Resetting My Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard to Work on My iPad 2

tonyjworldTechnology, The-Blog148 Comments

I just completed a three hour tour of trying to figure out why my Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard was not connecting to my iPad 2.

A little background… I first got the BT keyboard when I bought my first iPad. I have the A1314 Model. I didn’t use it much. In fact, I really only used it to test out the BT keyboard functionality of ScriptWrite.

Needless to say, I had paired it to my iPad many times while we were testing.  Everything worked fine.

When I decided to use the BT keyboard on my iMac, it was again, a very simple pairing.

Now, this is where it starts to get weird….

I decided to go back to the full keyboard on my iMac – which is USB – so I removed the BT keyboard from the bluetooth preferences and put the BT keyboard in my iPad 2 bag.

Today, since I am working on fixing a BT keyboard issue in ScriptWrite, I needed to connect the keyboard to my iPad.  When I went to pair it up… nothing. The light was coming on, on the iPad, you could see “Keyboard” in the bluetooth pairing settings, etc.  But when I would touch “Keyboard” to pair it, it would sit and nothing would happen. It would give me an error and tell me that I needed to make sure my keyboard was turned on, etc. etc.

Brought out my friend’s BT keyboard and his paired right up!

I tried to pair up to my iMac figuring that I had to “disconnect” or “forget” or whatever so that the keyboard could be found by other devices.  No go on the iMac either. And no go on the iPhone 4. Nothing. Same error on every device.

Replaced batteries… twice.  Fresh batteries each time.

My very first thought is that I have to do a hard reset or reboot of the BT keyboard.

I did what every person in their right mind would do, I took to the interwebs to find the answer!  Google came up in my browser and when I searched for “Reset Apple Bluetooth Keyboard,” I found ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HELPFUL.

There were plenty of posts talking about:

1) The ‘old’ model of the BT keyboard not working with iPad 2
2) Resetting Bluetooth preferences on the computer
3) Resetting PRAM and other crap

NOTHING about what I needed.

I won’t bore you any further with the details, I’ll just tell you that after three hours of thinking about this friggin’ BT keyboard, I did the following, and IT WORKED!

(Did this first on my iMac. As soon as it started to work, I was able to connect to my iPad and my iPhone)

1) BT Keyboard should be turned off
2) Click on the Bluetooth icon in the toolbar and you’ll see “Set Up Bluetooth Device”, click that
3) The Bluetooth Set Up Assistance window will come up and start searching
4) Turn on the BT Keyboard by pushing the button on the side, BUT HOLD THE BUTTON IN. DO NOT LET IT GO! You have to hold the button in for the ENTIRE PROCESS.
5) The Set Up Assistance will find your keyboard.
6) Click on the Name of the Keyboard and click on CONTINUE
7) You will get the Pairing Code. Type that on the keyboard.


I really hope that this helps some people out there because I didn’t find ANYTHING that had this explanation. I had to figure this one out on my own.

Leave any comments if you’ve experienced the same type of issues that you couldn’t get answers to and you had to figure it out!

peace, love, and technology!

-Tony J. 

148 Comments on “Resetting My Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard to Work on My iPad 2”

  1. tonyjworld

    This post was originally on another blog and had a slew of comments:

    Jon responded:

    Hi Tony,
    I just tried your solution with an older wireless keyboard – the A1255, and I could not get your solution to work.

    However, I did find another solution that might help others.

    I *was* able to successfully pair the keyboard with my iPad – once I paired with my iPad I immediately told it to forget the keyboard again.

    At this point I could successfully pair the keyboard with my MacBook Pro using the standard method.

    Jon F
    9 months agoTony J. responded:

    Thanks Jon for the info. I hope that this post, and your added comment, will assist people that are having this issue. I appreciate the comment!
    9 months ago Shannon Taylor responded:

    Thank you. I have hooked it up before and NEVER had this problem. I also don’t remember having to hold in the power button the other times I did this. You saved my keyboard and iPad from being chucked out the door!
    8 months ago Matt responded:

    Thanks for this!! You saved me from hours of frustration!!
    7 months ago Daniel Jackson responded:

    Is there an echo? “Thank you, thank you” This work for me also. However, it turns out I need to change my batteries asap as well. Do you have any tricks for never having to change batteries, like an inductive power transfer system for the BT keyboard?
    maybe next year.

