iMac not recognizing keyboard or mouse? 13 fixes to try

Is your iMac not recognizing your Virtual Keyboard, Mouse or Trackpad? Or are you having trouble maintaining a stable connection to your input devices? Usually, the problem is keyboard or mouse related and relatively easy to solve. But in some cases, you may have to resort to troubleshooting different aspects of your iMac to fix it.

The instructions below will guide you through various suggestions and solutions to help your iMac recognize your Magic Keyboard or Mouse. Some fixes also apply to third-party wireless keyboards and mice.

Navigate your iMac

Some fixes require a well-functioning keyboard or mouse to navigate and interact with your iMac. Here’s what you can do:

  • Use a third-party wired USB keyboard or mouse.
  • Use your Virtual Keyboard or Trackpad in wired mode (more on that below). Unfortunately, you cannot use the Magic Mouse due to its charging port location.
  • If the problem is limited to your mouse or trackpad, use the keyboard to navigate elements on the screen or activate Mouse Keys.

1. Enable/Disable Keyboard or Mouse

Magic Keyboard, Mouse, or Trackpad can sometimes have glitches in the firmware that prevent it from working correctly with your iMac. Thankfully, you can deal with them quickly by restarting the problematic input device. Just find Power switch, swipe it Turn off (white), and then Above (green). The same applies to third-party wireless keyboards and mice.

Mouse on/off switch

Note: If you’re setting up a new iMac, your Virtual Keyboard, Mouse, or Trackpad won’t show up unless you turn it on.

2. Restart your iMac

Another quick fix involves restarting your iMac. Hopefully that will solve the minor system related issues that keep it from recognizing or connecting to your keyboard or mouse.

1. Open Apple menu and choose Restart.

Apple > Restart” class=”wp-image-16958″  /></figure>
<p>2. Uncheck the box next to <strong>Reopen the window when re-login</strong>.</p>
<div class=
Uncheck the box to reopen windows

3. Select Restart again to restart your iMac.

3. Connect a Keyboard or Mouse via USB

If your iMac doesn’t recognize your Virtual Keyboard, Trackpad, or Mouse, quickly establish a wired connection via USB. If that helps restore the connection, disconnect the cable and use the wireless device.

Note: If you purchase a Magic Keyboard, Trackpad, or Mouse separately from your iMac, it will pair via USB only.

4. Charge the keyboard or mouse

Low power Bluetooth keyboards or mice can cause connectivity issues on your iMac. So try charging it and see if that makes a difference.

Again, plug your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad into the USB port on your iMac and wait at least 15 minutes before using it again. If you use an input device with a replaceable battery (for example, the first-generation Magic Keyboard and Mouse), swap them out with a new pair.

5. Disconnect and reconnect to Bluetooth

A corrupted Bluetooth device cache can also be a factor, so the following fix includes reconnecting an Apple wireless keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to your iMac.

1. Open System Preferences.

System Preferences

2. Select Bluetooth.


2. Select X-icon next to the input device.

X symbol

4. Select Eliminate.

Remove button

5. Restart the input device and select Link to re-pair the keyboard or mouse with your iMac.

Connect button

6. Remove and reconnect the USB receiver

If you use a third-party non-Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, remove the USB receiver and plug it back in, preferably with a different port on your iMac. Also avoid connecting the receiving device to an external USB adapter or adapter.

7. Reset the Bluetooth Module

Next, try resetting the iMac’s Bluetooth module via Terminal:

1. Open Launchers on your Mac and select Other > End.


2. Enter the following command and press enter:

sudo pkill bluetoothd

sudo pkill bluetoothd

3. Enter your Mac’s administrator password and press enter again.

8. Factory Reset Apple Devices

If you use macOS Big Sur or earlier, you can factory reset your Magic Keyboard, Mouse, and Trackpad. That can resolve additional firmware-related issues that you can’t resolve by simply restarting the device.

1. Connect your Mac keyboard, mouse, or trackpad via USB.

2. Right to buy-click Bluetooth on the Control Center or the menu bar.

3. Select Factory Reset All Connected Apple Devices.

4. Select ALRIGHT.

9. Reset Bluetooth Options

Corrupt Bluetooth preferences file can be another reason for any wireless keyboard or mouse problems on your iMac. Remove it and check if that makes a difference.

first. Control-click the Finder icon in the Dock and select Go to Folder.

Go to Folder

2. Enter the following path Go to Folder box and press enter:



3. Locate and drag the following file to the Trash: Bluetooth.plist Bluetooth.plist> Move to Trash” class=”wp-image-16969″  /></figure>
<p>4. Restart your Mac.</p>
<p><strong>Note</strong>: macOS automatically creates a new Bluetooth preferences file from scratch when you restart your Mac.  If it has any problems doing that, restore the original from the Recycle Bin.</p>
<h2><span class=10. Using Bluetooth Setup Assistant

Your iMac may not automatically connect to the keyboard and mouse in special environments like macOS Recovery. When that happens, press Power on your iMac three times (wait a second after each press) and use Bluetooth Setup Assistant to connect to them manually.

11. Reset NVRAM on iMac

If you use an iMac running an Intel chipset, resetting NVRAM (non-volatile random access memory) can also resolve keyboard and mouse related issues. However, you need a wired keyboard to perform this fix.

1. Turn off your iMac.

2. Press the Power button while holding Request, Right to buy, Pand CHEAP key.

Command, Option, P, and RED keys

3. Release the key when the Apple logo is displayed a second time or when your iMac buzzes twice.

12. Performing SMC Reset

If the problem persists, reset the SMC (Memory Management Controller) of the next iMac.

1. Turn off your iMac.

2. Unplug the power cable.

3. Wait for 15 seconds and plug in Power cable.

4. Wait another 5 seconds.

5. Press the button Power to turn on your iMac.

13. Update your Mac

If your iMac comes with an early release of macOS (such as macOS 12.0 Monterey), it’s best to rule out any bugs in the system software by installing any pending updates as soon as possible. the better.

1. Open Apple menu and select About this Mac.

2. Select Software updates.

Software updates

3. Select Update now.

Update now button

Is there anything else you can do?

Wireless interference from external sources—such as uncovered power cables, kitchen appliances, or other wireless devices—can seriously disrupt the connection from your iMac to your keyboard or mouse. See if it helps to move your desktop device to another area of ​​your home or apartment.

If the problem persists, try troubleshooting your iMac in Safe Mode. If that doesn’t help either, you may be dealing with a faulty keyboard or mouse. Send it back for replacement if it’s still under warranty.

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