I have a MacBook Pro with two large monitors. I like to have a keyboard and mouse in front of each monitor, so I have keyboard/trackpad in the MacBook Pro, an original Apple keyboard/mouse in front of one monitor, and I bought a very cheap Windows wireless keyboard/mouse for the other monitor.

The problem is: On the "Windows" keyboard the key left of the space bar is marked as "Alt" and works like "Alt/option", the next key is marked "Windows" and works as "Command", while on the Mac keyboards the first key is "Command" and the next one is "Option", so when I type blind I always use option instead of command on the PC keyboard and vice versa.

Problem: How can I change this? System preferences doesn't seem to think there are different keyboards connected. If this was my only keyboard then System preferences would let me swap option and command, but if I try this then I have the same problem on the Mac keyboards.

  • 1
    I think Karabiner lets you set up the kind of remapping you want for only the external keyboard. Some else willl have to provide the details. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


I would suggest it would be simpler / best use of time ("KISS" principle) to buy an inexpensive keyboard designed with MacOS keyboard layout. I have dual monitors: each monitor has its own external keyboard, which are identical.

Mac and Windows Keyboards are different enough such that mixing the two on the same system is annoying / unnecessary. Why not just buy an inexpensive MacOS keyboard from Amazon / Walmart / Apple?

  • Why: Bought a keyboard for £10 to see how it works :-) I thought either that or an Apple keyboard. Ordered an original one on eBay for about £50.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 23:03
  • @gnasher Maybe one of these are a good option at £30 or less: amazon.co.uk/s?k=mac+keyboard
    – gatorback
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 1:55

With the USB Keyboard Connected:

Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Modifier Keys > Select Keyboard: > "USB Receiver".

Then set Option (⌥) Key to "Command" and Command (⌘) Key to "Option"

Screenshot of Keyboard Settings with Keyboard Shortcuts circled

Screenshot of Modifier Keys Settings with Keyboard set to USB Receiver, the Option key remapped to Command and the Command key remapped to Option

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