UPDATE: Does macOS 11.2 fix the Mac mini Bluetooth issue?
Let’s get one thing straight – I absolutely love my M1 Mac mini. It has all but replaced my 16” MacBook Pro and delivers power the latter required three times the price to provide.
After just two weeks of using the mini, I was convinced it was game changing.
However, as noted in my initial two-week review, the M1 mini has a big problem. And, since that review, I’ve realised just how big a problem it is.
Here are my experiences with the M1 Mac mini Bluetooth issues.
What is the problem, exactly?
Mac mini bluetooth issues are not new – it’s worth bearing that in mind. Indeed, they plagued the 2018 Intel version of Apple’s definitive desktop powerhouse, too.
The issues with the M1 mini’s Bluetooth connectivity were first reported back in November. The inevitable support threads on Apple’s own community forms immediately kicked into life with people complaining about multiple connection issues with both third-party and Apple’s own wireless hardware.
Many describe the issues as making the machine “virtually unusable”, due to the fact that it impacts devices such as keyboards and mice.
There has been speculation that the problem relates to interference with USB 3.0 peripherals which transmit within the 2.4 to 2.5GHz range. How this translate to the real world is pretty simple: if you own an M1 Mac mini, you’ll be constantly plagued with the mouse and keyboard intermittently disconnecting themselves.
For me, the problem extends far beyond that and it has soured the experience of what should be Apple’s finest desktop machine.
How the M1 Mac mini Bluetooth issues impact my day
I bought the M1 Mac mini to retain a super-fast workflow and plenty of performance headroom. The 16” MacBook Pro did this brilliantly, and while it still amazes me that a computer which costs a fraction of the price can do the same, things quickly get ugly when it comes to Bluetooth.
Having now used the M1 Mac mini for nearly a month, I’ve noticed the following Bluetooth-related issues.
- Random keyboard connectivity problems. My Keychron K2 keyboard is now permanently wired to the mini. That’s how bad it is.
- Inability to use my Logitech mouse via Bluetooth. If I try and connect my MX Master 3 mouse to the Mac mini via Bluetooth, it drops the connection randomly and performs erratically. I’ve had to resort to the Logitech USB dongle to achieve flawless performance.
- Unreliable AirDrop. I use AirDrop all of the time, but it’s damn near unusable on the M1 Mac mini. Devices just don’t show up and the finder window hangs on both the mini and other Macs when I attempt to initiate a file transfer.
- Unusable AirPod connections. If I connect my AirPods (both Pro and Max) to the mini, the audio constantly cuts out. It’s totally unusable.
However, I have a feeling these Bluetooth issues are impacting other devices in my studio, too. I have no hard evidence on which to base this, bar some ‘weirdness’ that has taken place since the M1 mini was placed on my desk.
For instance, I have a 27” iMac sitting on a desk opposite the Mac mini’s and I can no longer trust the connection between the iMac and my AirPods Pro for calls. People complain of my audio stuttering and fading in and out of existence. Similarly, any bluetooth keyboard I connect to that computer appears to randomly disconnect.
The issues extend to my iPhone, too, which occasionally drops its connection momentarily to my AirPods Max and other bluetooth headphones.
A coincidence? I’m not convinced.
Exhausted just reading the above? Imagine living with it.
Does it affect M1 MacBooks?
I haven’t tested Bluetooth extensively on my M1 MacBook Air, but reports suggest that the issues largely impact the Mac mini.
A member of my Discord server has conducted his own tests, which appear to back this up:
“From what I’m seeing it seems to be most prominent on the Mini. Tested connecting multiple bluetooth devices on my M1 Air and swapping to and from as well. Little to no issues.”
So, if you’re solely in – or thinking of entering – the M1 MacBook world, you’re probably safe.
Is Apple fixing the M1 Mac mini Bluetooth issues?
It’s being widely reported that macOS Big Sur 11.2 is due for public release imminently. It might even have arrived by the time you read this blog post.
There are suggestions from those who have tried the beta that 11.2 largely fixes the Bluetooth issues, and Apple references them in its release notes:
macOS Big Sur 11.2 improves Bluetooth reliability and fixes the following issues:
- External displays may show a black screen when connected to a Mac mini (M1, 2020) using an HDMI to DVI converter
- Edits to Apple ProRAW photos in the Photos app may not save
- iCloud Drive could turn off after disabling the iCloud Drive Desktop & Documents Folders option
- System Preferences may not unlock when entering your administrator password
- Globe key may not display the Emoji & Symbols pane when pressed
My biggest concern is that the issue actually relates to interference which, I’m assuming, isn’t something that can be fully fixed via a software update. But we’ll see.
