I work a lot from home, using screen-sharing to control my remote Mac mini from my (local) MBP laptop, or my customers' machines using ARD (or even TeamViewer).

Recently I've started having problems with the modifier keys (ShiftOptionControlCommand ) - maybe since upgrading to macOS Sierra, but I'm not sure.

The problem

It seems to me that the transfer of the modifier key state to the remote machine has changed - and has become "lazy".

By this I mean:

  • Before: As soon as I pressed a modifier key, this was immediately reflected on the remote machine.

  • Now: The state of the modifier key is only changed on the remote machine when I also press a normal key.

This means that...

  • trying to perform a mouse action (click / drag) with modifier keys does not work anymore
  • modifier keys get stuck in a particular state until I press another key to free them up
  • doing remote work has become very difficult.

The question is:

It seems to be a bug/defect. Does anybody have a fix/workaround to this weird modifier key behavior?

  • 1
    I have recently experienced this problem on a colleagues computer too, which indicates that this is not a special problem of my personal setup, but is really a problem of the software (which bit exactly I do not know)
    – MrWatson
    Dec 11, 2017 at 16:33
  • 1
    I am seeing this too and submitted a radar://38910378 Mar 27, 2018 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


I've been using MBP for quite a while and researched such problems often, as I come from the Windows world, so generally I need to do some modifications to get used to it.

Recently I was curious if any alternative exist for Karabiner, but this similar thread refers also to Karabiner: https://superuser.com/a/263719/594221

Indeed, I haven't found any stable tool like this to workaround such problems.

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