How to pair your Apple wireless keyboard with Windows 8.1

Believe it or not, I’m typing this post from my Windows 8.1 PC, using my Bluetooth Apple Wireless Keyboard instead of my doltish wired Dell keyboard.

Here’s how I did it…

I had an extra wireless Apple keyboard laying by my desk, dormant, collecting dust.

So I started to ruminate:

I wonder how hard it is to pair this keyboard with my Windows 8.1 laptop?

Oh friends! It isn’t hard at all.  Let me show you how breezy it is to knock this tip out the park.

Preparing for pairing

Alright, load a fresh set of double AA’s into your battery chamber then hold down the power button for about 5 seconds until the tiny LED in the upper right corner of the keyboard starts to flash.

Great, now hit the Windows Key + w to zip over to the search settings bar and enter this phrase:

bluetooth

Search Charm Windows Bluetooth Settings

Next, you should see your Apple Wireless Keyboard jump into the list in about 30 seconds.

If your keyboard doesn’t materialize then make sure Windows 8.1 has all the latest updates.  If that doesn’t fix it, remove the batteries for a minute, put them back in and try pairing the keyboard again.

You may see a “That didn’t work  Please make sure your device is discoverable” error or a “device no longer listening“.  The first error is sometimes a corollary of not holding down the keyboard power button long enough and the second error could be a driver issue.

Press the Windows Key + x + m to whip open the Device manager.  Make sure you don’t have any yellow alert icons next to any Bluetooth or unknown devices.  If so, you might want to remove the device, add it back and then update the drivers.

Update drivers in Device Manager

In addition, if something still isn’t working right ask yourself whether you have existing Bluetooth devices paired with your computer.

If so, you may want to unpair them before attempting to pair your Apple keyboard.  That way you can start fresh and incrementally pair your gadgets.

Apple Bluetooth Settings in Windows 8.1

Assuming everything is working so far, click the Pair button then tap in the one-time 8-digit code from your Apple wireless keyboard.

Apple Keyboard pairing code in Windows

After hitting enter your PC and keyboard are officially married.

Pairing my Wireless Apple Keyboard with Windows 8.1

Who ever said Apple and Microsoft can’t love each other?

Now you might ask what the non-Windows keys such as Command, Mission Control and Launchpad do?

Ah! I won’t ruin on all the fun – why don’t you try pressing it on your computer to find out!

But I’ll say this much:

  • The Command button is the Windows Key
  • The Option button is analogous to the Alt key

You can view the full PC-to-Mac keyboard mapping on Apple’s website.

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Posted in Desktops, Hardware, Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: ,
  • Stephan

    This worked, and has worked for me for months now which is great. But I’ve been having reoccurring issues with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard and Windows 8.1. It randomly disconnects completely from Windows, and the only way to get it connected again is to remove the battery twist cap thing and then put it back. It connects almost instantly and could work again for 5 minutes to 3 months without issues. No clue what’s going on. All drivers are up to date, and the batteries are guaranteed full (have had this issue for about a year now, on multiple PCs and laptops running windows 8.1)

    • Maria

      I have this same issue, Stephan. The keyboard shows as “Paired” but it disconnects in the middle of typing quite frequently. I have to click over to Settings > PC and devices > Bluetooth …. and then go back to my desktop and it works again. It is a real pain! Has anyone come up with a solution for this issue of the keyboard disconnecting?