Mac OS X 10.5.x Special Report: Bluetooth issues

Mac OS X 10.5.x Special Report: Bluetooth issues

Users are reporting a series of Bluetooth problems after under Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard). Among the most common are an inability to recognize Bluetooth devices and lack of functionality from third-party Bluetooth adapters.

If your built-in Apple Bluetooth system is not recognizing devices after the upgrade to Leopard, try performing a full power-cycle. That is, shut down your Mac then power it back up.

If you're having problems with third-party Bluetooth adapters, try removing them from hubs (including USB keyboards) and connecting them to directly to your Mac. Note that some devices may require firmware updates before they can interact properly with Leopard.

Also note that third-party Bluetooth adapters may cause other, more significant system issues until they are updated for compatibility with Leopard.

MacFixIt reader Mike writes:

"Everything with Leopard as going great so I went ahead and used my Bluetooth modem to communicate with my bluetooth Apple keyboard. Then the problems occurred. Here's what i did: Installed the Red BT USB Dongle to the rear of my cinema display. I believe its for BT 1.1; Ran BT preferences and paired with my Apple Keyboard. Everything working great from the keyboard at this time; restarted, then noticed the following problems: Noticed that the airport strength indicator in the menu bar was greyed out; All the icons in the menu bar, from the greyed out airport icon showed the spinning beach ball when you hovered out it with the mouse; Unable to restart. Got cyclic spinning black-and-white circle (not the colored beach ball) forever. Forced a shut down after 5 minutes; After restarting, no difference. Same problems above."

"Pulled out the Bluetooth dongle, forced restart and everything is back to normal, so back to using my wired keyboard."

Meanwhile some users are reporting problems with Bluetooth device recognition when waking their Macs in specific ways. Mats Soderstrom writes:

"I have a MacBook Pro with an external screen connected, an Apple wireless keyboard (Bluetooth) and a Logitech Bluetooth mouse. I usually sleep the Mac by closing the lid and then wake it by clicking the Apple remote while the lid is still closed. This way the external screen is active only and I can use the wireless keyboard and mouse. Very useful feature. However, after upgrading to 10.5 the Mac does not recognize the Bluetooth peripherals after waking up the Mac this way. The bluetooth works if I wake up the Mac by opening the lid but that's not really useful."

There are also some general-purpose Bluetooth fixes you can try:

Rediscover device(s) The most commonly applicable immediate fix for problems with Bluetooth device recognition after an incremental Mac OS X update is simple rediscovery of the afflicted device(s). You can accomplish this by going to the Bluetooth menu item (if it is enabled) and selecting the device or the "Setup Bluetooth device" option. Alternatively, go to the "Bluetooth" pane of System Preferences and select your device from the list, or press the "Setup new device" button.

Delete Preferences folder Try dragging the folder /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration to the Trash, then restarting and re-attempting access to your Bluetooth devices.

Reset PRAM/NVRAM In some cases, resetting your Mac's PRAM (parameter RAM) and NVRAM (non-volatile RAM) via the following process can restore Bluetooth access:

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Turn your Mac back on, while holding down the Command, Option, P and R keys simultaneously.
  3. Allow the startup chime to repeat twice, or listen for your Mac to perform a restart process twice, then release the keys.

Deactivate, Reactivate In some cases this issue can be resolved by simply going to the Bluetooth pane of System Preferences, then deactivating Bluetooth and subsequently reactivating it again.

Resetting the PMU/SMU Some users have reported that resetting their systems' PMUs or SMUs (depending on model) solved this issue. Apple provides details for performing the reset procedure in the following Knowledge Base documents:

  • #14449
  • #303319
  • #300341
  • #301733
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