Reader's question: Some keys on the Mac / MacBook no longer work

If certain keys on the Mac or on the MacBook keyboard no longer work and texts can no longer be written, then this can be a real problem. I recently received a question from a reader about this problem on an Apple computer: What can you do or what error is present when Mac keys no longer work, i.e. no longer write? How can the text input / the use of control buttons be implemented again? When researching the topic, I saw that these questions are not asked that seldom - so here is a help post with the answer (s).

Is the Mac keyboard defective or does the MacBook keys not work? Here you will find causes and solutions!

Is the Mac keyboard defective or does the MacBook keys not work? Here you will find causes and solutions!

Are the Apple MacBook buttons broken?

If you find defective keys on the Apple Mac, iMac or most likely on the MacBook Pro / Air and therefore cannot write anything or use the macOS functions on the F-keys, then a defect is rather unlikely. If the laptop or keyboard has not been dropped and there has been no water, heat or cold damage, then it is likely that something has been set incorrectly in the system settings. This can have different causes - the cat ran over the keyboard, the system update made unnecessary settings on its own or the children overzealously ticked a few additional ticks here and there.

Recommended reading: The best keyboard shortcuts for Mac

Mac fn key is permanently on

The first error or problem could be that the fn key ("fn" for function), which you can find on the bottom left of the keyboard, is permanently activated. This means that the keys for screen brightness, key lighting, multimedia control, etc. no longer work, but instead perform tasks for F1, F2 and so on. 

Have the function keys lost their function and no longer control brightness, volume and other tasks? Here's the solution!

Have the function keys lost their function and no longer control brightness, volume and other tasks? Here's the solution!

To bring the buttons back into harmony with the symbols shown on them (brightness, volume, play, pause, etc.), proceed as follows:

  1. Click on the in the top left Apple icon
  2. Select the item in the drop-down menu System settings ...
  3. Click on in the overview Keyboard
  4. In the first tab "Keyboard" you remove the checkmark next to Use the F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys

7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l, m and period no longer work

If there is a very special case with your Mac keyboard or MacBook that the keys 7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l, m and dot no longer work, then there are two possible explanations. Rarely will the cause be that these keys, but none of the others, have been damaged by moisture, impact or crumbs. The “keyboard mouse” is more likely to be activated. This is because this is placed on the named keys if no number pad is available, which is otherwise intended as an alternative for mouse and trackpad.

Are 7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l, m and period on the Mac keyboard or as MacBook keys broken? Probably just the keyboard mouse is activated in the macOS system settings ...

Are 7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l, m and period on the Mac keyboard or as MacBook keys broken? Probably just the keyboard mouse is activated in the macOS system settings ...

So if the shown keys on your Apple keyboard no longer work, then the solution - of course - can also be done via the system settings of macOS or Mac OS X. And these are the steps to process:

  1. Click on the in the top left Apple icon
  2. Select the item in the drop-down menu System settings ...
  3. Click on in the overview Accessibility
  4. Select in the menu on the left Mouse & trackpad
  5. Removes the checkmark from Activate the keyboard mouse
  6. If necessary, click on Options ... and unchecked Keyboard mouse on / off: press the selection key 5 times - in this way you avoid accidentally activating the function again

Source 1 / Source 2 

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160 comments

  1. Unfortunately, the paint is peeling off the keys on my MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, early 2015).
    My two year older Mac Book Air doesn't have this problem.
    I now use a common silicone keyboard protector, but it's an American one
    Keyboard has. I also prefer the feel of the keys from the old Macs.
    With all the enthusiasm for Mac, I have to say that there is always some mostly minor problem with
    every new Macbook generation that could have been ruled out in advance.
    Otherwise I clean my keyboards gently but thoroughly every two weeks.
    I also had the breakdown with the "activated keyboard mouse" a few times. In contrast to the loosing color of the keyboard, this is a trifle for me, which I can smile about as an already crazy person.

    • Melanie says:

      I have a huge problem and I hope for help. Up until now, my macbook air was still working without any problems. Suddenly, the B key no longer does it. There is only a sound when I press it and when I am on pages it changes directly to bold font when I press B. I need this every day and I depend on it. Please help me ????

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hi Melanie,

        it reads like the command key (cmd) is locked or locked. Because the bold formatting results in Pages by the key combination cmd + B (for "bold"). If there are unwanted functions on other keys, such as B. "i" (italic) or "+" and "-" (font larger and smaller)?

        Best regards!

  2. Jeffry says:

    Hello
    Many thanks to you guys .. I could fix the problem and keep writing .. Please Notice: This is an automatically translated article!

