Solution to Apple Mac Pro Bluetooth Interference Issues
Posted on July 24, 2011 by Chris Duke
Ever since I changed my desktop computer from a Macbook Pro to a Mac Pro, my three Apple bluetooth input devices started encountering sporadic interference issues. My wireless keyboard would often lose connection or experienced slow or lost keystrokes. And both my Magic Mouse and my Magic Trackpad would exhibit “drunken” behavior including slow or jumpy cursor movement as well as connection issues.
It got to the point where even though I loved the mouse, I replaced it with a wired one, and I moved from the wireless keyboard to a wired one. I couldn’t give up my Magic Trackpad, though, because I just love it as an input device. Then I finally figured out a solution and it only cost $18.
Other people online had a lot of suggestions, such as changing the location of your input devices or moving your Mac around. None of these were solutions for me, and it was shocking how bad Apple’s bluetooth input devices worked. My Mac is located approximately 4 feet from my desk where these devices live. I clearly have some interference issues in my office, but finding them is impossible. Turning off other devices like my iPhone, iPad, wireless USB headset, etc. made no difference.
Since the Mac’s bluetooth antennae was clearly at fault, I decided to try replacing it with one from a 3rd-party. I picked up the Belkin Mini Bluetooth Laptop Adapter from Amazon for $17.81 and it arrived 2 days later thanks to my awesome Prime membership. I took it out of its finger-slicing plastic tomb, plugged it into the back of my Apple 27″ Cinema Display and without installing any new drivers or goofy software, it started working. Now my devices are less than 12″ away from my new bluetooth antennae and after a few days of use, I have encountered no problems whatsoever.
Because this solution worked so well for me, I thought I’d post an article about it to hopefully help others who have been suffering with this same issue. I wish I found out about it when I first started encountering this issue. It would have saved me a lot of time and frustrations.
While it is a “plug ‘n play” device, the Belkin bluetooth adapter does cause problems if you unplug it and move it to another USB port. In fact, when I did this it locked up my Mac Pro quite nicely and I had to power it down in order to restore access to my Mac. Also, the blinking blue LED light on the side is highly annoying. I wish there was a way to turn it off via software, but there isn’t so I will most likely slap a piece of electrical tape around it.
Other than those two issues, this is a must-buy for anyone encountering connectivity issues with their Apple bluetooth input devices. I can’t promise it will solve all your issues, but it did for me.