I’m curious, though – who else has experienced the same kind of Bluetooth issues I have on their M1 Mac mini?
Same problem but it is easily resolved. The usb 3 frequencies trash the Bluetooth signal. The problem is well documented and affects more than the MacMini. Moving usb peripherals to a hub that is a few feet away from the Bluetooth antenna inside the mini improves the issue. The better the hub the less spurious signals to muck with the Bluetooth signal. Top quality usb cables help too.
I discovered this when attempting to get the noise out of the outgoing BT voice. The Bluetooth headset was fine connected to the iPhone but noisy (to my listeners) when connected to the mini. This change resolved that issue.
Interesting. You’re not the first one to say this. I’m going to see what – if any – affect the forthcoming macOS update has and resort to something like your suggestion if that doesn’t work.
I can also confirm this problem (Big Sur 11.2.3. When I connect a camera to an internal USB3 port, Airpod pro sound drops every 1-2 sec also to B&O one speaker.
I also have an issue with Logitech MX keyboard. Here keyboard (and MX mouse) is only connected after login, thus I am forced to use Apple keyboard to login procedure.
Public beta of Big Sur seems better. AirPods Pro are almost unusable though.
Ouch – even with the beta?
The only bluetooth issue I have had on M1 mini is that after some time, my keyboard will become laggy and will then type in the following pattern:
This makes typing the unlock password impossible and I have to hard reset or find a USB keyboard.
I haven’t had any other issues with bluetooth devices though. It happens with both Apple and 3rd party keyboards
same for me!
I have the same experience with my MacBook Pro 16″. I constantly lose the connection to Bluetooth devices. When I re-pair the devices, I have the devices twice in the settings (1 x active, 1 x not active). Perhaps this is also a fundamental problem with Logitech. Another problem are the constant crashes with my MacBook Po 16″. I am curious if this will be better with my new MacBook Pro M1.
I never really used Bluetooth devices (bar headphones) with my 16″ MacBook Pro, so can’t compare there, but I believe Bluetooth isn’t much of an issue if at all on the M1 MBP.
Have had this problem for a while with my Mac Pro (trashcan) where my magic mouse randomly disconnects regardless of battery state, while my external trackpad never does (go figure). Finally went back to a wired mouse, which makes my PC using kids laugh out loud for real.
I have gone back to a wired Satechi keyboard and Gamdias wired mouse. I cannot believe Apple have not announced any sort of fix for this officially. We are left sitting here trying to believe rumours of a fix but they have said nothing. I phoned support and got the equivalent of “Turn it off, wait, and turn it on again”!! First time after 6 years I have actually tried to utilise Apple Helpdesk so not comforting. I mainly had problems with my Apple Magic Mouse, I went for a wired keyboard because of the lag time with all bluetooth keyboards when inputting start up passwords and various funny things happening since upgrading from iMac 27 (Late 2013) to Mac Mini M1. M1 is pretty good but a lot of the Youtube reviewer hype must have been paid for? Either that or a lot of them are real diehard Fanboys!!
It frustrates me that some of the big tech reviewers never seem to provide follow-up videos or analysis on this kind of stuff.
I spent hours and hours on this M1 bluetooth issue. each senior advised seemed puzzled about my problem and it wasn’t until I began to read about it on the web that I realized that they are all full of hot air by pretending that the issue was mine alone.
software 11.2 fixed everything.
I have the same kind of problems. My bluetooth headset is not listed on the device, which does not allow to use the headset. And even magic trackpad sometimes gets slowed down.
I hope that Apple fix it up ASAP.
Did 11.2 fix the bluetooth mouse issues for you? Thank you.
Agreed. I use the magic mouse and I’ve literally just switched everything to wired, including buying a cheap $30 amazon mouse instead of dealing with the BS that is the silicon M1 Mac mini bluetooth experience.
Just FYI, I’ve been beta-testing Big Sur 11.2 (that’s how desperate I was to fix this bluetooth issue) and it’s NOT better. There’s still disconnects, freezes, lag spikes all the time.
11.2 fixed all of my probs: https://markellisreviews.com/does-macos-11-2-fix-the-mac-mini-bluetooth-issue/
Same problem here. Bought a brand new Mac Mini and could not connect neither Apple Keyboard nor Logitech MX 3 Mac … hence no installation. Basicaly, I have a brand new machine I can not even start up and initiate OSX! Called Apple Care (2 hours) and no straight solution … also they say this is complete strange and I am the only one.
Hmm… have you tried macOS 11.2?
