Wirelessly connected peripherals are a boon to the modern office, particularly when we’re working at home, and not dealing with cables helps with sanity and organization. Battery-powered mice, trackpads, and keyboards can function for several weeks to many months on a single full charge over USB or with rechargeable batteries.
But Apple doesn’t display this charge in an obvious place, as it does with a laptop’s battery level since you don’t need to be quite as worried about as you do having your mobile computer suddenly run out of juice.
You can find the current charge of most peripherals in one or more places when a wireless device is turned on and awake. On some equipment, that means moving your finger on it, moving it around, or tapping a key. Here’s where to look:
Open the Control Center in macOS Catalina or later and click Bluetooth. Any connected devices show their current charge level as a graphic and with a numeric percentage. This also shows charges for connected headphones and earbuds.
Open the Bluetooth preference pane in any version of macOS. All connected Bluetooth devices show their charge, but only as a graphic.
Open the Keyboard, Mouse, or Trackpad preference panes to see the battery graphic and numeric percentage of active peripherals of those types.
Depending on your hardware, you may receive alerts when the battery level is low.
Third-party developers used to offer utilities that would show you the charge of all connected peripherals and provide more detailed notifications, but the two best known went out of development years ago.
Ask Mac 911
We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently, along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, including screen captures as appropriate and whether you want your full name used. Not every question will be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read ouraffiliate link policyfor more details.