Check the Battery Level of Bluetooth Devices Connected to a Mac

Jan 10, 2013 - 13 Comments

Check bluetooth device battery level in Mac OS X Most Bluetooth accessories don’t have battery indicators located on the device itself, and that includes the Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad. Rather than waiting for the battery to run low, thereby causing the devices connection to weaken, stop registering movements, clicks, or certain behavior, you can choose to manually intervene by periodically checking the battery level of most Bluetooth devices connected to a Mac. This is done easily by looking in either the Mac OS X Bluetooth management menu and Preference panel, we’ll show you how to do both.

How to Check Bluetooth Device Battery Levels with Mac Bluetooth Menu

This is by far the easiest method to quickly check on any connected devices battery level, though you will obviously need to have the Bluetooth menu enabled to be able to use this*.

  1. Pull down the Bluetooth menu bar located at the top of the Mac screen
  2. Locate the accessory to check battery life for under the “Devices” section of the menu list,then select that item to open it’s submenu and see the battery level

* If you don’t have the Bluetooth menu visible, you need to enable it through checking the box at  > System Preferences > Bluetooth > “Show Bluetooth status in the menu bar”.

Bluetooth device battery level as shown in the menu bar item

All connected Bluetooth accessories will show a Battery Level here as a percentage, though it won’t provide a time estimate of what’s remaining like the standard battery indicator for portable Macs would. Regardless, this is the absolute easiest and fastest way to check on a wireless bluetooth devices battery life. If you don’t want to use the Bluetooth menu bar management item for whatever reason, you can also rely on the System Preference panel though.

Seeing Bluetooth Device Battery Levels with Mac System Preferences

The battery level of connected Bluetooth devices to a Mac can also be checked in System Preferences. But there’s a catch: most devices are going to be found in different places. For example, you’ll have to look at “Keyboard” panel to see a Bluetooth keyboards battery level:

  • Go to the  Apple menu and go to “System Preferences”
    • For Keyboards: go to “Keyboard” to see the battery level
    • For Mouse: go to “Mouse” panel to see the remaining battery life
    • For Trackpads: go to the “Trackpad preference panel to see remaining battery level

Bluetooth keyboard battery level, shown in the System Preference panel

And then if you wanted to find another devices, like a trackpad, you’d need to visit the Trackpad system preference panel. If you use multiple Bluetooth devices this isn’t preferable, and you’ll be better off enabling the Bluetooth menu bar item and using that to check things instead.

Most Bluetooth devices are very power efficient and don’t have many demands, though things like headsets will drain faster than a keyboard. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have a set of good rechargeable batteries handy that work with whatever accessories you use frequently, because it’s never fun to have a device run out on you, and very low battery life can also be a reason why Bluetooth connection strength suffers. If you’re trying to figure out if that is an issue, check the battery life and monitor the signal to see if it improves with new batteries in place, oftentimes it will.

Thanks to Tim for the question and tip idea.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. t says:

    So what if it doesnt show a battery percentage?
    on system preferences under bluetooth The keyboard shows a logo but its a hollowed out battery. As I have it wired to a power source I took it out to see if the percentage would show up but nada.

  2. dwayne says:

    need to know how to check bluetooth battery level

  3. Lawson says:

    So this utility works only for Apple branded bluetooth items. Thanks “noibs” for the confirmation.

  4. noibs says:

    I’ve got bluetooth headphones, mice, and two different numeric keypads. None are Apple branded. None show a battery level. This article needs to be amended.

    • Bob says:

      Ditto. I have several bluetooth headphones and none show a battery level even though they do when connected to my iPhone.

  5. Tom says:

    I use the Might Monitor widget, displays levels for keyboard and pad/mouse. Easy

  6. Scott says:

    This may certainly be true for Apple Bluetooth devices…I use a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse and it most certainly does NOT display the battery charge (I wish it did). I’m just saying…maybe you should qualify your statements before you write them.

  7. Jan says:

    Contrary to your writing not all connected accessories will show a Battery Level. My Logitech mouse doesn’t, my Apple keyboard does. Or is that because I’m on Snow Leopard?

    • Steebz says:

      @Jan – Probably limited to devices that are ‘official’ Apple hardware is my guess, sanctioned or otherwise

      Anyone know how do you check this battery life in iOS? Is it even possible?

      • beniamin says:

        My Bluetooth headphones show their battery level on the battery widget on iOS (not sure if you can add it if the device is not connected). On the other hand I do not see the battery level on my mac. The Mac is old(er) – 2010. Maybe it’s the reason :(

  8. chris says:

    If you Option+click the BT menu you will find even more information like signal strength and device hardware address

    • Me says:

      Seriously, dude, who cares about device hardware address or “more information”!? Those are literally not useful for anyone. People would need to know the percentage levels and that is the only thing Apple doesn’t address. Every useless junk information they display.

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