    7, 8, 9, u, i, o, j, k, l, m and period no longer work

    under macOS High Sierra version 10.13.5 looks a bit different

    1. Click on the apple symbol in the upper left corner
    2. Select the item System Settings ... in the drop-down menu.
    3. Click on Accessibility in the overview
    4.Press ⌥ + cmd + F5 together (a small window opens: Accessibility options)
    5. Under Mouse and Keyboard >>> Removes the check mark next to Activate keyboard mouse
    6. Press Done

  3. alessa says:

    THANK YOU Jeffry!
    Your comment finally solved my problem !!!
    had the problem since last night because I came up with a keyboard shortcut and had no idea how to undo it.
    None of the other proposed solutions worked.

    Thank you!

  4. Hannes says:

    A thousand gods of God Jeffry: It worked somehow. I don't know where the "option key" is which I should press 5x .: went anyway.

  5. Hubertus Badinski says:

    Hello Apfelot Community, the left alt key has recently stopped working, but the right key has no errors; appeared when typing the @ symbol. Does anyone have any idea how to fix the error?
    Thank you for every good tip.
    Human

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Human! If exactly one key no longer works, it sounds very dirty. Do you happen to have a reasonably up-to-date MacBook with this flat butterfly keyboard? If so, then I would give you compressed air spray (here at Amazon) recommend for cleaning. That was before in this post here recommended for those bitchy MacBook keyboards.

  6. Gendsi says:

    Great, your tips have eliminated a real annoyance with my keyboard operation. Thanks for that!

  7. Mr capital says:

    Hello dear people!
    Since the contribution is very good but unfortunately does not solve my problem, I would like to describe my problems to you in the hope that someone of you can help me further!

    On my laptop (MacBook Air), the dot and comma keys suddenly stopped working, I tried to clean them by blowing out and taking the keys out and wiping them out with a brush. They still don't work :(
    In the meantime, the M key no longer always rules and is no longer flat, but rather arches a little high in the middle.

    I hope someone of you can help me further! Unfortunately, I'm totally rid of my bike!

    Best regards,
    Mr capital

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello! I think that if keys gradually fail, that is a clear indication of failure due to crumbs and dust. If blowing it out doesn't help anymore, the only thing you can do is an external keyboard or a repair.

  8. Alibengali says:

    Dear Sir Apfelot, thank you very much. The keyboard mouse function was completely unknown to me - and I was almost desperate.

    Now everything goes again !!

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  9. Rolf Basler says:

    Hey!
    Great tips! The -N key on my keyboard refuses to work. I'll try air and hope for success!
    Greetings to everyone at SIR APFELOT !!

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Rolf! Then we will keep our fingers crossed for you that you will soon be able to write words with N again. : D

    • Patricia says:

      Hello! I have exactly the same problem with the N! My MacBook is relatively new and it's not dirty either. Could anyone help me, please??

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hello Patricia! That has little to do with dirty. That's the thing with the keyboard: it often fails for no reason, and not just when you've crumbled your bread into it. I would recommend that you take advantage of the exchange program. Otherwise you can only start one more attempt with compressed air and hope that it goes away. But this is usually only temporary. I would definitely have the swap done.

      • Niccel says:

        For me it is also the N key. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Crumbs can hardly be the reason. Maybe dust, although I always close the laptop when not in use. I didn't quite understand about the compressed air. How do you get under the keys? Sounds silly, but I've never had such a problem before. Stupid, if you have to be careful with every word whether the N's are there too.

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello Niccel! By compressed air I meant that you hold the compressed air can on the cracks and get crumbs away from under the keys. But in the case of such failures, that is probably not the cause.

          • Niccel says:

            But then what could be the cause? Unfortunately, I can't unscrew the laptop ... Or do I have to seriously consider having it repaired?

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Yes, in that case I would have it checked out. Some of my readers already had their devices at Sadaghian. There you will get a free check with a cost estimate for the repair and they will even cover the shipping costs.

  10. Thomas Eßer says:

    Who can help:

    On my MacBook Air, the top row of letters only works in the right-most part, while the left QWERTZUI keys usually do not work or only work irregularly if you press the key several times or for seconds.

    What can help

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Thomas! If so many buttons don't work, it must be massive pollution or an electronic problem. If it's dirty, you could try compressed air, but I don't think it's worth repairing. Or is it the 2018 MacBook Air? In that case I would use a Bluetooth keyboard so that you can still use the MacBook.

    • Johanna says:

      I have the same problem with the same buttons. So I've been using an external keyboard for the past few months. Two weeks ago the buttons suddenly started working again for 3 days, which for me speaks against the fact that they are actually broken. Unfortunately I haven't found a solution yet.

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Yes, that really doesn't sound like a mechanical problem that would be permanent. But you never know whether a small crumb has slipped to the side ...

    • Malt whiskey says:

      The same with me. After a few minutes they will work like new again. As if the compi had to warm up first. The lower 2 rows of letters always work - numbers too.

