4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2013 7:48 AM by clark_k_b
clark_k_b Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a fairly old MacBook but don't have the cash to replace it right now. The bottom row of keys seem to periodically cease functioning!  VERY maddening!  All the other keys work - just the bottom row doesn't work.  Sometimes, when they don't work if you are patient you can get them working again by pressing one key and waiting and then seconds later the character appears on the screen.  So you are literally, hitting a key (say the "c" key) and waiting seconds and then it appears and then typing and you have to stop and wait when you use any of the keys on the bottom row!  Sometimes, no matter how long you wait the keys don't work.  I took it to the genius bar for a battery issue (the keys weren't as non-functional then as they are now) and the dude said something about a program that was running in the background affecting it??!!  Could be because whenever you shut it down and then turn it back on the keys work again for a period of time but then return to not working.  But, then again, why is it just that bottom row of keys affected and now all keys if it is a background program??! I have lost some confidence over previous unsuccessful and painful trips to the genuis bar for iphones, itouches, laptops so thought I would go this route.  (Seems they are always interested in moving me in and out in 15 minutes or less and less interested in truly resolving my problems.  Annoying since I have to travel for over an hour to get there!)  Thank you for any help---and I don't consider myself very techy so please explain to me like I am a small child!!  :-)

Running: Software  Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63)


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • 1. Re: MacBook keyboard not functioning
    softail Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    if its a software at the background you can enter the safe mode and check if its true.

    Turn off the Macbook and then turn it on.

    immediately press and hold the SHIFT button until the operating system starts.

    Try there to type few things and let me know.

  • 2. Re: MacBook keyboard not functioning
    clark_k_b Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow!  Softail, thank you for the fast response.  Impressive!  I tried it twice.  Pops to my sign in screen with safe boot in red letters in upper right corner.  try to type in my password and those keys are sticking...so don't get past that screen and when I try to type prior to the sign in screen (where the screen is just white and blank) nothing happens.  (One other thing I have tried in the past is removing the keys on the bottom row and cleaning under them and replacing them and noticed no impact - negative or postive!).  Thank you for your suggestion and help.  Makes me smile to think people are still out there that like to help people!

  • 3. Re: MacBook keyboard not functioning
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,700 points)

    It really sounds like a hardware damage issue.  You can check this very quickly and not waste more time looking elsewhere by just connecting a separate working usb or wireless keyboard and seeing if that performs properly.

  • 4. Re: MacBook keyboard not functioning
    clark_k_b Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Tom!  Again, fast and wonderful to know people still help people!  :-)  I will track down a wireless or other keyboard and test it out and let you know what happens.