How to Reset Mac Keyboard When It Freezes or Won’t Type

Some users are experiencing persistent problems with the Bluetooth keyboard on their Mac; sometimes, it lags, and sometimes it just won’t type, or when you type, there is a delay before anything appears on the screen. This article will give tips to resolve your Mac’s Bluetooth wireless keyboard lag issue. But first, I’ll show you how to reset Mac keyboard when it freezes or won’t type in a few minutes.

Before doing anything, turn OFF the keyboard, wait a few seconds, and then turn it ON. Apple wireless keyboards have a button to turn them ON and OFF. If that doesn’t help, restart your Mac. And finally, make sure that the latest macOS software updates are installed on your Mac.

You can check for updates using System Preferences >> Software Update. If these do not help, go ahead with the reset procedure below.

How to Reset Mac Keyboard – Step-by-Step

Step 1: Turn OFF the keyboard

To turn it OFF, press and hold the power button at the back of your keyboard if you have a recent model or on the right side if it is a little older. You will need a Lightning cable to re-pair your keyboard to your Mac. Ensure one is available.

Step 2: Open the Apple menu from your Mac

How to Reset Mac Keyboard When It Freezes or Won't Type

Click on the Apple logo, which is located in the upper left corner of your screen. You will see a drop-down menu.

Step 3: Click on System Preferences

You can find this up in the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Click on Bluetooth

Find and click on Bluetooth. If the feature is disabled, enable it before continuing by clicking Enable Bluetooth Feature on the left side of the window.

Step 5: Click the X icon

How to Reset Mac Keyboard When It Freezes or Won't Type

Clicking the X button will unpair the keyboard from your Mac. You can find it next to your keyboard in the list. You will be asked if you want to remove your keyboard.

Step 6: Confirm by clicking on Remove

Your keyboard will then be unpaired from the Mac.

Step 7: Turn your keyboard back ON

Press and hold the power button on your keyboard to turn it back ON. When the device turns back ON, it will immediately pair with the computer. If the keyboard doesn’t come up in the computer’s Bluetooth device list, use the Lightning cable to connect it to the Mac. When connected, it should automatically re-enable its Bluetooth link and pair it with your Mac.

How to factory reset Mac Mini with a Windows keyboard

Here are the steps to follow to restore your Mac mini to factory settings:

  1. First, turn OFF the system while you hold the Windows + R keys simultaneously on the Windows keyboard.
  2. Press and hold the power button until you see the macOS utility dialog appears. Once it shows, let go of the power button.
  3. Open Disk Utility options from the macOS utility dialog to format the disk.
  4. Once the formatting process is complete, exit Disk Utility.
  5. Next, select the Install macOS option through the macOS utility dialog, then follow the steps. The installation may take more than an hour.

Tips

  • You can carry out the same process with a Mac keyboard by pressing and holding the Command + R keys simultaneously while pressing the power button. This may not work with a Bluetooth keyboard.
  • Factory resetting your Apple Mac is advisable if you want to sell or exchange it for another Apple Mac, probably a higher version.

How to reset the password on a Mac if the keyboard is not working

Two ways to achieve this are attaching an external USB keyboard to the Mac or erasing your Mac.

For the first option, start by rebooting your Mac. While doing this, press and hold the Command (⌘) + R keys simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.

  1. At the top of the screen, you will see the Apple Menu. Click on Utilities.
  2. Next, click on the Terminal.
  3. Type “reset password” inside the Terminal and click the Enter button.
  4. Enter your new password
  5. Finally, click on Restart.

If this does not work, then you should erase your Mac:

  1. Turn OFF your Mac completely. Then, turn it ON and wait till the admin user is displayed.
  2. When asked to select admin user, choose Erase Mac from the Recovery Assistant in the menu.
  3. Then click Erase Mac from the pop-up notification to confirm.
  4. If a flashing question mark is displayed, hold the power button for a few seconds until Mac turns OFF.
  5. Start all over from MacOS Recovery again and reinstall macOS. To learn how to Reinstall macOS, check the instructions out here.

If MacOS fails to install because the installer can’t find the hard drive/disk, change the drive format following the steps:

  1. Press the Command + Q button to quit the installer.
  2. Once the utility window appears, click on Disk Utility and then Continue.
  3. Choose the first option listed in the sidebar of Disk Utility which is your built-in hard drive.
  4. Click on the Erase button or go to the right side of the window and enter the following details:
  5. Name: Macintosh HD
  6. Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  7. Scheme: GUIDE Partition Map
  8. Click on Erase and confirm.
  9. Press Command + Q to quit Disk Utility and return to the utility window. You can now reinstall macOS in your system.

How to reset a wireless Mac keyboard if I can’t log onto my computer

This can be done by resetting your SMC. The SMC controls low-level functions, including the keyboard. How this is achieved depends on certain criteria, like if your Mac uses an Intel processor or M1 Mac or if your Mac uses a T2 Chip or not.

Reset Mac keyboard with the T2 chip:

  1. Turn OFF your Mac computer
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl + Opt on the keyboard’s left and Shift on the right.
  3. Continue holding for about 20 seconds. Next, press the power button.
  4. After 10 seconds, free the keys.
  5. Wait for a few seconds before you turn ON your MacBook.

Tips

You can consult the main guide for older versions of Mac keyboards with removable batteries. If you use a Mac mini or iMac, turn OFF your PC, disconnect from the main source for some seconds, and turn it ON again. The M1 Mac doesn’t need resetting because it doesn’t use SMC.

How to hard reset Mac from the wireless keyboard

Follow these steps to reset your Mac with your wireless keyboard:

  1. Boot your Mac using the Snow Leopard DVD or the installer disc that usually comes with your PC.
  2. Insert the disc via the optical drive and restart the PC.
  3. After this, hold the C key and release it after you see a small rotating gear under the dark grey Apple logo.
  4. Once the installer loads, choose your language and Continue.
  5. Open the menu bar and click on Disk Utility from the Utility menu.
  6. Next, select hard drive entry from the left.
  7. Select the partition tab in the Disk Utility main window.
  8. Select one from the partition drop-down menu for the number of partitions.
  9. Click the options button, select GUID and click OK
  10. Set the format type to MacOS Extended before you click on Apply.
  11. After the formatting is complete, stop Disk Utility. Go to OS X installation and follow the steps on the installer.

Read also: MacBook Keyboard and Trackpad Not Working? Tips to Fix

Possible reasons why your Mac keyboard isn’t working/typing and ideas to fix

Some reasons your Mac keyboard stopped working include dust and dirt, apps, bugs, infected software, incorrect installations, and outdated driver.

Here are a few ideas on how you can fix some of these problems:

#1: Restart Your Mac

If you notice your keyboard is not working, sometimes all you need to do is restart your Mac and try using your keyboard again.

#2: Clean the keyboard

Dust and dirt are some of the common reasons why a keyboard does not work. Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Hold the Mac keyboard at 75 degrees to the floor.
  2. Use compressed air to blow between the keys left-to-right and top-to-bottom.
  3. Rotate the computer to the right side at 75 degrees.
  4. Plug the Mac into a power source, and wait for it to charge.
  5. Connect the wireless or USB keyboard and check for your drivers or operating system updates.
  6. Then check if the keyboard works.

#3: Remove recent Apps

If you recently installed the app before the problem began, it might cause the problem. Uninstall recently installed apps, restart your Mac, and test your keyboard if it works.

#4: Restart the Touch Bar

  1. Open Terminal, type sudo pkill TouchBarServer, and press Enter.
  2. Enter sudo killall “ControlStrip“; then press Enter.
  3. Enter your password
  4. The touch bar should restart.