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        In fact, heating up the calculator and keyboard could cause Kontakt to suddenly work again. But of course it is not a state that one would like to have permanently.

    • Stefan says:

      Hello Thomas,
      Did you solve the problem?
      I have the same …
      gruß
      Stefan

  11. Thanks, that was exactly what I needed.
    Great compilation of tips!

  12. Claudia says:

    Hello. Thanks for the interesting report. On my USB keyboard with numeric keypad, the keys 2,5,8 no longer work (only on the numeric keypad right). Had removed the keys but found no dirt or the like. Any idea what else I could do? Unfortunately I cannot order a German keyboard in Thailand…. I am grateful for any help. Greetings from sunny Koh Samui
    Claudia

    • Johannes Domke says:

      สวัสดี ครับ
      It's kind of weird that only buttons 2, 5 and 8 are affected. Perhaps the contacts or the circuit board in the keyboard in this row have been damaged? Maybe during transport, pressure during storage or the like. If possible, you could open the keyboard and see if there is any damage inside. Or maybe the contacts just need to be cleaned because fluid has entered. Otherwise the only option is to use the numbers above the letter field. Alternatively, you could go to a repair service - Google Maps shows me some computer fix shops on 4169 street.
      Best regards
      John

  13. michael says:

    Hello

    with my MacBook Air13 from 2015 all keys work, only the power key (on) no longer works.

    now I get the part extremely bad.

    Does anyone know the problem here

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hi Michael! That doesn't sound like a key problem, but rather hardware damage. :-( I'm afraid the Mac needs to be repaired. Probably something with the mainboard. I keep my fingers crossed for you that it won't be expensive.

  14. Michelle says:

    Hello I have a problem with my s key. When typing, the laptop accepts the key either twice, not at all or in the wrong order with other letters. I have a fairly new MacBook Pro 15 inch from 2016. The keyboard is covered with a keyboard protector and I handle the laptop very carefully. What can I do?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Michelle! You can definitely use Apple's repair program here. I think there is little you can do yourself, as it is the typical malfunction of this keyboard when it has a flaw. I think there is no getting around taking the MacBook Pro for repair. Sorry ...

  15. Daniel says:

    Hello, 2 key combinations "shift" + "r" and "cmd" + "v" (shortcut for insert) no longer work on my keyboard. The "r" and "v" keys work alone. "shiftlock" + "r" = "R" works. Both "shift" and "cmd" in combination with other keys work. Does anyone have an explanation?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hi Daniel!

      If the problem occurs in all of macOS and in all apps: Have you installed an app or a menu bar extension that uses these key combinations? Installed software may have claimed Shift + R and cmd + V, which would be extremely unusual, but not impossible. So if you recently installed something new, you may be able to see in its settings which keyboard shortcuts are assigned to the respective functions.

      If the problem only occurs in certain apps (Word, Excel, etc.): Perhaps the respective shortcuts have been assigned new functions or the functions with new shortcuts? The respective settings should also provide information here.

      Unfortunately, I can't think of anything else spontaneously.

      Good luck and best regards!

      • Karin Leh says:

        On my Mac, the upper right arrow key suddenly works, to remove left no longer works

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello Karin! Does this no longer happen in all programs or only in a certain one? To be on the safe side, I would completely restart the Mac and then test it again in different programs. If that doesn't help, it will probably be a hardware failure.

  16. Daniel says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot, thanks for the quick response. The problem occurs throughout macOS. I haven't installed any apps or menu bar extensions recently. Can I see and customize the keyboard shortcuts for the entire macOS?

    Kind regards

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hi Daniel! Yes, if you look in System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts, everything is a single "package" to be found there. Only things like CMD + C and CMD + V from the Finder cannot be seen there. I suppose because they are global shortcuts that (should) work anywhere in any app.

  17. Daniel says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot, thanks for the help. Yes, it’s exactly these global shortcuts that should work in every app. That cannot be adjusted manually then. I just found out that CMD + V and Shift + r work when using the keyboard overview on the screen ... so when I press shift on the keyboard and press r on the keyboard overview on the screen I get the desired "R". The same goes for CMD + V

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      That sounds a bit like a hardware problem, but if the R and V keys are still working, it can't really be either. You could try to create a new user under System Settings> User and log in with it. Then you see if the key combinations work there. If so, you have some software active that intervenes. Will you let me know when you've tried this? Thank you!

      • Daniel says:

        Hello Sir Apfelot, thank you for staying tuned! The r and v buttons work alone. The combination shift + r and cmd + v does not work for a newly created user either. If you have another idea, please contact us. thanks

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hi Daniel! That is interesting. But basically do the CMD and SHIFT keys already work? So CMD + C is going so far? And can you see whether you have set the German keyboard layout? You should be able to see it under System Settings> Keyboard ... Somehow we have to find out what the error is. : D

          • Daniel says:

            Hello Sir Apfelot, thank you. Yes cmd + c and shift with other letters will work. Keyboard is set to German (I also set up a Greek keyboard that I can switch to. The same combinations don't work on the Greek keyboard).

