Here's the thing, the right shift key of my macbook is stuck, so it always boots in safe mode once I turn the machine on. Worse, I cannot log in since my password has lower case letters.

I tried resetting the NVRAM by holding Command - Option - P - R and also went into the disk utilities, however nothing I can do there helps.

I looking for a way to disable the right side shift key or alternatively enable the bluetooth via command line, since I have a wireless keyboard, but I cannot make either work.


I woke up today and the key was working fine. However I do not trust on it. Probably when the MacBook gets warmer it will stuck again.

I downloaded a software called KeyRemap4MacBook, which can be downloaded from here. I followed this tutorial in order to deactive the key, this is a temporal fix while I make some saving to buy a new one.

  • 1
    Which model of macbook? Was there a spill? Sticky-stuck?
    – JoshP
    Dec 19, 2012 at 3:01
  • it´s a macbook unibody 2009, and yes, already tried removing the key and cleaning and didn´t work. Dec 19, 2012 at 3:04
  • Odd - I had thought that the system would detect a key that is held down but perhaps shift is special and not eligible for that. I have a bad answer, but need to look up the details...
    – bmike
    Dec 19, 2012 at 3:39
  • Shift is special in that it forces the machine to boot into safe mode. Jan 3, 2013 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Sadly, you might need to open the Mac and disconnect the keyboard.

Here is an image from iFixit.com's takeapart for the 15 inch model.

keyboard ribbon cable to the logic board

It is protected by a metal cage - but you won't need to do all the steps - just get the bottom off and disconnect the battery before working on the keyboard cable.

You will of course need a USB keyboard to work things temporarily and enable the bluetooth keyboard if you can't get there with a mouse or the trackpad only. Do read the cautions on the repair guide and be sure you are up to a delicate task. A proper Mac technician might charge $30 for this repair since it's quite easy for someone with all the tools and experience getting in to the Mac.

  • yes, I was thinking that problably this will be the way to go, I will comment my progress, thanks for your answer. Dec 19, 2012 at 4:13
  • for some reason, I turned on my macbook this morning and now the right key is working fine... weird stuff, however I'm not likely to trust on it, I would like to disable it using a third party software, any idea? Dec 19, 2012 at 13:59

You can't use any third-party software for this, as it won't load until after the system boots. Your only hope is to repair or disable the keyboard.

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