Shift Key Not Working on Mac – How to Fix

Issues with Mac’s keyboard are pretty common, and the fix for that is pretty simple if it’s not some major hardware issues, in which case you might need to go to the nearest Apple support center to get it checked out.

You can fix the issue of the Shift key not working on Mac by multiple methods. The best way to begin is simply restarting your system and even updating your system to make sure you are up-to-date. Furthermore, if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, try reconnecting it; that might be a huge reason that your keyboard is not responding.

Let’s look at some of the fixes you can use to fix this issue on your Mac.

Shift Key Not Working on Mac- How to Fix

1. Restart Your Mac

As simple as it might sound, a restart usually solves many commonly faced problems on a Mac. Furthermore, a minor glitch might lead to your keyboard malfunctioning, which a normal reboot can fix.

  • Head over to the Menu bar, and click on the Apple logo. 
  • Select Restart from the list and click the Restart button again when a pop-up box appears on the screen.
Shift Key Not Working on Mac
Shift Key Not Working on Mac
  • Wait for your Mac to restart, log back in and check to see if your Shift keys are working or not. 

2. Check For Loose Connections

If you’re using an external keyboard connected to your Mac, check the wired or wireless receiver connected to your Mac to ensure it is functioning properly. 

Disconnect and connect the external keyboard, and ensure it is turned on before you attempt to use it. Most external keyboards have independent switches that need to be turned on to use the keyboard. 

Now, check to see if your keyboard is working or not. If the shift keys are still unresponsive, you can test with a different keyboard to see whether it is an issue with the keyboard or your Mac.

If the shift keys work as expected with the other keyboard, you need to replace your keyboard and get a new one. 

Read How to Sign Out of App Store on Mac

3. Turn Off the Mouse Keys

macOS has a feature known as Mouse Keys which is responsible for controlling your Mac’s pointer using the keyboard. You can try switching this feature off and check if it fixes your issue.

  • Head over to the Menu bar and click on the Apple logo. 
  • From the menu that drops down, click on System Preferences
  • Head over to the Accessibility tab from the main menu.
How do I fix shift on Mac
Shift Key Not Working on Mac
  • From the menu on the left side, scroll down and select Pointer Control which should be under the Motor sub-section.
Shift Key Not Working on Mac
  • Go to Alternate Control Methods and Uncheck the box next to the Enable Mouse Keys option. 
Shift Key Not Working on Mac

Now, check and see if your Shift keys are working again or not. 

4. Turn Off Slow Keys

Macs also have another feature known as Slow Keys that is responsible for defining the time interval between when a key is pressed and the time it takes to register that particular key on the Mac.

You can disable this feature and see if it fixes the issue.

  • Head over to the Menu bar and click on the Apple logo. 
  • Click on System Preferences 
  • Head over to the Accessibility tab. 
  • From the menu on the left side, click on the Keyboard option, which should be located under the Motor subsection. 
  • Under the Hardware section, disable the check box next to the Enable Slow Keys option. 
Shift Key Not Working on Mac
Shift Key Not Working on Mac

If this does not fix your issue, head over to the other methods below. 

Read How to Zoom in on Mac With Mouse

5. Fix Bluetooth Enabled Keyboard

If you’re using a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard, you can try toggling it on and off to see if it fixes the issue.

  • Head to the menu bar and click on the Control Center icon. 
  • Select the Bluetooth option and toggle the switch next to it off. 
  • Turn it back on, and connect your keyboard to it again. 

Check to see if the Shift keys are working again or not; you can also try un-pairing the keyboard from the System Preferences and then pairing it back to the Mac.

  • Head to the Menu bar again, click on the Apple logo, and select System Preference from the list. 
  • Click on the Bluetooth icon from the main page. 
  • Find the name of your keyboard from the section on the right side and use the two-finger gesture on the trackpad to display more options. 
  • Select Remove from the list that drops down and click on Remove once again when a prompt is displayed on the screen. 
  • Switch your keyboard off, and then turn it on again. 
  • Now, pair the keyboard again with your Mac and check to see if it resolves your issue. 

6. Uninstall Any Recently Installed Apps or Games

Sometimes, certain applications or games installed on your Mac can lead to hardware issues like this.

Think about any recently installed apps, and determine when you noticed your shift keys weren’t working. Remove that app and check if it fixes your problem.

  • Open a Finder window from the dock. 
  • Head over to the Applications tab from the menu on the left side. 
  • Look for the application or game that you might have recently installed
  • Use the two-finger gesture to display more options and click on Move to bin from the list. 
  • Alternatively, you can select the application and then drag it to the trash bin on the dock. 

7. Software Update

Check to see if there are any pending updates for your Mac. Sometimes, older macOS versions can cause various problems with the system’s software.

So, it is always recommended to stay updated on the latest macOS version available for your device is always recommended.

  • Click on the Apple logo and select About this Mac from the list
  • Click on Software update and install any available update. 


We hope that one of these methods helps you out with the issue that you’re facing. If your shift keys still won’t work properly. You might need to visit a service center to get your Mac checked. Furthermore, another aspect you can consider is checking if your entire keyboard is not functional or if it is only the shift key.

You can try using a different keyboard, either be it wired or wireless, and check if the issue remains the same. Or else, you need to take your keyboard to the service center.

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