My old macbook lost its ctrl key, so I had to remap the caps lock key to ctrl. I have a scenario where I need the caps lock on for a while - is there a way to trigger a caps lock without using the caps lock key?

I could reset the caps lock, use it, and then remap it back to ctrl, but I am hoping I don't have to do that. I also tried the on screen keyboard viewer, but that does not have a caps lock.

I am on OS X 10.10.5 and my macbook has an intel processor.

  • Can't you just map some other key to caps lock via system prefs/keyboard/modifier keys? Sep 8, 2015 at 13:20
  • I suppose I could, but I would prefer not to. I wondered if there is a way to trigger the action without using the caps lock key (through some tool, script or otherwise)
    – Anand
    Sep 8, 2015 at 13:53

2 Answers 2


Revert the key mapping Caps Lock -> Ctrl. Install Karabiner. Depending on your handedness remap alt_L (or opt_L) to ctrl and use alt_R (or opt_R) as your common alt key.

Remapping in the Karabiner context using the first example below means:
if you enable the radio button for "Option_L to Control_L" the left Option key will act as the left (and only on most portable Macs) Control key if hit and lose its original Option key function. The right Option key won't lose its function and still works as a normal Option key.

enter image description here

or remap cmd_R to ctrl:

enter image description here

If you don't like the remapping of alt/cmd/ctrl/R/L there are plenty of other possible remappings to emulate the CapsLock key. Just enter CapsLock in the search field and choose your preferred remapping:

enter image description here

You may even define your own key mappings (e.g shiftaltcmdC to enable CapsLock and shiftaltcmdR to release it again. These shortcuts mustn't be in use by the system or apps)

(The screenshots are taken running Lion. Since Karabiner doesn't run in Lion I'm using its predecessor KeyRemap4MacBook. The predefined modifications should be the same)

  • I would prefer not having to remap other keys - is there a way to trigger the caps lock from terminal, a script or using some tool?
    – Anand
    Sep 8, 2015 at 15:29
  • @Anand With Karabiner you can map almost any key or key-combination to any other key or key-combination. One predefined set to emulate Caps Lock is Shift_L+Shift_R to enable Caps Lock and Shift_R to release Caps Lock.
    – klanomath
    Sep 8, 2015 at 15:35
  • OK, that is cool. I misunderstood earlier. This should work for me.
    – Anand
    Sep 8, 2015 at 18:07
  • @Anand Good! I made my first two proposal because most users don't use the right/left command/option keys depending on right/left-handedness. Karabiner may remap only the right command/opt key (without breaking the left command/option key!) to any other key. Since the CapsLock key really is a special key I would leave it as that and remap your broken ctrl key to the right command key...
    – klanomath
    Sep 8, 2015 at 18:15

Check Modifier Keys in Keyboard preferences.

Make sure Caps Lock is set to the correct key, it should then appear on your virtual keyboard:

enter image description here enter image description here

When clicked it activates Caps Lock and make all the letters capital on they virtual keyboard.

  • Thanks, I tried this, but this does not work if the caps lock is mapped to another key, as in my case :-(
    – Anand
    Sep 8, 2015 at 15:27

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