OS X – Disabling bluetooth

My Mac mini has wifi and bluetooth built in. I’m not a big fan of either so I have them both turned off. The mac makes this easy. There are bluetooth and wifi icons on the main menu bar. If you pop down a menu for either you can turn them off. I assumed that turning them off meant that they would still be off after a reboot. For wifi this seems to be true, but for bluetooth it’s not always the case.

For most users, bluetooth will still be off after a reboot. But my Mac Mini has no keyboard attached. It’s just a synergy client. For some reason on a reboot, OS X tiger notices that I have no keyboard or mouse attached and thinks it should start up bluetooth to search for one regardless of the fact that I had disabled it.

So you’d think I’d just manually disable it after a reboot. The problem is that because OS X has noticed there is no keyboard and mouse attached … it now won’t let me disable bluetooth. The only way it will let me disable bluetooth is by physically plugging in a keyboard or mouse (not too sure which, as I use a USB to PS/2 keyboard/mouse adapter). Crazy.

So I googled for an answer, and a common one is to do something like this:

defaults write com.apple.Bluetooth ControllerPowerState 0
killall -SIGHUP blued

Which did nothing for me. I also found a tip that said to do this:

defaults write blued BluetoothAutoSeekHIDDevices -int 0

That didn’t work either.

The only successful one I’ve found is to actually remove the Bluetooth kernel modules (which I agree is harsh), but at least it stops Bluetooth completely now:

cd /System/Library
mkdir Extensions-Disabled
mv Extensions/IOBluetooth* Extensions-Disabled

I found that tip here