I'm using MacBook Pro 2012 model with macOS Catalina. A few keys (I don't know which ones exactly) key on my built-in keyboard seems to be pressed continuously. I have disabled the internal keyboard using kextunload in Terminal and currently using an external USB Windows keyboard.

Here's the issue: Every time I restart my system, the built-in keyboard gets enabled automatically (So I have to use kextunload again and again). Also, during startup, I'm unable to start in safe mode or Recovery mode or change startup disk using an external keyboard (I guess this happens as a result of built-in keyboard getting enabled at startup and hence the pressing of some keys on it).

Is there a way to permanently disable the built-in keyboard and make the external keyboard as an only input source?

  • You may want to look at hardware solutions: e.g. unplugging the keyboard ribbon ZIF socket from the circuit board. It's likely a hardware problem anyway: it's possible that removing the keys and cleaning it might help. The alternative would be to get Apple to replace the entire upper case.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 14, 2020 at 10:26
  • The keys could be physically stuck due to dirt or grime, or there could be water damage to the circuitry. Did you spill something on your computer just before this problem started? In the first case, a gentle cleaning go the keypad might loosen it up; in the second, I'm sure you can get a second-hand top-case on eBay and replace it yourself. Check ifixit.com/Search?query=MacBook%20Pro%202012 and see if you feel up to that task. Jan 14, 2020 at 14:46
  • Thanks for the suggestion guys! Will try and let you know. For the time being one more problem has risen. The 'kextunload' command in Terminal is no more disabling the bait in keyboard. Any suggestions on that Jan 14, 2020 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


It has nothing to do with your build in keyboard. What u have encounter is due to MacOs Catalina. I have same problem. It started from bottom row of alphabetic of your keyboard. You get multiple Z after pressing the Z button once until you have to press the return key to stop it. It sorts of like a virus escalated to the rest of your buttons on the keyboard. Slowly all your small caps alphabetic auto Caps Lock although you have not activated the Caps Lock and numerics auto change to symbols without pressing shift button. The WORST OF ALL COMMAND button + R button (have been remove from your drive) after the update to MacOs Catalina that does not allow u to access to internet recovery utilities. Further Damage done by Catalina is that many apps not be able to support. So congrates! All u could do is to restart your macbook pro whenever should these problem arise each time.

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