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Is there a way to lock the keyboard in Lion? By "lock keyboard" I mean some way to make the computer ignore almost any keypresses, except some special "unlock" sequence. Maybe an OS X feature or utility? It's a laptop, so I can't just unplug the keyboard.

My desire stems from using my laptop to skype with my toddler's grandmother. The kid bangs randomly on the keyboard and interrupts the call. It's more fun if she can get up close to the screen, but then grandma disappears.

Any advice appreciated.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I hope this helps. Lockey, It looks to me like it is the very thing that you are looking for.

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One free solution would be to use Ukelele to create a new keyboard layout. If you save the blank file that it starts with as "null keyboard" or something to that effect, all the letter keys will be blank. That means that Q and other such combinations will not do anything when that keyboard is selected. Save it to ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts. To switch to this keyboard, enable it using the Language and Text » Input Sources System Preference Pane (if you haven't assigned it a name in Ukelele, it will be called, very creatively, "new keyboard". Then select it via the keyboard menulet.

When you want to re-enable the keyboard, again go to the menulet and select your default keyboard.

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I've been using Keyboard cleaner for years. It's super simple and free:

  • As soon as the app starts, it "locks" your keyboard and displays a black screen with a reminder on how to quit the app
  • Command + Q (OSX quit keyboard shortcut) to exit the app

I use it whenever I need to clean my keyboard, and the black screen helps me clean my screen pretty well too.

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if you read the original post you would see that "keyboard cleaner" would be completely useless in this application because he wants to use Skype whilst the keyboard is locked. keyboard cleaner blacks out the screen. –  please read Mar 9 at 13:24
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I use Lock Screen 2 and I love it. It costs money but well worth it and your child

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I use KeyboardCleanTool, which ignores all keyboard input. It was created so you can clean the keys without accidental key presses, but obviously would work for your situation too.

It's free!

To unlock, just use the mouse to click the unlock button.

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I like free. But the kid bangs on the track pad too, so that would unlock it. –  Leopd Jun 4 '12 at 14:58
    
Could you shield the trackpad, maybe with some MacGyver thing that has suction cups? –  Reid Jun 5 '12 at 18:33
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