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How to Fix It When a MacBook Pro Keyboard Isn’t Working

If your MacBook Pro keyboard suddenly stops working, it is possible that some keys will work but not others. A software problem is most likely to be the reason why the Touch Bar does not work.

To get your keyboard working again, you’ll need to clean it, check for updates and remove any problem apps. These fixes are also applicable to MacBook Air keyboards.

These fixes may require a functioning keyboard. You can borrow a spare keyboard if you don’t own one. If you try to connect another keyboard, it won’t work. Your Mac may need professional repair.

What causes a MacBook Pro keyboard to stop working?

Dust and other contaminants are the most common reasons a MacBook keyboard stops working. Even the smallest dust contamination can cause issues with a MacBook equipped with Apple’s butterfly keyboard. Other contaminants such as food or liquids can also cause problems with a Mac keyboard.

Apple’s problem with its butterfly keyboards was so serious that Apple issued a Keyboard Service Program to address the MacBook Air, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The following are the most frequent reasons why a MacBook keyboard doesn’t work:

  • Dust and other contaminants
  • Software settings that are incorrect
  • Apps that are not working
  • Bugs and glitches
  • Broken hardware

How to fix a MacBook Pro Keyboard that isn’t working

Clean your keyboard immediately if it stops working. If this fails, connect another keyboard and try several other solutions. Apple can provide professional assistance in the worst case. Apple will repair some problems for you, but not all.

Here are some tips to fix your MacBook Pro keyboard that isn’t working.

  1. Clean your keyboard. The most common reason for malfunctioning MacBook keyboards is dust and other debris. Clean your keyboard as best you can. Apple recommends the following:

    1. Place the MacBook at a 75-degree angle to the table or floor.
    2. Use compressed air and a straw to guide you. Blossom between the keys in a left/right or top/bottom order.
    3. Rotate your MacBook so that the right-side is facing down. Keep it still at a 75 degree angle.
    4. You can repeat the left-to right and top-to bottom blowing patterns you used previously.
    5. Rotate the MacBook so that the left side faces down. Keep the angle at 75 degrees.
    6. Continue the same blowing motion as before.
  2. To clean the keyboard, remove any visible debris using a soft-bristled vacuum attachment.

  3. Connect the MacBook to your computer. The keyboard might not function if the battery is low. You may not get a low battery warning. Wait for your MacBook to charge before you test if it works.

  4. Check for updates. You can connect a USB keyboard or wireless keyboard to perform the standard procedure for checking for updates. Update your operating system or driver software on your MacBook to ensure that it works properly.

  5. Remove recent apps. It is possible that you have installed multiple apps before the problem began. Restart your MacBook and uninstall any apps that you have recently installed. Next, check if the keyboard is working.

  6. Restart the Touch Bar. You can use the terminal to repair the Touch Bar if it is the wrong part of your MacBook Pro keyboard. Here’s how it works:

    1. Enter terminal in Spotlight or use Finder to open it via Applications > Utility.
    2. Open the Terminal and type sudo kill TouchBarServer;, then press to enter.
    3. Enter sudo killall ControlStrip;, and hit to enter.
    4. Enter your password, then press to enter.
    5. The Touch Bar closes and then restarts.
  7. Slow Keys should be turned off. This function will cause you to hold each key down longer than normal before it registers. If you only press each key for a brief time, it can appear that the keyboard isn’t working at all. Here are the steps to turn it off.

    1. The Apple menu is now open.
    2. Navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Handy.
    3. Make sure SlowKeysisn’t on.
  8. To turn off mouse keys, If this setting is accidentally activated, it can cause serious problems. To disable the Mouse Keys

    1. The Apple menu is now open.
    2. Navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility> Pointer control > Alternate control Methods.
    3. Make sure MouseKeys aren’t turned on.
  9. Make sure you are setting the keyboard layout correctly. The keys will not function properly if you have the wrong layout. Here are some ways to verify:

    1. The Apple menu is now open.
    2. Navigate to System Preferences > keyboard > input Sources.
    3. Select Display Input menu in menu bar
    4. Use the Input Menu to select the right keyboard layout for your language and region.
  10. Reset your System Management Controller (SMC). The keyboard may not work properly if there is a problem in your MacBook’s SMC. Usually, the problem can be solved by resetting the SMC.

What if your MacBook Keyboard Doesn’t Work anymore?

If your keyboard doesn’t respond to any of these solutions, or if you have specific keys that aren’t working, you should contact Apple for professional assistance. Apple will fix some keyboard problems free of charge due to defects within the butterfly switch mechanisms. Customer support can help you determine if your MacBook is covered.

Before taking your MacBook to the service center, make sure you backup all data on your Mac.

Unfreeze Your MacBook Pro


  • How can you reset an external MacBook Pro keyboard

    The USB cable can be used to disconnect and reconnect the keyboard. Make sure that the connector is properly inserted into the USB port before it’s plugged in again. Another option is to plug the keyboard into another USB port.

  • How do I turn on the backlights of a MacBook Pro keyboard’s keyboard?

    To turn on backlights, press the increase or decrease brightnesskey. You can also access the Control Center and select Keyboard brightness. The slider can be moved back and forth. You can also expand the Control Strip in the Touch Bar and tap to increase brightness or to decrease brightness.

  • How do you lock the keyboard of a MacBook Pro’s MacBook Pro?

    You will need to lock the MacBook Pro keyboard or put it in sleep mode. You can lock the screen using the keyboard shortcut Control+ Shift+ Power. To put the computer to sleep, you have three options: close the lid, use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+Power, or select Sleep from the Apple menu.

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