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?

  • 1
    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
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 23:00

6 Answers 6


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.
  • 1
    Spotlight might be disabled though (I mean when all kinds of indexing are turned off) Commented May 11, 2017 at 15:38
  • 4
    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
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:38
  • 2
    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
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:40
  • @aglasser how did you ever find that out?
    – tbodt
    Commented May 12, 2017 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
    Commented May 12, 2017 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.

  • This is what I was looking for. Thanks!
    – Nexonus
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 15:58

Make sure your mouse has been reset.

  1. Press +Space and type "Bluetooth" to open bluetooth in System Preferences. You will see your mouse in the list of devices and a button to 'Connect'.
  2. Use the Tab key to move to the next control, this will highlight the next one for you (If you are stuck on the text field, press Ctrl+Fn+F7 to switch between navigation of all controls on the screen, press Ctrl+F7 to switch back).
  3. Once nothing is highlighted in the window, press the Space bar, this in turn selects the 'Connect' button for you.
  • I've been searching around for 30 minutes and this is the first person to actually answer the core question. Everybody else says "just plug in a wired mouse to connect the bluetooth mouse", well done!
    – Mick Byrne
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 3:13

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.


I can usually get my mouse to connect if I can get to the bluetooth preferences.

Since upgrading (now on Monterey 12.3.1) that has become more difficult and a lot of the keyboard combinations to get to the menus do not seem to work for me any more.

The ⌘+Space "Bluetooth" to get to the preferences was not working until I found that "System Preferences" has its own option under Spotlight Search Results and it was not enabled. Enabling that has made the preferences show up in Spotlight so I should be able to nudge Bluetooth to connect the mouse next time.

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