferences pane :) – aglasser May 11 '17 at 18:38
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    Or, in fewer keystrokes: Ctrl+Shift+(Fn if necessary)+F2, press down arrow until you hit system preferences, enter to open it, then type 'mouse' and hit enter. – aglasser May 11 '17 at 18:40
  • @aglasser how did you ever find that out? – tbodt May 12 '17 at 3:47
  • Just chained together keyboard shortcuts that I use on a daily basis, since I try to shun the mouse as much as possible. Cmd+Shift+A is helpful on the desktop to quickly open the Applications folder. Ctrl+Shift+F2 is helpful if you ever need the menubar without the mouse. – aglasser May 12 '17 at 13:05

You should see a prompt when you turn on your computer. If the mouse can't be found,

  • Check if the mouse is on.
  • Check all other computers to see if one of them is paired with the mouse. If that is the case, unpair it.

If none of those work, try a USB mouse.


If the batteries run out in my wireless mouse it never reconnects automatically and I have resorted to reconnecting a wired mouse to click on the bluetooth icon in the menu bar. Then I found that you can activate the bluetooth icon by pressing Control-F8 (the "Move focus to status menus" in the keyboard shortcuts) and using the cursor keys and the enter key to get to the connect menu item for the mouse.


Keep a cheap usb mouse and keyboard in the back of some closet (with the batteries removed) to quickly use in an emergency. I've successfully used the keyboard and mouse once each in the last 8 - 10 years but it's worth it.

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