I'm experiencing some frustrating keyboard issues on my new 2014 Macbook Air (OS X 10.9.3)

When using the laptop keyboard, the F1–12 keys take the behavior of "function" as opposed to the "media key" behavior they should have by default (brightness, volume, etc).

I've unchecked the "Use all F1-F12 keys as standard function keys" setting in System Preferences. I've also tried a few things in the terminal:

  • defaults write "Apple Global Domain" "com.apple.keyboard.fnState" "0" (referenced here)
  • defaults write -g com.apple.keyboard.fnState -bool true (referenced here)

I restart after each of these and still nothing.


A couple things to note:

  • When I connect an Apple Keyboard, the keys on the Apple Keyboard work as normal.
  • I recently connected a Kinesis Freestyle 2 keyboard to the laptop. I have a feeling this may have caused the issue, possibly because it was a Windows version of the keyboard as opposed to a Mac version (Oh Windows, always causing trouble...)

Any ideas? Thanks.

  • 2
    If you boot to another disk or to the recovery partition do the keys behave as expected?
    – pknz
    Jun 12, 2014 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


Ugh. I hate when the solution is "it just stopped happening all of a sudden"... but a firmware update came out and I installed it, and now my keys back! Yay =D

If I learn anything about what exactly happened here I'll post my findings.

  • 1
    Dude you lost 100 rep on that issue :( I vote you up. Jun 16, 2014 at 16:33
tell application "System Preferences"
    reveal anchor "keyboardTab" of pane "com.apple.preference.keyboard"
end tell
tell application "System Events" to tell process "System Preferences"
    click checkbox 1 of tab group 1 of window 1
end tell
quit application "System Preferences"

I have also found one quick fix from here

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