That’s me right now, and why I’m here: New M1 Mini and only have bt peripherals. At this point I’m thinking of taking my wired work keyboard home tomorrow, just to be able to boot this machine and update to 11.2 (or whatever the latest update is)
11.2 Did not fix the problem for me, it’s still there and just as bad. It works fine until I turn on my Bluetooth headphones, either my Bose QC or my Airpods Pro.
M1 MacMini replaced my (RIP) ‘15 MBP. No issues with Bluetooth but I’ve had to reinstall the OS once and for a while there my Mini hated my 34inch curved Dell monitor. 11.2 resolved my monitor issues, but Big Sur is still beta at best on M1.
I have a 2018 Mac min and it too has the bluetooth problem. I frequently have to power off and then on the device in order to get the keyboard and mouse to connect again so I can login.
Its damn annoying.
The standard response in the IT industry to a problem was to be amazed and say they had never heard of such a thing. Apple do this too now. I have had many issues with Apple products in the few couple of years and EVERY time the ‘agent’ says that they have never heard of anyone with the problem (even though there are, typically hundreds of people complaining of the same issue on their own ‘community’ website.
macOS 11.2 fixed it for me – have you tried that?
This article from intel 2012 explains part of the problem that could impact bluetooth caused by USB 3.o.
Running Mac OS 11.2.1. Lag still makes BT devices inconsistently unusable. Switching to cabled peripherals.
After trying plug the Logitech receiver with USB 2.0 extension cable. It works fine now. Some comments point it is due to USB 3.0 port interferes with 2.4 GHz signal
I still have the bluetooth connection problems (about once every 2-3 days): MacOS 11.2.1, Apple wireless keyboard, and nothing connected to USB3…
I continue to have some issues with my M1 Mac mini and Magic Trackpad on 11.2.1. It’s fine most of the time, but then it’ll just get all jumpy and laggy. Plugging the trackpad into the computer with a Lightning cable resolves the issue, though then it’s no longer wireless. Sometimes turning the trackpad off and on again will fix it for a while, too.
I’m having massive issues with my Airpod Pros and my new Mac MiniM1 – audio output (i.e. what I hear through the Airpods) works perfectly, but audio input (i.e. what I say through the Airpod microphone) gets super patchy and people often tell me they can’t hear me – but it’s intermittent – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Wondering now if it’s this same BT issue (never had the issue on my old Mac Mini). I’ve upgraded to 11.2.2 and it’s no better. Have one USB-C HD plugged in, and two USB3 devices (webcam and keyboard/non-BT wireless mouse).
Bought my Mac mini in late January and had the same peripheral problems (ie: magic mouse, keyboard, etc.). The problems were completely cured in 4 steps (1) open System Preferences (2) click on Security and Privacy (3) click on File Vault (4) turn it off. Problem cured.
Wow. That seems to have worked.
Get in touch with Apple support if you haven’t already.
Shift Option then click on the bluetooth icon at the top, click on reset bluetooth module. This will at least help you instead of a reboot. The problem comes back but its much quicker than a reboot.
Thank you for posting that, saved me from restarting over and over. This is getting nuts!! Apple needs to address this issue. Also getting sick of my ethernet going out on the new Mac mini m1. Just dumps the connection.
The latest version of macOS has sorted my issues…
I’m on 11.2.3 and the issue is still there.
Mine actually was fine until I updated to 11.2.3 and now it’s started
I bought myself an M1 Mac Mini for Xmas 2020 after seeing rave reviews and no mention of the Bluetooth issues that had already driven me to returning a 2018 model for a full refund. My previous Mac Mini worked flawlessly connected to my LG TV by HDMI and utilising a proprietary mouse and keyboard approx 8 feet away from the Mini. Out the box, the M1 seemed to be better than the 2018 model at least it found the devices and connected smoothly. Since then though the instances of drop outs have become a regular feature and the mouse, recently (possibly since Big Sur 11.2), has become almost useless. I find I’m constantly wiggling the mouse on the mouse pad trying to get the on screen cursor to move in the required direction. Left and right clicks have to be repeated constantly until they have the desired effect. A complete reboot, shutdown and disconnecting the M1 from the mains and restart, and frequent mouse battery replacement have only temporarily improved Bluetooth mouse performance. Last night the M1 updated to 11.2.3 but this morning the connection was so bad I had to Google the problem and came across your post. So, rest assured, you’re not the only one having issues. Regarding your other point about the M1 Bluetooth seeming to effect other devices, now you mention it my Bose Bluetooth ear buds have never had trouble until I got the M1. Not sure if it’s related at all but I thought I’d mention it.
UPDATE: Mike Mulle’s turning off File Vault solution seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks all!