    7 months agoDeric responded:

    This worked just as suggested. Just keep button pressed during whole procedure.
    7 months ago Nate Misa Lanxon (Facebook) responded:

    Thanks Tony, worked a treat. 30 minutes of Googling to find this post was worth it.
    6 months ago Kate responded:

    Thank you so much! Totally worked- so grateful to you! :)
    6 months ago Juanita responded:

    Hi Tony:
    I almost lost my mind trying to connect the wireless keyboard to the iPad..and then I tried to find support for this. I think I spent two hours…I don’t give up. Found your message…it worked. Now I am a happy gal! Thank you so much!!!
    I love my iPad!

    5 months ago Pedro responded:

    Tony, thanks, it worked!
    5 months ago u responded:

    Great! That worked for me!
    5 months agoJustin responded:

    You are DA MAN. I searched for the same keyboard reset trick, and eventually got your page, and it worked. AWESOME.

    Many, many thanks.

    5 months ago ab responded:

    worked like a charm, first try. With the newer imacs the wireless keyboard comes already paired with the imac, so i was having difficulty pairing it with the ipad. this worked great and i’ve passed it on to others with the exact same problem. Thanks!
    5 months ago Lucas responded:

    Worked like a charm! Thanks Tony. You saved me hours of searching on line.
    5 months agoandrew finnestad responded:
    Thanks for the great tip.
    5 months agoTony J. responded:

    I’m so glad that people are finding this post useful! So happy that I could help!
    4 months ago schoemie responded:

    Thanks for the tip …
    4 months agoLaurentiu Nichitean responded:

    Thanks, this also worked for me.
    4 months ago Mel responded:

    You are a gem!! Thank you I too was going to through the Ipad and Keyboard out the window!!!
    4 months ago cpms responded:

    Brilliant, thank you, worked fine
    3 months ago Raj responded:

    Tony, thank you 1,000 times!!! I had the EXACT scenario you described, same keyboard, iMac, then iPad and it wouldn’t work, until I followed your ‘discovery’. I spent about 1 hour trying to figure it out before googling & finding your excellent post. It is amazing and ridiculous that Apple doesn’t have this info available. Thanks again.
    3 months agoChris responded:

    The only place on the internet that actually explains how to troubleshoot this issue. Thank-you so much.
    3 months ago Frank responded:

    Great solution Tony
    The bt keyboard was working with our ipad but wasn’t with our ipad 2 (connection was constantly lost or not possible at all) .
    We followed your suggestion and the bt keyboard is now working fine with the ipad 2 Thanks for solving this must be a bug !
    3 months agoBrad Grier responded:

    Thanks for posting this. I too tried to find instructions to resync my keyboard and couldn’t find much helpfull, until this.
    3 months ago Tim responded:

    Gentleman, scholar, a treasure to the world… these words do not begin to describe you. Thanks for this.
    about 1 month ago MIke responded:

    Having gone through a similarly unhelpful search I was glad to find your post. I normally might want to know why if works this way, but in this case I’ll just write it off as anohter quirky iPad feature, and get on with my life.


    about 1 month ago Chris responded:

    It worked. You just saved a day of banging my head against the wall. Much THANKS!
    about 1 month ago Jackson responded:

    Thank you. Worked great!
    about 1 month ago Ben responded:

    My apple bluetooth keyboard pairs, but it does stay connected for more than .1 seconds. it just briefly connects then quickly disconnects. I have tried this method, as well as replacing batteries, pairing and unpairing from other computers, but nothing works! what do I do?
    6 days ago Marcus responded:

    I was close to throw my keyboard from Germany over the ocean. But you held me back succesfully… What is the secret – is it written in the docs? Thank you so much… 😉
    about 22 hours ago Kayden Paris responded:

    Thanks for the help, it worked for my iphone 4 :)
    about 18 hours agoSpencer responded:

    Yo, this shit worked for me, dog! thx.

