How to Add, Dis­con­nect, and For­get Blue­tooth Devices on Mac

Danny Maiorca

Rise in the wireless headphones, speakers, and mouse is making it a little trickier to connect them to a Mac. While it is easier said than done, managing Bluetooth devices with Mac can be simple.

Person typing on macbook pro

When using your Mac, you can connect your Bluetooth headphones, external keyboards, and much more.

You can have up to seven Bluetooth devices connected to your Mac at any given time. You’ll find out how to add, disconnect, and forget those devices. The steps we’ve listed here will work regardless of the Mac model - iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.

How to Add a Bluetooth Device to Your Mac

If you want to add a device, you’ll first need to switch on your Mac’s Bluetooth capabilities. To do this, click on the icon at the top of your screen and toggle this option on.

Mac bluetooth switch on from toolbar

Alternatively, open System Preferences and select Bluetooth. When it opens, select Turn Bluetooth On.

Switch bluetooth on system preferences mac

Once your Mac can recognize devices in range, follow these steps.

Step 1: Go into your Bluetooth preferences. You’ll find these by either going to the Bluetooth logo in your toolbar or via System Preferences.

Step 2: Turn on your Bluetooth device and move it within your Mac’s range.

Step 3: In the big white box, your Bluetooth device should show up. For this example, we’re connecting wireless headphones. Click the Connect button next to it.

Connect to device bluetooth button mac

After completing the final step, your Mac should connect to the Bluetooth gadget almost instantly.

How to Disconnect a Bluetooth Device

To remove a Bluetooth device from your Mac by disconnecting it, all you need to do is turn whatever it is off. Alternatively, you can toggle Bluetooth off from the toolbar; the steps are the same as those listed above, only you’re switching the button off rather than on.

You can also manually disconnect a Bluetooth device from your Mac. Doing it is straightforward; all you need to do is follow the steps listed under this paragraph.

Step 1: Open the Bluetooth preferences from the System Preferences app.

Step 2: Highlight the device you want to disconnect. Right-click on the device you wish to disconnect.

Step 3: From the list of options that show up, choose Disconnect.

Disconnect mac bluetooth device in system preferences

You can also disconnect your Bluetooth device from your Mac’s toolbar.

Step 1: Click on the Bluetooth icon, where you’ll see your device(s).

Step 2: Next to the device you wish to disconnect, click on the Bluetooth logo. It will turn from blue to grey, meaning that it’s no longer paired.

Turn off bluetooth device via mac toolbar

How to Forget a Bluetooth Device

Once you’ve connected your Mac and Bluetooth device, they’ll automatically pair whenever you switch Bluetooth on, and are nearby. That can get confusing when you have a call and you can't hear the other person. If you don’t want this to happen, or you’ve upgraded and won’t use that particular item again, you can manually forget the device.

Like forgetting a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or Mac, doing the same with a Bluetooth device is straightforward. All you need to do is follow the steps listed below.

Step 1: Go into your Mac’s Bluetooth preferences.

Step 2: Next to your device, you’ll see a small x in a grey circle. Click on this.

Bluetooth remove device from mac

Step 3: A popup will appear on your screen with a warning. From the two options presented to you, select Remove.

Remove device confirmation bluetooth mac

Once you remove a Bluetooth device from your Mac, you’ll have to reconnect it manually if you wish to use it in the future.

The steps listed above are the easiest way to remove a Bluetooth device from your Mac, but not the only option. You can also follow these steps to achieve the same result:

Step 1: Go into your Bluetooth preferences.

Step 2: As you would when disconnecting a device, click on whatever you want to remove while holding the ctrl button.

Step 3: Click Remove. Select the namesake button when the warning message appears.

Remove device manually mac bluetooth

Using Bluetooth With Your Mac Is Easy

While wired devices still have a place when using a Mac, you might want to use wireless ones in some instances. And when that happens, connecting these devices is a straightforward process.

When finished using them, disconnecting is easy – and the same is true if you want to forget the device altogether. After reading this post, you know how to manage Bluetooth devices with your Mac.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Danny specializes in writing about iOS and macOS for Guiding Tech. He is a freelance writer with an extensive portfolio in the technology sector, which spans across some of the industry's biggest publications. Danny lives Copenhagen, Denmark, having been born in the UK.