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What to do if your Apple keyboard stops working


Probably very few things can cause so much panic as a keyboard Mac not working. However, if that happens in a Mac system, in general there is no need to worry too much. This is because there are several methods to troubleshoot this kind of issue, and eventually arriving into a successful solution that can help users to have their keyboards as good as new.

Here we will show some solutions that hopefully can help those in desperate need of restoring the full functionality of their Mac keyboards. Let’s begin understanding what to do when a keyboard on Mac not working.

Clean the keyboard

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the ones that have to be implemented. While many people might try to connect an external keyboard and try to download as many applications as possible that claim to do miracles with all kinds of keyboards, the truth is that the solution might be as simple as physically cleaning the keyboard itself. This can help the great majority of the Mac keyboard is not working situations.

Probably we don’t see it, but the amount of debris and dust that is accumulated under any computer keyboard is something that can surprise even the most avid computer users. Most of the time the biggest problem this will cause will be a keyboard that looks dusty or not very clean. However, if the keyboard has not been cleaned for a long time, then it is possible to start suffering other effects as a consequence of that.

In order to clean the keyboard, first it is a good idea to carefully clean under the keys themselves if the design of the keyboard allows that. It is important to do this cleaning process with compressed air or cleaning agents that don’t leave residues behind. Of course, any kind of residue might damage the keyboard further, so it is quite obvious why it is not a good idea to use them.

Supposing that a can of compressed air will be used for the process, it is recommended to put the keyboard in an almost vertical position. From there, users must start to spray the keyboard going from one side to the other. The air will release most debris that has stuck to the underside of the keys, and will be able to fall to the bottom.

However, after finishing the first cleaning pass, it is suggested to put the keyboard in a vertical direction one more time, but this time from its opposite side. Then, it is as simple as repeating the aforementioned process with the compressed air.

Update MacOS to its latest version

Sometimes older versions of MacOS might create trouble with certain hardware. This can be especially an issue when facing a situation where keyboard not working Macbook Pro. Therefore, if cleaning the keyboard didn’t solve the problem, then it is recommended to proceed to the next stage. Here users are recommended to check whether there are updates to their operating system, and apply them if that’s the case. This can be done by following a very simple process, which looks like this:

● go to the System Preferences in the device that is presenting trouble;

● go to the Software Update menu;

● wait for the device to check whether there are updates available, and then allow it to install them!

This process should only take a few minutes, and will ensure that the system being run is up-to-date. Hopefully this can help any user with a Mac Book pro keyboard not working kind of situation.

Reset the System Management Controller

While some people may see this solution as too technical and outside of their knowledge, this is actually a very simple process to do. The System Management Controller, also known as SMC, is an entity that controls certain elementary functions of the machine. Some of them include the keyboard. Therefore, on a few occasions, this SMC might be the culprit behind some situations where the keyboard not working on Macbook Pro. Before detailing this procedure, it is necessary to indicate that there are two variations of it.

To be more precise, there are computers that might have a T2 security chip and others that might not, and the procedures will vary a bit in each case. However, it is still extremely simple in either situation. The following table will allow users to ensure that they successfully complete this procedure to solve the keyboard Apple not working situation, regardless if they have or not the T2 security chip.

With T2 Chip Without T2 Chip
Switch off the device Switch off the device
Hold the Left Control, Opt and Right Shift keys Hold the Left Control, Opt and Left Shift keys

While keeping these keys pressed, press the power button in order to turn on the computer

While keeping these keys pressed, press the power button in order to turn on the computer
Keep all these keys pressed for seven seconds, and then release all of them Keep all these keys pressed for ten seconds, and then release all of them

Wait a few more seconds and turn the system back on

Wait a few more seconds and turn the system back on

It should be clarified that some Mac devices don’t use the System Management Controller at all. These kinds of devices have different procedures to reset their keyboards if they are presenting any kind of trouble.

Check the USB connector

If an Apple keyboard is not working, and this keyboard happens to be external and is connected to the computer via USB, sometimes the issue might be solved by only disconnecting it and connecting it one more time. Also, it is a good idea to maybe test the port where the keyboard was connected with another USB device, just to make sure that there are no problems with the port itself.

Make sure that the batteries are working properly

There are a few wireless keyboards that are compatible with Mac systems. Sometimes they can appear as being completely charged. However, certain problems with the connectors will make those indicators say that the gadget is fully charged without actually this being the case.

For this reason, if the problem is with a wireless keyboard, it is a good idea to connect it one more time to the charger and see how it goes. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, it is a good idea to try to charge it one more time, but with a different cable and in a different place. This can also apply in a keyboard not working Macbook situation

Check the Bluetooth status

If the problem occurs with a Bluetooth keyboard, the first thing to do is to make sure that Bluetooth is turned on in both the computer and the keyboard. If that’s the case, ensure that both devices are paired and recognize each other. Finally, if this still doesn’t work, try to de-pair and pair the devices one more time. These simple procedures should troubleshoot most of the keyboard not working Macbook kind of situations that different Mac keyboards might present.


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