Macbook Pro as Bluetooth Keyboard for Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Hrothgar, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Hrothgar macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    New York
    I saw a post from 2010 which said there was a third-party application that would allow me to use a Macbook pro as a remote bluetooth keyboard for my Mac Mini. I'm curious whether there is a way to do this without a third-party app? (I.e., is there some built-in Apple function I haven't found?) Or, if a third-party app is required -- what's the current app of preference?

    I've got a Late 2011 15" MBP if that matters. Mini is from last summer.

    (Yes, I know I can use screen sharing. But my screen sharing is jittery, keeps blacking out, and the screen is small. I've got my Mini connected to my tv, so i'd like to use the tv as the monitor.)
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    What about getting an actual bluetooth keyboard? They are about 20-30 dollars and always work correctly.

    Otherwise there are no built in apps aside from screen sharing. There is the official Remote Desktop app and Teleport and SynergyKM are free apps that should work. Synergy is a paid app and there are likely others.

    Screen sharing uses a lot of Ethernet speed. If you are trying to run it over wireless N and have a bad signal it won't work well. It works best over a wired connection, preferably gigabit.
  3. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    You're likely best off with a real dedicated BT keyboard. They're inexpensive and work smoothly.

    One the other hand, I have found TeamViewer (yes, it's a 3rd party app, but its free for personal use) effective for various remote control functions. It would display the Mini's screen with cursor on both the Mini (the TV in your case) and the MacBook.

    I occasionally use it to run my Win8.1 tablet from my desktop PC as a quick way to get mouse/keyboard control and a larger display. I've also used it to run my office MacPro remotely while out of town, sometimes from my 8" Win tablet with a mouse and keyboard attached (both BT, BTW).

    TV does require that you log onto you target machine and then log out to disconnect when done. Not nearly as smooth as merely turning a BT keyboard on and off.
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I haven't tried it myself, but 1Keyboard looks like it has great reviews.

    Something is wrong, so maybe you can just fix this. Screen Sharing can be good enough that I've been able to play games over it.

    Do you have a monitor connected to the Mini? If you don't have a monitor connected, the Mini won't turn on video acceleration and this has very negative consequences for Screen Sharing, including very slow updates and areas with blacked out blocks. People who run headless Minis have to insert a little fake monitor dongle into the Mini's HDMI port in order to fool the computer into thinking a monitor is connected. Connecting just a cable isn't enough, so you either need the dongle or actually connect a monitor or TV.

    The other possibility is that you are using Wi-Fi, and the signal has interference problems. Switching to an Ethernet cord would fix this and provide a much, much better connection for Screen Sharing.

Share This Page