MacBook Pro Keyboard Not Working on macOS Monterey

MacBook Pro Keyboard Not Working on macOS Monterey mac os monterey keyboard not working
Introduction

A malfunctioning MacBook Pro keyboard can be a major inconvenience, disrupting your productivity and workflow. Whether your keys are unresponsive or only some keys are affected, there are several potential reasons for this issue. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common causes of a non-working MacBook Pro keyboard and provide effective solutions to resolve the problem on macOS Monterey.

Understanding the Causes

Before we delve into the fixes, let’s understand the most common causes of a non-functional MacBook Pro keyboard:

  1. Dust and Contaminants: Dust and other particles can accumulate under the keys, causing them to stick or become unresponsive. This issue is particularly prevalent in MacBook models with Apple’s butterfly keyboard mechanism.
  2. Incorrect Software Settings: Misconfigured software settings can interfere with the keyboard’s functionality, leading to unresponsive keys.
  3. Problematic Apps: Recently installed or updated apps may cause conflicts that affect the keyboard’s performance.
  4. Bugs and Glitches: Software bugs or glitches can also result in keyboard issues on macOS Monterey.
  5. Broken Hardware: In some cases, there might be a hardware failure, such as a faulty keyboard connector, which requires professional repair.

Effective Fixes for a MacBook Pro Keyboard That Isn’t Working

Now that we understand the potential causes, let’s explore the troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:

1. Clean the Keyboard

Start by cleaning your MacBook Pro keyboard to eliminate any dust or debris that might be causing the problem. Follow these steps for effective cleaning:

  • Tilt your MacBook at a 75-degree angle with the base facing downwards.
  • Use compressed air with a straw to guide the airflow and blow between the keys in a left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern.
  • Rotate the MacBook so that the right side is facing down, and repeat the blowing pattern.
  • Rotate the MacBook again, so the left side is facing down, and repeat the blowing pattern.
  • If you notice visible debris, use a vacuum with a soft-bristled attachment for thorough cleaning.

2. Check Battery and Charging

Ensure your MacBook has sufficient battery charge, as a low battery can affect the keyboard’s functionality. Plug in the MacBook and wait for it to charge before testing the keyboard again.

3. Check for Updates

Connect a USB or wireless keyboard to your MacBook and check for system updates. Install any pending updates, including driver or operating system updates, and then see if the keyboard starts working.

4. Remove Recent Apps

If the issue started after installing specific apps, uninstall them and restart your MacBook. This will help identify if any recently installed or updated app is causing conflicts with the keyboard.

5. Restart the Touch Bar

If the Touch Bar is unresponsive, you can restart it using the terminal. Follow these steps:

  • Type “terminal” into Spotlight or open it via Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  • With the Terminal open, type the following commands one by one:
    sudo pkill TouchBarServer;
    sudo killall “ControlStrip”;
    Enter your password when prompted. The Touch Bar will shut down and restart.

6. Turn off Slow Keys

Slow Keys can make the keyboard seem unresponsive, as it requires you to hold down each key longer than usual before it registers. To disable Slow Keys, follow these steps:

  • Open the Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Hardware.
  • Make sure Slow Keys is turned off.

7. Turn off Mouse Keys

Accidental activation of Mouse Keys can cause keyboard issues. To disable Mouse Keys, follow these steps:

  • Open the Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control > Alternate Control Methods.
  • Make sure Mouse Keys is turned off.

8. Check Keyboard Layout

Verify that you have the correct keyboard layout selected for your region and language. Follow these steps to check and change the keyboard layout if needed:

  • Open the Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources.
  • Select “Show Input menu in the menu bar.”
  • Open the Input menu from the menu bar and choose the appropriate keyboard layout.

9. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

If your MacBook’s SMC is causing the problem, resetting it can often resolve the issue. Follow Apple’s support documentation for instructions on how to reset the SMC.

What If Your MacBook Keyboard Still Doesn’t Work?

If none of the above fixes work, and your keyboard remains unresponsive, it’s time to seek professional help from Apple. Some MacBook models might be covered by Apple’s Keyboard Service Program due to defects in the butterfly switch mechanisms. Before taking your MacBook for service, make sure to back up your data.

Conclusion

Encountering a non-working MacBook Pro keyboard can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue on macOS Monterey. Regularly cleaning your keyboard and being cautious when installing new apps can prevent future keyboard problems. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from Apple Support or authorized service providers.

Why is my MacBook keyboard not working?

If your MacBook keyboard is not working, it may be due to dust and contaminants blocking the keys, incorrect software settings, problematic apps, bugs, or even broken hardware.

How can I clean my MacBook keyboard effectively?

To clean your MacBook keyboard, tilt the device at a 75-degree angle, and use compressed air to blow between the keys in a left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern. Repeat the process on the other side, and use a vacuum with a soft-bristled attachment for visible debris.

How do I check for system updates on my MacBook?

To check for system updates on your MacBook, go to the Apple menu, then select ‘System Preferences,’ followed by ‘Software Update.’ If any updates are available, click ‘Upgrade Now’ to install them.

Can I fix my MacBook keyboard myself?

While some troubleshooting steps can be performed by users, it’s best not to attempt advanced repairs or disassembly. If the issue persists, seek professional help from Apple Support or authorized service providers.

What should I do if my MacBook keyboard issue persists after trying all fixes?

If the problem persists despite trying all suggested fixes, it’s recommended to contact Apple Support or visit an authorized service provider. They can diagnose the issue and provide further assistance.

How can I prevent future keyboard issues on my MacBook?

To prevent future keyboard issues, regularly clean your MacBook keyboard using compressed air. Additionally, be cautious when installing new apps to avoid potential conflicts that may affect the keyboard’s functionality.