How to Turn on an Apple Wireless Keyboard (Steps)

apple wireless bluetooth keyboard

3 min read

Angela Otero

Turning on an Apple wireless keyboard is not difficult.

The Apple wireless keyboard is switched on by a small slide switch on the back or top to one side or a power button on the right, as shown below.

The toggle switch is normal on newer wireless keyboards, whereas the power button is on older versions. Pair it with the computer after turning it on for the first time.

Sliding Switch

If you have a wireless Magic Keyboard, the keyboard on/off switch is on the back right edge of the keyboard.

This is normal on newer Apple Magic keyboards and near the lightning connector.

Apple's wireless magic keyboard with the power switch as a key in the top right corner
Apple’s wireless magic keyboard with the power switch as a key in the top right corner [Apple]

Here’s a closer look at the view from the back:

The power switch on Apple's wireless Magic Keyboard
The power switch on Apple’s wireless Magic Keyboard

Slide it to turn it on or off. If turning it on, the green background will be visible like this:

Push Button

If it’s a wireless keyboard with a push button, push and hold it for a second or two until the green power indicator light on the front of the keyboard comes on.

After a second, the light will go out after a successful pairing but will blink if unsuccessful. It means the keyboard is discoverable and ready to be paired.

side view of an older version of apple wireless keyboard
Older Apple wireless keyboard with a power button on the right side [Apple]

Power Indicator

The table below gives the meanings of the power indicator light.

Power Indicator LightMeaning
Steady glow upon turning on for 3-5 seconds, then turns offThe keyboard is turned on, and the batteries are good.
BlinkingThe keyboard is in discovery mode and ready to be paired with the computer (or other device).
Turned off after blinkingThe keyboard is still unpaired. Turn the keyboard off, then on again to pair.
Off (even after switching on)You may need to recharge or change the batteries.

Connecting to the Wireless Keyboard

Follow these two simple steps to connect to the wireless keyboard on the computer or other device once it’s turned on:

  1. Open Settings on the device and select Bluetooth. If Bluetooth is off, toggle the Bluetooth switch and wait for it to discover the wireless keyboard.
  2. Under “Other Devices,” select the Magic Keyboard.

The Apple wireless keyboard will be ready to use when you see it in the My Devices section.


Failure to Recognize the Keyboard

If the Mac doesn’t recognize the wireless keyboard, use the USB-C to Lightning cable to first pair it, disconnect the cable, then use the keyboard wirelessly. It’s the same cable you use to charge the keyboard.

Keyboard Not Being Discovered

If the device fails to discover the keyboard and the keyboard is on, turn it off and then on again.

The Power Key is Not Working

This applies to the round power button on the side of older wireless keyboards. If there’s a mechanical problem with it, cut around the edges of the button to loosen it. Pull the button out and either repair or replace it. Then, push it back in.


Keyboard. https://support.apple.com

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