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Then it cannot actually be a hardware fault. I would install macOS over it or, alternatively, reinstall it on an external hard drive and test what happens there. If there are problems there too, maybe go to the Apple Store?

          • Daniel Eckardt says:

            Hello Sir Apfelot, I'll get in touch with you again about the problem that the key combination shift + r and cmd + v don't work. I have now connected another keyboard and lo and behold, the keys work. Apparently it's because of the keyboard. The mystery of why r works alone and shift with other letters, but does not stay in the combination.

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Hi Daniel! Thanks for the feedback. This is really a weird thing ... but obviously a keyboard problem. : D It's good that you're running again!

  18. Simone says:

    Hello for me it is these buttons according to the instructions procedure does not work but for example the l is in my password because it no longer works after logging in

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Simone! It's extremely strange that a key still works when you log in and then doesn't work afterwards. That can really only be a software problem. I would try to create a new user (System Settings> User) and log in with it. Then, if the button works, you have some strange system extensions that are producing the error here. We can then continue researching there. But now you have to test that with the user first.

  19. Tommy student says:

    Hello, the key to delete numbers or letters on my Air no longer works.
    And just like that !!!
    What can I do?

    Greetings tommy

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello tommy! I can't think of much besides compressed air spray. Or - if you want to save yourself repairs and often work at home - use an external Bluetooth keyboard.

      • Tommy says:

        OK thank you for the info,
        I heard that this is a known Apple problem and that Apple is replacing the defective keyboards?!?

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Yes, exactly ... the butterfly keyboards that Apple has built into MacBook (Air / Pro) models in recent years are all very vulnerable and Apple generously exchanges them when you contact us. But now they finally have a revised keyboard at the start, which will probably be found in the new models that are coming out soon. Everyone else from last year is over one Apple repair program covered. My MacBook Pro from 2017 was just gone and got a replacement keyboard.

  20. quteqlow says:

    Hello!

    I've tried everything and the buttons still don't work (uio) can someone help please.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      If some keys do not work permanently and do not work when you use another user in the system, then you may have to assume a hardware problem. Then only repair or the use of an external keyboard as an alternative to the internal one will help.

  21. Stefan says:

    With my external keyboard, the second line from the bottom (the line with the letters YCXVB, etc.) no longer works completely. The keyboard itself is in top condition and has hardly any signs of use. The buttons can be pressed easily. Unfortunately nothing happens. Can someone help me there? ; /

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Stefan! That sounds to me like a defect on the circuit board if a complete line fails. Compressed air or the like will probably not help either. A new keyboard will probably be the only solution. :(

  22. Jan says:

    Moin, my problem is that my MBA (Mid 2012) keeps restarting, unless I use the mouse or hold down the shift key permanently. I have already removed the shutdown button. Is it possible to permanently deactivate a single key? That would be my last solution ...

    Thank you very much and best regards

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Jan! I think that's not possible in terms of software. And messing around with the hardware to disable the power button, I wouldn't recommend it either. I guess a workshop has to take a look at it. :(

  23. Micah says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,
    The qwertz keys on my MacBook no longer work.
    Do you have an idea for that?
    Thanks in advance
    Micah

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hi Michael! Just these 6 buttons? Which MacBook model do you have? From which year ... I would be interested in whether it already has the bitchy butterfly keyboard or a decent one. : D

      • Michaela says:

        Hello, this is the MacBook Pro 2012. Yes, it only affects these buttons. Greetings Michaela

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello Michaela! Well, then you still have a "good" keyboard ... which unfortunately seems to be defective. I guess there is nothing you can do about it other than get it fixed or use an external keyboard.

  24. C Sabert says:

    Hallo,

    I have the problem that on my MacBook Pro 17 inch Late 2011 (A1297) the vertical row with the keys 9, o, L and the. (Period) no longer work, but all other buttons do. Do you have any ideas how I can solve this problem?

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello! Unfortunately, these failures, which come in a row, are probably a hardware defect. Unfortunately, you then have to switch to an external keyboard or use the repair service. :(

      • C Sabert says:

        Thank you for your prompt reply. Could it be that after removing it, I inserted the mainboard in such a way that it now presses against the keyboard at the bottom and bothers it or something?

        Mit freundlichen Grüßen

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          I've never dismantled a MacBook Pro, so unfortunately I can't answer your question. In principle, however, something can happen when screwing, which produces such errors. Could also be a cable that wasn't fully plugged back in.

