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Apple lets users who occasionally want the use of Mouse Keys to enable/disable it by pressing Option () five times. I use Maya, so I'm constantly using the Option key to manipulate the camera, and this usage often triggers Mouse Keys. Unfortunately, this disables the rest of my keyboard (see this Apple KB page) and I can't use other helpful shortcuts. I can of course disable it again, but it's annoying when I have to do it again and again.

I went to the appropriate place in System Preferences to disable this (Universal Access > Mouse & Trackpad), but it's greyed out. I've done extensive searching and haven't found anyone with a similar problem.

Why is this happening, and how can I stop it?

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I'm currently on a windows computer, and I don't remember the exact path, but could you post the contents of or (or something similar; see note above)? I believe you will find the files in ~/Library/Preferences/. – Matt Jul 16 '12 at 7:24
Rooted around those a bit, here's what I found: only contained one thing that could possibly be of any use, useMouseKeysShortcutKeys, a Boolean type set to YES. I attempted to disable this, but neither the System Preferences window nor the option key act like this had an effect. Nothing else has any potential at all. – timothymh Jul 16 '12 at 11:35
Also, I couldn't find the Keyboard plist. I assume it has some sort of alternate name...? – timothymh Jul 16 '12 at 11:37
I didn't know if it was keyboard or universalaccess. What do you mean by "disable"? Did you set the value to NO, or did you delete the line altogether? – Matt Jul 16 '12 at 11:49
I set it to NO. – timothymh Jul 16 '12 at 13:13
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Change the value of useMouseKeysShortcutKeys to NO in ''. I believe you will find the files in ~/Library/Preferences/. When you're done, don't forget to reboot ;)

Also, you can do this via Terminal by typing defaults write useMouseKeysShortcutKeys NO and pressing enter. You may need admin rights to do this.

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timothy go to accessibility in system preferences and then mouse and track pad then click options and it is the first option

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Maybe you can write it as steps rather than one line. – Rob Aug 1 '14 at 6:16
"went to the appropriate place in System Preferences to disable this, … but it's greyed out." I no longer have the problem, so it's moot, but your answer doesn't address my question. – timothymh Aug 1 '14 at 11:38

To disable mouse keys I went to system preferences

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