Reports online of Macbook/Macbook Pro Leopard Keyboard problems

According to Apple Insider some Macbook and Macbook Pro users have been plagued with a keyboard problem since upgrading to Leopard. The problem causes the keyboard to simply become unresponsive at random intervals, while the trackpad and/or mouse (if you have one connected) continue to function normally.

I’ve had Leopard on a Macbook Pro for a while now, and I haven’t had this problem yet, but apparently it can affect any Intel based Macbook or Macbook Pro regardless of age.

Has this happened to you? If so, do you have any ideas on how to fix it?


  1. marcus says

    same problem here.

    macbook pro c2d.
    keexboard + trackpad constantly dead. restart or any other action won’t help. so it’s a completely useless machine now. i’m forced to use an external keyboard and mouse ALL THE TIME!!!

    very, very sad since ther is absolutely NO REACTION by apple. way to loose customers. lame!

  2. CT says

    Hi there. I purchased a MacBook Pro three weeks ago and it had all sorts of problems. Keyboard was freezing and I would have to shut down using my power button to reboot and then it would work until it happened again. There were other problems as well. Turned out it was defective and not new. I found 359 sites bookmarked (i guess they forgot to remove them before selling) and, there were smudge marks all over it before I even touched it. It was replaced and now I am having the same issues. Trackpad (losing the cursor) and keyboard freezing up. I have lost three different emails as I was typing, as something would happen to the screen. They just vanish. It just happened about 1/2 hour ago. This is my second new computer in 3 weeks, and for the price, I don’t feel that there should be so many issues so soon. I didn’t purchase from Apple, which was my first mistake, not to say that you can’t get a good one from another source. I am not putting the computer down, as I love it. I just want it to work well. This one is only one week old. I’m sorry if I’m offending you Mac lovers. I just switched from PC to MAC, but I’m not going to give up just yet. I’m sure this can be worked out. Also, there’s a scratch on this one and the batter has dirt marks on it, so I may have been sold a display model or refurbished one, even though they have to inform you beforehand. Good luck to everyone!

  3. Michael says


    Where did you buy that Macbook Pro? You shouldn’t be getting shifty merchandise like that from an Apple authorized reseller.

    Download the latest Software updates by clicking on the Apple symbol on your menu bar then selecting “Software Update…” install the updated software for Macbooks, and your problems should be fixed.

  4. CT says

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for responding. I bought it at MacMall, believe it or not. I have done what you’ve suggested and even checked this morning for more. I am going to have to fight this, as the manager I was dealing with will not return my calls nor will his sales assistant. I’ve dealt with MM in the past with no problem, but that was many years ago. Anyway, I do regret not purchasing at Apple. Thank you for your input.

  5. Jason M. says

    Yeah, this is a really annoying problem. For some reason my shift+/ key maps to ctrl+C (yes, a capital C). Most annoying – especially since this is about the only place I’ve heard people talk about it. Did I mention this was annoying(insert question mark here, since I can’t)

    Going to reset pram and see if it helps. *sigh*

  6. Gabe says

    As of 12/22/07 – the latest update (apple icon > Software Update) has an update the specifically addresses this issue, they call it “unresponsiveness”. I just downloaded it and need to restart. I hope this will solve the problem.

  7. Manny says

    Since December the 18th the already mentioned Mac Update 1.1 fixed occasional keyboard freezing on my MB (2.2GHz, 2GB RAM, 120GB HD, Mighty wireless mouse) after sleep.

    Happy happy, joy joy!

  8. Annette S. Brown says

    I bought aMBP when they first came out. In fact I waited for it. Big mistake.
    I had a Dell for 5 years and only reason I wanted a Mac is because I was tired of the junk mail and viruses from it.
    I thought I was happy with Mac but different minor[I thought] problems crept up.
    keys sticking , 1st letter missing, back lites not working[I;ve never seen them]blackouts with no warning or reason, curser freezing something wrong with trackpad and a couple other annoying things but those are not the reason I’m so angry.
    Here is the problem noone seems to know anything about.
    My laptop has a disease —-it’s full of spots or blotches, not just on metal part but also on screen. it obviously comes from inside .
    I showed it to genius , a long time ago ,they say they;ve never seen that ,I must be doing something ,maybe something in my appartment, I am abusing it somehow. they clean it off, but it comes back.
    I can clean it too, but it comes back .
    And if I run my fingers over the spots, it’s very grainy, screen too[I have to clean mouse or I wouldn’t be able to slide my fingers over it].
    Everyone who works there is very arrogant ,especially when they don’t know what the problem is.
    I have to be on computer most mornings and after a while I start to cough, maybe it’s from whatever those blotches are. They’re all over, even on keys , hinges,trackpad, screen border ,everything .
    I don’t want to leave in for repair as they have no idea what to repair and I know several people who had problems, not just spots, and after the repairs, they still had the problems.
    I just want a refund or a replacement. I don’t even care if it’s a Mac Book or a power book but I want a new computer. I paid over $2700 and I wonder what good the warrantee is.
    Any sugestions form any of you as to how to get a replacement ?

