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

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

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

MacBook Pro users know what it’s like to open their computer and realize that the keyboard is broken. If your MacBook Pro keyboard isn’t working, there are a few steps you can take to fix it.

What Causes the Keyboard on a MacBook Pro to Stop Working?

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

Dust and other pollutants are the most prevalent causes of a MacBook keyboard not working. Even the tiniest bit of dust exposure can cause problems if you have a MacBook with Apple’s butterfly keyboard design. Other pollutants, such as food and different beverages, can also wreak havoc on a Mac keyboard.

Apple had to offer a Keyboard Service Program for the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro because the butterfly keyboards were such a problem.

The following are the most common reasons a MacBook keyboard stops working:

  • Contaminants such as dust
  • Software settings that are incorrect
  • Apps with issues
  • Glitches and bugs
  • Hardware failure

How to Repair a Non-Working MacBook Pro Keyboard

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

If your keyboard suddenly stops working, the first thing you should do is clean it. If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to plug in a spare keyboard and try a few other options. In the worst-case scenario, seek professional help from Apple. Don’t try any complex repairs or disassembly on your own; Apple will address some of these issues for free.

Here’s how to get a broken MacBook Pro keyboard working again:

Make sure the keyboard is clean. The most common reason for faulty MacBook keyboards is dust and other debris, so start by cleaning your keyboard to the best of your ability. Apple’s recommended technique is as follows:

  • Hold the MacBook at a 75-degree angle to the floor or table using the base.
  • Blow between the keys in a left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern with compressed air and straw to guide the pressurized air.
  • Rotate the MacBook so that the right side is facing down and the angle is approximately 75 degrees.
  • Continue blowing in the same left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern as before.
  • Rotate the MacBook once more, this time with the left side facing down and at a 75-degree angle.
  • Continue blowing in the same pattern as before.

If there is any visible debris on the keyboard at this point, finish cleaning it with a vacuum attachment with a soft-bristled attachment.

  • Connect the MacBook to the power source. The keyboard may not work if your battery is low, and you may not get a low battery message. Check to see if the keyboard works after the MacBook has been charged.
  • Keep an eye out for new information. Connect a USB or wireless keyboard and run through the regular update procedure. Update any driver or operating system updates that your MacBook requires, and then test the keyboard.
  • Remove any programs that have been installed recently. It’s possible that one or more programs you installed soon before the problem began caused a clash. Uninstall any apps you’ve recently installed, then restart your MacBook to see if the keyboard works.
  • Restart the Touch Bar if necessary. If the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro keyboard isn’t working, you may typically get it working again by using the terminal.

This is how it works:

  • Use Spotlight to search for a terminal, or go to Finder > Applications > Utilities to open it.
  • Type sudo pkill TouchBarServer; in the Terminal and click Enter.
  • Press enter after typing sudo killall “ControlStrip”
  • Press enter after you’ve entered your password.
  • The Touch Bar goes into hibernation and then restarts.

Slow Keys should be turned off. If this feature is enabled, you must hold down each key for a longer period of time than usual before it registers. Though you merely hit each key for a short period of time, it may appear as if the keyboard isn’t working at all. Here’s how to disable it:

  • Go to the Apple menu and select it.
    Select System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Hardware from the drop-down menu.
    Make sure that Slow Keys is turned off.

Mouse Keys should be turned off. If this setting is mistakenly enabled, it can cause problems. To disable Mouse Keys, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Apple menu and select it.
  • Select System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control > Alternate Control Methods from the drop-down menu.
  • Make sure that Mouse Keys is turned off.

Go to the Apple menu and select it.

  • Select System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources from the drop-down menu.
  • In the menu bar, select the Show Input option.
  • Select the appropriate keyboard layout for your location and language from the Input menu.

Make sure the keyboard layout is set correctly. The keys will not work properly if you have the improper keyboard layout chosen.

Here’s how to find out:

System Management Controller should be reset (SMC). It’s possible that a problem with your MacBook’s SMC will cause the keyboard to stop working properly. It normally takes a while to reset the SMC.

What If Your MacBook Keyboard Isn’t Working Anymore?

If your keyboard still doesn’t work after trying all of these options, or if only a few keys aren’t working, you should contact Apple for assistance. Apple will repair some keyboard issues for free due to flaws in the butterfly switch mechanisms, but only customer service can inform you if your MacBook is eligible.