How to Set Up Peripherals for Apple Mac

Introduction

There are many peripherals and accessories that you can connect to and use with your Apple Mac computer. This guide will go over how to setup and add common popular accessories and peripherals to your new machine.

Please ensure you have any and all cabling your new peripheral or accessory came packaged with in case it is necessary for initial setup.

Common Apple wireless peripherals.

1 Enable Bluetooth

  1. Click the System Preferences icon.
    System Preferences.
  2. Click the Bluetooth icon.
    System Preferences window with Bluetooth selected. Screenshot.
  3. Bluetooth properties will open.
  4. Ensure that Bluetooth status reads Bluetooth: On. If it is off, click Turn Bluetooth On to enable it.
    Bluetooth screen with list of nearby bluetooth devices. Highlight on the Bluetooth radio status. Screenshot.
  5. Your computer will automatically begin searching for Bluetooth devices that may be in range.

? What kind of peripheral are you connecting to your Mac?

  1. Magic Mouse
  2. Magic Trackpad
  3. Magic Keyboard
  4. AirPods
  5. Bluetooth Audio Device
  6. External Hard Drive

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There are many peripherals and accessories that you can connect to and use with your Apple Mac computer. This guide will go over how to setup and add common popular accessories and peripherals to your new machine.

Please ensure you have any and all cabling your new peripheral or accessory came packaged with in case it is necessary for initial setup.

Common Apple wireless peripherals.

  1. Click the System Preferences icon.
    System Preferences.
  2. Click the Bluetooth icon.
    System Preferences window with Bluetooth selected. Screenshot.
  3. Bluetooth properties will open.
  4. Ensure that Bluetooth status reads Bluetooth: On. If it is off, click Turn Bluetooth On to enable it.
    Bluetooth screen with list of nearby bluetooth devices. Highlight on the Bluetooth radio status. Screenshot.
  5. Your computer will automatically begin searching for Bluetooth devices that may be in range.
  1. Connect the mouse to your Mac using the Lightning-to-USB cable. Plug the Lightning end into your mouse, and the USB end into your Mac.
    Connecting an Apple Magic Mouse to a Mac with the supplied lightning to USB cable.

  2. Flip the switch on the bottom of the mouse. You'll see a green light above it, indicating it's on.
    Apple Magic mouse with the on/off switch and indicator light highlighted.

  3. Wait for the device to pair. Your Mac will automatically pair the mouse with your computer.
    macOS and Magic Mouse pairing with one another.

  4. Allow the mouse to charge. The mouse will charge while it's plugged in. Disconnect it once the charge is full.
    Apple Magic Mouse plugged in and charging.

  5. Once the mouse is unplugged, it can be flipped over and used normally with your Mac computer.

The Magic Mouse 2 will not function while plugged in.

The Bluetooth menu bar icon in the upper-right of your display displays the status of Bluetooth and connected devices:

  • Bluetooth is on, but there are no devices connected to your Mac.
    Screenshot of a Bluetooth icon.

  • Bluetooth is on and at least one wireless device is connected.
    Screenshot of a Bluetooth icon with 3 black horizontal dots.

  • At least one wireless device has a low battery. Click the Bluetooth icon to identify the affected device, then replace its batteries.
    Screenshot of the low-battery power icon.

  • Bluetooth is off. Click the Bluetooth icon using a wired mouse or trackpad or the built-in trackpad on your Mac notebook and select Turn Bluetooth On.
    Screenshot of a Bluetooth icon, greyed out to indicate the setting is off.

  • Bluetooth is offline and unavailable. Restart your Mac. If the Bluetooth status doesn’t change, disconnect all USB devices and restart your Mac again. If Bluetooth continues to show as unavailable, you might need to get your Mac serviced.
    Screenshot of a Bluetooth icon, with a horizontal zig-zag line going across.
  1. Flip the switch on the trackpad. You'll see a green light, indicating it's on.
    Magic Trackpad on/off switch.