  25. Lina says:

    Hallo,
    Unfortunately, all function keys no longer work for me (i.e. adjust brightness, etc.). Keyboard is not ticked. And when I set it they still don't work, even if I hold down the fn key. What can I do?
    Thank you in advance,
    Lina

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Lina! Do you have an Apple keyboard or one from another manufacturer? I suspect the driver needs to be updated ...

      • Lina says:

        I have a MacBook Air.

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Then it cannot actually be due to the driver. Do you still have the old system as a backup? Can you start from it and test if the keys all work there?

          • Lina says:

            How do you mean? Or how can I start from it?
            So the buttons actually work, just not for the actual function. For example, if I press F11, the open window shrinks upwards.

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Hello Lina! Now I understand. : D Look under System Preferences> Keyboard.
            There is the option "Use the F1, F2 etc. keys as standard function keys" at the bottom. There you have to check the box. Then it works again with the "fn key".

          • Lina says:

            Unfortunately, it still doesn't work: D when the checkmark is set, I press the fn key and press an f key, there is only this apple sound that nothing happens. So this weird dong. Don't know how to describe it.

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            The "dong" always comes when you press something, but the Mac cannot do it at the moment. So an example: You just have a dialog open in which the Mac asks you "Yes" or "No". Instead of pressing a button with the mouse, you type a key on the keyboard that he cannot do anything with. Then this tone sounds. My tip at this point would be: restart your Mac and try again. It may be that the error is resolved with a restart.

          • Lina says:

            The restart did not work, but switching it off and turning it on again 5 minutes later actually worked ????
            Thank you!

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Class! I'm glad it worked out after all.

  26. Thomas says:

    Hallo,

    I have the following problem with my Macbook Air (3 years old):
    The 1QAY and Back buttons do not work at irregular intervals.
    As far as I know, there was no water damage, a fall or anything like that.
    What could that be?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Thomas

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Thomas! The device also has the butterfly keyboard. It doesn't take a fall for the buttons to stop working. Unfortunately…

  27. Mareike says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,

    For me it is unfortunately the keys 1 - 9 that suddenly no longer work. I have a MacBook Pro from the end of 2011. Do you have any advice?

    Best regards,
    Mareike

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Mareike!

      Unfortunately, that sounds like a hardware defect. If you don't have to rely on using the MBP on the go, I would couple an external keyboard so that you can at least continue to work with the MacBook.

  28. Marie-Therez Lorenz says:

    Hallo,
    I have the following question: The key combination fn and Backspace (i.e. the Remove function) does not work for me on my Mac SOMETIMES, sometimes it does. I have not yet discovered a pattern of when it works and when it doesn't. In a computer workshop, they checked the functions of the two buttons with a tool and thus they work.
    Do you have any idea what might be the cause?
    Thank you,
    Marie-Therez Lorenz

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Mrs. Lorenz! Unfortunately, I don't have any tips left either. With some MacBooks it is probably the case that these disturbances are triggered by the heat under the keyboard. But I can hardly say whether this is the case in your case. Perhaps you can see if this only occurs after a few minutes of operation or right after the Mac has started.

  29. Marie-Therez Lorenz says:

    Thank you very much for your answer. According to my observations, it is irrelevant whether the computer is already warming up or whether it has just started.

  30. Andy says:

    On my MacBook Air (mid 2010), many first the "." and "," buttons off. Then other different letter keys. Some of these work if you hold them down very long and hard (5-10 seconds) or if they are pressed in combination with other keys, so the keyboard is almost unusable. For a short time, some keys have even stopped working on the Bluetooth keyboard. I'm really at a loss :(

  31. Andy says:

    Thanks for the fast respond. There are other keys, the Bluetooth keyboard may also be defective. Unfortunately could not test it with other devices because there were connection errors. Looking at the external keyboard, you think it is hardware or software
    Problem? Would it make sense to change the keyboard? Thanks and best regards

  32. Andy says:

    OK thank you. What do you mean by In a Mac?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      What I meant by that: If it's an iMac or Mac mini or Mac Pro, on which the keyboard can be swapped separately, then you could try a new external keyboard (USB or Bluetooth). I like to use the Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad from Apple. Unfortunately, if it's a MacBook, you'll have to get the entire Mac serviced.

  33. Andy says:

    Ah okay, yes is a Macbook Air 13 from mid 2011. I would have ordered the replacement keyboard (~ 30 €) and installed it myself. It is a bit expensive but since it is an older device and is supposed to be sold next year anyway, I don't want to pay around 200 € for the service.

  34. Stefan says:

    The screen brightness can only be regulated after a restart using the corresponding buttons and after a short time the screen brightness can no longer be regulated using the buttons. After the next restart it works again. Other things (e.g. volume) can always be regulated. I have a MacBook Pro (13 inch, 2016, four Thunderbolt 3 ports).
    How can I regulate the screen brightness without restarting?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Stefan! Unfortunately I do not know that either. If it works at the beginning, I don't understand why it doesn't work after a short time. It almost sounds like a program is starting in the background that intercepts these keys.