Returned my Mini. Bluetooth just didn’t work at all. Great computer but I need bluetooth! Waiting for the iMac and fingers crossed that works better.
I really hope it does too. Sorry to hear you had to return your mini, though 🙁
I have the exact same issue with exact same setup (Mac mini m1, AirPods Pro, Keychron K2, Logitech MX Master 3). I wonder what else do we have in common which may cause a problem, or it could simply be interfering K2 and MX Master 3?
I’ve ordered an external USB dongle for MX master. Let’s see if it works.
Did this work?
Only my Mac mini M1 has trouble with Airdrop. My trackpad (apple bluetooth) works fine and doesn’t lose connection. I’m running the latest 11.2.3 but the airdrop has never worked well. My 2017 iMac and 2012 Mac mini intel and my iPhone Pro Max 11 all send and receive airdrop extremely fast with no problems, but anything coming from or going to the new Mac mini M1 takes forever to send and receive. I use Airdrop a lot and that’s the only thing I’m disappointed with in this new computer. Sure wish there was a fix for it.
[…] the time of writing, there are widely-reported M1 Mac mini Bluetooth issues. I’ve experienced them myself, and although there is allegedly a macOS fix incoming, the comments […]
I have the M1 Mac Mini, Black Magic Mouse and full size magic keyboard in space grey. I have two devices connected to the M1 ports – Logitech StreamCam and the Samsung T7 SSD + a pair of Edifier speakers hard wired to the 3.5mm port. The keyboard stops working around three times a week. I have to reboot the mac to get things working again.
Wow/ Just powered up my new Mac mini M1 and love the speed. Seriously.
And neither of my bluetooth devices, mouse or keyboard will work, no connection. The mouse worked for a few seconds during connection and no more. System. 11.3.1 just installed. Try moving the USB hub and the bluetooth resets, neither worked. I can connect to my Bose bluetooth speakers and my tablet no problem, but the peripherals won’t connect.
WOW! I experienced the same isses on a mint-new M1 that came fresh out of the box. I experienced a laggy and interrupted mouse cursor moving. When I read on this wonderful website about the fact that USB3 is causing this with an RF interference I notices that the USB-Lightening cable to charge the Mighty Mouse 2 was still connected on one side. I just unplugged it – and guess what. All problems disappeared. It seems like because all MFi-devices have a little chip inside the cable acted as an antenna… So watch “open connector” cables on a USB port, folks.
ah, finally I found this article..
We know that less clutter / wire in the desk is a dream, I do think that too.. thats why I geared up my work station with wireless devices,
I paired my MBP M1 with JBL Flip 5, Keychron K3, and MX Master 3, I found out that when these 3 devices are connected simultaneously via bluetooth, the sound that comes from the JBL starts crackling, disconnected and reconnected couple times and it ends with the bluetooth connection to JBL has lost.
I had a call with apple support and the guy told me that maybe because the bluetooth version differences are the main issue, keychron may needs more speed/data so the JBL Flip 5 (that has older bluetooth version) is loss due to this matter.. smh.. Even premium macs have issue with bluetooth connectivity.. and you know, I end up connecting my keychron wired! then the issue disappears and the JBL works flawlessly 🙂
one funny thing that crossed my mind: what is the purpose using wireless keyboard wired, though? lol
forgot to mention, even using airpods pro, the audio also lost, so double confirmed that with this kind of setup, the audio will be kicked out first 🙁
I don’t think it is that bad, it has not been an issue for me. BT may go off for a few secs every once in a while, but nothing that would make the machine “unusable”. I love this M1 Mini – super fast.
I am so happy that went and googled about my problem with the wireless mouse and keyboard. I really thought that it was really my devices going bad until I realised that I changed three wireless mouse and I was experiencing the same problem all over
Just got an Logi MX Master keyboard and mouse and neither will work after a restart. Called Apple support and they act like they’ve never heard of this and clown actually wanted me to take my mini in to a store to be checked. There is obviously no solution and Apple has no interest in fixing because their magic accessories work just fine and have since I got the M1.
Wow… you’d think they would’ve offered a helpful solution. I have the same issues, it’s very annoying. For my Logitech keyboard, I have to unplug and re-plug in the Bluetooth USB. For speakers, I have to press connect in Bluetooth settings… this every day, multiple times a day 🙁
I have had Bluetooth problems forever in a wide variety of desktop and laptop Macs, and I don’t use it if I can avoid it. So I use a dongle for my MX 3 mouse, and my keyboard is wired. I have had to recycle a Mac mouse that refused to connect by bluetooth. Forget trying to connect a wireless headset.
