Like everything else Apple makes, their keyboards also enjoy a great reputation, and for good reason! They look great, feel great, and generally work perfectly – but every once in a while, they too can be affected by certain issues and glitches. In this article we go through some potential problems and show you what you have to do to fix them.
Troubleshooting Wireless Keyboards
1. Ensure Bluetooth is turned on and working properly
The obvious thing to check first is whether Bluetooth is on and working. Go to System Preferences -> Bluetooth and if it’s not on, enable it!
The System Preferences panel will also inform you if devices are connected or not, if they’re low on battery, or if there are any other errors you should be aware of. If the preferences panel or your menu bar displays a Bluetooth icon with a jagged line through it, this means that your Bluetooth is not enabled. You can try to restart your Mac and if that doesn’t help unplug all USB devices and restart again.
2. Ensure your keyboard is turned on
Here’s another classic troubleshooting tip: make sure your keyboard is actually turned on! This isn’t always that easy to tell though. If you have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, press the power button and watch the indicator light. If it stays on for a few seconds and then turns off, it is connected; if it blinks repeatedly, it is in discovery mode (and it’s looking for your computer); if nothing happens, check you device’s batteries.
After your device starts, go to the Bluetooth preferences panel and check if it’s connected. If the keyboard is still searching for your computer without connecting, right-click on it from the list of devices and hit Connect.
3. Check your keyboard’s battery level
Low battery levels on your keyboard can also have an impact on performance. Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard, and then find the Keyboard tab. You should be able to check the battery level in the bottom-left corner.
4. Ensure mouse keys and slow keys are disabled
Go to System Preferences > Accessibility and select Mouse & Trackpad from the menu you can see on the left. Once there, ensure that Enable Mouse Keys is not checked. What this does is it allows you to control the mouse via keyboard keys, which can result in a series of keys not working.
After doing that, click on Keyboard in the left sidebar and ensure that Enable Slow Keys is also not checked. This option would require keys to be pressed longer in order to be registered as a press.
5. Re-pair your keyboard with your computer
Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled by going to the Bluetooth preferences panel, then move the mouse over your keyboard in the list of devices and click on the “X” on the right side of the entry. You will be told you may need to re-pair your device next time you use it. Now click Remove.
Turn your keyboard off and on again – this should be followed by indicator light should starting to blink. Open Keyboard in System Preferences and select the Set up Bluetooth keyboard option, and then finally follow the instructions to pair your keyboard.
Troubleshooting Wired USB Apple Keyboards
1. Try another USB port
Since we’re talking about a wired USB keyboard, the first thing you should do is try plugging it into a different USB port. If this works, try it in the original port again. If it only works in one port, there could be a problem with the USB ports on your computer, something you should take a closer look at.
2. Check the System Report
Click About This Mac, which you can find in the Apple Menu on the top left of your screen. next click the System Report button. After opening the system report window, click on USB in the Hardware section and see what your system is reading from your USB ports.
You will see “Apple Keyboard” listed under one of the USB ports if your computer has detected the keyboard; if not, try restarting your computer.
3. Turn off Bluetooth
To make sure Bluetooth is off, go to System Preferences -> Bluetooth. The reason this sometimes works is because your computer might recognize a Bluetooth keyboard and prioritizing it over your USB device. If you still need Bluetooth on, go to System Preferences -> Bluetooth once more and remove the keyboard from the list by clicking on the “X” on the right side of the entry.
4. Ensure mouse keys and slow keys are disabled
Go to System Preferences -> Accessibility, then select “Mouse & Trackpad” from the menu on the left and make sure that “Enable Mouse Keys” is not checked. Then, click on the Keyboard option in the left sidebar and ensure that Enable Slow Keys in not checked.
5. Connect your keyboard through an extension cord or a USB hub
Note that Apple’s USB keyboards come with a USB extension cord. You can try to plug your keyboard into one end of this cord and then plug the other into your computer. In case you don’t have a USB extension cord, using a USB hub can also work.