I am trying to log into my MacBook. Unfortunately the keyboard is typing in symbols therefore causing issues with my password. I’ve tried to re-start, but I still have to log in no matter what. I realize I need to access system preferences in order to fix the keyboard, but I can’t unless I log in correctly. Please help!

  • What kind of symbols? Type qwerty & tell us what is seen. If, for example, you see œ∑´®†¥ then your option key is stuck… etc.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 29, 2020 at 9:22
  • If just Option is stuck, it should go into the boot manager. I would try pressing Control Space and try to change the language in case an alternate one got set
    – Allan
    Mar 29, 2020 at 10:09
  • @Allan - indeed, I was just using easy printable symbols as an example of what we may be able to discover from just those 6 'traceable' keys.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 29, 2020 at 10:27
  • 1
    I totally agree with your diagnostic method..just wanted to let the OP know what to expect if it was the stuck opt key
    – Allan
    Mar 29, 2020 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


You can fix the keyboard without logging in using these methods:

  1. If you have a guest account, you can log in there and change the keyboard there.

  2. Boot into recovery mode (cmd + R) and you should be able to change the keyboard from there.

  3. Safe boot by holding shift as your computer restarts, and it should reset the keyboard (probably? I'm not sure about this).

  • 1
    If the keyboard is stuck, none of this will work
    – Allan
    Mar 29, 2020 at 10:05
  • @allan I didn't completely understand the question, sorry, I thought OP meant they keyboard is in a different language
    – leon
    Mar 29, 2020 at 22:49

I had a similar issue and fixed it before logging in

  1. on the login screen on the top right you will see ABC with a tiny keyboard picture click on it

  2. Select other input sources choose ABC - extended , then after selected , reselect your previous ABC keyboard selection and hit remove current selection

  3. Select other input sources again and choose the original ABC this should fix your keyboard typing in symbols

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