3 Replies Latest reply: Apr 25, 2012 9:26 AM by JeffreyAWest
rooben Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

This issue has been going since Snow Leopard, on my iMac:


Mac OS X 10.7.1

2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo / 3 GB RAM

20 inch, late 2006


The iMac keeps thinking that the alt/option button is on, and either driving the contextual menu from the mouse, or alternate characters. This sometimes exhibits itself as the Caps lock as well, although the light on the keyboard isn't on when it is stuck in this manner.


I tried cleaning the keyboard (old Apple Bluetooth), and after that didn't work, got a new Aluminum wired keyboard - but no change. It isn't the keyboard...and if I hit the key repeatedly, the iMac will (after a while) register that the key is on or off, then let me go about using the iMac normally.


This is not limited to a specific application - many times I am just navigating the desktop, or just have the finder open. This carried over between an upgrade from 10.6 to 10.7, and I have made all updates.



i saw one other issue in the forums, but it was a MacBook, and the key was ALWAYS stuck on. They zapped the pram to fix, which hasn't worked for me.

20' Intel iMac and 15" Aluminum Powerbook, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • 1. Re: Alt/Option (not the key) Stuck ON in Intel iMac / Lion
    rooben Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nothing? Still having this issue - i keep getting either the caps lock (no light) or the alt, or option key stuck on - just randomly, and i have to hit the key multiple times to get it back to normal.


    This occurs with any keyboard - started with the original bluetooth keyboard, to the alumnimum and now the new wired keyboard...same thing occurs, so its gotta be something in the iMac, IMO.


    Please help!!!

  • 2. Re: Alt/Option (not the key) Stuck ON in Intel iMac / Lion
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    You may want to try resetting the SMC, if it doesn't work the first time it's fine to do it 2-3x.




    • Shut down the computer.
    • Unplug the computer's power cord and all peripherals.
    • Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
    • Release the power button.
    • Attach the computers power cable.
    • Press the power button to turn on the computer.




    • Shut down the computer.
    • Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
    • Turn on the computer.
    • Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
    • Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    • Release the keys.
  • 3. Re: Alt/Option (not the key) Stuck ON in Intel iMac / Lion
    JeffreyAWest Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you get this problem resolved?  I am also having the same problem but I cannot reboot for a long time today due to work.


    I was also using a Logitech keyboard so I'm wondering if that had anything to do with it.