How to Use OS X Boot Modifier Keys with Bluetooth Keyboards

Posted in How To, Mac on 25/11/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


Since recently converting my MacBook Pro into a full desk setup, I’ve noticed that boot modifier keys don’t seem to work with Bluetooth keyboards. Fortunately, there is a simple solution.

Boot modifier keys are single keys or key combos held down while booting a Mac to take advantage of certain options. Holding down Command+R starts Lion Recovery, holding down option will let you select a boot drive, etc.

In order to use boot modifier keys with a Bluetooth keyboard, simply wait to press the keys until after the startup chime, but before the spinning gear appears (allowing the Mac to load the appropriate drivers to make it work).

That’s all there is to it! If, like me, you’ve encountered this problem, I hope this tip will work for you!


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.