Rename a Bluetooth Wireless Device on Apple

New Bluetooth devices from Apple may initially have a broadcasted name of their MAC address. This is a uniquely identifiable serial number given to every Bluetooth device. Usually once a device is paired, it’s then given a generic name such as Keyboard.

Follow these instructions to rename a device:

  1. On your Apple computer, from the Apple Menu choose System Preferences > Bluetooth.
  2. With a keyboard for example, presuming it’s not Paired yet, it should be viewable in the list of available devices. Click on the Pair button and type the number displayed on the keyboard. It should then be Paired.
  3. Right click on the device and choose rename from the pop-up context sensitive menu.
  4. Rename and click the Rename button.
  5. To pair it with another device, right click on the item in the list and choose Remove. You’ll be told that to use it again you will need to Pair again. Confirm this message.
  6. If it’s a keyboard, the green light above the CD eject button will blink rapidly. If it doesn’t, push and hold the power button to turn the green light off.
  7. Then, press and hold the Power button as well as the Esc key for about 5 seconds and let go. The green light should begin to blink. This means the keyboard is ready to be paired with a new device. It will connect using the new name.

Note that when a device is paired to an iOS device, renaming isn’t an option. Only through the desktop computer can you rename it.

Considerations for iOS Devices

You may notice that a renamed device still shows up under the old name. Here are the conditions when this will happen and how to correct for it.

  1. On an iOS device, click the information link for a specific Bluetooth device, and click Forget This Device. Then follow the instructions above to rename the device.
  2. After you’ve renamed the device on a desktop Apple computer, your iOS device may still recognize it by the old name because the Bluetooth address (a MAC address serial number) is still the same.
  3. Pair the device.
  4. Use the ‘Forget This Device’ option to remove it.
  5. Pair it again.
  6. This time the new name should be showing up.

2 thoughts on “Rename a Bluetooth Wireless Device on Apple”

  1. Rats, followed your instructions, and it is renamed on my powerbook, but the old device name is showing up still (after repeated attempts) on my iphone. Bummer!

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