This article explains how you can fix when your Apple USB keyboard isn’t working as expected. If you see an error message, your keyboard keys suddenly stop working, your Mac is no longer recognizing your USB keyboard and you can’t figure out why; this article will help you fix your problem.
This is an important problem because you will not be able to use your Mac without a keyboard. Your keyboard is the main mode of input.
See also: Keyboard double space problem.
USB Keyboard fixes:
After each step please test to see if your keyboard is working:
1. Restart your Mac. It is simple but effective. Restarting your Mac may fix your issue. To restart your Mac, click the Apple menu > Restart.
2. Check your keyboard batteries if applicable. Some USB keyboards have batteries. Open the battery part of the keyboard and check to see if the batteries are placed correctly. Also, try replacing the batteries.
3. Check the USB connections. It is possible that your Keyboard is not properly connected to your computer. Try the following tips:
- Switch the keyboard’s cable to another USB port on the same Mac, if possible.
- Unplug your keyboard and replug it into your Mac firmly and securely.
- Ensure that there is not anything (debris, dirt, etc) obstructing the connection in the USB port. If there is, try to remove it.
- Disconnect all connected devices from your Mac. These can be a mouse, keyboard, printer, etc. Now reconnect your keyboard and mouse back into your computer. If you can use your Keyboard now the problem may be with one of the other devices. What you can do is to try replugging them one by one until you find the device that is causing the problem.
4. Reset the SMC of your Mac. Your USB port may be having a power-related problem and resetting the system management controller (SMC) can fix your problem with your keyboard.
- It is highly likely that this is a desktop computer. If it is, resetting the SMC is very simple. Follow the steps below:
- Shut down your Mac by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu.
- Unplug it from the power outlet.
- Wait about 15 seconds.
- Now replug it into the power outlet.
- Wait another 5 seconds.
- Now start up your Mac by pressing the power button.
- If this is a Mac Notebook, the steps are a little different. We previously wrote about this topic. Please see that article on how you can reset the SMC.
5. Reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac. This is really easy. Here is how:
- Turn off your Mac.
- Turn on your Mac and quickly press Option, Command, P, and R keys together.
- Keep holding the keys for about 20 seconds.
- Then release the keys. Your Mac will restart.
6. Update your Mac. Update the software on your Mac. Here is how:
- If your current macOS version is Mojave or later (e.g., Catalina): On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update. This will check for updates. If there is an update available, click the Update Now button.
- Other macOS versions: Launch the App Store on your Mac and click Updates.
7. Boot into Safe Mode. Restart your Mac in Safe Mode. Here is how:
- Turn off your Mac.
- Turn on your Mac and quickly press and hold the Shift key.
- Keep holding the Shift key until you see the login screen. Safe Mode can take up to 10 minutes so be patient.
- When your computer is in Safe Mode, test your keyboard, is it working now?
- In any case, restart your Mac normally. Do not press the Shift key.
- When your computer restarts, test your keyboard again. Did Safe Mode fix it?
8. Delete preference files. Your preference file may be corrupt and deleting it may resolve your issue. Here is how:
- Open the Library folder. You can open this folder by following the steps below:
- On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock.
- In the Finder, click Go.
- Hold down the Option key and you will see the Library folder in the Go dropdown menu. Click it to open.
- Click Preferences.
- Find the “com.apple.HIToolbox.plist” file. This is the Human Interface Toolbox settings file. The file stores keyboard default settings.
- Delete this file.
- Restart your Mac.
- Does your keyboard work now?
If you are still unable to use your USB keyboard, you may want to contact its manufacturer for support.