    I’m going to write to Steve Jobs , but I just can’t keep going in to apple Store, it’s too infuriating.
    I don’t know much about computers and don’t intend spending much more time on this.
    I bought MBP in march or april 06 , and I’ve had it, with these put-downs by those young “geniuses” .
    I’m not young and I use it mostly for research, e-mails and my investments., nothing fancy .
    I’m so disappointed in Mac ‘s arrogant attitudes and blaming me and saying they’ve never heard of anything like this.
    I wonder if the fact they’re assembled in China has anything to do with shoddy work .
    I hope one of you can advise me as to how to get a replacement. I don’t even know where to look for your answers or comments,please tell me.
    [email protected] .
    I would be most grateful for answers.
    Thank you,

  9. Annette S. Brown says

    I a, waiting and hoping someone will answer my plea for help or suggestions.
    Otherwise I’m sending letter to Steve Jobs.
    Anyone have similar problems?

  10. Elena says


    It is sad to find out I am not the only one with this problem. I have a month-old MacBook Pro 17″, 2.2 Hz. I upgraded to Leopard right away. Applications quitting, computer freezing so that the only solution is to press-hold the power button, – I’ve experience it all, now the keyboard problem adds up to this “iHell”. I like Macs, and I admit, all these issues can happen to any computer… Well, any computer doesn’t cost as much, does it? Annoying, frustrating, and very disappointing…

    I agree with all the comments saying Apple might quickly loose customers loyalty if these numerous issues are not addressed.

  11. Mark Cody says

    Hi, I have a G5 iMac and installed Leopard a few weeks ago. All seemed to be fine until my wireless keyboard and mouse started playing up. No response from the keyboard, occasionally when it does work, i get a sticky ‘oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo’ in anywhere i click my mouse. I had to dig out an old USB mouse to even use computer…..

    I have tried resetting the PRAM but no joy. I can’t install the MBP 1.1 update as my iMac wont allow me to install a MBP application.

    I’ve been an Apple fan for over 15 years and am losing patience – c’mon guys..please get this sorted.

    PS – I have been forced to use my company supplied windows laptop to search for a resolution to my problem… [;(

  12. Michele Sedler says

    Wow – so my typing is not so lousy after all! I never realized the coincidence of these numerous keyboard problems popping up since i installed Leopard 2 months ago. I was made aware of the problem when I called AppleCare yesterday, figuring I needed a new keyboard. Although I have since downloaded the 10.5.1 Software Update & did those reset PRAM & whatever adjustments, I still don’t know if my problems have been corrected. They didn’t seem to be as major as those some of you have reported, mainly just shift key erratically not working & missed letters here & there. However, I don’t ever remember my typing being this bad before. I think I’ll give it more time to evaluate an anticipated improvement. *Has anyone followed through with the update etc. & still found these problems to exist, or am I the only one? I’m considering repeating the PRAM etc. adjustments, or is there any harm doing that? I guess I’m just impatient!

  13. Edward M. Roche says

    I upgraded my G4 17″ PowerBook to Leopard and several keys on the keyboard became unresponsive.

    Out of warranty, I went to an authorized Apple repair center and paid approximately $400 to have a new keyboard put in.

    It worked for a few weeks, and then today, I find several keys again are unresponsive.

    Now I learn it is probably a software problem, so I’ve wasted a pile of money.

    To be honest, Apple Leopard doesn’t work very well, at least on my machine. The iPhone crashes iTunes EVERY TIME it is plugged in. The brand new keyboard mysteriously stopped working. The crop and copy function will not work with Keynote. Each time I restart my computer, the Time Machine disk loses its permissions and needs to be “repaired”. I’m very disappointed with Apple and don’t wish to keep throwing money at the problem.

