TL;DR If your MacBook Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, etc. don’t work or stop working after a few seconds under Windows 10, write a script that performs a Bluetooth discovery every few seconds. This keeps the connections alive.
All my Bluetooth input devices (mouse, keyboard, trackpad) work flawlessly. Under macOS—but not Windows 10.
The devices show up in the device manager’s Bluetooth section. But they just refuse to work. No matter how much I move the mouse, or press random keys.
However, as soon as I open Windows’ “Bluetooth & other devices” settings, all devices magically start working*.
Unfortunately, I have to keep moving the mouse, or keep typing—constantly. After only 5s of inactivity, all devices are dead!
But when I open the “Bluetooth & other devices” settings again, the devices resume working. Interesting enough, closing the “Bluetooth & other devices” window has the same effect of reviving Bluetooth.
I suspect that Windows puts the Bluetooth devices (or radio) into power save mode. Opening the settings wakes them up again. Likely by performing some Bluetooth action, such as discovery.
*Apparently, this does not work when instructing macOS to restart into Windows directly. But it works when shutting down the laptop and then booting Windows right away.
So, what if I could automatically run a Bluetooth discovery every few seconds? Turns out, this is easy to do, and it works! Here are the steps I took:
- Install Bluetooth command line tools
- Write a short script that repeatedly calls btdiscovery
@echo off :x btdiscovery goto x
- Use Windows’ task scheduler to start running the script at startup
Disclaimer: you do this at your own risk. I’m not liable for any damages.
For completeness, here are the things I had tried without success:
- Updating Windows and all drivers:
- Installing Bluetooth drivers provided by Boot Camp:
Bluetooth stopped working altogether
- Disabling “Allow this computer to turn off this device” in power management for all possible devices (mouse, keyboard, network adapter, etc.—my Bluetooth radio does not have a power management tab):
My Setup (for reference):
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017), running macOS Catalina 10.15.6
- Windows 10 (build 19041.508), freshly installed via Boot Camp Assistent
- Apple Magic Mouse 2, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Wireless Trackpad