Fix Mac Keyboard Not Working

Having trouble with your Mac keyboard not working? Here’s a quick guide to help you fix it.

Reasons and Fixes for Stopped Keys

1. Keyboard Layout Issue: If certain keys on your Mac keyboard are not working, it could be due to a mismatched keyboard layout. To fix this, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources and make sure the correct keyboard layout is selected.

2. Software Glitch: Sometimes, a software bug or conflicting application can cause the keyboard to stop working. Restart your Mac and check if the issue persists. If it does, try using an external keyboard to see if the problem is specific to your Mac’s keyboard.

3. Physical Obstructions: Dust, debris, or even food particles can get stuck under the keys, preventing them from functioning properly. Use compressed air or a soft brush to clean the keyboard. Alternatively, you can use a trusted software like CleanMyMac X to remove unnecessary files and optimize your Mac’s performance.

4. Mechanical Failure: If none of the above fixes work, there might be a hardware issue with your Mac’s keyboard. In this case, it’s best to contact Apple support or visit an authorized service center to get it repaired or replaced.

Essential Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Keyboard with cleaning tools

Cleaning and maintaining your Mac keyboard is essential to ensure optimal performance. Here are some tips to fix a Mac keyboard that is not working:

1. Start by disconnecting the keyboard from your MacBook or Mac computer.

2. Use compressed air to remove any dust or debris that may be stuck between the keys. Spray the compressed air at an angle to reach all the corners and crevices.

3. If the keys are sticky or not responding, use a clean cloth slightly dampened with water or isopropyl alcohol to gently wipe the keys. Avoid using excessive moisture to prevent damage.

4. For a deeper clean, you can remove the keys carefully using a small tool like a button or scissors mechanism. Clean each key individually and make sure they are completely dry before reattaching them.

5. Regularly clean the surface of your keyboard using a soft cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges.

6. Consider using software like CleanMyMac X to scan for any software bugs or conflicts that may be causing the keyboard issues.

Remember to always backup important files before making any changes to your system. If the keyboard problem persists, you may need to consult Apple Support or take your MacBook to an authorized service provider.

Software Update and Removal Strategies

To fix a Mac keyboard not working issue, it is important to consider software update and removal strategies. These strategies can help resolve any conflicts or bugs that may be causing the keyboard malfunction.

1. Update macOS: Keeping your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air up to date with the latest macOS version is crucial. This ensures that any known bugs or software issues related to the keyboard are addressed by Apple.

2. Update Device Drivers: Check for any available updates for your keyboard’s device driver. This can be done through the manufacturer’s website or the macOS software update feature.

3. Reset Keyboard Preferences: Open the “Keyboard” preferences in the System Preferences menu. Click on the “Keyboard” tab and then the “Restore Defaults” button. This will reset any customized settings and may resolve the issue.

4. Remove Third-Party Keyboard Software: If you have installed any third-party keyboard software, uninstall it using the software’s provided uninstaller or the macOS uninstaller feature.

5. Remove Keyboard Property List: Navigate to the Library folder in your computer’s home directory. Locate the property list file associated with the keyboard and delete it. Restart your Mac to let the changes take effect.

6. Check for Software Conflicts: If the issue persists, check if any recently installed applications are causing conflicts with the keyboard. Uninstall or disable any suspicious applications and restart your Mac.

Adjusting Keyboard Settings and Layout

If your Mac keyboard is not working properly, you may need to adjust the keyboard settings and layout. Here are some steps you can follow to fix the issue:

1. Check the keyboard connection: Ensure that the keyboard is securely connected to your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. If it’s a wireless keyboard, check the battery level and connection.

2. Restart your Mac: Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve keyboard issues. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen, and select “Restart.”

3. Check keyboard settings: Go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and then click on “Keyboard.” Here, you can customize various keyboard settings such as key repeat, delay until repeat, and more.

4. Reset keyboard settings: If adjusting the settings didn’t work, you can reset the keyboard settings to their default values. Press and hold the Shift + Option keys on your keyboard, and then click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar. From the drop-down menu, select “Reset the Bluetooth module.”

5. Update software: Make sure your Mac is running the latest version of macOS. Click on the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and then click on “Software Update.” Install any available updates.

6. Test with another keyboard: If possible, try connecting a different keyboard to your Mac to see if the issue persists. This can help determine if the problem is with your keyboard or the computer itself.

Preventative Measures for Optimal Performance

  1. Restart your Mac
    • Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen.
    • Select “Restart” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Update macOS to the latest version
    • Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”.
    • Click on “Software Update” to check for updates.
    • If updates are available, click on “Update Now” to install them.
  3. Check for keyboard software updates
    • Visit the official website of your keyboard manufacturer.
    • Look for the “Support” or “Downloads” section on their website.
    • Search for your specific keyboard model and check if any software updates are available.
    • Download and install any available updates for your keyboard.
  4. Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)
    • Shut down your Mac by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting “Shut Down”.
    • Disconnect the power adapter from your Mac.
    • Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds.
    • Release the power button and reconnect the power adapter.
    • Turn on your Mac by pressing the power button.
  5. Reset the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory)
    • Shut down your Mac by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting “Shut Down”.
    • Press the power button and immediately press and hold the keys Option + Command + P + R.
    • Continue holding the keys until you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    • Release the keys and allow your Mac to restart.
  6. Clean the keyboard
    • Turn off your Mac and unplug it from the power source.
    • Dampen a microfiber cloth with water or mild cleaning solution.
    • Gently wipe the keyboard keys to remove any dirt or debris.
    • Avoid using excessive moisture that could damage the keyboard.
    • Allow the keyboard to dry completely before plugging in and turning on your Mac.


Why did my keyboard stop working?

Your keyboard may have stopped working due to various reasons such as a frozen computer or application, a disconnected keyboard (unplugged, battery drained, or wireless connection disrupted).

How do I unlock my Mac keyboard?

To unlock your Mac keyboard, go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences, click on Security & Privacy, and then select the General tab. Unlock the padlock located at the bottom left to regain access to your keyboard.

How can I reset my Mac keyboard?

To reset your Mac keyboard, you can try the following methods:
1. Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard from your Mac.
2. Restart your Mac.
3. Reset the keyboard settings in System Preferences.

Why is my keyboard not typing on Mac?

Your keyboard may not be typing on your Mac due to various reasons. First, if it is an external keyboard, try disconnecting and reconnecting it to your Mac. If the issue persists, restart your Macbook. Additionally, if it is a built-in keyboard, restarting your MacBook may resolve the problem. If the keyboard remains unresponsive, consider deleting or updating recently installed apps as they could potentially be causing interference.

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