How to Unlock Mac Keyboard [3 Different ways]

Your Mac has an option to lock or unlock the keyboard to prevent unwanted inputs. This feature is extremely useful when cleaning out the keyboard, and if you press any button on the keyboard when the Mac sleeps, it will wake the screen up.

To unlock Mac keyboard, you can use this party apps such as Keyboard cleaner, Little finger, etc. These can be used to both lock and then unlock the keyboard. Such tools are even used to lock all the inputs to your Mac, such as the touchpad, mouse, etc.

This article guides how you can lock/unlock the Mac keyboard, along with other helpful tips and tricks. Keep reading to find out more. 

Mac Keyboard Lock

There is no way to unlock or lock the Mac keyboard using any specific setting. As mentioned above, this is helpful when cleaning out the keyboard or when you do not want someone using your Mac’s keyboard. 

This option is also available on other keyboards. Many external wireless keyboards come with physical switches to disable keyboard input.

However, the Mac does not have a dedicated button to enable or disable the keyboard lock; you need to do it through third-party software and applications.

How to Unlock Mac Keyboard

We have detailed some of the ways you can unlock the keyboard on your Mac. Refer to the steps provided below to see how it is done.

1. Using Keyboard Cleaner

Keyboard Cleaner is an application that can lock or unlock the Mac keyboard when you need to clean your keyboard or for any other purpose.

It is designed to shield and intercept every single keystroke to prevent any accidental inputs that are bound to happen when you clean your keyboard.

  • Launch your preferred browser and head over to the Keyboard Cleaner webpage. 
  • Download the application and install it. 
  • Once you run the application, you will see a black screen and notice that the keyboard stops working. 
  • If you want to unlock the keyboard, use the Command-Q shortcut. 

2. Using Little Fingers

There is another software known as Little Fingers that can also be used to block all keystrokes temporarily. Refer to the instructions provided below to see how it is done.

  • Launch your preferred browser and head over to the Little Fingers download page. 
  • Download the package and install it on your Mac. 
  • Unlike the previous application, it also disables the trackpad and the touch bar if your Mac has one. It disables all inputs to your Mac temporarily till you disable it. 
  • Launch the application; you can now lock or unlock the keyboard using the Shift-Command-Option-Control-L shortcut.

3. Using Karabiner Element

Karabiner Element is one of the most popular third-party applications that allow you to lock your keyboard on the go. This application will enable you to lock the keyboard while leaving the screen on and functional. Refer to the steps provided below to see how it is done.

  • Launch your preferred browser and head over to the Karabiner Element website. 
  • Download the application and install it on your system. 
  • Launch the software. 
  • Now, click on the search box and type in “disable.” 
  • Now, find the listing corresponding to the internal keyboard, and your keyboard will be locked until you disable it manually.

How to Log in to a Mac Without Using a Keyboard

Suppose your keyboard is disabled or isn’t working for some reason, and you need to log in to your Mac. What do you do in such cases? You need to enter your password to gain access to your system, but without a working keyboard, we will need to find a workaround for this issue. Refer to the steps provided below to see how it is done.

Now, there are two ways you can gain access to your Mac. The first one is to use a spare wireless keyboard to plug into your Mac and enter the password. 

Additionally, if you have Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it can be plugged into your Mac using the USB port to enter the password. 

Another method to log in is to use the accessibility keyboard. This is an on-screen keyboard that you can use to type the password.

  • Once you’re on the login screen, click on Switch user at the bottom of the screen and head over to the main menu. 
  • Now, press the Command-Option-F5 shortcut to launch the accessibility menu. 
  • Enable the Accessibility Keyboard from the menu, and the on-screen keyboard will be displayed on the screen. 
  • Now, you can type in your password and gain access to your system.

Why isn’t my Mac Keyboard Not Working?

You can try the above methods to lock and unlock your Mac Keyboard. As we read that there is no direct way to perform these methods, so we will have to use third-party apps.

However, if you are unable to use your Mac keyboard at all, there are a few fixes you can try to make things back to normal. Here are a few of them.

  • If you use an external keyboard, reconnect it to your Mac. 
  • Try using another USB port to check if there is an issue with the port, not the keyboard.
  • If you are using a connector, ensure it is connected properly, and then try reconnecting your keyboard.
  • Restart your system
  • Make sure you have the latest software update on your system. Once done, you can restart your system and check if the issue is resolved.
  • You can try turning off the Slow keys from the Accessibility Settings on your system.


That’s it for this article, folks; now you know how to lock and unlock the Mac keyboard. If you want to clean your Mac, then simply shutting down your Mac will work, as the keys will not respond once your Mac has shut down.

However, if you want to disable the keyboard input while also using the screen, you must install a third-party application.

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