I have an iMac (late 2015), which I use with a wired USB Apple keyboard. The keyboard was working perfectly until I upgraded to Sierra, at which point it stopped working.

  • An SMC reset fixes the problem, until I shut down the machine, or unplug and replug the keyboard. At which point, I have to reset the SMC again.
  • A PRAM reset doesn't fix the problem.
  • The keyboard doesn't work in recovery mode or safe mode, either.
  • The keyboard doesn't appear in System Information, in the USB section.
  • Installing macOS on an external disk doesn't help.
  • Reinstalling macOS on the internal disk didn't help.
  • Other keyboards (Microsoft USB keyboard, Apple "Magic" keyboard) work perfectly.
  • The same keyboard works when plugged into a Windows laptop.
  • Deleting /Library/Caches and ~/Library/Caches doesn't help.
  • Replacing the logic board didn't help.

I know this is a problem with macOS since the keyboard was working perfectly with El Capitan, and the problem started immediately after the "upgrade".

What are some other troubleshooting steps I can take?


3 Answers 3


Based on the Apple forums, people have had this similar problem since Yosemite up to Sierra. While there has been no official reason by Apple and many comments have went unanswered on Apple's website.

Here is what people have reported to have work. (whether it makes sense or not, this is in fact what people have confirmed to be working. (same situation identically for some, other keyboards work but not the USB Apple Keyboard.

These are 2 things that have been confirmed to work on iMac 2015 models.

1) Plugging the keyboard into a USB hub, then the hub into the iMac.

2) Plugging the keyboard into any USB extension cable, then the cable into the iMac.

Referrence: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7501433?tstart=0

  • This also doesn't appear to answer the question. The OP didn't state they were trying to do anything with hubs or extension cables. Are you saying that the only way to get a keyboard to work is to plug it into a hug or extension cable? That seems...absurd to say the least.
    – tubedogg
    Sep 23, 2016 at 18:55
  • *hub, naturally...
    – tubedogg
    Sep 23, 2016 at 19:02
  • @tubedogg, shouldn't we at least see if indeed the OP tries it and hear what the results are... Sep 23, 2016 at 19:40
  • Your answer has been updated since I made that comment and the answer previously had no context for the suggestions you were making. That's why were questioning what you were trying to say with your answer. It's still absurd that a hub or extension cord would be required, but at least now we understand why you're talking about those things when the OP wasn't.
    – tubedogg
    Sep 23, 2016 at 19:44
  • @tubedogg it has been update as you said, and I agree that it seems ridiculous face value but it is what is being said and so it seems to be the only answer that I have heard of, therefore shared it. Sep 23, 2016 at 19:47

It worked for me when I used a USB extension cable with the Apple wired keyboard. Very strange.

  • Upvoted, since it was unfairly voted down to -1 when it was helpful. Oct 12, 2016 at 9:37
  • 2
    @KartickVaddadi - This "answer" should be a comment since the user is confirming what works in another answer. This is why it was voted down - not because it didn't work. What the user should have done is upvote the correct answer.
    – Allan
    Oct 12, 2016 at 9:41

Yup, after messing around with some serious Mac-Fu involving the scary "csrutil disable" command to roll back protected system files, all to no avail, I plugged my Apple keyboard into the USB extension cable included in the package, and then that directly into my iMac, and my keyboard is working again. Wish I'd come across your thread sooner, or listened to my wife, who suggested the same thing early on. I like to think I can't be blamed too much for responding, "Nah, why would THAT do anything?"

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