    1. Joy

      This works! I spent nearly all day trying to pair my BT keyboard. Just found your post and wah lah….in less than 1 minute, all good. Couldnt find anything on the apple support website at all……

    2. Joseph Linaschke

      Like another commenter, this procedure did not work for me (same model as yours, A1314) to reconnect to my iMac. But then I tried the same procedure (constant power button hold) and paired to my iPad 3 — and that worked! Once that was done, I was able to connect it to the Mac again. Success!

      Thanks a bunch :)


  2. Quoc-Huy

    Awesome, I had the same issue and your trick worked straight away, I’m currently writting this comment with the now working BT keyboard.


  3. Charles

    Thank you!!!
    This worked for me – I was beating my brains for two days after my keyboard when AWOL and couldn’t get it repaired.
    Shocking I could not find this solution on the Apple site, in their support or forums.

  4. Jacob

    This totally worked!! thank you so much. for some reason my keyboard would not blink when it wasnt connected and it would just turn off but this totally worked!

  5. Phil

    You’re a genius! I’ve been trying to pair my Apple aluminum bluetooth keyboard to my Windows 7 laptop but I’d get an error every time.

    I tried your method and it worked!

    THANK YOU!!!

  6. Sandy Mitchell

    Dude, you saved my bacon! I couldn’t get my iPhone 4s to ‘discover’ my Apple Bluetooth keyboard until I tried your ‘hold the power button on the keyboard ON and keep holding it…’

    It worked! You Da Man!

  7. Sean

    You saved the day! For some mad reason my keyboard would not connect to my MBP (which it was connected to the previous day). I tried everything, but keeping the power button pressed through the who process work. Many thanks!

  8. David

    Worked as you said, thanks! I spent hours trying to do this as well. I finally googled the problem, found your solution, tried it and bingo! It worked. Thanks again for saving me more time and hassle.

  9. Gareth

    The only place on the Internet that actually explains how to troubleshoot this issue….excellent work.

  10. JM

    YUOU ARE JUST GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!
    I was serchin google for 1 h and I found yor site!!!!
    WORKED in second!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Brian

    SWEET JESUS. THANK YOU, INTERNET STRANGER MAN!. Btw why couldn’t they just explain this. Come on apple git wid it.

  12. Peter

    My aluminum Apple BT keyboard pairs fine, but suddenly none of the special Apple function keys works as they should.
    F1-F2 (Brightness up/down) do nothing,
    F3-F4 apple functions do nothing.
    F5 clears your reply post frame
    F6 does nothing
    F7 (careting) works as expected
    F8 does nothing
    F9 brings up all open application windows
    F10 (mute) seems to decrease the active window size slightly, as though going to another window
    F11 (volume down) shows the desktop
    F12 (volume up) shows the calculator/calendar/weather/clock combination.

    Any advice?


    1. tonyjworld

      Hey Peter… Not sure what could be happening with the F-Keys. I have not experienced that with my keyboard. Perhaps someone else will find this and assist! – Tony J.

  13. Harbo

    Thanks man! This helped a ton, I spent about six hours on this, you’ve saved me from even more hours of hell!.

  14. Kelly Rein

    I have been searching an hour… Thank god for your post, because I was about to throw the effing thing out the window.

  15. Dr_LHA

    Just got my iMac back from getting it’s HD replaced due to the recall, and I couldn’t get my Keyboard to reconnect. This web page just saved me! Thanks a lot.

  16. Keith

    Great info but the basic glitch I had was that I had not unpaired the wireless keyboard from my previous computer!. Even holding the on/off button down throughout the process did no good until I realised I had to unpair the keyboard. Your suggestions were splendid once I had done that.

    This site gave me the news I needed:

  17. Dean

    Fantastic!! Like you I, Googled for close to an hour and found nothing. Finally found your solution which worked perfectly.


