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Apple Wireless Keyboard 1st generation A1016

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Wireless keyboard fails to pair with upgraded Monterey MacOS.

I've upgraded a 2009 iMac to Monterey and I'm not able to get my keyboard to pair. When I click pair, it appears to be waiting for my number to keyed into the keyboard, but it won't display the number to enter until I hit return.

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This seems to be an issue with the A1016 not playing nicely with Monterey in general. I found a solution to this from What_is_a_sesame on an Apple discussions thread.

As per the OP:

  • Step 1: Install Homebrew for macOS

Copy/paste the following command (taken from the Homebrew website https://brew.sh) into Terminal and type Return

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
  • Step 2: Install blueutil with Homebrew

Still in Terminal, enter the following command and wait for it to complete:

brew install blueutil
  • Step 3: Use blueutil to discover your Bluetooth peripherals and get its MAC address

Using blueutil is pretty simple. There is a good documentation of what it can do out there, but you can also simply type in Terminal :

blueutil --help

From now on, make sure:

– Your Bluetooth module is on by clicking on the BT icon in the menu bar,

– Your keyboard is in 'Discovery' mode (you just turned it on, it isn't connected to anything else and its green light is blinking)

Run the command:

blueutil --inquiry

to discover the available Bluetooth peripherals in your area. It will give you something like this:

(base) you@your-computer ~ % blueutil --inquiry                    
address: xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, not connected, not favourite, not paired, name: "Apple Wireless Keyboard", recent access date: 2021-11-06 18:22:39 +0000

You may have more than one peripheral here, be careful to select which one is most likely your keyboard. Note the 'address' part. That's the MAC (not Macintosh) address of your keyboard which is its unique network identifier, with x hexadecimal numbers between 0 and f. You want to highlight and copy that part with Cmd+C.

Now that you have your keyboard's MAC address all you have to do is run the following command:

blueutil --pair xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx 0000

The '0000' is the PIN key we specify so we have to type the same on the keyboard to finalize pairing. Be careful, here, after you press enter, nothing happens. It's a bug of the current BT API embedded in Monterey. Just wait a few seconds and then enter 0000 and press Return on your external keyboard. Pairing should then be successful and you would be able to use your ancient but nicely designed keyboard with your modern Mac. If not, you can try several things (for which I have no proof they actually help):

  • Reboot your computer
  • Enter the PIN number by using the main keyboard, or conversely, the numeric keypad
  • Make sure that your keyboard isn't already paired — with blueutil, you can check that by running the command blueutil --paired
  • Reset your computer's SMC and NVRAM (How to reset the SMC of your Mac - Apple Support https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063)
  • Reset the keyboard by removing the batteries for ~20 seconds, putting them back in and turning the keyboard on again
  • Replace the batteries

Mine was reluctant to pair until I reset the SMC and PRAM once more. Good luck!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I take no credit for devising this solution, I'm just reposting it here to make sure perfectly good keyboards don't end up in landfills

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Thank you very much for this.

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Thanks so much this has taught me so much, however, when I get to the pair command I keep getting an error -

Failed to pair "xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx" (x's replacing my mac address) with error 0x1f (Unspecified Error)

I've tried the reboots, batteries, resetting SMC, etc...nothing seems to help.

Any additional things you think I should try before I give up?

Thanks again for your help!

完成的

Honestly it failed a lot for me as well. Took me about half an hour of fiddling with things I would just stick with the reboots and battery pulls. About a dozen failed attempts and then just worked perfectly the next time. Only other advice would be make sure you have your Mac address in correctly and try reinstalling blueutil. Also try varying using the numpad and number row and enter and return keys.

完成的

It was failing for me about 50 times too but suddenly it worked and now I am typing this comment on my Apple Wireless Keyboard 1st gen (A1016) connected to a Macbook Air M2. So just keep trying my friends.

完成的

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Hi

Ouch that’s a unwanted surprise isn’t it , sometime when using a patcher to get unsupported devices updated can cause these sort of things to happen

But before we come to a conclusion that’s that’s the issue I would forget the device in settings and the re-pair it

Hopefully this answers your question

Thanks:-)

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I just spoke to Apple on the phone. They literally have deprecated the keyboard. They've deemed that their customers must buy a new one instead. Whoever is responsible for this money grab has alienated customers.

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Wow, this sucks! You're a hero though - thanks so much for the info. At least I can stop banging my head on my desk. I guess my keyboard is going up on Ebay.

完成的

I believe you may have missed the point of this thread. Yes, apple dropped official support for this keyboard but it is still very much usable. I paired it to my M1 Mac mini running the Ventura beta and it works flawlessly. After the steps outlined above are done, the keyboard will stay paired and work normally. Pairing is undoubtedly a pain now but you only have to do it once.

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Good to know. I thought I've thrown mine away years ago when I moved 10 years ago but just found in one of the boxes I haven't opened since then. I tended to use it with my mac pro 2013 but now that I know that it takes some effort to get it working with monterey

I might ditch it for a few bucks at a refubisher. I'd prefer using it with my mac pro though.

The other options would be keeping it for some other device or even mod it with an arduino and a thinkpad trackpoint. The space over the T-cursor-keys should have enough room.

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Hi all - thanks so much for the help. I quite like this keyboard. I had the connection issue over and over. I reset the mac, pulled the batteries in and out a few times. After I entered the pair command i entered 0000 then enter on the A1016 - after a couple of tries - bam! It works. You are all awesome!

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