Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It only takes a minute to sign up.
Sign up to join this community
Anybody can ask a question
Anybody can answer
The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
I have a reliable external keyboard that worked normally with a macbook pro (2018). I've upgraded to a new macbook air and the command key isn't working with the external keyboard. For example I can't use any keyboard shortcuts such as ⌘–space for spotlight. It appears to be just the command key.
- ⌘C, ⌘V not working
- ⌘, for preferences not working
- Menu bar items (such as Edit > Copy) have the ⌘C greyed out instead of black font.
- Other keys work normally: tab, Enter, Ctrl–L (for clearing terminal screen for example).
- Laptop keyboard working fine.
Attempted (failed) fixes:
- Reset SMC (also PRAM, NVRAM)
- Check USB connections on different ports
- Delete Libarary Prefs
- Repeat the keyboard detection (
Prefs > Keyboard > Change Keyboard Type...)
Coolermaster Quicksight Rapid-i mechanical keyboard. I have used it successfully with work laptops (windows and macbook pro) as well as an iMac (2012).
Solution: Switch Modifier Key Assignment
For some reason the new macbook is detecting the Command ⌘ key as Alt and vice-versa.
Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys... and switch the ⌘ and Alt keys.
Now it works. This was a painful experience so I'm sharing what I wish I had found online. I didn't discover that the command key was actually working until troubleshooting on https://keyboardchecker.com.
The Menu list shortcuts are still greyed out. I don't have a solution for this, but its cosmetic as the shortcuts still work, even ones I assign in keyboard prefs.
You must log in to answer this question.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged keyboard usb shortcut .