  18. James

    TOnyjworld my wife loves you! im away for school and she was pissed all night because she couldnt get the wireless keyboard to connect to her imac! this holding the button the whole time worked! thanks so much!

  19. Randy

    really grateful I didn’t need to spend 3 hrs on this annoying issue.

    Came into my office and BT KB just wouldn’t connect after inserting recharged batteries. Really annoying. But now fixed, thanks to you! Thank you.

  20. Mathieu

    Thanks, you saved my life, keeping the button pushed the entire time, even after clicking on the keyboard name, was the key of the success :)

  21. brad mcgilligan

    After trying all the other stuff on Apple Community Support (SMC, PRAM, etc.) your directions did the trick! Apple support says nothing about holding in the button! Thanks a million!

  22. Andrew

    Thank you much! Like the others above, this saved me a ton of time. I thought it might be broken at first.

  23. Costa

    Thank you!!!
    I just spent the morning trying to troubleshoot this issue and it just worked with your suggestion.

  24. Austin

    A1255 keyboard giving me fits and it is a little difficult to know what worked bur since it started after I kept the on button pressed in through several attempts I give you credit ;-)!! Thanks,

  25. Earl

    You rock. Thank you for the help with this one. I wasn’t pulling my hair out, but that is because I don’t have any, but I was ready to toss the keyboard out. Now I just used it to type in this post.


  26. Pingback: How to Reset an Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, Mouse or Trackpad « Dave Meehan

  27. hosmo

    OMG you rock! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I was so frustrated and ready to make an appointment with the local Apple Store, but it worked great! YOU ARE THE BEST! :) I’m wishing you all the BEST karma in the world for helping all of us lost souls! :)

  28. Jenn

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! Was so frustrated when my keyboard just stopped working this morning. This worked perfectly!

  29. Todd MacDonald

    Thank you for your profound insights. I was trying to connect to a MAC Mini during setup and could not figure out why it wasn’t working. Searching the web got me nowhere, and only added to the frustration. I followed your instructions and it worked on the first try.

  30. RodrigoMoreno

    Thank You¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  31. Dave

    45 mins of headscratching and googling, worrying i’d broke the keyboard, found this, tried it, worked right away. Thank you! Why is this not on Apple’s website?!

  32. Meenie

    I’ve been having the same problem. How long do you have to hole the button in? I’ve held it and held it and still no go :(
    Darn thing just won’t pair. I’ve turned both off and back on. first one, then the other…. then the other and then the first, lol. Nothingi works – not paired is all I get. I have the iPad 3 and oh boy am I frustrated :( Keyboard had NO instructions at all

  33. Ken L

    Man, oh man, how the hell did you figure that one out??? I actually got really close to doing it myself before letting go of the button too soon.

    In the end, I found it was paired to a nearby computer. I did your trick and it worked right away.

    Thanks sooooo much!!!


  34. Jacques

    Thank you. Worked perfectly. This is the only way I was able to get my keyboard to “forget” the old pairing.
    One needs to release the power button before typing the pairing code though…

  35. Mike Hoopes

    Tony – thanks! iPad 3, keyboard A1314. I had connected earlier, but had turned off bluetooth due to nuisance connections when both shared a carrying case; the keyboard is too easily awakened. It would be nice if there was a “park” mode, and a recessed power switch. I’ve pulled my iPad out of the case many times, to find the screen on and the battery half-depleted.

    Turned bluetooth back on. The iPad saw the keyboard, but wouldn’t connect. I hit the arrow and selected “forget this device”, figuring I’d just re-pair (like re-connecting to a “forgotten” WLAN node).

    Finally I found your post, which worked like a charm. This isn’t documented anywhere…another case of a marketing department withholding information that they unilaterally deem “confusing” (I’ve worked in product dev as an engineer, and have run into that quite a bit).

