Apple’s wired keyboard, as sleek and high quality can be, are also susceptible to the same problems any hardware device can come in contact with. You plug it in one day and it refuses to work. Maybe it works in one USB port, but not another.

Regardless of the side effects, there are a few troubleshooting methods that can help reinstate your keyboard as a working device. Here’s what you do if your Apple wired keyboard is not working.

Examine the USB Cable and Ports

Without proper care, or from simple wear and tear, USB cables and ports may lose their worth. Wires can fray from improper removal, the small bits inside a port can bend and prevent connections, and several devices connected together may cause conflicts. It’s time you examine the cables and ports that your Mac OS and Apple wired keyboard is equipped with.

1. Start by disconnecting every single device from your computer. This includes your mouse, the keyboard itself, any scanners and printers, cameras, iPod, and external hard drives.

Warning: Before you disconnect any devices, ensure that none of them need to be ejected first. For example, an external hard drive should be ejected before being disconnected.

2. Now examine the cables that your keyboard has. Is any of the casing bunched up or twisted? Are any wires exposed? Then it’s all but confirmed that the problem is the cable.

Warning: If the USB cable is frayed or exposed, do NOT connect it to your Apple computer. It may cause a fire or short your computer or shock you while in use.

3. If the cable looks fine, then reconnect the keyboard. However, instead of connecting it to the same USB port, try a different one. While you’re at it, plug in a mouse and open a text editing program (TextEdit will do just fine).

4. Unplug and reconnect your keyboard to a different USB. With each USB, use your keyboard in TextEdit.

Note: If this didn’t work, it’s most likely a sign that your keyboard is having issues—not your USB ports.

Some of the Key Not Working? Try These Fixes…

If you’re experiencing a few keys not working, while others do, you aren’t alone. A few keys can give you some problems.

Here’s what you do:

1. If it’s the Caps Lock key, hold the key down until the LED shines. The reason it doesn’t turn on with a tap is to prevent accidental activation. Perform this step again to disable it.

2. If it’s the Media Eject key, hold the key down until the LED shines. The reason it doesn’t turn on with a tap is to prevent accidental activation. Perform this step again to disable it.

Alter System Preferences

The way your keyboard works can be changed by using your System Preferences. Were they changed recently? Perhaps by accident? Then double-check that a bad actor hasn’t done so.

1. Start by opening the Apple menu—it’s the apple icon in the top left corner.

2. Choose System Preferences from the drop down menu.

3. The next few steps involve the Accessibility menu. Start with Speech. Uncheck “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.”

4. For Keyboard, disable Enable Slow Keys.

5. For Mouse & Trackpad, disable Enable Mouse Keys.

6. For Input Sources, check that your keyboard’s layout hasn’t been changed at all.

If All Else Fails…

With all that said and done, and nothing worked, then it’s time to take it to a technician. If you tried all the troubleshooting methods and the results weren’t what you wanted, your keyboard is most likely having hardware issues. It isn’t something that you can do yourself unless you have the technical knowledge.

Bottom Line

An Apple wired keyboard refusing to work can be very frustrating, and it’s possible that you’re dealing with hardware issues than anything. However, that isn’t always the case and there’s a likely chance that it just needs a quick reconfiguration. Thankfully, that’s easy enough to do and requires a disconnect or two.