      Can you set up a new user in the system and test in this account whether the buttons work permanently?

  35. Beate says:

    Hello, I also have the problem that my keyboard no longer works properly. Namely the "delete key", the "ae" (unfortunately you can no longer type it ;-) and the "plus" key.
    At the same time in "System Settings" everything is in English ... which was normally always displayed in German. Can the problem be related to that?
    Would be very grateful for quick help.
    By the way, I cleaned the keys ... WITHOUT any success.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Beate!
      So when you go to "System Preferences" are all of the items in English? Then I would this guide here follow. Because of the buttons, I don't have a good tip. That sounds more like a problem with the keyboard, where there is little software to help. As a test, you could create a new user and see if you (if you are logged in as this user) can press the buttons there.

  36. John says:

    Hallo,
    I have a slightly different case. On my MacBook Air 13 ′ model 6.2, the column with "9", "o", "l" and "." not always off. Since the buttons almost always work when they are "warm", I suspect contact problems on the conductor track. I am thinking in the right direction. There is no water or fall damage.
    Thanks for the assessment.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Johannes! Yes, that really sounds like electronic contact problems or a defect in the circuit board. Do you still have a warranty? Then I would take the computer away.

  37. Anna says:

    Hello Sr Apfelot

    We you can see funtoneren be mr ikl and, ncht.
    Macboo pro 2013. It's nice and warm too. Do you have a Tp for me?

    1000 Dan!

    Anna

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Anna! The tips are usually always the same: Blow the keyboard through with compressed air and hope that it helps. When the MBP gets warm, you should have a look in the Activity Monitor utility to see what is using the CPU. Simply sort the list in descending order by CPU and look at the top entries.

  38. Greta says:

    Hi all,

    my numbers one to nine no longer work on the keyboard of my MacBook Air .. it also doesn't work with the change setting, as it was already mentioned above .. keyboard mouse control etc.
    I already had the problem a year ago ... at some point after three or four months it was gone ... but why is that, why does it keep coming back.

    Please help. thanks

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Greta! The keyboard is probably defective. Unfortunately, only a repair will help. I currently have an inquiry from a company that also replaces individual parts on MacBooks and offers cheap repairs. When I learn a little more from them, I will include the reference here in the article.

  39. Stephan says:

    Too bad. My problem is not mentioned. For me, the "FN" has no effect, regardless of whether the above-mentioned tick is set or not. Neither the three "sound" buttons, top right, nor the brightness buttons respond.

  40. Julia says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,
    I can no longer write a hash mark on my Macbook Air. How so? so I have the impression that all characters / keys are working.
    greetings
    Julia

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Julia! I think the only way to do this is to send compressed air through or bring the device for repair. If you want a workaround, you could still use the # key Elements carabiner to another key that you rarely or never use. LG!

  41. Susi says:

    Hello expert;) Unfortunately, the Enter key on my Mac Book Air (2014) no longer reacts. All other buttons work properly? Do you have a tip here? Thanks and LG Susi

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Susi! Unfortunately no clue. Sounds like a hardware problem to me. I would like an alternative repair provider Sadaghian Send in and have it checked. The postage costs and keyboard repairs are usually around 160 euros.

  42. Iris says:

    Thank you a thousand times over, Sir Apfelot! Great helpful site also for "Macs who are not specialists ... Nobody could help me with the incorrect setting of the keys, I was totally in a fix just before the online conference. Embarrassing ... Everything is working fine again on the Mac,"
    Help with setting the mouse / keyboard layout worked immediately.
    I can work normally again!
    Thank you very much! iris

  43. Subhash says:

    Sire, a strange phenomenon occurred to me on the MacBook Pro Early 2015 with Mac OS 10.10.5 (Yosemite). The screen brightness can no longer be adjusted with the keys provided (for me, fn-F5 and fn-F6). The corresponding symbol appears with the bar, which also reacts, but the actual brightness does not react. I can regulate the screen brightness via system settings / monitor / brightness.

    I have tried the suggested tips that may apply here, but no result. I also reset the NVRAM, restarted the laptop, turned it off and waited 5 minutes: no change. Do you have another idea, Sire?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Subhash! The problem seemed to popped up in 2017. There were a lot of reports from Apple. Back then it was a problem with the macOS update. So either install it again or on an app like Brightness slider fall back, as some others had done. But otherwise I don't have any tips either. Maybe try macOS Catalina. : D

      • Subhash says:

        Hello!
        But that's strange: I haven't updated anything. I (almost) never do! It's always a shame with the updates; When a system works, I leave it as it is until I can't help it: Every update requires a careful look-up to see which programs will then no longer work, what it will cost, and whether it is even possible to get them compatible again . I'd rather have a working computer than a new one.
        I'm looking at “Brightness Slider”, thanks for the tip!

