Can I start security deletion on an iMac without a keyboard?

I’m helping somebody who lives 100s of miles away.
iMac Late 2013, Mojave 10.14.6 needs to be security deleted before being donated.
On site is only ONE cordless keyboard, currently paired with his new Mac MINI.

Secure deletion will take hours, but we will want to use the new MINI in this time, hence the keyboard needs to be paired with the MINI.

How can I trigger a Disk Utility deletion with just a mouse?

My plan (with problems) so far:

  1. Unpair keyboard from MINI
  2. Pair keyboard with iMac
  3. Use key combo Command (⌘)-R to start recovery mode.
  4. Use Disk Utility to erase HD securely (no way here to unpair keyboard)
  5. Whilst Disk Utility is working and eventually finishes, the keyboard stays paired and can’t be linked to the MINI again.

How do I overcome step 5?

How about borrowing a spare wired USB keyboard from someone?


This discussion lists a couple of ways to pair the keyboard to a different computer without first unpairing it from the computer it’s connected to. The first way that most people seem to have success with is to continue to hold the power button in when turning it on, and don’t release it while you go to the Bluetooth setup assistant and select the keyboard for pairing. Only release the power button on the keyboard once the Mac Mini displays the pairing code for you to type in. Another person couldn’t get this to work but found that by taking the keyboard more than 10 metres away from the computer it was paired to, it would go into pairing mode. See the three answers tagged with ‘helpful’ at the top:

It’s not a bad idea to keep a spare USB keyboard around in case a wireless keyboard fails for some reason or for cases like this. A budget USB keyboard can be had for as little as 10 USD.

If you want the cheapest option, and don’t care about people laughing at RGB lighting, I found one for $5:

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Unfortunately, delivery for that $5 keyboard is $20! Classic misleading technique from a third party Amazon seller!

FWIW, I also found a Logitech K120 keyboard at $12.99 in stock at a local office supply store (Staples). Basically the same price at Amazon, but if you don’t have Prime, the total cost from Amazon would be more.


Consensus seems to be that there is absolutely no way how to do the job with just a mouse.

Thanks for links to cheap keyboards. I’m in the UK, but the idea works here as well :grinning: These days we can use almost any keyboard, the days of specific Mac compatibility are thankfully long gone.

Final comment: We bought a cheap keyboard, did the job and will donate this keyboard together with the now factory reset iMac.
Many thanks again to all tinkers, tailors and maybe even spys.