Keyboard on Mac Not Working

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are new to the world of computing, you may wonder why a keyboard on a Mac is not working. Some of the best keyboards, after all, can fall victim to any number of issues. So what common problems impact Mac keyboards and what can you do about them? Keep reading to find out.


  • If your Mac keyboard is not working, it could be any number of keyboard issues depending on if it is a wired external keyboard aka built-in keyboard, or a wireless model.
  • Start by updating any associated firmware according to instructions and look for OS software updates in case it is a software issue.
  • You should also make sure that your wireless keyboard is fully charged and that Bluetooth is turned on via the power button and operating correctly.

Why is my Mac Keyboard Not Working?

There are plenty of reasons why your Mac keyboard stops working if you are wondering why your keyboard won’t light up. Another common issue is when the keyboard stops functioning randomly. Other issues include when the keyboard types backward or when the keyboard keys fall off. Also, some wireless keyboards struggle to connect to the computer itself, if you are wondering whether you should get a wired or wireless keyboard.

Insider Tip

Always charge your wireless keyboard when you are not using it to prevent any battery-related issues.

No matter the keyboard, if you are comparing a butterfly keyboard vs a magic keyboard, there are some common troubleshooting tips to try out. Also, click here if you want the definition of a butterfly keyboard.

Download Drivers

No matter if you are using a wireless keyboard or a wired version, or even the official Mac keyboard, your first step should be to look for, download, and install any newly available keyboard drivers. This is particularly important if you have recently upgraded to a new Mac OS. The download and installation process is typically simple enough, and able to finish in just a few mouse clicks.

Update the OS

Often, if the operating system becomes extremely out of date, it can impact the efficacy of any attached keyboards and related devices. Download and install any new Mac OS updates available to see if that fixes the problem. However, the installation process can be time-consuming, and be sure to back up your data beforehand. If your OS is only one or two generations behind the current version, you don’t need to try this step, as it likely will not make a difference

Charge the Keyboard

Wireless keyboards need regular charging, so if your keyboard won’t connect or won’t type once connected, it is very likely a battery issue. Plug the keyboard into your preferred charge and let it rip. Once fully charged, try it again. Another thing to try is to simply turn off and turn on the Bluetooth feature until the keyboard properly connects.


Is it time for a new keyboard?

If you press the power button and the keyboard won’t turn on, and plugging it into a USB port doesn’t help, it is likely time for a new keyboard.

What should I do if my keyboard backlight isn’t turning on?

This is likely a battery issue, so check on the removable battery and give it a charge via the USB port. For a wired keyboard, however, it is likely a software issue.

How to prevent software issues on your Mac?

To prevent software issues and keyboard issues alike, make sure the power source is operating correctly and that you find any software updates via the menu bar or the menu in the menu bar.

STAT: The Macintosh (mainly Mac since 1998) is a family of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. (originally as Apple Computer, Inc.) since January 1984. (source)

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