Reader question: Mac no longer recognizes USB keyboard

After upgrading Apple Mac to macOS 10.15 Catalina, there may be some issues like yours surely already seen have. A reader recently wrote to me and reported that the USB keyboard was no longer recognized after the operating system was updated: "What the bummer that the iMac doesn't recognize the USB keyboard after updating to Mojave? You are practically locked out of your own system.“- The statement is understandable. But there are a few approaches that can be used to deal with the problem.

The Mac no longer recognizes the USB keyboard? The following measures could solve the problem.

The Mac no longer recognizes the USB keyboard? The following measures could solve the problem.

Problem with USB keyboard: turn off your Mac and turn it on again

Have you tried turning it off and on again? - that is not only a funny saying, but also a still valid tip for bitchy electronics. If the Mac no longer recognizes the USB keyboard, then you should first shut down the computer, leave it off for a few seconds and then start it again. If the problem recurs, then simply shut down again, cut the power supply (pull out the plug), plug it in again after ten seconds and switch it on again. Now could the problem will be solved. 

Mac no longer recognizes USB keyboard: disconnect and reconnect

If switching it off and on does not work and disconnecting it from the power grid is unsuccessful, there are still more measures to be taken. The first is to unplug the USB keyboard while the system is running and plug it in again. If necessary, you should try out all available USB ports on the Mac, iMac or MacBook to see whether it is perhaps because of them. You can also try to connect the keyboard after the Mac has started up, or to restart the computer after connecting it to each USB port. An error could be resolved, but does not have to be.

Troubleshooting: What to do if the Mac is crazy

Connect another keyboard

Perhaps it is also due to the keyboard that it is no longer recognized or no longer works. It may even have broken accidentally at the time of the system upgrade ... Anyway - before you make an appointment with Apple support, take any other (working) USB keyboard and connect it to the Mac in question. It doesn't matter whether it's one for Mac, Windows PC, Linux or something. If in doubt, try different USB connections to be on the safe side. Maybe you can finally log in again and use or activate the new macOS Downgrade to Mojave . make

Hub, adapter and dock: remove or insert

A somewhat experimental, but if available, non-damaging attempt would be to work with a USB hub, adapter or dock. If you've been trying out the USB keyboards all the time, plug them in directly to a USB port on your Apple computer. If, on the other hand, you have already done this, switch on a USB distributor, a dock (with the MacBook) or an adapter between. For example, if your keyboard has a USB-A connector and your computer has USB-C connections. You never know; maybe it will work.

instructions: Install Mojave and Catalina in parallel thanks to APFS

Keyboard works sporadically? Perform an SMC reset!

If one or the other attempt was successful or the problem only occurs from time to time, then it takes advantage of the fact that the keyboard works! If you are able to log into your user account, then reset the "System Management Controller" chip (SMC). A guide for the SMC reset you can find here. The procedure also helps with numerous other Mac problems with individual components and elements - from the non-adjustable display lighting of the MacBook to the fan that rotates too quickly on the iMac to the unresponsive on / off button on the Mac mini.

via GIPHY

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3 comments

  1. Gabriele Hansel says:

    I installed the new OS BigSur (17.12.20/2015/XNUMX), after which the MacMini (built in XNUMX) no longer recognizes the original Apple USB keyboard. However, the system asks for a wireless keyboard. Unfortunately, I don't have one here.
    Now I've done everything as you suggested.
    The old Dell keyboard has been recognized. I thought that was really funny. Unfortunately, some special characters do not work with the Dell keyboard, such as the (at) character. The only way I can paste it is by copying and pasting with the wireless "Magic Mouse". The keyboard shortcuts do not work.
    Do you have any advice?
    Many greetings Gabi

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Gabi! The last thing that should stop working is a USB keyboard. They all run on all Macs for me. And I have really old Apple keyboards in store. I would try them on different USB ports and gffs. buy a new USB keyboard. The Dell probably has a different assignment, so you won't get any further with it.

  2. January says:

    Hi, disconnect from the mains and then reconnect everything can work. For example, I always had a problem with the silver model (model A 1243). The only remedy was to insert a USB extension cable in between. VG Jan

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