  44. Mona says:

    Dear Sir Apfelot, I unfortunately also have a problem with my keyboard and I would like to ask if you have any tips for me. I have a Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad and unfortunately some of the blocks do not work:

    left side: 1 2 3 - qwe - asxc

    right-hand side: silent - 0 - p - ö -

    in the numeric keypad: 0 9 6 3

    Can you figure it out here? I've already removed and cleaned the keys - unfortunately that's not the reason.

    I would be very happy if you have an idea and find time to answer me! Have a nice day!

    Best regards, Mona

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Mona! If such "routes" do not work, it unfortunately rather indicates a hardware defect. A new Magic Keyboard will certainly be necessary. :-(

      • Mona says:

        All right! Thank you for the remote diagnosis ;-)
        By the way, your site is great - keep it up! Many greetings, Mona

  45. Paul says:

    Ahoy,
    I have an Apple USB keyboard on my Mac and have had the following problem for two days: The keys 6, 7, z, u, h, i, j, n & m no longer work.
    help!
    Regards
    Paul

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Paul! The failure of keys that are in the same area indicates a hardware problem for me. Compressed air does not help either, presumably only exchange. :-(

      • Paul says:

        I feared that. My last hope: It is a small water damage. Some water has dripped on the keyboard. Only then did the problem occur. The letter i is now working again.

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Then maybe there is hope that the rest will dry up and work again. But after 1-2 days it should actually be done.

  46. Carsten says:

    Moin Sir Apfelot,
    not a single letter works on my MacBook Pro 8.1 (13 inch early 2011). The joke is, when I hit the Alt key, EVERY special character works.
    When I open the on-screen keyboard I also see that every key pressed lights up, only the letters are not written.
    When I display the on-screen keyboard and press cmd, all letters also disappear; I can only call them up again if I press ctrl on the on-screen keyboard.

  47. I don't want to write my name says:

    Hello, I have a problem. My enter key does not work. I need urgent help. Can someone help me ? Many Thanks

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello unknown! I think that might be a hardware defect. For the quick fix, I would like an inexpensive, external USB keyboard this one from VicTsing to take. With this you can first log in and work. If your Mac is a MacBook, you will need to repair it. If you have an iMac, you can buy another wireless keyboard and that's it. But please don't buy a wireless keyboard straight away, because you have to pair it first and you have to log in (with the Enter key). So you wouldn't get very far ... that's why you should definitely use a USB cable keyboard.

  48. Thomas says:

    Hello, I have a MacBook Air Mid 2011 and have a keyboard problem. The qwertzuio buttons do not work very often when logging in, and more often than not. Sometimes it helps to wait and they'll work again. But there is no rule when they don't work. I've searched a lot, but can't find any help. Is there anyone who has an idea?
    Thank you

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Thomas! When parts of a complete row of buttons fail, it always looks like a hardware defect to me. It could be that there is a broken conductor somewhere that closes again when the Mac warms up, but in the long run it will only get worse, not better. I would recommend the MacBook Air too Sadaghian to send. I have already received positive feedback from some readers - especially with older devices. They repair quite inexpensively because they do not replace half of the MacBook Air, but only the modules that are actually defective. There is also free shipping to and from the device, as well as checking the device. And using the code in this article I also give you a 10 EUR discount.

  49. Melanie says:

    The a key no longer works on my external keyboard. I don't know what to do. : /

  50. Camer Michelle says:

    Hi
    Last Sunday my partner was on the MacBook Air (2017 model 13 inch), and when I wanted to use it, the F1 - F12 keys no longer worked. The above-mentioned solution with the "use as standard function keys" has no effect either.
    Can anyone help me further? Or is my laptop having a serious problem?

    Thank you in advance and greetings
    Michelle Kamer

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Michelle! Have a look under System Settings> Keyboard> Option "Use the F1, F2 etc. keys as standard function keys". There may or may not be a tick there. Just put it in or take it out ... maybe things will go back to normal.

  51. Florian says:

    Hallo,

    On my Macbook Pro 2012, q, a, y, brightness, decrease volume and backspace have recently been unable to work.
    Is there anything i can do? In between it went again for a few seconds, but now it's completely dead ...

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Florian! That sounds like a hardware defect. I would work with an external keyboard and back up all data. Then you can get the device from a service provider like Sadaghian send in and have it repaired.

  52. Josef ascent says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU

    Saved Christmas.
    10000000000 times thank you

    Good N8

  53. Maike says:

    Dear Sir Apfelot,

    I have a similar problem, but none of the ideas solve it.

    Since I did the last update, “Command + c” has miraculously stopped working. I need this shortcut umpteen times a day and am a little desperate.

    Do you have any idea?