  36. Scarlett

    You saved me buying a new keyboard because I was convinced the bluetooth or pairing ability was fried. I searched for days for answers and was about to give up when I came across your post. **THANK YOU** Tony J, you rock 50 shades to Sunday :) even more so thank you for sharing it and not just fixing your issue and leaving it be. Look at all the other people you helped. :)

  37. Nick

    I’ve a 1314 and the exact same issue. I’ve been using my wife’s USB keyboard for a few weeks as I didn’t chance upon this page until today. I went through pretty much the same frustrations. Apple docs don’t cover this, all the PRAM etc instructions were clearly off track for the problem.

    I’d tried holding down the button…but not THE WHOLE time! I was ecstatic when the passcode prompt came up!


  38. Dawn

    Thank you! It worked!!! Been trying and researching for two days, even bought a USB keyboard! S glad I stuck with it and found your website!

  39. thanks

    Thanks, it really works and solved the problem I had with the bluetooth keyboard which didn’t want to connect after I used it with my ipad2

  40. Luis

    All, I so great to see that it worked for so many people. Unfortunately it did not work for me. I’ve tried several times following the instructions either on iMac and iPad2 but in none of them I could get the apple wireless keyboard paired.
    Any other clue on how to fix that? Thanks in advance for any help.

    1. tonyjworld

      Hi there! Not sure why it’s not working for you. Be sure that you are holding down the power button on the keyboard the entire time. Sorry I cannot offer another option.

  41. Rae Gross

    Thank you so much!!! Holding the button worked like a charm! I did NOT want to go to my IT department for something that seemed waaaaay too simple. xoxo

  42. Michael

    What I’ve found that typically causes this is if it still sees whatever it was latched onto previously. Turn bluetooth off on those other devices and it should then go properly into pair mode by holding power / eject (at least on the original model – it’ll move on to a blink mode).

    In my case, I’ve had to turn off the aTV. It seems to have a pretty good history as I’ve had to do this twice.

  43. Tim

    Thanks this worked for Windows 7 for me. I could pair before this but seemed to get repeating keys and sluggish behavior. It looks like this fixed my issue!

  44. Ram

    It worked, one slight change – if the Keyboard does not appear on the list then just briefly release until it appears then select and press the keyboard button and keep it pressed until the code is presented. It works!

  45. SG

    I’ve been on the verge of replacing my keyboard for over a year now since it wouldnt pair with my iPad. And tonight I couldnt get it to pair with my Macbook Pro either but THIS POST RIGHT HERE saved the day! Now all of my devices are paired and I cant thank you enough!

    God bless!

  46. Johannes

    As it seems this trick doesn’t work on Mavericks anymore. Also I did not find yet the option to specify the pairing code (the whole bluetooth assistant seems to be different).
    And it seems, that the only key left working on my keyboard while pairing is the “0”…. strange! It worked two weeks ago, so I doubt it to be a hardware issue. Any help would be appreciated!

  47. Riky

    Unfurtunatly don’t work for me :(

    I have A1255 keyboard… press and keep press …but the mac not pairing, also the ipad… -.-


  48. Svetlin

    Hey Tony,

    Many thanks for you post! However I still can not resolve my issue and it is driving me crazy.

    I have an iMac lat 2013 and aluminium keyboard. It was working great until the moment it started typing itself, so I removed the keyword and tried to pair it again. I can’t pair it anymore, when the numbers show up they keyword does not respond. Funnily without doing anything, it worked on the next day. 2 days after the same issue happened again and now I can not pair it anymore.

    I 2 iphones but they won’t pair neither…

    Many thanks in advance!

  49. m

    thanks! following your advice i psired my apple wireless keyboard to my ipad2.

    now can someone advise me on how can i get the BT mouse to pair?

  50. Nichole

    Thank you! Your advice worked. Now I can use my Mac wireless keyboard (model a1314) with my MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard). No more hunching over, hooray.

  51. Karla

    OMG!! You can’t imagine how grateful I am…. you literally saved my life… I spent two days without being able to use my so loved BT keyboard and was about to go nuts without my cmd shortcuts.. and I was about to consider buying a new one because I didn’t saw the end of this suffering.

    Thanks a billion!

