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  1. Hi,
    Thanks a lot ! After having tried all your previous fixes to no avail, deleting the Prefences file eventually worked for me.
    It was probably corrupted. By what? I suspect something with Adobe CC since it happened just after I made some updates using the Adobe CC desktop app.
    This is not the first time it happens, but I couldn’t remember how I got through this before, just that it was related to Adobe CC as well.

  2. I was having this issue as well. I turned Bluetooth off, then on, then searched for Bluetooth keyboard and the USB keyboard started working.

  3. We had a similar problem. We tried most of the solutions mentioned above. What helped was noticing a little switch on the back of the keyboard, very near the keyboard’s right-hand edge. What worked was toggling that switch. We were happy!

  4. I have an older iMac desktop (iMac 12,1; Intel Core i5; 2.5 GHz) with wired A1243 keyboard – after a restart the keyboard suddenly stopped being recognized. I finally got the computer to stop searching for a bluetooth keyboard and to recognize the keyboard, but although it seemed to be connected, it didn’t work at all. I have another older Apple keyboard that mostly works, so I connected it and cycled through the above list of possibilities. Number 8 worked for me – after deleting the toolbox preference file from the Library folder, and just before restarting the computer, I reconnected the A1243 keyboard. After restarting (with the A1243 connected) it now works. (Relief!)

  5. After taking my laptop to another room to work away from my desk, once moving it back to my office the mouse AND keyboard stopped working/responding.

    I have a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) and a wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse.

    #1 and #2 did not help, but option 3 did! Option # 3- moving the cords to the other side, solved it! Thank you. 🙂

  6. Resetting the NVRM as described worked. I have a Macbook Pro and a USB external keyboard. I thought I killed the keyboard when I cleaned it. But I did the simple NVRM reset and it started working again!

  7. I’ve got a 2010 or 2011 iMac. Recently, if the computer is totally shut off, the usb keyboard is not recognized on startup. I’ve tried switching usb ports, restarting, unplugging the computer and restarting, all to no avail. Strange thing is that my usb mouse works fine which I have plugged into a usb port on the keyboard. The easiest and cheapest fix I found was using an old PC (Dell) usb keyboard. My iMac recognized it on startup and asked me a few questions to configure the keyboard layout. Works like a champ!

  8. This just happened to me as well (April 14, 2021: 7:30am), none of the above suggestions worked for me, I am on 2019 MacBook Pro. Got an upgrade to v.10.15.7 and my OLD usb apple keyboard stopped working. I love the damn keyboard because of no stupid function key in it and the number pad.

    But this weird trick worked for me mentions in a post below, Put an extension USB wire in between keyboard and adapter that connects to USB C ports. luckily I had one in my wire crap drawer.

    1. Holy Smokes! Same here! None of the above suggestions worked for me. Added the extension and Wha-La, I’m now replying to your comment on my now working-double-wired-keyboard. C’mon Apple… you used to be cool!

    2. Unreal! I had the same issue with my old Apple USB keyboard, which stopped working. I tried every solution listed above, and more.

      In desperation, I tried doing as you suggested and putting a USB extension between the keyboard and the USB/USB-C adapter. And what do you know… It works!!

      THANK YOU!

      1. It just worked for me to! It wasn’t an adapter, just an extension. Luckily I was already gonna put an extension on the keyboard anyways, but I tried different ports, restarting and the waiting etc., and this is the only thing that worked! I just bought this keyboard used so I was worried!

        1. Crazy and amazing. After an overnight update on two different MacBook Pros (15″ 2016 and 16″ 2019) with usb c ports using usbc to usba adapters the keyboards stopped working. Interesting it worked on the external display USBA port and on an iMac and also with the multiport adapter (usbc, usba, HDMI). After doing all the trouble shooting, restarting, reseting the SMC, etc, I saw this and found an old short (6″) extension, probably used to give a larger USB device clearance, and it got the keyboard working through the USBC to USBA adapter on both MacBooks.

          1. OK, this worked for my, too! What I still want to know, is why? What is going on and how do I prevent it in the future? Besides buying another USB extension.

    3. I just tried the USB extension cable (from the keyboard’s USB cable to my iMac’s USB port) and it worked! Nothing else had worked until I did this. Was ready to buy a newer iMac as mine is older (2009) but still works like a champ.

      Thank you!

  9. Every time I update the iso is a crapshoot. Once I’ve lost everything and had to bring it to Apple, they just looked at me confused and say… oh it happens. This time I updated the new March 2021 update (iMac) my usb keyboard just stopped working. Saying there is no keyboard. Unless I buy a new keyboard to try, there is no way to know if my iMac itself is broken or the keyboard itself.

  10. This was completely useless – how can you use the keyboard to do the different startup options when the machine doesn’t recognise the keyboard?

  11. I just found a solution that appears to be working (I’ve tried it three times now). I use a crappy old Bluetooth keyboard and connect it to my mac. Once the mac has recognized the Bluetooth keyboard, plug in your wired keyboard and the mac should now recognize that. I think the problem is that the keyboards give off such a low wattage that the mac doesn’t even acknowledge the small input that it is receiving, but when it’s connected to a Bluetooth keyboard it knows to be looking for input from an external device

      1. Worked for me too – using a bluetooth mouse instead of a bluetooth keyboard to ‘nudge’ the Mac into seeing my USB keyboard.

  12. This is a good set of options, thank you, but none have worked for me. I’m on a 2017 15″ MacBook Pro which only has the USB-C ports, and I’m using an older Apple keyboard which has the old USB plug, onto which I’ve added a converter to fit the USB-C port. I suspect the computer doesn’t recognise the input from the keyboard, it may just not provide enough electrical signal or something like that.

    It was working sporadically before. Often when I unplugged the keyboard and plugged it back in, it would stop working. Then, weirdly, it started working about 90% of the time for a month or two, then Apple pushed an OS update last night and it’s gone again. This time I can’t get it to recognise the keyboard at all (so far). I think Apple said they won’t support my old keyboard but I don’t want to spend a fortune on a new one, especially one that require batteries and to have Bluetooth on (draining the battery). It’s really annoying. Anyway, maybe this info will help someone…

    1. If your keyboard is usb try to clear the NVRAM as described it worked for me after the Latest Mac update

  13. All of these suggestions are hilarious……,exactly how do you suggest one holds down certain keys when the keyboard isn’t working?!?! Obviously things like safe modest etc aren’t possible.

    1. This is troubleshooting for an external USB keyboard not working so it assumes your laptop keyboard is working fine to perform these steps…

        1. For me only deleting the file in the preferences. I’ve a macbook pro 13 retina late 2013 11,2,1 and a usb full apple keyboard. Times to times the keyboard stops working…

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