  14. Ian says

    Thank you so much the update link worked for my macbook i use the gyration rf setup for no site use. I to am a little upset with the recent snags of leopard, to reminicent of what i switched from (microsoft)

  15. Larry C. says

    yep, lots of keyboard and wireless problems with macbook/Leopard 10.5.1. Keyboard works with numlock on, wireless works only unsecured. In the meantime… I followed Apple’s advice: “Upgrade”! – to Vista – that is!- “it just works” – even on Apple hardware.

  16. Lauren says

    I bought a MacBook with the new operating system on it in mid November and experienced some keyboard problems during the first week. My technology teacher researched it and said to set my computer for routine updates and look for one specifically for the keyboard problem. After that I haven’t had a problem since until about a week ago. A couple times a day my keyboard and trackpad freezes after the computer goes to sleep. I can’t wake it by holding the space bar so hold the on/off button. I have tried many suggestions and nothing has worked except for shutting down the computer. At this point I don’t know what to do. I have lost work due to this problem. I’m bringing into the Apple store this weekend.

  17. peter says

    I was thinking of buying a macbook, but after reading all the problem I will be buying a pc with vista, a least there problems will be cheaper.

  18. Jed says

    Mac Book Pro, 2.4 ghz, bought last november. I come from vaio long happy experience. Love this mac, but the thing that still keeps me frustrated from the first day is the keyboard. It misses lots of digits, specially the first ones. Got always to control what I write down, everytime, it misses letters so often. Pretty far from vaio comfortable light and precise writing, here I have to push every button otherwise it will probably not work. This looks to me an awful jarring note in such a beautiful machine.
    No updates or patch solved this problem until now.

  19. Trist says

    Lots of people here seem to have problem with MacBook Pro, I have this problem with Mac Pro. Keeps missing the first character when I type into fresh text areas. I thought it was me at first, but I use computers all day and it only happens when I use my Leopard installed Mac Pro.

    It’s not a deal-breaker like, but it is mighty annoying.

  20. Steve says

    I have a Mac Pro (January 2008) running Leopard 10.5.2 and the c key does not function properly. I am on my second keyboard and finally tried an older keyboard only to experience the same problem. You have to press hard and hold the key to get it to type a lowercase c. There is no problem with uppercase Cs. I think this has to be a software bug.

  21. Kevin says

    I bought a MacBook Pro in January (2.6Ghz) with Leopard and up until a couple weeks ago, I had no problem. Then I installed Apple’s keyboard firmware update and lo-and-behold, after which my keyboard (and trackpad, which seems atypical) started freezing intermittently, usually after waking it from sleep. It slowly got worse and worse and finally today, both the keyboard and trackpad have frozen completely and no number of reboots, even in Windows Vista (bootcamp) will bring them back to life. Oddly enough, peripherals (USB keyboard/mouse) work, but the built-in stuff doesn’t. I tried re-setting the PRAM, but of course that did nothing.

  22. Jan says

    Same here. I use 10.4 OSX and since very begining I can’t use space button, delete button, Home/Arrow button. And there is no software upgrade for it. Only this Leopard upgrade for 10.5 OS X.

    It’s 100% software problem because (for example now) sometimes my keyboard works fine.

    Help anyone?

  23. Alison says

    I’ve had Leopard (10.5.2) on my MacBook for a few weeks and this problem suddenly cropped up today. I reset PMU and it works fine now but this isn’t something I can do conveniently when I’m working. What’s the deal?

  24. says

    Same problem here, mbp 2.6, running 10.5.2

    Interesting that I read an earlier comment about it triggering sometimes when plugging in a usb device such as a mouse, that happens to me to.

    So far the only fix has been restarting. Crazy that this is STILL an issue and hasn’t been addressed via software update yet. (if in fact it is a software issue, which seems to be the case)

  25. Morrighu says

    I wanted to chime in here. I went through a bunch of stuff with my computer not waking from sleep at all and that seems to have fixed my problems with my keyboard. My problems were apparently due to a corrupted sleep image. Getting rid of that has fixed all manner of minor annoyances with my computer.

    Try the directions here to get rid of the corrupt sleep image and see if that doesn’t fix your problems….

  26. Michele says

    Ok, so now it’s May & I’d have to say the problem has gotten much worse. Tho the keyboard doesn’t freeze, I still have the same old missed first letter of words & inconsistent shifting more often – & I have to go back & proofread EVERYTHING I type to make sure it’s legible. OK, I’m exaggerating, but not much. I have noticed that if I don’t have my finger/nail perfectly centered on keys, they won’t type or shift, or you get a whole different character from the top row of keys. I have tried AppleCare a few times & they’ve treated the problem with various downloads & updates, & I just don’t want to be bothered with the inconvenience anymore cause there is no change. By now, I wish they’d give me a new keyboard already since nothing else has worked. But they told me the next step is to try an “archive & install” of the Leopard disk used to install the OS on my laptop. I’m at a dead end now since my son downloaded it from the internet for me (at no cost) so I have NO DISK. I’m almost considering going back to Tiger (I had no problems with that), or buying Leopard, but I don’t see what’s so much greater about it, except I like to keep my puter most current.

