Almost all mundane system maintenance tasks seem unimportant in light of the overwhelming news of the pandemic. But even in a world completely disrupted by an invisible pathogen, we sometimes need to fix our systems.
One fix that was eluding me for a while was how to remove a keyboard entry from Logitech Options, the little utility program that helps customize buttons and controls on Logitech devices.
At some point in the distant past, I had a Logitech K780 keyboard attached to my development machine. That keyboard has since migrated upstairs to my video editing machine. The K780 has a slot designed to hold an iPad, but that slot works equally well holding a trackpad, which allows me to navigate the Final Cut Pro X timeline without taking my hands off the keyboard. It's a cool hack.
Although the K780 is no longer in use on my coding box, Logitech Options insisted it was in use. The perfectionist in me didn't like the idea that the product, which wasn't attached to my development machine, showed as attached. At the same time, the paranoid systems guy in me didn't like the idea that the Logitech Unifying Receiver (a small USB dongle) still listened for the K780, which meant that, if the keyboard got too close, a stray keypress intended for one machine might be interpreted by another.
First, I thought I'd look at Bluetooth settings, but the only device listed was the K810 keyboard -- the one actually in use with that computer.
The problem is there's no "Remove Device" button or option anywhere within Logitech Options. The only option is the Add Devices button at the bottom of the screen.
Clicking it gave no apparent joy. A new screen presented two buttons: Add Unifying Device or Add Bluetooth Device.
Here's where it gets counter-intuitive. To remove a Logitech device, click Add Devices on the previous screen, and then Add Unifying Device on this screen. Yes, to remove, you must click Add. I know. It's almost as intuitive as ejecting a disk filled with important files by dragging the whole thing to the trash.
Even the best UI designers have blind spots.
You'll then be dropped into a completely different interface, the Logitech Unifying Software control panel. Click Advanced on the bottom left.
And there it is -- the stubborn K780 is still paired to the Unifying receiver. Click it.
Then, finally, hit Un-Pair.
You can see the keyboard is removed in the Unifying Software control panel.
The keyboard is also now finally gone from the Logitech Options interface.
There you go. Just remember that to remove you have to add.
One last thought: Just because I'm mocking a UI blind spot in Logitech's control interface doesn't mean I don't like its mice and keyboards. Nearly all my mice and keyboards are Logitech. It makes great hardware. Unifying dongles also make it easy to use the products without futzing with Bluetooth or network settings. In fact, I recommended Logitech devices in each of my home office gear articles.
- Work from home on the cheap: Build a budget home office for under $300
- Work from home: Build a super-functional home office for $1,000
- Setting up the ultimate home office: Picking and choosing the best gear
What about you? Have you had a weird hardware configuration challenge you've had to find an unintuitive way to fix? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below.
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