How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks

When your laptop keyboard fails, for example, because you spilt your drink all over it, or because it is just too unpleasant to write on, you may need to deactivate it so that you may use an external keyboard to type on it instead (either Bluetooth or USB).

How To Disable A Laptop Keyboard Step-By-Step

Disable Laptop Keyboard When External Plugged In (Windows – Temporary)

If you want to utilise this approach, you’ll need an external mouse since it will deactivate your laptop’s trackpad and keyboard as well as your keyboard. While you have your external keyboard and mouse hooked in, you should utilise this technique.

‘Try it Studio’ made this approach famous on YouTube, and although it is undeniably effective, it should be noted that it may create difficulties with your laptop’s operating system, and that there are safer methods of deactivating your keyboard that will not harm your laptop’s operating system.

  • Select ‘Start‘ from the menu bar and enter ‘Device Manager‘.
  • Device Manager should be opened.
  • Locate your keyboard by selecting it from the ‘Keyboards‘ selection menu.
  • Make a right click on the keyboard of your laptop.
  • Choose ‘Update driver‘ from the drop-down menu.
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks
  • Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks
  • Select ‘Allow me to choose from a list of devices drivers on my computer’ from the drop-down menu.
  • De-select the checkbox labelled ‘Show compatible hardware.’
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks
  • Select a manufacturer that is NOT the manufacturer of your laptop on the right-hand side of the screen (it may be anything as long as it is not the manufacturer of your laptop).
  • A device will display on the left-hand side of the screen; choose it and then click ‘Next‘ to proceed.
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks
  • A warning will display; choose ‘Yes‘ to proceed.
  • Following the installation, choose ‘Close.’
  • If asked, restart your computer.

A restart, in contrast to Method 1, will not restore the functionality of your laptop’s keyboard. This is due to the fact that you have in essence installed the incorrect driver in lieu of the proper one. Windows will detect the presence of a driver and ignore it, supposing that it is the right driver for the device.

Additionally, since this approach disables your laptop’s trackpad, you will want an external mouse in addition to your external keyboard.

You may use the same methods as before to go back to the keyboard on your laptop, but rather than choosing ‘Browse my computer for driver software,’ choose ‘Search automatically for driver software’ instead of “Browse my computer.”

Windows will locate and install the appropriate driver from your laptop’s manufacturer, reactivating your laptop’s keyboard when it has been restarted.

Note: HP users have experienced a blue screen of death when using this method.

Other internet tips go into great detail about how to deactivate your keyboard, which may be a bit daunting to you if you are not familiar with coding. That’s perfectly OK! Don’t be concerned; it’s scary to the majority of folks.

In this instruction, you will not be required to do any coding or command shooting. This article will show you how to deactivate your keyboard quickly and easily, either temporarily or permanently, depending on your requirements.

Additionally, the process of disabling your keyboard will change depending on your OS. This article will cover both Windows and Mac computers, so be sure to read all sections.

Please keep in mind that some of the ways on this list may also deactivate your laptop’s trackpad, so it’s a good idea to have an extra mouse on hand just in case this happens!

Using Windows Device Manager (Windows)

However, although this is the quickest option for disabling your laptop’s keyboard, it is also the most transitory since it only works until you restart your laptop.

  • Select ‘Start‘ from the menu bar and enter ‘Device Manager‘.
  • Device Manager should be opened.
  • Locate your keyboard by selecting it from the ‘Keyboards‘ selection menu.
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks
  • Right click your keyboard and select ‘Uninstall device
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks

Note: As stated, this is only a temporary fix as it uninstalls not the keyboard, but the keyboard’s driver and as such will only work until the next time you restart your laptop. 

When your laptop resumes, Windows will detect that a driver is missing and will automatically install a generic version of the driver to replace it. This means that after a restart, your keyboard will be enabled once again, and you will have to repeat the process described above in order to stop it permanently.

See Method 1 of the Permanently disable keyboard section for information on how to prevent Windows from automatically reinstalling the driver.

Using Computer Configuration (Windows – Permanently)

  • Click on the ‘Start‘ button and enter ‘gpedit.msc‘ into the search box.
  • Device Installation Restrictions may be found under Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.
  • Right-click ‘Prevent Installation of Devices that are not defined by other policy settings‘ in the list of choices, choose Edit, and then Enable it to make it active.
How to Disable Keyboard on Macbooks

Once this is completed, go to Method 1 at the beginning of this article. This strategy is effective because it prevents your Windows from automatically reinstalling your disabled driver when you restart your computer after using it. As a result, when you restart your laptop, the keyboard will not automatically reinstall itself.

Using Keyboard Cleaner (Mac)

Use KeyboardCleaner, a third-party tool available for Mac that enables you to deactivate and re-enable your keyboard as needed. It is the most effective option for Mac users.

When it was first developed, it was intended to turn the keyboard off when the keyboard required cleaning. It was intended to be a Mac application, but it was rejected by the App store because Apple deemed it was “not helpful.” Hopefully, you will be able to make use of this well-designed programme when your keyboard stops working.

Using Accessibility Settings (Mac)

This approach just disables a portion of the keyboard, leaving certain keys functional so that you may use the mouse while using the keyboard. It’s referred to as mouse keys, and it doesn’t truly turn off the keyboard.

  • Accessibility may be found under System Preferences > Accessibility.
  • Select the Mouse & Trackpad icon from the drop-down menu on the left.
  • To enable mouse keys, choose the Enable Mouse Keys option in the Options menu at the upper right of the screen.
  • Turn on ignoring the built-in trackpad while using the mouse keys by selecting it and clicking on OK.
  • To close System Preferences, press Option (Alt) five times in succession.
  • Option five times (if you’re re-enabling the keyboard).

Unfortunately, there is no method to permanently deactivate a Mac keyboard, as there is with a Windows computer. Over the Mouse Keys technique, we recommend using KeyboardCleaner instead since it enables you to deactivate the full keyboard anytime you need to and then turn it back on whenever you want.

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Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
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