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Step-by-Step: Installing macOS Compatible Bluetooth USB Dongle

Looking for an easy to install Bluetooth USB dongle for your Mac or Hackintosh PC — I recommend the Broadcom BCM20702 Chipset. It’s readily available used by many dongles, inexpensive and works easily without drivers. But you need to install some software just to enable it.

Here are step-by-step instructions.

In my case the integrated AirPort Extreme card was broken on the Macbook Pro. This is a combo card with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combined — (1) Wi-Fi would work for a while and then turn itself off until restart, (2) Bluetooth would keep randomly turning off and back on, making it impossible to use any Bluetooth device. So I decided to get a cheap external adapter instead of paying for expensive replacement work.

Note that I have El Capitan (10.11.6 at the time of writing) but this will most probably work with earlier versions of the macOS.

Bluetooth USB Dongle Broadcom BCM20702

I purchased a Broadcom BCM20702 equipped USB Bluetooth Adapter which went under the brand name “GMYLE” (although received dongle says “Succul”).

I noticed that with a lot of compatible dongles you don’t see Mac compatibility listed. But it’s safe to ignore that, as long as you have a supported chipset in your hands. Mine actually says on the back of the box that it’s Mac OS compatible.

Bluetooth 4.0 USB

Succul

Required Software

First you need to install: Xcode (the OS X developer tools). Then an additional tools package that contains the “Bluetooth Explorer” app, which is needed to activate the “Host Controller”.

(1) First — grab Xcode over here if it’s not already installed. Apple ID is required for both downloads (1) (2).

Xcode 8

(2) Second — go to the “Downloads for Apple Developers” section and search for Xcode. Or use this direct link to get there. Look for the version of the tools package that corresponds to your version of Xcode. Previously the package has been called “Hardware IO Tools” but since Xcode 8 it’s just “Additional Tools”.

Xcode Additional Tools & Hardware IO Tools

Note: “Additional Tools for Xcode 8” supports only macOS Sierra. So if you are on El Capitan or other older version, you might consider sticking with Xcode 7.

Open up Bluetooth Explorer and go to Tools –> HCI Controller Selector.

Bluetooth Explorer Host Controller Selector

You should see the Broadcom Corp chip within the list of host controllers. Pick the right one and “Activate”. And you are done!

macOS Bluetooth

Bluetooth mouse gets immediately connected.

Good luck and please let me know your setup in the comments!

Care and share, let's call it fair! -David

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    • What chipset does your bluetooth device have?
      Do you see it in the list of host controllers?
      Are you getting an error message?

      Thanks.

      • Hi ,David. My bluetooth chip is BCM20702 ,the same to you. yes ,i can see it in the list of host controllers. when i press the active button ,nothing happen~~~s

        • OK — unfortunately i haven’t verified that this is working with Sierra yet and looks like you followed the instructions correctly. I will update if I find out something. Thanks for bringing up this issue.

          • はじめまして、私は情報の教師です、どうもありがとうございました

    • Sorry — I will need to upgrade to Sierra first to find an answer to this, but haven’t had the time. Please, let us know also if you figure out something. Thanks!

  1. I have just tried it with Sierra, everything works as described in the guide with XCode 8.1.

    However, I am not sure how can I know if my computer isn’t actually using the built-in bluetooth adapter.

    • Thank you for the feedback Sherif — can you tell us which Bluetooth dongle brand are you using with Sierra?

      You can go to ‘System Information‘ and see which chipset Bluetooth has. I’m attaching the screenshot from my MacBook Pro, OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 — manufacturer should be the same Broadcom and I have the Chipset “20702A3” with the above mentioned dongle. Does that help?

      MacOS System Information Bluetooth Chipset 20702A3