  27. Paulius says

    My MacBook keyboard has been consistently freezing after i turn on computer from sleep mode. This start happening after I install Leopard. Upgrading to 10.5.2 did nothing. Apple made this worldwide bug with its leopard. Apple what do you think?

  28. Onti says

    I have Macbook. I use external keyboard and LCD monitor. It appears that after my book wakes up from sleep the external keyboard doesn’t work. It’s like the macbook “forgets” about it. The strangest thing is that afthe I unplug and plug it back againt it’s start working with the remapped keys it appears that after unplug/plug the macbook “remembers” it. IT IS VERY VERY FRUSTRATING ТО UNPLUG AND PLUG EACH TIME I WAKE UP MY MACBOOK AAGGGRRRRH

  29. Phil says

    I have a Macbook Pro, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. I have gone back to Tiger. And it all works fine now. Leopard is definitely guilty. And it’s a shame that Apple remains so silent.

  30. admin_papa says

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    If your Windows XP denies to start due to an error related to missing HAL.DLL, invalid Boot.ini or any other critical system boot files you can fix this by using the XP installation CD. Simply boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console. Then launch “attrib -H -R -S” on the C:\Boot.ini file and remove it. Launch “Bootcfg /Rebuild” and then Fixboot


  31. Lucia says

    Bad news from Italy here.
    I recently bought a MACBook for my daughter. Firstly the touch pad stopped working..then “v” key and so on the others… I reset PRAM and NVRAM and then all went well…but only for three weeks ….
    definitely :(((((((((

  32. shafoplata says

    Ive never had a problem in the 2 years+ Ive own my macbook pro UNTIL recently when I had the top case replaced at Apple because of some warping that made it very difficult to open and close.

    Long story short, now more than half the time, the top row of my keyboard doesn’t work. i.e. the letters “qwertyuiop” but ONLY the top row. Is this common for anyone else?

  33. Exhittymott says

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

  34. says

    I have the same problem on my macbook. I’ts not hardware. it has to be the software.

    When will apple fix little things like this? it drives me crazy that I can’t type a c at times.

  35. says

    I’m amazed that no-one has mentioned troubles with 3rd party drivers. I had problems with my keystrokes vanishing – the control/shift/command keys would still work but all the letters and ‘delete’ and spacebar would not. Didn’t always occur, but after a few minutes in my image editing software (pixelmator) the problem would occur. It turns out the problem was with my wacom graphire3 driver, which was stil usign the leopard driver. Upgrading to the snow leopard driver fixed the problem instantly (without even a reboot)

  36. Peter says

    I have a MacBook Air running Mac OS X Version 10.5.8.

    The touchpad and the keyboard used to become unresponsive at random times for about 5 to 10 secs. I’m not sure when it started.

    It become a much better when I did “repair disk permissions”. Disk activity used to be up everytime it freezed.

  37. Guy says

    I am working on a MacBook Pro with the same problem Leopard 10.5.8. Keyboard & trackpad un-responsive. I hooked up an external mouse and it worked fine while the built in keyboard and trackpad were still not functioning. This happened after the machine had been sleeping. I am wondering if it happened on wakeup. The first thing I tried after walking the computer was the brightness keys since the screen was really dim. Repair permissions fixed a bunch of stuff, not sure of they will fix the problem. I have to believe that this is a software probelm.

  38. Jeremy says

    It’s been happening to me since I got my pro (9/08). It’s a software issue and I don’t understand why apple doesn’t fix it.

  39. Oni says

    Had freezes on key board, mighty mouse, & missing first keystroke in Pages. And I thought I was alone out there Guys! Weird.. I get out of this, by swopping over to my Wacom tablet pen. I can then atleast get to commands, save, & restart everything easily & all is well for some days. Using a MacPro OS X with Leopard 10.5.8 Resetting PRAM, permissions on disc & original CD – all to no avail! Going to try suggestions of holding down key for a while & unpugging/plugging a USB.. Apart from all this, after years of PCs I love my Mac! These forums are so helpful too. I wonder if Snow Leapard has any simular probs? Cannot justify expense for upgrading at present..

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