Solved: USB Keyboard not working on Mac or MacBook?

It is terrible when you are working on something important, and some keys do not work. It needs to be solved even if you think the keyboard works often but also stops functioning in between. Especially if things go wrong with your favourite Mac, then that pisses you off. So if you are thinking about the USB Keyboard Not Working on Mac or MacBook, then we have solution for you.

When your USB keyboard stops working, there may be an issue as simple as that with your system’s software or similar. Several simple steps help you fix the issue and do not need a technician to fix it.

Check the USB Connection of the Mac with the Keyboard

Often the issue is not with software or any other but a loose connection. So, unplug the keyboard from the USB port of your Mac and connect something else with it. Further, plug it into the USB port of your Mac again. Else, you can even plug the USB keyboard into another USB port as the earlier one would not work.

Besides, if the secondary device that you plugged in the USB port works, then the ports are fine, but the keyboard is the issue.

Clean your USB Keyboard

USB Keyboards often do not work on Mac for several reasons. One of the common reasons is dust or grime accumulated under the keyboard. This often happens when you do not keep your desk clean and even when you eat while you work! Therefore, You should clean the keyboard for it to work with Mac or MacBook.

You can even check the USB port that connects to the keyboard if it has any residue of dust or grime. Clean them if present.

Delete the Preferences

All the Settings you do on your Mac OS are stored in the system files ending with the .plist extension. It stores all your preferences, so you can delete them to solve keyboard, mouse, or any other errors with your system; before deleting the preferences, backup all the data you want. You can backup them using Time Machine in case anything gets wrong.

  • Open Finder and Press CMD + SHIFT + G.
  • Enter ~/Library/Preferences/ and press the Go button.
  • Locate the file and delete it.
  • Reboot your Mac.

Deleting the .plist files can fix several of your system issues. Besides, do not worry, as Mac OS will create fresh files per the requirements.

Delete the Recently Installed Apps on your Mac

If you have recently installed any app, it can often cause problems with the functioning of your Mac. It can lead to several issues, including the keyboard not working or unexpected error messages. In such a situation, delete the app that you have installed recently on your Mac or MacBook.

Follow the steps given below to uninstall the recently installed app on Mac.

  • Head over to Finder.
  • Navigate to the Applications folder.
  • Click the Sort option and select Date Added.
  • Now, uninstall the app that is displayed first in the list.

If the app is the cause of the keyboard not working, then it will be resolved. But if it is not the issue, reinstall the app and try resetting the SMC.

Reset SMC

SMC is the acronym for System Management Controller. SMC regulates several functions of your Mac, including the keyboard. Therefore, when the keyboard does not work, SMC could be responsible. Hence, resetting SMC is the ultimate solution. The procedures to reset the SMC varies as per your Mac model.

Fortunately, if you have an M1 Mac then SMC cannot be the issue as these devices do not have it.

Update your Macintosh OS with latest version

When your keyboard does not work with Mac, it may be due to Software bugs. In such a scenario, updating your Mac with the latest software will fix bugs and resolve compatibility issues.

  • Go to System Preferences from the Apple Menu.
  • Navigate to Software Update.

If updates are available, then you will be prompted to do so. Click on the Upgrade Now button to start with the process.

If software issues interfered with the keyboard functioning, it would be resolved.

Replace your current Keyboard

If the above methods do not help, it is time to replace your keyboard. Often the issue is not with your Mac but rather with your keyboard. You can plug a different keyboard into the USB keyboard of your Mac. If your keyboard breaks, then you can use another extensible keyboard. You can even upgrade it with a Wireless or Bluetooth keyboard if required. If you use an extensible keyboard with MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, then their inbuilt keyboard designs often do not work. Rather than struggling with your extensible USB keyboard, you can claim the warranty if required or contact Apple Help Centre.


Why is my wireless keyboard not working on Mac or MacBook?

One of the reasons why your wireless keyboard does not work could be if your Bluetooth is not on. Ensure that it is on, disconnect the keyboard from Bluetooth, and re-establish the connection. The issue is most likely to be resolved.

How do I get my MacBook or Mac to recognize my wireless keyboard?

If your Mac does not recognize the wireless keyboard, head over to System Preferences from the Apple Menu. Navigate to Bluetooth and select Bluetooth preferences. Now, choose the Keyboard option and configure. Your Mac will recognize your wireless keyboard.

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