If your Mac keyboard stops working, it is almost impossible to do anything useful with your Mac. You can not write any documents or type in your web browser. And the problem is even worse if your MacBook keyboard doesn’t work because you can’t just replace it with a new one. But there are some common fixes for Mac keyboard problems, which may not be exactly what you want.
Clean your Mac keyboard
If some Mac keyboard keys do not work, it may cause dust and other debris under them. This can happen if you have a habit of eating while using your Mac.
- Cleaning under the keys can solve the problem.
- Hold your MacBook or Mac keyboard directly, preferably at an angle of 75º
- Using compressed air can spray the keyboard or idle keys. Then go left to right
- Rotate your MacBook or keyboard to the right and then to the left. Repeat the action.
Your Mac keyboard may not be working due to software issues. If so, updating macOS can help.
- Open System Preferences
- Select Software Update
- If there are any updates available, install them
Also, if you need more help, read this detailed guide on how to update your Mac.
macOS saves settings for files with the .plist extension. Deleting .plist files can help with all kinds of problems, by resetting the possible settings. Before you delete any .plist files, you may want to back up your Mac with a Time machine, in case you have any problems later.
- In Finder, press Cmd + Shift + G
- Type ~ / Library / Preferences / and click Go
- Find and delete com.apple.keyboardtype.plist
- Restart your Mac
There are many other .plist files on your Mac. Removing this can help with many other problems, including problems with your Mac mouse. macOS will rebuild them when needed.
Delete recently installed apps
Your Mac keyboard may not work because the new application is interrupting it. If the problem started recently, think about what apps you added, and try removing them.
Try another keyboard
If your Mac keyboard does not work, trying a different one is a good idea. If a different keyboard is working, then the problem may be related to the software or your Mac itself. The same applies to MacBooks. Incorrect, but you can connect an external keyboard and type accordingly. However, replacing a MacBook keyboard can be difficult, so you may need professional help if it turns out that the keyboard is broken. Also, it is known that some MacBook Air and MacBook Pro keyboards stop working due to their design. These MacBooks all use what is known as a ‘butterfly’ keyboard, and yours may be eligible for a free replacement.
Check your USB connection
In some cases, you can fix the USB Mac keyboard problem by removing it and reconnecting it. You should also check to see if your USB ports are working properly. Remove your keyboard, then connect another object to that hole, such as your mouse. If it works, then the USB port is probably OK.
If your Apple wireless keyboard isn’t turned on, try switching batteries, if possible. But if you’re using something like the new Apple Magic keyboard, with a built-in battery, check that it’s charged. Also, try using a different charging cable and a different USB port on your Mac. Any of these things could be a reason for your Mac keyboard not to be unlocked.
Using a Bluetooth keyboard? The problem may be caused by the Bluetooth settings for your Mac. Removing your keyboard from the list of Bluetooth devices for your Mac and then adding it may be the solution.
- In the System preferences, select Bluetooth
- Check that Bluetooth is activated
- If your Bluetooth keyboard is paired with your Mac, it should be listed under Devices
- Select your keyboard, then click X to remove it
- Pair your keyboard and your Mac again
Is it time for a new Mac keyboard?
Fortunately, one of the fixes in this article has worked for you. But sometimes Mac keyboards stop working because they break in an irreversible way. They can permanently damage the liquid, for example. And they may fade over time, especially if you hit the keys hard when typing. Try your keyboard on a different computer, if you can. Also, try a different keyboard for your Mac. That way you can eliminate each one as a problem and find out what is really wrong.