I have a Magic Trackpad that I'm using with my iMac.
Everything works great, but I would also like to use the trackpad with my MacBook.

For some reason, it seems that I can only pair the trackpad with one computer at a time.
With the iMac turned off, I turned on the MacBook and went to set up a new Bluetooth device. The trackpad was not found.
I know that nothing is wrong with my connection procedure (I pressed the power button, it was within range, etc), and that nothing is wrong with the trackpad itself (it works fine with the iMac).

I finally got the trackpad to pair with the MacBook by unpairing it with the iMac, turning the iMac off, and power cycling the trackpad.

Then, when I went to re-pair with the iMac, the device was not found (the MacBook was completely off; it was not connected to anything). Only by unpairing with the MacBook and power cycling was I able to re-pair with the iMac.

So, I think the trackpad is trying to tell me that it can only be paired with one computer at a time.

I would like to pair the trackpad with both my iMac and my MacBook not for simultaneous use, but for using with one when the other is turned off or far away.
I have other Bluetooth devices that let me do this just fine, and I can't think of a reason why it would be different for the trackpad.

How can I pair my Magic Trackpad with both my iMac and MacBook for non-simultaneous use?

Ideally without any third-party software.

  • Interesting question! This should work without problems because it's a one-way communication, right?
    – gentmatt
    Feb 24, 2012 at 21:18
  • Humm, Looks like someone needs to come up with a Bluetooth capable KVM like device for this to work.
    – MrDaniel
    Feb 24, 2012 at 21:48
  • @gentmatt Bluetooth connections are always two-way. (One of the advantages of this is it supports encryption via the pairing, so your typing is not broadcast in the clear. On the other hand, the power requirements for Bluetooth are one reason a lot of keyboards and mice use their own separate dongles.)
    – Kevin Reid
    Feb 25, 2012 at 22:14
  • I absolutely hate how Bluetooth has been worked out for most devices. It seems like every time I want to use my trackpad between my personal and work macbooks I need to go through a 2-3 minute procedure of toggling on/off, pairing, and clicking connect multiple times. Same with my Bluetooth Sennheiser PXC550 headphones. I need to go to each other device and disconnect first. Why can't I just use a primary control device (laptop, phone, etc) and order the Bluetooth device to comply with my request?!! so frustrating. Apr 12, 2020 at 20:33

12 Answers 12


No, it can only be paired to one computer at at time according to Magic Trackpad Manual. You would need to un pair and then re pair it to another computer in order to use it on both computers.

Here's the extract from the manual:

After you pair your Apple Magic Trackpad with a Mac, you can pair it again with a different Mac. To do this, you first remove the existing pairing and then pair the trackpad again.

  • 3
    Well, darn! That's less than ideal. I've still got some hope that there's a third party solution though... Thanks for digging up the official word. Feb 24, 2012 at 22:19
  • 1
    You can "pair" the older Magic Trackpads with more than one computer at the same time but can only use it with one at a time. If it's in use/connected to one computer, it won't connect to the other. If you disconnect from the first, you can then connect to the second. Mar 23, 2016 at 0:19

According to this answer, Magic Track Pads can be paired with multiple devices, just not, as you stated, at the same time.

As long as the track pad is not connected with another device, it will be pairable with an additional one. The trick is to make sure that it's not connected to the other device, since it will connect with the first paired device it sees.

If your machines in question are more than 33 feet apart (the range of bluetooth), you should be fine, but it never hurts to turn devices off when not using them and in-between pairings, just to be safe.


If you're willing to use the Magic Trackpad 2 with cabling instead of wireless with bluetooth, just changing which computer it's plugged into will quickly change the connection. If you're already using some sort of wired docking station, then this is even easier.

At the time this question was asked, the Trackpad used replaceable AA batteries only. Now that it's rechargable over USB, using wired mode fully is also an option.

  • This worked perfectly - thank you!
    – tyteen4a03
    Jul 31, 2023 at 9:38

The simplest solution I found is to have the lightning cable ( that comes with the trackpad to charge) in both the devices. Have it paired in both the devices already.

now when switching to another device, just plug in the cable and disconnect, it will automatically connect to that machine.


What about considering http://synergy-foss.org - an open source tool for sharing mouse and keyboard between multiple machines on one desk?

Support for Maverics is not ready yet :-( but it seems to be coming soon.

  • 1
    An alternative to synergy is Teleport. I am using it and can pair my magic trackpad to only one mac at time.
    – politicus
    Mar 30, 2014 at 13:20

Keep it simple folks. It can only be paired with one Mac at a time. Simply make sure you have the "Show Bluetooth in menu bar" Ticked on in your Bluetooth preferences on both machines. Then simply left click the icon in the task bar (its normally between the sound and wireless icons) then pull the mouse pointer down to the keyboard in question and click 'Disconnect' Head back to the mac your using and do the same choosing 'Connect'

As long as the keyboard is already paired with each device its as simple as deciding which computer you want to use :) Job done

When you do get around to getting more than one Keyboard be sure to rename them differently add a number or simply add mac mini/ iMac etc..so you know which is which. If you move them much I suggest marking the keyboards underneath also....sigh

EDIT (extra info's)

Ok, battery condition, or simply your Mac's inbuilt cussedness can make pairing frustrating at times, turning your device off and back on again is often the preferred method with reluctant bluetooth devices (remove and replace batteries to be absolutely sure)...on my keyboards I often tap the caps lock to see if the light comes on after I have supposedly turned it off. But, more often than not, the main problem with pairing your bluetooth device will be that it has paired itself to another of your devices (my iPhone is often the culprit as I paired one of my keyboards to it ages ago) Once paired you can then turn bluetooth back on on any other machines or devices you wish (shutting down your connected device may however cause reconnection problems on boot up... so it may be easier to 'remove' the keyboard, or other problem BT device from the machine,iPhone,iPad, or tablet in its bluetooth preferences[ie:"forget this device"]) It really is much easier to have each computer with its own personal keyboard/trackpad.

