Are you a Mac user and experiencing problems with your keyboard? It can be frustrating when your keyboard stops working, whether it’s the built-in keyboard on your MacBook or an external keyboard. A malfunctioning keyboard can bring your work to a screeching halt. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting tips you can try to fix the issue quickly.

Troubleshooting tips for Mac keyboard issues

  • Mac keyboards can become unresponsive due to debris, low battery, or software issues.
  • Simple solutions include cleaning the keyboard, replacing batteries, or resetting the keyboard settings.

Keyboard for Mac Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Clean Your Keyboard

Dust and debris that accumulate underneath the keys are the most common cause of a malfunctioning keyboard. Over time, this can cause keys to become stuck or unresponsive. To fix this issue, try cleaning your keyboard. According to MacKeeper, start by turning off your Mac and unplugging any external keyboards. Then, use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris that has accumulated underneath the keys.

For a MacBook with a built-in keyboard, use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the keys. Be careful not to use too much pressure, as this can damage the keys. For external keyboards, use a damp cloth to wipe down the keys. Make sure the cloth is not too wet, as this can cause damage to the keyboard.

Keyboard for Mac Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Update macOS

Outdated software can cause keyboard compatibility issues. To check for updates, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.” Then, click on “Software Update” and follow the prompts to download and install any available updates.

Keyboard for Mac Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Check Keyboard Layout

If you’ve recently switched to a different keyboard layout, this can cause your keyboard to stop working. To check your keyboard layout, go to “System Preferences” and click on “Keyboard.” Then, select the “Input Sources” tab and make sure the correct keyboard layout is selected. If you’re not sure which layout to choose, you can try selecting “U.S.” or “ABC.”

Keyboard for Mac Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Tips

Remove Recently Installed Apps

If your keyboard stopped working after installing a new app, there may be a conflict between the app and your keyboard. To fix this, try removing the app and see if your keyboard starts working again. To remove an app, simply drag it to the trash or use an uninstaller app.

Keyboard for Mac Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Tips


Resetting your PRAM or NVRAM can sometimes fix issues with your keyboard. To reset your PRAM or NVRAM, start by shutting down your Mac. Then, press the power button to turn it back on and immediately press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys. Keep holding the keys until you hear the startup sound twice.

Personal Story: My Experience with a Non-Responsive Keyboard

Last week, I was working on my Macbook when suddenly the keyboard stopped responding. I panicked as I had a deadline to meet. I tried to type on the keyboard but nothing was happening. I tried pressing different keys, but it was all in vain. I was frustrated and didn’t know what to do.

After a few minutes of Googling, I stumbled upon a forum where someone had a similar problem. They suggested resetting the PRAM and SMC, which I had no idea about. I quickly looked up what those were and how to reset them.

I followed the instructions, and to my relief, the keyboard started working again! I was overjoyed and grateful to the person who posted that solution on the forum.

Ever since then, whenever I encounter a similar problem, I know exactly what to do.

This experience taught me that sometimes simple solutions can fix complex problems. If you are facing a non-responsive keyboard issue on your Mac, try resetting the PRAM and SMC as a first step. It might save you a lot of time and frustration.

Seek Professional Assistance

If none of the above solutions work, it may be time to seek professional assistance from Apple or consider replacing your keyboard.


By following these simple troubleshooting tips, you can fix your keyboard for Mac not working issue quickly and get back to work. Remember to keep your keyboard clean, update your macOS, check your keyboard layout, remove recently installed apps, or reset your PRAM or NVRAM if you run into any keyboard issues. If you need further assistance, check out Apple Support or consult a professional.

Issue Solution
Keyboard keys are sticking or unresponsive Clean your keyboard using a can of compressed air or a soft, lint-free cloth
Keyboard layout is incorrect Go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard” > “Input Sources” and select the correct keyboard layout
Outdated macOS Click on the Apple menu > “System Preferences” > “Software Update” and download/install any available updates
Recently installed app causing conflicts Remove the app or use an uninstaller app
PRAM or NVRAM needs to be reset Shut down your Mac > press the power button > immediately press and hold Command + Option + P + R keys until you hear the startup sound twice
Wireless keyboard not connecting Check the battery level and turn the keyboard on/off. If it still doesn’t work, try resetting the Bluetooth module
Some keys not working Try resetting the keyboard by turning it off and on again or unplugging and plugging it back in. If it still doesn’t work, try using a different keyboard or seek professional assistance

Answers To Common Questions

Question: Who can help me fix my Mac keyboard issue?

Answer: You can contact Apple support for assistance.

Question: What could be causing my Mac keyboard to malfunction?

Answer: It could be a software or hardware issue.

Question: How can I troubleshoot my Mac keyboard problem?

Answer: Try restarting your computer or resetting the SMC.

Question: What if the keyboard issue persists after troubleshooting?

Answer: You may need to take it to an authorized repair center.

Question: How can I prevent my Mac keyboard from malfunctioning?

Answer: Keep it clean and avoid spilling liquids on it.

Question: What if I don’t have AppleCare for my Mac?

Answer: You can still contact Apple support for assistance, but there may be a fee for repairs.

By Ash

Ash has worked in the software industry for over 25 years. In this time he's learned what to look for in a great product, and all the things to watch out for. It's become his life's mission to help others so they can be more productive with their time. You can reach out to him via the contact us page. I love hearing from readers, so if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can contact me through the contact us page.