3 Different Ways to Easily Unlock a Locked Mac Keyboard

Key Takeaways
  • To lock a Mac keyboard, third-party applications like MollyGuard, KeyboardCleanTool, and Alfred are needed, as there's no built-in feature for this in macOS.
  • Ideal for securing the Mac when unattended, preventing accidental inputs during cleaning, and avoiding pet-triggered keystrokes, ensuring the keyboard remains inactive when not in use.
  • Unlocking the keyboard can be done by toggling off the third-party app. If the keyboard is unresponsive, update software, power cycle the device, or use the Option key.

In the digital age, privacy and security are extremely important, and what can be more important than safeguarding your MacBook? One way to do this is to lock the keyboard of your Mac when not in use. This detailed guide will look at the steps to lock and unlock your Mac keyboard and many other related queries. So, let’s jump right into it.

A locked Mac keyboard can be a nuisance

What is a Locked Mac Keyboard?

The title is self-explanatory. A locked Mac keyboard, at least in most cases, will mean the keyboard keys will not function. You can keep on pressing the keys, but no respective input will be registered. It would be like pressing keys on a keyboard that is not connected to any device.

Can I Lock a Mac Keyboard?

Yes, there are a few methods using which you can lock or disable your Mac keyboard. However, it is to be kept in mind that none of the methods are official, and you will require third-party software to do so.

READ MORE: Screenshotting in Mac: 9 Ways to Easily Capture the Screen ➜

How to Lock a Mac Keyboard?

As mentioned before, Mac does not have an inbuilt option that allows you to lock/disable the keyboard. However, there are a few third-party applications available that when installed and used, lock your Mac’s keyboard. We have shortlisted the best ones available, do give them all a try and see which ones work the best for you:

  1. MollyGuard
  2. KeyboardCleanTool
  3. Alfred

How to Unlock a Mac Keyboard?

Now let’s talk about how you can unlock a Mac keyboard. In case you are using an application such as those listed above, you can simply toggle off the app option in the menu bar. Doing so will unlock your Mac keyboard.

1. Install Software Updates

However, let’s say that you were normally using your Mac, and all of a sudden you found that your keyboard is not responsive anymore. The first thing you should do is to check if your Mac is updated to the latest version. An outdated version can cause keyboard driver issues leading to this problem.

Let’s take a look at the steps to update your Mac.

  1. Click on the Apple Menu icon present at the top left of your screen and choose the System Settings option from the menu box.
    System Settings
  2. Now scroll down and go to the General settings.
  3. Select Software Updates and see if an update is available.
  4. In case, there are updates available, download and install them on your device.

2. Power Cycle the Device

If there are no updates available or installing the update did not resolve the issue, you should perform a power cycle on your device. Properly shut it down, remove it from any power source, and wait for a few minutes. Now turn on your device and see if your keyboard starts functioning.

3. Using the Option Key

In case, it still does not work properly, you will find yourself stuck at the login screen, unable to log into your Mac. Simply click on the Option key five times, this should resolve the issue.

Option Key on a Mac Keyboard

Preferred Scenarios for Locking a Keyboard

There are a few situations where it will be recommended that you lock or disable your keyboard. We have listed some of them below:

  1. Leaving Your Mac Unattended: Although it is not recommended to leave your MacBook alone, however, there may be cases where you cannot carry it with you. In such cases, locking your keyboard will ensure that no one messes with your device, and it remains secure until your arrival.
  2. During Cleaning: During keyboard cleaning, we may unintentionally press a few keys on our keyboard. To avoid this, lock your keyboard during cleaning so that no accidental key presses are registered.
  3. Near Pets: People who own pets will be able to relate to this. Pets, especially cats, have a habit of walking on any surface, even your Mac, and of course, when they do, they can press the keys of your keyboard. If you lock your keyboard after using your device, their walk will not register any input, avoiding inconvenience.

READ MORE: What Does Scroll Lock Do on a Keyboard in 2023? Explained ➜


In the end, we hope that you have all the required information for locking and unlocking your Mac keyboard. In case, your issue remains unresolved, contact Apple Support or visit your nearest Apple Store for further assistance. In case of any queries, feel free to drop them below. Until next time. Ciao


What is a locked Mac keyboard?

A locked Mac keyboard means that the keyboard keys will not function. Pressing keys won’t register any input, similar to a keyboard not connected to any device.

Can I Lock a Mac Keyboard?

Yes, you can lock or disable your Mac keyboard using third-party applications. However, it’s important to note that none of these methods are official, and third-party software is required.

Is it safe to lock a Mac Keyboard through a third-party application?

These third-party applications are fully compatible with your Mac and are not known to cause any issues during their operation.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.