One last tip I can share for those of us who run multiple machines is to simply 'share screen' to the computer you mostly use. I currently run as my main machine a 27"iMac, but I also have a Mac mini as my main media device(has iTunes and is in charge of all updates,charging etc)And an old Mac Pro just cos I love it... and its still damn quick! so... just allow screen sharing from the other machines to the one you sit in front of the most and your mouse/trackpad and keyboard will give you full control as soon as you can see it in finder. Simply select the machine (Mac mini most often in my case) and you will see in the top right corner of the finder window a 'share screen' and a 'connect to' button. I choose 'share screen' and I can control, modify or use my Mac mini directly from my iMac screen.

  • 1
    Just tried this, but Disconnecting from the first Mac does not allow the second Mac to pair.
    – Stiggler
    Oct 27, 2016 at 20:31
  • If you have any problems or any doubt at all whether your device/trackpad may already be paired with another computer/phone/ipad etc. Simply turn off Bluetooth on ALL your other devices except for the computer you are trying to connect to. Turn off and on again your Bluetooth device [remove and replace batteries if at all unsure] Sometimes it also helps to reboot the computer also. Dec 4, 2016 at 18:33
  • erm sorry, hit return already! Once connected you can turn your Bluetooth back on for the devices you turned off earlier. Best of Luck :) Dec 4, 2016 at 18:35
  • This method simply doesn't work. After disconnecting on one computer, selecting connect on the other doesn't cause the trackpad to connect.
    – ezrock
    Oct 11, 2019 at 16:21

The easiest way I found was (as said before):

  1. Considering that you have the trackpad paired with both devices
  2. Connect the USB-c cable into the device that you want to switch to
  3. As soon as it starts working, you can remove the cable (usually a few seconds)

In case you want to switch back to the old mac, repeat the previous steps, connecting to the other device.

Note: You must be connected to both devices via Bluetooth.


FYI, After answering another question similar to yours specifically How can I operate 2 XServes and 2 iMacs from 1 keyboard and 1 mouse (both bluetooth)?, I think I may have found a way to let you share your Magic Track Pad between two Macs thanks to Jagra's question. Here is a solution to try.

Actually, it looks like this may work, as note here Share your Magic Mouse between 2 Macs. This should be able to be extended to where both the keyboard and the mouse are Bluetooth and replacing the KVM with a USB switch.

enter image description here

For the setup we used the following hardware:

    1 mac mini (running 24/7 as a home server)
    1 Mac Pro (it’s a hackintosh inside a Mac Pro case)
    1 Apple USB Keyboard and 1 dual-link DVI Monitor
    1 Apple Magic Mouse (Bluetooth)
    1 Belkin Flip KVM Switch (DVI-D 2-Port)
    1 small Bluetooth 2.0 USB dongle

Also I am currently trying to confirm how this works with the following question With a USB bluetooth adapter does the devices pair with the dongle or the computer? My guess that it is paring with some kind of unique Identifier in the USB Bluetooth dongle's hardware.


Simply remove the trackpad batteries for 20 seconds, put them back on and re-pair.

  • 4
    The question asks about pairing it to several computers at once.
    – nohillside
    Dec 10, 2012 at 15:55
  • This would be a useful trick to point out, if you put it on the right question.
    – iconoclast
    May 3, 2013 at 17:45
  • Magic Trackpad has no removable battery. May 21, 2022 at 16:09

One issue I was having was that sometimes even though one computer was closed, it was still connected so the keyboard and trackpad wouldn't be available for pairing on the destination computer. It was also annoying to have to pair each time.

I ended up using Sleeepwatcher to run an Applescript that turns off Bluetooth when the computer goes to sleep or turns on Bluetooth when the computer wakes. The AppleScript varies by macOS version, check out https://stackoverflow.com/questions/19752438/applescript-to-toggle-bluetooth for some variations.


With the latest MacOS, you can use your mouse on nearby macs. Say mac1 monitor on the left on your desk, mac2 monitor on the right. In system settings in the monitor settings you tell the second Mac that there is another Mac to its left. Now if you move the mouse pointer to the left edge of mac2s screen it doesn’t stop but moves to the monitor on mac1 and controls mac1. Until you move it back to the other screen.

So it works just like multi monitor support except the monitors belong to different macs. I think the mouse is only connected to one computer and everything is done by the macs communicating with each other. So both macs have to be turned on, both on the same network, and you need two monitors. And I think your keyboard will also switch to the same mac as the mouse.

  • Yes, this is called "universal control" and it's great when it works (My mind was blown the first time I accidentally moved my mouse across to the other computer). The problem is: it doesn't work reliably. Every 1-2 hours or so, the connection between the two Macs fails for some reason. It's quickly restored, e.g. by turning the trackpad off and on again, but it interrupts your work, so if you want a reliable setup, universal control is currently not the solution.
    – Christoph
    Jan 23 at 17:55

connect track pad to a usb switcher. and connect the usb sticher to your two computers.

  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info on what you mean by a USB switcher and how this is going to help. Also, you may want to read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here.
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 11, 2021 at 6:00

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