How to Unlock a MacBook Keyboard

Updated on May 16, 2023
How to Unlock a MacBook Keyboard

As a Mac device user, have you ever stopped to ask yourself questions like;

Why do people use Mac laptops?

What exactly makes these devices so special?

Why has the love and appreciation for these devices only increased over the years?

If you’re to be completely frank with yourself, the answers to these questions are completely simple; because the brand continues to be at the forefront of innovation in the tech space. The creative ideas that come out of Apple are simply nothing short of genius and this is a fact that shows clearly in the high quality of their products.

One of the many ways that Mac devices stand a class apart from the other types of devices is in terms of the quality of their keyboards. MacBook keyboards are just great. They give you a touch, feel, and response that you’ll struggle to find on any other device. But that said, these particular tools may sometimes take some getting used to, which is why you should know how to unlock a MacBook keyboard quickly and efficiently.

Of course, a good Apple Genius Bar is never too far away. Still though, wouldn’t you like to not have to resort to that option at every little stop?

If you’re nodding your head right now, that’s just great! We’ll be breaking down all that you need to know to understand and use your Mac keyboard better now!

MacBook Keyboard Not Working – Top Reasons Why and What You Can Do To Fix It

Of course, your top priority at the moment is learning how to unlock a MacBook keyboard, and that’s perfectly okay. But, before that, wouldn’t you like to know what could’ve triggered this problem in the first place?

Keep in mind that the keyboards in question are generally well-made and of high quality. This stands to reason that, if you can identify what’s wrong with this keyboard at this time, you’ll be able to not only fix the issue properly but you’ll also be in a better position to effectively ensure that it never repeats itself.

Having said that, there are any number of reasons why your MacBook keyboard might be on the fritz. At this time, some of the most likely causes and what you can do to make everything alright.

One – Dust Has Gotten Into the Keyboard

MacBook keyboards are much better than what you get with devices from other brands in many ways, and that’s a simple fact. But one area in which it’s pretty much the same as its counterparts are in terms of its resistance to dust particles.

If these devices are exposed to excess dust, it can cause the keyboard to misbehave.

The MacBook keyboard is actually more susceptible in this regard because it carries “Butterfly” technology. This mechanism effectively means that the keyboard of your Mac is not as strong as it should be. It is also why it might be able to gather dust particles more easily and stop working as a result of that.

What You Can Do Fix It – Clean Your Device

Arguably, the best solution to this kind of problem is to ensure that dust never gets into the keyboard of your device in the first place. While that might seem like a huge ask, there are several useful tools (e.g. dust covers) that you can employ to effectively ensure this.

But if dust does get in, you usually should be able to get your keyboard to return to normal by thoroughly wiping the dust particles out.

Two – The Latest MacOS Update(s) Isn’t Installed

Yet another reason why you might be stuck with a non-responsive MacBook keyboard is that you’re yet to download and install the latest MacOS on your device. Now, here’s what most tech product users still don’t understand about the importance of constantly updating their OS.

Updating your OS can be a real bother sometimes, can’t it?


What’s more, these updates seem to come out too frequently sometimes.

But have you taken the time to ponder why that is in the first place?

Well, the thing with MacOS (and indeed all OSs) is that they’re never truly perfect at the point of first release. They could be buggy or the development of new tech might render some aspects of their use obsolete. As such, the brand will look to update to a new OS as soon as possible to prevent users from expecting issues.

Now, if you fail to download that OS, can you see how it’s only a matter of time before a problem occurs?

More often than not, the problem you experience is a keyboard that won’t respond well or at all.

What You Can Do To Fix It – Update Your macOS Constantly

This one here should go without saying, even if your keyboard doesn’t misbehave at any point.

Updating your Mac device’s operating system as soon as there is a new release goes far beyond just helping you learn how to unlock a MacBook keyboard. For one thing, it also ensures that you get introduced to the wealth of new features that the brand has to offer you.

For another, it does a lot to bolster the safety and security of your device, something that you really cannot get too much of in this day and age.

Three – Problematic Third-Party Applications and Programs

This may be news to you, but don’t be surprised to learn that certain types of third-party apps can cause your Mac keyboard to go haywire. While this premise might seem somewhat absurd, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for it.

Now, just like OS, many applications too can have bugs or glitches as at the time that they were launched. What this means is that, when you download and install such an application on your device, you essentially give your PC a problem to deal with as well.

Again, your device can respond to such a situation in any number of ways, one of which is giving you messy keyboard functionality.

What You Can Do To Fix It – Choose the Third-Party Applications You Download Carefully

Just like you probably wouldn’t eat any food just like that, you should be very selective of what type of apps and programs you download and install on your Mac device.

The bitter truth is, ending up with a buggy keyboard is largely better than some of the other things that could happen to you when you do this.

So, be sure to choose the apps you download very carefully. And, once you notice that your keyboard is misbehaving, delete the most recent third-party apps you installed.

Four – Number Pad Lock Is In Effect

Have you noticed that it’s rather rare to find a MacBook keyboard or other keyboards made specifically for Mac devices that boast a full keyboard?

Honestly, we don’t know why that is either!

What we do know is that this element can sometimes inadvertently cause users inconveniences.

This is what we mean.

Through no (or, sometimes, marginal) fault of your own, several keys on your Mac keyboard may be pressed at random, leading to a change in the accessibility settings of the keyboard. In essence, it could trigger your Mac keyboard Numpad off.

When something like this occurs and you didn’t really pick up the issue at the time, all you will notice is that some parts of your keyboard work like they normally do and others just don’t!

What You Can Do To Fix It – Turn Off Numpad Lock

Should you find out that you accidentally activated your device’s Numpad lock, then all you have to do is simply unlock it and your device will be back to normal!

Five – Your MacBook Keyboard Sustains Physical Damage

Yup. This final one usually makes it pretty clear what’s wrong with your device from the very beginning.

There are several types of physical damage that your device can suffer that can lead to its keyboard going weird. From cracks in the housing of the device to broken keys and even frayed cords, once there’s something significantly wrong with the physical structure of your keyboard, you can expect problems to surface.

All of this is made especially more relevant by the fact that MacBook keyboards are especially delicate. So, it’s somewhat easier for physical trauma to trigger it locked.

What You Can Do To Fix It – Get the Physical Damage Fixed

There are instances when a visit to The Genius Bar is unavoidable and this is one such case. The best way to resolve a keyboard problem when parts of the physical tool are damaged is to get it repaired.

Sadly, this isn’t something that you might be able to do effectively on your own.

How to Unlock a MacBook Keyboard

So, now you know the various things that might cause your device’s keyboard to go out of whack. In the same breath, you also now know how to unlock a MacBook keyboard, depending on how serious the situation is.

With this, you’ll be able to get even better use out of your device!

See you in the next one!

Article by:
Erwin Valles

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