  52. Howard Metcalfe

    Four hours and finally found your solution! Works with iPad 3 and BT apple keyboard under IOS 7. My dining room window is now shut, no need to toss anything out. Note that command-t, -w, -l, -[, -] all work to control the iPad 3. Really outrageous!

    Thank you so much!

  53. Computer Squirl

    I am not sure if I did it right but I made it forget the device and then held the pair and on button and it paired immediately. I got this ZaggProfolio keyboard for my ipad 2 for Christmas and have been racking the old brain why it didn’t pair. I finally read your solution and it worked like charm. Thanks!!!!!

  54. manlio

    got an issue with keyboard and macbook pro…followed the lines and it worked fine…i’ve been able to pair the device and got it back to work.I’m grateful mate.thanks

  55. Britta

    I could kiss you. I’ve been trying to get my keyboard to reconnect for over an hour and this is the only thing that worked! You’re awesome! :-)

  56. Mister Grigg

    Holy Cow!! After hours of searching Apple’s forums I came across your information. Finally got my wife’s blooming Apple keyboard to pair with her iMac again. THANKS!!

  57. Nikolay Rakov

    Hi Tony,
    This is to say Thanks a lot for your advice. I’ve spend a lot of time to have my keyboard working with my MacBook Pro again after it stopped with no particular reason… Don’t want to bother with the list of what I was trying, but nothing worked. Apple help didn’t work at all. And the only thing has left to do is to reset keyboard to register it with computer again, but no any procedure was found on the internet untill I found your site.
    And no it works. Now I’m away from the frustration related to possibility to buy a new keyboard.
    It feels that Apple don’t know how to do that or don’t care. Maybe both.

  58. Jeanne

    Thanks!!! I couldn’t connect my keyboard to my ipad after switching the bluetooth off. All I had to do was keep the button on the keyboard pressed.

  59. Hard Drive Repair NJ

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  60. Jonathan Seath

    I had a similar problem. I couldn’t get the keyboard paired as I needed to log in.
    However, I stumbled across a work around. I have a Magic Mouse and was able to do the two finger left to right scroll to switch between desktops. Each desktop appeared for about a second before reverting to the login screen. I switched on the keyboard to begin its pairing process. Strangely one of the desktops had the dialog box providing the pairing number. It was too quick to memorise. I filmed as I switched from desktop to desktop. Played the film back. Paused it on the number. Typed number into the keyboard. Problem solved.

  61. David

    Same frustration with an iPad Air. This worked! It took a while, but worked. I am typing on my BT keyboard as I submit this comment . . .

  62. azhar

    wow. i searched all over the internet and your solution worked. however, i did have to first click on setup bluetooth keyboard then power u the bluetooth keyboard and held the power down till recognized. An hour plus wasted reading other useless websites .. Thanks a bunch

  63. Computer Grrl

    Sincere thanks! So glad I found this in seconds and it worked right off the bat. Had a user do a drive-by. I did some live action LMGTFY and voila. Fix-ed. Did a right-click –> Rename to rename the bluetooth device after pairing. Mac OS 10.10. Hoorah.

  64. Tristram

    Very kind of you to share this. Why Apple doesn’t make this help obvious.

    Holding the button down seemed to be the crucial difference…

  65. cheryl

    Hi Tony,
    I have tried for 2 days to get my Justin powercase with keyboard to work and it wasn’t even showing the power light on the board (only the power charge would appear for a few seconds). I tried what you said and it worked within 5 minutes! Thank you so much! I was worried this wasn’t going to happen as I tried with 3 different iPads!
    Thank goodness you posted this!
    Thanks again,

  66. Hans Verlinden

    My iPad mini 3 had similar issue today, thanks for the tip, did the trick in a single try – sadly on a european ‘azerty’ keyboard it is more difficult to type the 4 number code since you have to hold down shift to type digits an I am not yet three handed 😉

  67. Patricia

    Great! Now it works on my iPad4 (not a small feat and I thank you all for your help) but now won’t connect to the Mac. Can it only be linked to one device at a time?

    So close…

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