    Best regards,
    Maike

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello May! I think something changed with the shortcuts. Please do the following:
      1. System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts
      2. There you go through different areas like "Services", etc and click the "Reset" button when it is visible
      3. Restart your Mac

      I think restarting the Mac might help alone. Or have you already tried that?

  54. Marco says:

    Hallo,
    thank you in advance for the many ideas.
    I have a very strange phenomenon with my (external) Apple USB keyboard: some key combinations no longer work, e.g. cmd + c, shift + e (E), shift + c (C) (affects both left and also on the right) ... but the individual keys work on their own and the combination with other keys, e.g. cmd + v and shift + r, also work ... Do you have an idea why this could be?

    At the same time, some individual keys have also failed: all arrow keys, esc, + / *, cmd, alt, left ctrl. But I find the thing with the keyboard shortcuts particularly strange ...

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Marco! It all sounds weird. : D I would try to create a new user (System Settings> Users & Groups) and then see whether the user has the same problem. If it doesn't, something is over in the settings. Then you would have to sit back everything that works under System Settings> Keyboard.

      • Marco says:

        Hello Jens, thanks for the quick answer! Unfortunately none of this helped, another user had the same problem ... very strange ..

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Ok, that sounds like either a problem in the system (maybe restart and press CMD + R) and then install the system over it. You won't lose any of your data, but it might solve the problem. Otherwise I would guess a hardware defect. As a final solution, you could try again to reinstall the system from scratch on an external hard drive. If it doesn't work there, then there is really something wrong.

  55. Cornelia says:

    Hallo,
    I have a similar problem, the keys 5 ß t ü gb and f5 no longer work on my Macbook Pro (I am currently typing with an external keyboard). Since the keys aren't exactly close together, that speaks against water damage or the like. After a restart everything worked again, but then the problem reappeared and now the restart no longer helps.
    Does anyone have any idea what that might be?
    Best regards,
    Cornelia

  56. Jakob Schepers says:

    Hallo,

    I recently had a problem. My Mac always switches to mute or stop volume when I press the "ß" key. The letter is always written anyway, just my Mac keeps getting discouraged. The same also if I use Shift + ß, ie a "?" want to write. In addition, the sound setting opens when I press alt + ß, ie "¿". with cmd or ctrl + "ß" is only muted, without further output.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Jacob! Have you ever checked the keyboard shortcuts to see if anything was created? Unfortunately, I have no other idea what that could be. :(

      • Jakob Schepers says:

        Hi Jens,
        I've already looked through everything, turned it on and off and talked. There is nothing to it. I have tried to google this a lot, but I have the feeling that I am unfortunately the only one with this problem: D my Mac is already from 2015, the battery is down and just super slow. I think it's time for a new one anyway.
        Thanks anyway for your fast reply,
        Jacob

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hello Jacob! In fact, I haven't heard of the problem either. But the new iMacs are also very tempting. : D

  57. Angelika Zellhofer says:

    Hi Sir Apfelot! I have a question: on my son's MacBook Pro (mid 2015), the keyboard no longer works after vacation. Almost no key on the MacBook itself, if you connect an external one, only the a key is not. What's going on there? Since there are a few as in the password, we get no further. Various restarts did not bring anything. It is also fully charged by now. It was completely empty after the vacation ... What can we do? Thanks very much!

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Angelika! I think I would restart with CMD + R and then iron the system over it. Your user data will be retained, but sometimes the procedure solves one problem or another. And since both the internal and an external keyboard cause problems with the Mac, I would rule out a hardware defect. It can only be due to the system and luckily you can reinstall that.

      • Angekika Zellhofer says:

        Unfortunately, CMD + R cannot be used either. I've already tried that ... .. nothing happens ... .. the only place I can get to when I'm playing is the recovery, because all the buttons go, I can change the password so that no A occurs, but he still does not take it when registering .... I'm desperate.

  58. karin says:

    great help - THANK YOU!

    • Angelika Zellhofer says:

      For all of you for information, unfortunately it was a hardware error for us, some connection cable of the keyboard was broken. During the repair it was noticed that the battery was completely inflated. So we have had both repaired now. Nevertheless thanks for the help!

  59. Lydia says:

    Good evening.
    I also have a question about problems with my keyboard on my IMac.
    Up to yesterday it was still running wonderfully, but since tonight the keys a to h no longer work or only very rarely, which of course is extremely stupid, as I can now not get my data because my access is password protected.
    I can no longer enter that properly.
    Do you have any idea what else I could do? Has cleaning. until now also not helped.
    I'm almost afraid I'll need a new keyboard ...

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Lydia! Do you have a MacBook Pro? If so, it could be that you unfortunately have a model with the vulnerable keyboard. But you should get them exchanged for free at APple. It is typical that these keyboards have failures that cannot be traced. With luck you can do it again with a bit of compressed air, but it usually doesn't last forever.

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