I connected an external Logitech wireless USB keyboard to a MacBook Pro. Generally the keyboard works fine. But the Insert key (present on this external keyboard, is not present on the MacBook's built-in keyboard) and does literally nothing.

Even in the Ukelele application (a keyboard layout editor) this key does nothing.

Short question is: How to make this key visible to macOS?

Long question is: how to make this key work in following use cases:

  1. VIM running in terminal: switching COMMAND/INSERT/REPLACE modes.

  2. Using SHIFT+INSERT for inserting text from clipboard in any application.

Note: I know how to do (1) and (2) by other ways, like command+V for insert and i/R in VIM. That's not an issue here. The issue is only the usage of a very handy INSERT key.

  • It's now 2021 and this remains a problem. May I add more debug to this question? I don't have an inkling of an answer so posting in there will get flagged as NAA, and a comment won't hold formatting.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 4:00
  • 1
    If the answer below doesn’t work @Criggie , I would suggest asking a more narrow question if you need a different workaround than the (1) and (2) above which the OP requested.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


macOS has no concept of an Insert key.
It doesn't exist on Mac & if you use a Windows/PC keyboard with one [on the 10-key pad] it will likely interpret it as the 'Clear All' key for Calculator.

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