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After having the first iMac 2017 Retina replaced for display issues, my second one seems to be acting up.

I use an apple wireless keyboard and magic mouse 2 via Bluetooth. The problem is, they randomly disconnect. Right after the event, a pop-up comes up, trying to find input devices.

Sometimes they reconnect almost immediately, other times after a while, and others, only a restart fixes the issue. It happens randomly. There are days with no issues and days where it happens so often it drives me mad.

Both input devices work fine when they are connected. The keyboard works after it is disconnected, if I plug it in for charging from the Mac. Can't use this workaround with the mouse, obviously.

What I tried so far is resetting the Bluetooth module, factory reset devices, disconnect all devices. Nothing seems to work.

OS version is Mojave 10.14.1. It was happening with High Sierra too.

Any ideas besides sending the whole package to warranty?

  • You can try booting into Safe Mode to rule out software issues. Also, if you have access to a different Mac, you can try pairing the keyboard/mouse to it to verify their functionality. Ultimately, though, if you had this issue under HS on your replacement iMac, but not on the original (that had the display issue), I would definitely take it in for warranty service. – Allan Dec 7 '18 at 13:44
  • Also, given that the symptoms present on both devices, it's highly unlikely they're at fault (not impossible, but unlikely...I like to test to verify). Most likely is the Wireless/Bluetooth module. Also...try turning off WiFi (use Ethernet instead) to see if the problem goes away. – Allan Dec 7 '18 at 13:49
  • There was a suggestion I saw on here that disabling handoff to other iCloud devices would fix the issue; although things improved when I disabled handoff (i.e. bluetooth disconnects were less frequent) the problem still occurred. As a result of this a replacement iMac arrived today and so far it has behaved well. – mark Dec 7 '18 at 20:50
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Try searching for potential sources for Bluetooth interference

According to this Apple Support article a reason for this could be Bluetooth interference.

These can interfere with the signal:

Microwave Ovens

Wireless Speakers

Direct Satellite Service

Certain external monitors and LCD displays

Power sources

Poorly shielded cabling

2.4 GHz or 5 GHz phones

Wireless RF video

According to another Support Article, several materials can interfere with connections:

Wood Low

Synthetic material Low

Glass Low

Water Medium

Bricks Medium

Marble Medium

Plaster High

Concrete High

Bulletproof glass High

Metal Very high

Also try:

Keep wireless devices within 10 meters (approximately 30 feet) of your Mac.

Avoid putting metal objects between your wireless device and your Mac.

  • I am an Android developer so my desk is full of all possible interferences... mobile devices, a monitor, a powered usb hub, tons of cables.. the whole shebang. So the solution in this case, would be to remove the suspects one at a time and see what happens then... – Adrian Sicaru Dec 7 '18 at 13:15
  • @AdrianSicaru Could you try reposition the computer? – user310476 Dec 7 '18 at 15:17
  • I actually did that a while ago as I had to move my desk (work office) and everything was ok for about two weekes, but then the issue returned. – Adrian Sicaru Dec 7 '18 at 15:21
  • @AdrianSicaru Ok I see. Have you tried reconnecting both of the devices? – user310476 Dec 7 '18 at 15:23
  • An update: suddenly the disconnects stopped... no reason whatsoever... I accept this answer as I have no idea what the reason might be and it contains all possible causes for bluetooth interference. – Adrian Sicaru Jan 15 at 9:44
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After spending numerous hours on the phone to Apple technical support, and tried just about every fix suggested here and on othe websites...

In the process I uploaded some system logfiles to Apple support and after a few more phone calls a Senior Apple technician confirmed that there is a known bug in Apple's Bluetooth drivers which should be fixed in the next patch for MacOS Mojave (which I believe will be 10.14.3). Hopefully this will finally resove the issue.

  • Currently on 10.14.2 - but the disconnects stopped all of a sudden, nu update required. – Adrian Sicaru Jan 15 at 9:44
  • 1
    10.14.3 still has the issue... – goodhyun Feb 10 at 10:05
  • I know - I now have a trackpad which I leave connected like the keyboard - the mouse is now in my bow if computer junk and will no doubt end up in a landfill in the near future – mark Feb 10 at 19:34
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I had this same problem and seem to have resolved it. This is my anecdote, which someone might find helpful.

TL;DR In my case it seems to have been caused by a gaming framework, either Steam or NVidia GeForce Now. Removing those caused the problem to go away.

I have a 2017 iMac running Mojave 1.14.4. The initial problem was that sometimes the bluetooth keyboard and mouse would disconnect all of the sudden. They always disconnected together. Sometimes they'd reconnect right away. Sometimes I'd have to fiddle around--turn the bluetooth off/on, turn the devices off/on, or occasionally reboot the computer.

I also noticed that when this happened and I tried to turn the bluetooth off/on through the menu bar, the bluetooth icon would sometimes hang in a reverse-video state. My impression was that the computer's motherboard might be having trouble communicating with the bluetooth module.

The computer is still under warranty, so I took it to the apple store. They ran a diagnostic and couldn't find a problem. But based on my description, the genius took the computer in to replace the bluetooth module. I got it back a few days later, and the problem kept occurring.

Back to the apple store a week later. A different genius suggested wiping and reinstalling the OS, saying that's what they should have done the first time before replacing any hardware. So we did that. After reinstalling the OS, he told me to take it home and reinstall all of my files from my Time Machine backup. I took the computer home, reinstalled from Time Machine, and used it over the next week. The problem was still present.

Back to the Apple store again. The third genius wanted to wipe and reinstall the OS, and then not restore from time machine. This would rule out the chance that the time machine restore was installing something which was causing the problem.

I was getting annoyed by this time, as I was pretty sure the computer had a hardware problem. We discussed replacing the motherboard, but he didn't want to do that without a lot more troubleshooting.

In the end, we wiped and reinstalled the OS again. After getting the computer home, I just reinstalled a couple of apps that I couldn't do without, then used the computer for a week. The bluetooth worked perfectly the entire time. After that, I wiped and reinstalled the OS again and restored from Time Machine. The problem came back.

So, the bluetooth problem was due to something I had installed, which was being reinstated by restoring from Time Machine. I realized I had four different gaming frameworks installed, and they might plausibly be getting too intimate with the bluetooth hardware.

  • I uninstalled the Good Old Games launcher, rebooted, and used the computer for a day. The problem still occurred.
  • I uninstalled the Epic Games Launcher, rebooted, and used the computer for a day. The problem still occurred.
  • I uninstalled Steam and NVidia Geforce Now, rebooted, and the problem hasn't reoccurred in several days.

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