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Can I pair a new Bluetooth keyboard or mouse when I try to log into Catalina, when no other input device is available?

Here is my situation:

I have a MacMini with Catalina installed. It works perfectly with the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard that I have in apartment A.

Now, I moved to apartment B. I took the Mac but not the mouse and keyboard.

Instead, I have two BT keyboards (Logitech MX keys and Magic Keyboard gen1, without Lightning port) and two BT mice (Logitech MX Master and Apple TrackPad).

None of these four devices have ever been paired with the Mac. Therefore, they are not recognized at log in.

I have neither a USB keyboard nor a USB mouse. Being quarantined in a country where online shopping is slow and unreliable, I cannot get any new device quickly.

Any suggestion on how to log in would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks is advance.

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  • Use the unifying receiver that came with Logitech products. You won't be able to pair the Logitech products until you boot. The receiver will overcome that by making it a USB mouse/keyboard. The Apple TrackPad should pair, but if it doesn't, again, use the Unifying Receiver. – Allan Jul 30 '20 at 17:16
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A mac with no USB keyboard or mouse and no Bluetooth keyboard or mouse pairings will automatically go into pairing mode to search for a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse.

I have not tested this with Bluetooth devices defined, but not available -- but from what I'm able to read, it should go into pairing mode if there are no input devices available. If a display is attached, you would see the pairing window open -- so you'll know if this is working.

If it does not, your only option may be to use a USB keyboard & mouse (do you have any friends who have a keyboard & mouse that you can borrow for a few minutes?)

Normally when I do this on a mac, nothing is previously paired. This is how Apple handles non-laptop devices where the owner only uses Bluetooth input devices.

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  • This works for me in all cases except 2 - one is if someone disables the “show bluetooth” when no mouse or keyboard is connected and when the system thinks a keyboard is connected. So be sure to disconnect everything from your Mac if you hope to pair bluetooth. Or plus in USB devices long enough to get to pairing. – bmike Jul 30 '20 at 17:57

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