How to Connect a Keyboard to a Mac

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Updated July 22, 2022

Apple users are a loyal bunch. But sometimes… sometimes… rebellion creeps in, and Apple’s slogan “Think Different” asserts itself. One common area for this to happen is in the realm of the keyboard. If you happen to be one of these rebels who went out and sacrilegiously found a non-Apple device to be the hottest keyboard for you, don’t worry, you’re safe here. And, more than that, we want to help. So, keep reading as we show you how to connect a keyboard to a Mac.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Pairing either a wired or wireless keyboard with your Macbook is simple and quick.
  • For recent Macbook models, you’ll need a USB-C adaptor to connect a wired keyboard or wireless keyboard that uses a USB receiver.
  • Bluetooth keyboards connect to Macs like you would pair them to any other connected device.

And suppose you are only using a different keyboard because your Mac is acting up. In that case, we have an article explaining how to fix a Macbook keyboard. And for more general maintenance tips, we have a guide on how to clean underneath a Macbook keyboard.

How to Setup a Keyboard with a Mac

Whether you need to know how to connect a Bluetooth keyboard or if you’ve gone with a traditional wired model, setting up a keyboard to a Mac isn’t difficult. Below we’ll show you how to connect a wireless keyboard, as well as a method for wired models.

Insider Tip

Your Macbook keyboard will still function alongside your new keyboard once installed. You can lock your Macbook keyboard by pressing (CTRL+COMMAND+Q)

And for any gamers looking to connect devices, you can check out our article on how to connect a keyboard and mouse to a PS4.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 5 minutes
  • Total Steps: 1-5 (Depending on Method)
  • Tools Needed: None

Connecting a Wired Keyboard

STEP 1

Setting up a wired type of keyboard is the same as it is with any kind of computer. Just plug the USB cable into one of Apple’s USB ports, and you’ll be good to go. However, if you have a modern Macbook that only comes with USB-C ports, you’ll need to purchase an adapter.

Connecting a Non-Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard

STEP 1

Make sure you have fresh batteries. Then place the USB receiver into one of the Mac’s USB ports.

STEP 2

Turn on the keyboard’s power button. Wait for the connection to establish.

STEP 3

Sometimes, a notification appears about the new device. If this happens, follow the instructions to complete the setup.

Connecting a Bluetooth Devices

STEP 1

Turn on the keyboard’s power switch.

STEP 2

Go t the Apple logo in the upper left corner and select “System Preferences.”

STEP 3

Find the Bluetooth icon and select it.

STEP 4

Put your keyboard in pairing mode.

Warning

Connecting a non-Apple keyboard means that some special function keys will no longer be available.

STEP 5

Once you’ve put it in pairing mode, the name of the keyboard device should pop up on the computer screen under “Devices.” Select the keyboard and this to establish a connection.

STAT: Research revealed that 71% of university students use Apple computers or wish they did. (source)

How to Connect a Keyboard to a Mac FAQs

Is it possible to pair a Mac and iPad with the same wireless keyboard?

Unless the wireless keyboard is also Apple, you probably won't be able to pair it to both the Mac and iPad.

Why isn't the Magic Keyboard pairing with my Macbook?

This problem is most likely because Bluetooth isn't enabled or the connection was interrupted.

Why is the light blinking on my keyboard?

For wireless keyboards--Apple models or otherwise--this usually indicates that the device is ready to pair.
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