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USB Keyboard Plugged into Monitor Often Doesn't Work

23459 Views 74 Replies Latest reply: Mar 13, 2014 5:25 AM by Ben Stanbury RSS
  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,745 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2013 12:06 AM (in response to dj_vahn)

    I then hooked up the provided extension cable as suggested in this thread. Plugged it into the Thunderbolt display. It came up just fine and I'm typing up this note


    I, too, use the Apple keyboard with numeric keyboard and have found, like you, that I must use the power adapter from the display to my MBP in order for everything to function as expected.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4), 16GB RAM 512GB SSD Apple TB Display
  • nbalcom Calculating status...

    I have a


    Macbook Pro Retina, Mid 2012 2.6Ghz, 16GB; OS X 10.8.4

    LED Cinema Display

    Apple USB Keyboard A1243


    and am running into the same problem with my keyboard.


    So getting  a longer monitor cable will fix this? Seriously?

  • DaKaZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2013 9:37 AM (in response to nbalcom)

    So getting  a longer monitor cable will fix this? Seriously?

    No a monitor cable, a USB cable to the keyboard.  I was one of the original poster's on this thread experiencing this problem for well over a year.  Two weeks ago I finally tried what I thought was the world's stupidest solution: using the USB extension cable with the keyboard.  I had refused to believe that was a possible answer.  But I can say after two weeks of use (I connect and disconnect my closed Air at least twice a day to a TB monitor with USB keyboard) the keyboard has worked EVERY TIME when plugged into the TB monitor's USB hub with the extension cable. 


    While its a weird and inexplicable solution (seriously, an extra two feet of cable adding signalling latency???) I can confirm it has worked for me.  I guess I should stop trying to believe I'm smart and just listen to other people's solutions more often





  • MichaloM Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2013 9:41 AM (in response to nbalcom)

    Yep, a simple USB cable solves the problem. Don't know why, don't know... but it works.







  • dj_vahn Calculating status...



    It's still working for me (using the USB extension cable) over a week later with multiple shut downs, sleeps, pulling the Thunderbolt and power cable out, and all sorts of "normal" usage of moving your laptop between multiple places.



    Late 2012 Apple Macbook Pro Retina 17"



    Apple Thunderbolt 27" display

    Ethernet via port



    Dell IPS monitor

    *Using Monoprice mini-display port to Display port/HDMI apdater (using Display port, not HDMI right now)

    Thunderport to Ethernet adpater


    Not having anymore bus problems once I put in the USB extension cable as was suggestion.


    When I get home from work and jack into the Thunderbolt cable for the monitor into the Macbook, my USB keyboard attached to Thunderbolt Display, Thunderbolt display attached Lacie Raid drive, Thunderbolt atttached, firewire Apogee Duet, and Thunderbolt attached USB "piano" ... all come online and function as expected.


    I can plug in additional USB harddrives to the Macbook itself and all of this is working without conflicts.


    Highly recommend. I was surprised as the rest of you.

  • bythecshore Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2013 5:46 AM (in response to dj_vahn)

    I've had the same problem... A new Macbook Air occasionally not recognizing a new, external Apple extended keyboard.  (It worked 100% of the time with a 4-year-old Microsoft keyboard.)


    I finally tried the completely illogical solution of adding a USB extension to the Apple keyboard's plug, and it seems to be working great.


    Go figure.

  • Mapc46 Calculating status...

    As I see we have the same issue with a new Mac Air, thunderbolt display and a numeric usb keyboard.

    So just to make it clear; I just need to buy a USB extension cable and connect it between the keyboard usb cable and the back of the Thunderbolt display (connect the thunderbolt cable and power cable to the Mac Air and close the Mac Air top) ... and this solves the problem?

  • bythecshore Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I don't have a Thunderbolt display, it's a Viewsonic I think (I'm not in front of it right now). 


    My problem was that the Macbook Air wasn't recognizing the Apple extended keyboard, which was plugged into a USB port.  The display was not part of the equation. 


    The solution was to add a USB extension to the end of the keyboard USB cord, thereby extending it, then plugging it into the same USB port.  (I used the extension that came with the keyboard.)


    I'd image the same solution would work it the keyboard was plugged into a Thunderbolt display. 

  • Mapc46 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.. works perfect ..directly connecting the keyboard via the USB extension to the USB port at rear of the Thunderbolt display.

  • bythecshore Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Glad to hear it solved you question.


    As an update, I've now had this solution in place for 1 week and it's working perfectly.

  • ghotiing Calculating status...

    RESOLVED:  Adding an Apple USB extension resolved this for me.  This was mentioned in a previous post.  The caveat is that I cannot use the USB keyboard to wake the my MBP w/thunderbolt only the bluetooth mouse. 


    Assuming the reason is it tipped me over the line for spending enough money to get this feature... j/k

  • Ntafy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same exact problem.

    - Apple 27 TBD

    - late 2011 MBA running OSX 10.8.5 and

    - Apple USB keyboard (ideally) attached to the TB display


    Everything runs the latest firmware, I'm always keen on keeping everything up to date and running the latest software (being a software engineer). Attaching the keyboard directly to the MBA works just fine. Attaching it back to the TB display is an exercise in futility 19/20 times.


    I've methodically tried every combination of plugging and unplugging things, waiting the typical 5-10 seconds USB needs to recognise stuff and so on. I have yet to establish a pattern that works every time.


    This is a very annoying thing and I expect better from a 1200€ display and a 56€ keyboard.

  • Ntafy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you attach the extension cable to the TBD or to the Mac itself?



  • ghotiing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2013 7:35 AM (in response to Ntafy)

    I have an apple USB extension plugged into the TBD.  Using generic brands did not work for whatever reason and as I mentioned I cannot use it to wake the display (bluetooth mouse does though), but I no longer have to unplug/replug whenever it wakes up.

  • Graek Calculating status...

    Only day 1, but the USB extension is working for me too so far. Still, this shouldn't be required. Apple really needs to fix this. 6-7 people in my office have been going nuts over this for weeks.


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