My MacBook, Bluetooth, and Apple Magic Trackpad

When I’m out of the office and running my Mac on batteries, I turn off Bluetooth networking to save power. Then I come into the office and plug in. I use my MacBook with its lid shut. I plug into a keyboard and a monitor. I have a Bluetooth Magic Trackpad. Great set up. The problem is that—with the lid shut and Bluetooth turned off, I have no mouse or pointer control. I need to turn Bluetooth on using just the keyboard.

So I press ⌘-Space on my keyboard to bring up Spotlight¹.

Find Bluetooth File Exchange via Spotlight

Find Bluetooth File Exchange via Spotlight

I select the Bluetooth File Exchange program. Bluetooth is off. So the first thing that program does is prompt me: “Bluetooth Hardware is Off. In order to use this application, the Bluetooth hardware must be on. Do you want to turn it on?”. Thankfully, “Turn Bluetooth On” is highlighted.

Bluetooth is off

I just press Enter to turn on Bluetooth. After a second or two, it finds my trackpad and we’re good to go. I have to quit the Bluetooth File Exchange, but I don’t have to open and shut my lid.


¹ Ok, actually I use Quicksilver, which everyone should use. But Spotlight works for this.

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