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Mac Keyboard Not Working After Cleaning?

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Over time, your keyboard gets dirty due to dust and small debris. To keep it in tiptop shape, you have to clean it every so often. So once you’re done cleaning it, you’d naturally be excited to use it immediately, right? But what if your Mac keyboard’s suddenly not working after cleaning it? Before you start panicking that you might have broken your Mac keyboard for good, you can check a few things first.

Mac keyboard not working after cleaning it? Tick off these boxes first.

If you’re using a Mac wireless keyboard, you should do the following:

mac keyboard not working after cleaning
Image by tookapic from Pixabay
  1. Check your keyboard’s batteries.

Make sure that your keyboard is turned on and Bluetooth on your Mac is switched on. If your keyboard won’t connect, check its batteries. Are they charged? Press the Power button located on the right side of the keyboard. A green light should appear, indicating that the keyboard is turned on. If it doesn’t, the batteries of your keyboard might already be dead.

Remove and replace the old batteries of your keyboard and check if it starts working. The batteries are located on the left side of the keyboard. If it still doesn’t work, try removing the batteries and putting them back in again. Do note that if you’re using the redesigned Apple Magic Keyboard, you can’t remove the batteries. Instead, just make sure that it’s fully charged.

  1. Check your Bluetooth connection.

The problem may also lie in your Bluetooth connection. Your keyboard might be working just fine. To double-check, go to the Apple menu located on the left side of your Mac screen. Click on System Preferences and go to Bluetooth. Check if the Bluetooth is turned on.

You should find your keyboard listed under Devices if it’s already paired with your Mac. Remove the paired keyboard. After this, select Set Up Bluetooth Keyboard to pair it again. Once you’ve completed this procedure, check if your keyboard begins working again.

  1. Restart your Mac.

If you’re still having trouble with connecting your Mac keyboard, try rebooting your Mac. Should there be another user account on your Mac, try logging into that and connecting your Mac keyboard. This is to check if the issue lies with the account itself. Then, try opening your account and connecting again to see if your keyboard starts working.

On the other hand, if you’re using a Mac wired keyboard, try these fixes:

  1. This may sound obvious but check if your wired keyboard is properly connected to your computer. It may have accidentally been pulled out without anybody noticing. These accidents can occur when someone’s cleaning near your computer or you have a pet that accidentally pulled it off.
  2. Try using another USB port. It is possible that the USB port where your keyboard is currently connected may be malfunctioning. Connect your keyboard through another USB port and see if that works.
  3. Restart your computer to refresh the whole system. This is a common fix to a lot of problems on your computer, including your keyboard. Once it turns back on, check if your keyboard starts working again.
  4. Use a different user account. Log off your account and in to another account. Check if your keyboard works in this other account.

Alternative fixes for both types of Mac keyboards:

  1. Use another keyboard.

If the proposed solutions above still won’t work, maybe the problem indeed lies in the Mac keyboard. Just to make sure, try using another keyboard on your computer. Did it work? If so, then your Mac keyboard might be broken after all. Use the alternative keyboard for the time being while you have your Mac keyboard fixed or replaced.

  1. Update your macOS.

Another solution is to update your macOS. If your macOS is outdated, it may be causing problems to your Mac/s peripherals. Simply go to System Preferences and click on Software Update. From here, you’ll be able to see if your Mac needs some updating. If it does, update your macOS and check your keyboard function again.

  1. Reset your SMC.

Resetting your Mac’s SMC or System Management Controller fixes a lot of issues. This includes problems related to light, sensor, and power. It’s a common solution to a number of problems to resetting this might be able to solve your keyboard problem. After the reset, check to see if your Mac keyboard starts working again.

  1. Remove recently installed apps.

Have you installed any apps recently? Some apps do tend to cause issues on your Mac. Just to make sure, try uninstalling these apps and check your keyboard function again. If it works, that means that you’ll have to wait for an updated version of these apps before you install them again. Otherwise, you’ll face the same issue with your keyboard not working again.

If the only thing you did was clean your Mac keyboard and you did it properly, then these fixes should work. On the off-chance that it doesn’t, the best thing to do is to head to a Genius Bar and have it checked by a professional. There might be underlying problems on your Mac that you’re not aware of. Having it checked and handled by a professional is the best way to go.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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