How to Change Bluetooth Preferences in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

By Mark L. Chambers

If your Mac has Bluetooth hardware available, the Bluetooth group appears in your System Preferences. If you don’t have Bluetooth hardware, you’ll be blissfully unaware of the existence of this group because the Bluetooth icon won’t appear in your System Preferences window.

The Bluetooth pane appears if your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth pane appears if your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth.

The choices on this pane include

  • Device listing: From this pane, you can opt to allow other Bluetooth devices to discover your Mac (with the Discoverable check box). All recognized Bluetooth devices in range appear in the list, and you can configure or disconnect them. You can also set up a new Bluetooth device from here by clicking the Set Up New Device button. Also, if you like, Snow Leopard can display a Bluetooth status menu in the Finder menu bar.

    MacBook owners who want to conserve power can disable Bluetooth entirely. Just click the Off check box and you save a significant amount of battery time!

  • Advanced sheet: Click the Advanced button to display another group of settings. The Open Bluetooth Setup Assistant check box determines whether Snow Leopard automatically launches the Bluetooth Setup Assistant when no Bluetooth devices are recognized.

    If you’re using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (as you might on an iMac), you can wake your Mac using these devices. You can set Snow Leopard to alert you if an audio request is received from a Bluetooth device, and you can share an Internet connection with connected devices.

    You can also edit your Bluetooth Serial Ports from the Advanced sheet, allowing you to use a Bluetooth connection as a virtual serial port. You can add or remove serial services from the Serial Port sheet, as well.