15 Best Fixes If Your Mac Keyboard Stopped Working

It was a Tuesday, a coffee by my side, when it happened. A sudden, heart-stopping moment: my Mac keyboard stopped working. What was a scribe to do? In the spirit of every troubleshooter who’s stared into the abyss of technological glitchiness, I buckled down to crack this enigma. Today, I share my personal anthology of the 15 best fixes I tested and found successful.

1. Restart, A Simple Magic:

Restarting your Mac is like pulling the curtains on a stage, then drawing them back to reveal a refreshed performance. This simple step clears out temporary files, closes errant processes, and sets the stage for a smooth run.

  • Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Choose ‘Restart…’ and confirm your choice.
  • Let your Mac take its time to power down and restart – no rushing this performance.
  • Once it boots back up, test your keyboard.
Restart, A Simple Magic:


2. Inspect Your Keyboard Connection:

Imagine your keyboard and Mac as two dance partners. If their hands (read: connections) aren’t properly clasped, they’ll be out of sync. For a wired keyboard, check that the USB connection is secure, with no apparent physical damage. For a Bluetooth keyboard, ensure it’s correctly paired with your Mac:

  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences > Bluetooth’.
  • Make sure your keyboard is listed as ‘Connected’. If it’s not, follow the on-screen steps to reconnect.

3. Dive Into Keyboard Settings:

You’d be surprised at how a seemingly innocent setting change can mute your keyboard. A rogue key delay setting or a misplaced check mark can wreak havoc:

  • Go to ‘System Preferences > Keyboard’.
  • Explore each tab and ensure settings are standard.
  • Pay special attention to the ‘Key Repeat’ and ‘Delay Until Repeat’ sliders; they should be set according to your preference, and not at extreme ends.
Dive Into Keyboard Settings

4. Fresh Perspective: A New User Account:

Creating a new user account on your Mac is like welcoming a new resident into an apartment complex. The new resident is oblivious to the past issues and can provide fresh insights:

  • Open ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Users & Groups’.
  • Unlock to make changes, then click on the ‘+’ button to create a new standard user.
  • Log out from your current user and log into the new one.
  • Test the keyboard.

5. The PRAM/NVRAM Reset:

Picture the PRAM/NVRAM reset as a deep spring cleaning. It clears out some memory sectors that store system settings, potentially dislodging any bugs:

  • Restart your Mac and immediately press Option-Command-P-R together.
  • Hold these keys down for about 20 seconds (release after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time).
  • Your Mac will start normally.

6. The SMC Reset:

The System Management Controller (SMC) is like the unseen director of various low-level functions of your Mac. Resetting the SMC can bring things back on track:

  • If your Mac has a non-removable battery, shut it down.
  • Press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button.
  • Release all keys and the power button, then press the power button again to start your Mac.

7. Up-to-date macOS: The Shield:

Having the latest macOS is like equipping your Mac with the newest armor – it provides better protection against threats and bugs:

  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences > Software Update’.
  • If updates are available, click ‘Update Now’ and let the update process complete.
Up-to-date macOS: The Shield

8. Remove Recent Apps:

Recent apps might be like uninvited guests at a party, causing chaos:

  • Go to your Applications folder.
  • Drag any newly installed applications to the trash.
  • Empty the trash to fully remove the applications.

9. Malware: The Hidden Puppeteer:

Malware can silently puppeteer your system, causing issues like keyboard failures:

  • Use a trusted anti-malware tool like Malwarebytes.
  • Scan your system and remove any detected malware.
Malware: The Hidden Puppeteer

10. The Care and Cleaning of Your Keyboard:

Just like dusting off old books, cleaning your keyboard can often restore its functionality:

  • Switch off your Mac.
  • Use a can of compressed air to gently clean the keys. Remember not to get the keyboard wet.

11. Safe Mode: The Keyboard Whisperer:

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode is like stripping it down to its essentials – this can often help isolate issues:

  • Restart your Mac.
  • Immediately hold down the Shift key until the login window appears.
  • Test your keyboard in Safe Mode.
Safe Mode: The Keyboard Whisperer

12. Disable “Mouse Keys”:

The Mouse Keys feature, when enabled, can play tricks on your keyboard:

  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad’.
  • Make sure ‘Enable Mouse Keys’ is unchecked.

13. The Bluetooth Keyboard Dance:

For Bluetooth keyboards, a simple unpair and pair-back can bring them back into the rhythm:

  • Go to ‘System Preferences > Bluetooth’.
  • Find your keyboard on the list, click the ‘x’ next to it to unpair, then pair it again.
The Bluetooth Keyboard Dance

14. A Helping Hand: The External Keyboard:

An external keyboard can be a reliable stand-in when your built-in keyboard is taking a break:

  • Connect an external keyboard to your Mac.
  • Check if it works fine.

15. Apple Support: The Final Frontier:

If you’re out of options, it’s time to seek professional help from the experts at Apple:

  • Visit the Apple Support website or your nearest Apple store.
  • They can provide additional troubleshooting steps or schedule a repair if needed.

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of WinFixo.com. I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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