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I accidentally disabled the Bluetooth on Mac OS. I can't enable it because my Bluetooth based keyboard and mouse are now disabled.

I found a USB based keyboard I can use, so how can I enable Bluetooth just using my keyboard?

Is there a command line way or shortcut I can use?

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3  
I can just imagine the :facepalm: when you realized what happened. Hope someone has the right answer for you. :) –  JMD Jan 7 '10 at 19:47
    
what if my keyboard is also bluetooth ? –  john Smith Aug 6 at 10:13

11 Answers 11

Here's a sequence that worked for me (OS X 10.6.7) when I had the same issue.

  1. Press Space to activate Spotlight.

  2. Type "bluetooth", choose the 'Bluetooth File Exchange' application, and press Return.

  3. Bluetooth File Exchange will prompt to enable the bluetooth hardware, press Return.

  4. Bluetooth is now enabled and you can quit Bluetooth File Exchange.

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This worked better for me, as I have the function keys set to control playback, and Control+F7 wasn't enabling full keyboard access... Thanks! –  geerlingguy Jun 22 '11 at 14:31
    
worked perfectly. thanks –  mbrownnyc Sep 1 '11 at 2:39
1  
This worked well for me because the On checkbox in the Bluetooth preferences pane was not selectable :-( OS X Lion –  Bennett Dill Feb 1 '12 at 17:18
    
This worked way better for me than fideli's answer which got me all the way to bluetooth settings but I could not tab to the on check box. This was also lot faster and easier. –  JD Isaacks Jan 16 '13 at 15:19
    
Elegant and functional — this was an awesome answer. –  ehfeng Apr 16 at 20:34
  1. +Tab until you get to the Finder.
  2. ++G to bring up the Go To dialog: type in /Applications.
  3. Just type the letters "sys" and your highlight should be over "System Preferences". Press +O to open it.
  4. In System Preferences, the cursor should be in the search field. Just type in "bluetooth" and press Return. Now you're in the Bluetooth preferences.
  5. Press Tab, and there should be a faint highlight on the "On" checkbox.
  6. Press Space, and that should turn it on.

If you happen to have Quicksilver installed, invoke System Preferences from there and go directly to step 4 above. Or without Quicksilver press +Space to activate Spotlight, type "bluetooth" and go directly to the Bluetooth preference pane, and step 5 above.

If you don't have a Command key on the keyboard, then hit Ctrl+F2 to activate the Apple menu, press and go to System Preferences and continue at step 4 above.

If in Step 5 pressing Tab does not navigate through all inputs, then press Ctrl+F7 to activate Full Keyboard Access. When done, press Ctrl+F7 again to disable it.

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4  
1-3 can be replaced with: ⌘-space; type "sys"; hit enter. (⌘-space launches Spotlight.) –  Jonik Mar 6 '10 at 19:35
    
This is a great answer! –  Josh Mar 10 '10 at 20:09
1  
Can't highlight the On checkbox with tabbing... change in snow leopard? –  mbrownnyc Sep 1 '11 at 2:39
    
The last paragraph was the one I needed, thanks! –  MikeSchinkel Dec 4 '11 at 6:33
1  
Thanks a lot. The Ctrl-F7 tip saved my life. –  Rodrigo Pinho Pereira de Souza Jan 1 '12 at 20:03

I've been using blueutil occasionally - seems to work. It's free and comes with the source code.

Usage:

Print bluetooth status
blueutil status

Switch bluetooth on
blueutil on

Switch bluetooth off
blueutil off

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I wanted to mention a little known feature of the OS:

If you reboot and unplug the keyboard, the OS will automatically enable Bluetooth and start looking for BT keyboards and mice.

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  • Press Space, write "bluetooth".
  • Press the following combination: FnF7. A light blue frame appears arround the activate box.
  • Press spacebar, finished!
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The sequence Fn⌃F7 activates full keyboard access; once you've turned it on you'll be able to simply tab between the control elements in the window. –  Josh Ourisman Oct 31 '12 at 15:17

Here is a faster way which I just did on Lion:

  1. Command + Spacebar to start spotlight
  2. type "bluetooth"
  3. Select "Bluetooth File Exchange"
  4. This will trigger a warning that bluetooth is disabled, the enable button should be highlighted so all you need to do now is press return
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Worked on Mavericks, too! –  Dennis Wurster Jun 13 at 13:41

This method required the bluetooth menu bar status icon to show and used AppleScript GUI scripting (requires System Preferences » Universal Access » Support for assistive devices IIRC):

tell application "System Events"
    tell process "SystemUIServer"
        tell (menu bar item 1 of menu bar 1 whose description is "bluetooth")
            click
            click menu 1's second menu item
        end tell
    end tell
end tell

Call from command line using osascript:

osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to tell process "SystemUIServer" to tell (menu bar item 1 of menu bar 1 whose description is "bluetooth") to {click, click (menu item 2 of menu 1)}'

Do not edit this post. I don't care if you don't like the scroll bar. It's easier to select by triple-clicking this way.


Alternatively, you can launch System Preferences and click the checkbox:

tell application "System Preferences"
    set current pane to pane id "com.apple.preferences.bluetooth"
    tell application "System Events"
        tell process "System Preferences"
            click checkbox "On" of window "Bluetooth"
        end tell
    end tell
    quit
end tell

While a GUI process launches, it isn't visible except for the Dock icon.

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Simply turn on your Mac. press F then type "bluetooth" then press until you reach the "bluetooth" icon.

Then O and to enable Bluetooth! That's the easiest way to make it!

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If you are using a apply keyboard (wired) Just press Option+F8 If you are using a Windows keyboard (wired) Just press Ctrl+F8

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Use Alfred and the Bluetooth workflow

Alfred
http://www.alfredapp.com

Bluetooth Toggle

http://www.alfredforum.com/topic/1047-bluetooth-toggle/?hl=bluetooth

enter image description here

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If you are attempting to reinstall OSX from boot media, and your Bluetooth wasn't enabled at the start (still an issue with Mountain Lion Recovery media), Ctrl + fn + F2 gets you to the menus at the top (as described many other places), which contain other useful utilities, like Terminal.

I'm lucky that my mouse was immediately recognized (I'm sure there's ways to delve further once this has been stirred), allowing me to click things which were otherwise completely stymied (like "install"), through one short terminal command: blued . The Bluetooth daemon kicked up and gave MAC addresses for probably two devices I have currently battery powered, and around. Hope that helps others, rather than forcing us all to get/keep USB wired mice around, dust free, and in workable condition.

Other extraneous USB pointing devices failed where this method succeeded for me. The computer I am working with has a fully powered and interactive Wacom Bamboo tablet-- this doesn't get anyone anywhere since I'm sure drivers aren't included/loaded at the point I found myself.

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