  2. Connect the trackpad to your Mac using the Lightning-to-USB cable. Plug the Lightning end into your trackpad.
    Magic Trackpad plugged in via supplied Lightning to USB cable.

  3. Plug the USB end into any available USB port on your Mac.
    Magic Trackpad connected to a Mac via USB.

  4. Wait for the device to pair. Your Mac will automatically pair the trackpad with your computer. You will receive a Ready to Use message once complete.
    macOS and the Magic Trackpad Bluetooth pairing process.

  5. The trackpad is now fully paired and can be used without the cable from this point forward. Don't forget to charge the trackpad whenever it is low on battery.
  1. Turn your Magic Keyboard on.
    Magic Keyboard on/off switch.

  2. Now connect your Magic Keyboard to your Mac with the supplied lightning cable.
    Magic Keyboard plugged in via supplied Lightning to USB cable.

  3. Plug the USB end into any available USB port on your Mac.
    Magic Keyboard connected to a Mac via USB.

  4. You will see a Connected message appear on-screen. This will disappear on it's own.
    macOS Magic Keyboard Bluetooth pairing process.

  5. Your Magic Keyboard is now connected to your Mac! You may disconnect the lightning cable as you can use this Magic Keyboard wirelessly. But don't forget to charge the keyboard whenever it is low on battery.

Pairing your AirPods with your iPhone also pairs them with your Mac. That's because iCloud will sync the pairing to any Mac on macOS Sierra. Manually pairing your AirPods with your Mac may not be necessary at all.

If your AirPods are not connected to your iPhone, you can pair them directly with your Mac.

  1. With your AirPods in their case, open the lid.
    Apple AirPods in their case with the lid opened.

  2. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white.
    Apple AirPods rear setup button, and the AirPods case open with the status light lit being highlighted.

  3. Click the System Preferences icon.
    macOS system preferences icon.

  4. Click the Bluetooth icon.
    macOS system preferences window with the Bluetooth icon highlighted.

  5. Select AirPods in the Devices list, then click Pair.
    macOS Bluetooth window open highlighing an available AirPods device.

  6. Your AirPods will then show as Connected and are ready to use with your Mac.
    macOS Bluetooth window highlighting a successfully connected AirPods device.

This step applies to many different bluetooth audio devices including headsets, headphones, speakers, etc. Depending on the device you are attempting to add, the screens you see may be slightly different than the ones depicted here.

  1. Place your Bluetooth audio device into pairing mode. This process will vary depending on what kind of device you have. Refer to your device's documentation for specifics on how to accomplish this.
    Wireless headphones being placed into pairing mode.

  2. Click the System Preferences icon.
    macOS system preferences icon.

  3. Click the Bluetooth icon.
    macOS system preferences window with the Bluetooth icon highlighted.

  4. Bluetooth properties will open.
  5. Ensure that Bluetooth status reads Bluetooth: On. If it is off, click Turn Bluetooth On to enable it.
    macOS Bluetooth window displaying Bluetooth setting to be on.

  6. Available Bluetooth devices will begin to appear in the list.
  7. Locate the device you wish to pair in the list and click Pair.
    macOS Bluetooth window displaying a list of available devices.

  8. Once connected, the device will display Connected within the device list. It is now available to your Mac to output audio to.
    macOS Bluetooth window displaying a successfully connected Bluetooth audio device.
  1. Physically connect the USB cable that came with your external hard drive to the drive itself.
    Example of an external hard drive and its supplied USB cable.
  2. Connect the other end of the USB cable to your Mac computer.
    USB cable being connected to an available USB port on a Mac.
  3. An icon will pop up on the desktop of your Mac computer that will represent the hard drive that was just connected to the machine. Depending on what kind of drive you connected, this icon's appearance and label will vary.
    macOS drive icon
  4. To access the contents of this drive, simply double-click the icon. A Finder window will open to display its contents.
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