How to Lock a MacBook Keyboard

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Updated July 22, 2022

Whether you have a cat that hops on your keyboard every chance it gets, or you’re about to perform a deep key cleaning, locking your keyboard can come in handy. Many of the best keyboards come with locking features, but computer owners often don’t know how to use them. So that’s why, for all the Apple users out there, we’ll show you how to lock a MacBook keyboard for all the Apple users out there.


  • There are two ways to lock a MacBook keyboard: a third-party app or a keyboard shortcut.
  • Shortcuts lock the entire computer, including the keyboard, and are handy for when you are cleaning your keyboard.
  • Third-party apps are preferable for business meetings, those with pets or children, or anyone trying to watch media without accidentally pressing unwanted keys.

If you’re in the market for a highly specialized keyboard, you can check out our hand-wired keyboard guide. And if you want to do some wiring (or de-wiring) yourself, you can find our article on how to make a keyboard wireless.

Insider Tip

Make sure to check your third-party keyboard app for any updates, as this can lead to keyboard glitches.

How to Lock a MacBook Keyboard

Locking a MacBook keyboard can be done in a couple of ways. One way is to lock the entire computer, a quick and handy technique to use when cleaning. The other way is to download a third-party app that allows you to lock just the keyboard. This method is often helpful for those using external keyboards who want to avoid any unwanted keystrokes.

We also cover many other keyboard tips and maintenance guides, such as this article explaining how to fix a spacebar on a keyboard.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 5 minutes 
  • Steps: 1-2 (depending on method)
  • Tools: None

Use a Keyboard Shortcut

The first keyboard shortcut is pressing Control+Shift+Power all at once. Doing this key combination will lock your entire computer. Another keyboard locker key combo is Command+Option+Power. This combo switches off the keyboard alongside putting the display to sleep.

You can also do this by clicking the Apple icon in the top left corner and pressing “sleep” on the dropdown menu. And, of course, closing the laptop screen also disables the keyboard.

Using a Third-Party App


Go to the app store and download a well-reviewed keyboard locker app.


Some keyboard locking apps can make your computer glitch, so research the various apps to minimize this risk.


After installing the app, select the option that disables your keyboard. To unlock the keyboard, toggle the digital switch with your mouse to the off or unlock position. Keep in mind that when you update the OS, the apps may stop working. In this case, you’ll have to find another app to use or update the app’s software.

STAT: 18% of all keystrokes go to the spacebar. (source)

How to Lock a MacBook Keyboard FAQs

How do I fix my keyboard's backlight?

Backlight issues are almost always a cause of settings rather than hardware. First, enter your system's control center. Then, find the keyboard brightness settings.

Do apps still run when I lock my computer?

Yes, apps like Apple Music with background processing will still function when your computer keyboard is locked.

How can I prevent software issues with my Macbook?

The best way to do this is by keeping your drivers and OS updated and regularly scanning for malware.
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