How to Fix Macbook Pro Keyboard Not Working issue?

The MacBook Pro is a great laptop for work, business, video editing, music production, and more. It offers great design, performance, and battery life. However, you may have faced certain issues with the keyboard on the laptop. Some generations of the MacBook Pro could have problematic keyboards that can lead to frustration. In this post, you’re going to find out how to fix the ‘MacBook Pro keyboard not working’ issue.

There could be several reasons as to why the MacBook Pro keyboard may not work as it should. It is possible that some dust or debris may cause the keyboard to fail, or it could be a hardware problem. However, you can use the following methods to potentially fix the problem, especially if it has something to do with software. Let’s get started.

How to Fix Macbook Pro Keyboard Not Working issue?

Fix MacBook Pro Keyboard not Working

As mentioned above, if the problem is software related, then the following methods should fix the problem. Try them out one by one.

Perform a Restart

The first thing you should do during a keyboard malfunction is to try and reboot your MacBook Pro. It is likely that a bad configuration file could’ve caused the MacBook Pro Keyboard to not work properly. A full reset will clear these files and hopefully make the keyboard work. First, Power off your Macbook Pro and then disconnect any devices that are connected to it. Wait for 30 seconds or so and Power On your laptop. Check if the keyboard is working, if not, then move to the next method.

Clean Keyboard

As mentioned in the beginning, the MacBook Pro keyboard may not work properly if there’s some debris or dust stuck between the keys. In such cases, the switches may get jammed and will not activate the key press. Therefore, Power Off your MacBook Pro and clean the keyboard using a brush and compressed air from a hairdryer perhaps. Once it’s cleaned and all the debris is out, boot up the Mac and see if the problem is gone.

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Check Bluetooth Connections

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If you’ve got a Bluetooth keyboard nearby, then your MacBook Pro could have automatically connected to it. When this happens, the built-in keyboard will stop working. Even if there is no Bluetooth keyboard around, a glitch in software could have the Macbook Pro believe that it is connected to a keyboard, hence disabling the in-built keyboard. To check if this is the issue, turn off Bluetooth on your Mac.

  1. Launch System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo in the Menu Bar.
  2. Look for Bluetooth settings.
  3. Turn off Bluetooth or disconnect any connected keyboard.

Now check if the keyboard is working. If not, move on to the next possible fix.

Reset SMC

SMC is short for System Management Controller, and resetting this could potentially fix several software flaws including a stuck keyboard. Here’s what you need to do to reset the SMC on your MacBook Pro.

  1. Shut Down your MacBook Pro.
  2. Connect the charging cable.
  3. Press and hold Shift + Control + Option buttons together for about 7 seconds.
  4. While holding these buttons, press the Power On button.
  5. Wait for a few more seconds and then let go of all the buttons.
  6. Power On your Mac after 10 seconds.
  7. The SMC has been reset.

Once your MacBook Pro has booted up, check if the keyboard issue has been fixed.

Reset PRAM/NVRAM

You can also try to reset the NVRAM and PRAM memories on your MacBook Pro. These are used by the software to store system settings and temp data. If there’s a problem with the data or setting memory, then some issues may crop up. A non-working keyboard could be a problem related to the bad memory. To reset the NVRAM and PRAM on your MacBook, follow the steps below:

  1. Fully Power down your MacBook Pro.
  2. Now, press Option + Command + P + R as you power on your Macbook.
  3. Keep holding the keys till you see the Apple logo or the startup chime for the second time.
  4. It takes about 30 seconds for the settings to be erased, so hold on to the keys till you hear the sound.

After the Macbook boots up, you can try and see if the keyboard problem has been fixed. If not, try the method below.

Restore macOS

If none of the above methods worked, then you may want to restore macOS to a point where the keyboard was working fine. Perhaps the new update or an app broke the configurations files or drivers for the keyboard. You can use the Time Machine app to restore your MacBook to an earlier time. It is an easy process and pretty straightforward as well. Once you’ve restored macOS, check if the keyboard works.

Update macOS

It is also possible that you’re running an older version of macOS on your MacBook Pro and that could causes keyboard issues. It is important to keep your laptop up to date with the latest software as they include bug fixes, security patches, and new features. If the keyboard is not working due to a bug, then it may have been fixed in a new update. Check if there’s a new update for your MacBook Pro and install it.

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple logo in the Menu bar.
  2. Select Software Update and check for new updates.
  3. If a new update is available, then click on Update Now.

Once the update has finished, check whether the keyboard is working fine.

Boot in Safe Mode

The keyboard could be malfunctioning because of another app or driver. If that’s the case, then you will be able to find out the culprit by booting your MacBook Pro in Safe Mode. This will disable all third-party drivers and apps. Here’s how to boot in to Safe Mode on your Mac.

  1. Turn Off your MacBook Pro.
  2. Press and hold Shift when powering it back on.
  3. Leave the key when the login window appears.
  4. You will now see Safe Mode written in the top right corner.
  5. Login and check if the keyboard is working fine.
  6. Now, you will have to check all the things that were part of the startup list. If the keyboard is working fine, then those that aren’t in the list could be the problem.
  7. Launch System Preferences and head over to Users and Groups.
  8. Click on the Lock button, enter your password, and check the Login Items tab.
  9. The non-startup items will be shown here and you can remove them by click on the minus (-) button below.

After you’ve done all this, restart your MacBook Pro and check whether the keyboard works. You can repeat the same till you find the faulty app or driver.

Hardware Issues and Possible fixes

If all of the above fails, then it is possible that the keyboard issue you’re facing is due to a hardware fault. In such as case, it is recommended that you contact Apple Service Centre and get it repaired. If your MacBook Pro is out of warranty, then you may also try and open it up to see if the keyboard flex cable is loose. However, we would strictly recommend that you only do this if you’ve had any experience. Sometimes, the flex cable for the keyboard could be loose or worn out and holding it down with a bit of tap can fix the issue for a while.

You can also check if there’s a hardware failure in your MacBook Pro by Powering it off, then powering it back on while holding the D key. Of course, this will only work if the keyboard is working fine. If this works, then an error code will be shown on the display. Google this code and find out what the problem is.

And those were some of the methods to try and fix the MacBook Pro keyboard not working issue. If any of these fixes worked for you, then do let us know in the comments section below. You can also add other tips and tricks using the comments.

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