Can’t login to iMac, because wireless keyboard not found thus I can’t enter password. Is there any way to turn on onscreen keyboard at startup...so I can at least get logged in?

  • Do you know if remote login or screen sharing select on the sharing pane of System Preferences? Also, do you have another wired keyboard can be use temporarily? I believe you can use a Mac or PC keyboard to login. Feb 15, 2021 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


The information below, which applies macOS Big Sur 11.0, was taken from this Apple website.

Turn on accessibility options in the login window on Mac

You can turn on certain accessibility options in the login window to make it easier to log in to your Mac.

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.

    If the lock at the bottom left is locked 🔒, click it, then enter an administrator name and password. If your Mac supports it, you can also unlock it using Touch ID or your Apple Watch.

  2. Click Login Options, then click Accessibility Options.

  3. Select the accessibility options—such as VoiceOver or Zoom—you want to turn on in the login window.

    The options you select are enabled in the login window for all users of your Mac.

    If you select the Accessibility Keyboard or Switch Control option, your current keyboard or switches settings are applied in the login window for all users (until another user turns the options off or on in their Login Options preferences).

  4. Click Apply.

If you change your keyboard or switches settings in Accessibility preferences and want your changes to apply to the login window, display the login accessibility options in Users & Groups, then click Apply.

Anyone who logs in to your Mac can temporarily turn the options on or off in the login window by pressing Option-Command-F5 (or if your Mac has Touch ID, by quickly pressing Touch ID three times) to display the Accessibility Shortcuts panel.

If you use an option in the login window and would like to use it whenever you work on your Mac, you can set the option in Accessibility preferences. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility.

See also
Change Shortcut preferences for accessibility on Mac
Set Accessibility preferences on Mac
Control your Mac and apps using Voice Control
Use Switch Control on Mac
Use the Accessibility Keyboard on Mac

  • David, I cannot get to the Apple Menu, because I cannot get past the login screen...because the system doesn’t see my keyboard, thus I can’t enter a password. I was thinking there was a key combination I could press that would launch the onscreen keyboard.
    – Jerry
    Feb 15, 2021 at 16:34
  • I have Catalina installed on a 2013 iMac. When I press the option-command-F5 key combination at the login window, I get a popup where the accessibility keyboard can be selected. However, if you can not get the Mac to recognize the keyboard, then how to you expect the Mac to receive the the key combination when pressed? Feb 15, 2021 at 17:26
  • I had to login to the Guest account..(no password required)...then switch user over to my personal login an turn on on screen keyboard....my wireless magic keyboard finally died...new “wired usb” one on the way...
    – Jerry
    Feb 16, 2021 at 18:15

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