Apple just does not seem to take the issue seriously, as I see from some of the comments here. My iphone seems fine though, and occasionally airdrop works fine.
After several months magic mouse and magic keyboard quit connecting to am Mac Mini. has anyone had this problem?
Bluetooth on my Intel Mac Mini is terrible. Doesn’t work with mice, audio, whatever. Might as well not have Bluetooth. Thanks, Apple. At least I paid a premium price.
I have been having issues and thought that maybe it was just my M1-MacMini. So I was both glad and sad to find this post about the bluetooth issues I’ve been experiencing. Glad that I was not alone and that it was not just my new computer. Sad that I was not alone and that it was not my computer. I know that seems contradictory, but at least I know that it is not just me or my equipment. Now at least I can be ready for Apple support when they tell me its just me. I will say this the latest release of Big Sur 11.6 does not correct the issue. Non-Magic devices lose connection far more often, but even my Magic Keyboard loses connection from time to time. Also forget using bluetooth to play or stream music.
Big Sur 11.6 has made my bluetooth connection to magic mouse 2 worse….
Since I bought my M1MM a few months ago, I’ve felt that many activities on it were flaky. I had problems connecting both my Magic TrackPad and Magic KeyBoards in particular, most usually after installing freshly recharged batteries. Furthermore, operating a second Magic Keyboard on another device 2 metres away was patchy – sometimes that KB worked and the M1MM KB didn’t – other times it was the opposite. I now use a wired KB on the other device. Today – in mid sentence – my KB became laggy and made errors like others above have experienced. I’m not aware that any other devices had been operated nearby, so it was a worrying mystery. A reboot has since restored normal KB function.
Off topic, but still M1MM related is the operation of my connected 27 in Apple Cinema Display. This is connected via a USB-C to Mini Display Port adaptor, and normally operates at its native resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Once or twice a week it will awaken from sleep in 1280 x 720 resolution, with correction to native being impossible via the Display pane. A reboot usually fixes this.
Finally, when using the ACD’s camera in Zoom sessions, participants report a strange and intermittent red flash on my image which was never there when used with my old MacPro 5.1.
My M1MM has a 1 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM fitted as purchased, and is running Big Sur 11.6. It seems that Apple still may have some unresolved issues with these beautiful machines, and not just with the Bluetooth problems readers of this post are experiencing
I’ve come to this thread late but thought I would throw in my 10 pence. Just bought a Mac Mini M1 made in August 2021 this year, as per the box, got it running on Monterey. Came from a 2014 Macbook Pro. Took 6 hours to set it all up, got going and the magic keyboard is very very slightly laggy. Big problem is the magic trackpad which is basically drunk. Doesn’t go where it should and it’s not even a lag that I can adjust to as it’s inconsistent, would overshoot the location- made it intolerable to use. All this meant that the speed increase of the M1 machine was offset by drunk bluetooth trackpad meaning it was easier to use old machine.
Here’s where it gets a bit more interesting, when I moved back to the old machine, the bluetooth keyboard and trackpad worked fine, so I knew I wasn’t imagining it. I returned the Mac Mini M1. Then when I got back to using the old machine today I thought- “You know what? This still isn’t quite right, the cursor isn’t actually working like it should”. I noticed that I’d moved from using a thunderbolt 2 to displayport cable for the monitor, to still using a HDMI cable.
I took out the HDMI cable and put the thunderbolt 2 cable back into 2014 Macbook Pro and- hey presto, now the bluetooth magic keyboard and trackpad are working perfectly again.
I can’t try the same thing with the Mac Mini M1 because I sent it back already and didn’t have a thunderbolt 3 cable either. So I can’t say whether that’s a potential influence or not for the M1 Mac Mini. My monitor is an old Dell P2715Q. Just thought I would tell that story because sometimes there’s something that you would never think about. I’m no longer surprised by the strangeness of electronics after what happens in the audio world, but changing from a thunderbolt cable to HDMI cable made the difference in my setup using a 2014 Macbook Pro, magic keyboard and magic trackpad.
Don’t know why… but food for thought maybe.
Recently purchased a M1 Mac mini (2020), 16GB memory. Running Big Sur 11.6.1 and have experienced zero issues with anything Bluetooth related until I bought a Sonos Roam bluetooth speaker yesterday.
The speaker works flawlessly on my iPhone 12 but continuously connects/disconnects on the M1MM in Bluetooth mode. Tried Airplay instead which seems to connect but produces no sound at all.
Sonos forums are full of such issues and I will likely return the speaker and try a different brand, given the poor support/responses from Sonos in general.