If your wireless or USB keyboard doesn‘t work

If the keys on your Apple wireless or USB keyboard don't seem to be working, these steps can help you resolve the issue.

Steps for a wireless keyboard

First, make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your Mac. Then follow these steps on your keyboard:

  1. Make sure your keyboard is turned on. If you have a Magic Keyboard, slide the power switch on the back of the keyboard to turn it on (green is visible when the keyboard is on). If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard (late 2015 or earlier), press the power button on the right side of the keyboard. The green LED on the upper right side of the keyboard will briefly light up.  
  2. Verify that the keyboard is connected by pressing the caps lock key. If the keyboard is connected to your system, the cap lock light turns on when you press it.
  3. Read about setting up your Apple wireless devices to make sure the device is set up correctly.
  4. Make sure your keyboard has power. Check the battery level in the Bluetooth menu Bluetooth at the top of your screen. If power is low, recharge your Magic Keyboard or replace the batteries in your Apple Wireless Keyboard.
  5. Check the keys by typing in an app like Notes or TextEdit.

If your keyboard doesn't work over Bluetooth after trying these steps, your keyboard might need to be replaced.

Steps for a USB keyboard

First, check your device’s USB connection. If the tips on that page don't fix it, try these steps:

  1. Unplug all devices from your computer, including any connected mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, camera, iPod, external hard drive, and hub. (Note that some devices, like iPod, may require you to perform steps before it's safe to unplug them.)
  2. Plug your keyboard and mouse back into your computer firmly and securely. Make sure that the connector is completely in the port. (USB plugs fit into ports one way only, and won't plug in if you try to insert them upside-down.)
    If you have a Magic Keyboard, also make sure your Lightning to USB cable is securely connected to the Lightning port on the back edge of the keyboard.
  3. If your keys still don't work, try plugging your keyboard in to the other USB ports. Be sure to try them all. Check to see if the keyboard's Caps Lock light turns on when you press it, and try typing in an app like Notes or TextEdit.
    Magic Keyboard uses a Lightning to USB cable. Make sure the cable you're using is the one that came with the keyboard, or is a Lightning to USB cable you know is in working order. Try a different Lightning to USB cable to test whether the cable is causing the issue.

Other tips for fixing issues with your USB keyboard:

If some of the keys work and others don't

If some keys on your keyboard work and others don't, try these steps.

Media Eject key or Caps Lock key

Try holding down the key longer. These keys have a slight delay to keep them from being turned on accidentally.

Hold down the Media Eject key until the Media Eject icon appears on your screen, and hold down the Caps Lock key until the key's green indicator lights up.

Other keys

You might have set an option that changes how your keyboard operates. Try these tips:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Dictation & Speech, then click Text to Speech. If "Speak selected text when the key is pressed" is selected, deselect it or click Change Key to select another key.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Keyboard. Make sure Slow Keys is turned off. If Slow Keys is on, you have to hold down a key longer than usual before it's recognized.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Mouse & Trackpad. Make sure Mouse Keys is off. If Mouse Keys is on, pressing keys in the numeric keypad moves the pointer instead of entering numbers.
  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Input Sources. Select "Show Input menu in menu bar." Choose the Input menu in your menu bar, then make sure the correct keyboard layout is selected.

You can see your keyboard's current layout on your Mac's display to make sure you're using the correct layout: 

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then select "Show Keyboard, Emoji, & Symbol Viewers in menu bar."
  2. Choose the keyboard icon in your menu bar, then choose Show Keyboard Viewer. You'll see a graphical representation of your keyboard that highlights the corresponding keys you press on your keyboard.
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