iMac not Recognizing Keyboard or Mouse? Here’s How to Fix It

If you are a Mac user, you must know how important the keyboard and Mouse are to complete your iMac. What if you have an emergency to use your iMac keyboard and mouse to send your work? And it turns out that your Magic Keyboard and Mouse are not recognized by your iMac.

There are many reasons why USB Keyboard & Mouse Not Working On Your Mac might occur; maybe it is because of the unusual disconnection between them.

Whatever the reason is, you can definitely fix the issue of iMac not recognizing your keyboard or mouse with some of the ways. So, if you are the one having these problems all the time. Don’t worry, here we provide some tricks and solutions for you, that you can use when your keyboard or mouse is not recognized by your iMac.

Reasons why iMac does not recognize your keyboard and mouse:

There are many reasons why your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad can stop working. Many of us have gone through that experience, and believe me it can be pretty stressful. Even more, when we have lots of work pending and the keyboard and mouse do not work properly.

One of the prominent reasons for the Mac keyboard to stop working is dust. If you are using Apple’s butterfly keyboard, then it must be hard as it can stop working even with little dust around it. Apple’s butterfly keyboard is very thin and fragile, so even a little dust can cause your keyboard to stop working completely.

Another reason why your iMac does not recognize your keyboard and mouse might be because of incorrect software settings or any apps that are problematic to your iMac, can also cause you this error.

Quick fixes: Apple Wireless Mouse and Keyboard not Connecting to Mac

So, before going for any further details, here are some fixes that you must require for a functioning keyboard and mouse to get back and interact with your iMac. Here is what you have to do:

  1. Kindly use a third-party wired USB keyboard or mouse.
  2. Make sure to use Magic Keyboard or Trackpad in wired mode. You can’t use the Magic Mouse due to the location of its charging port.
  3. If your issue is related to your mouse or trackpad, use the keyboard to navigate on-screen elements or activate Mouse Keys.

#1. Try turning On/Off your Keyboard or Mouse:

Sometimes the issue might be too small that it can be solved by just turning your keyboard or Mouse on or off. The keyboard, mouse, or trackpad are devices that can sometimes not work properly and provides glitches, which might be the reason for not working properly with your iMac.

However, you can solve this issue within seconds by turning on and off the switch that has been given on the bottom of the device. You just have to find the power switch of your keyboard and mouse, turn it off till turning white, and then turn it back on to the green. Now, check if they are working properly or not.

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#2. Restart your iMac:

One of the easy and simple things you can do is restart your iMac. Maybe, there are some problems related to your Mac system which provide you with all the problems while connecting to your Mouse and Keyboard. But don’t worry, you can fixed this by restarting your iMac. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Open the Apple menu, which is given on the top-left side of your Mac.
  2. Select the Restart option. 
  3. Uncheck the box saying “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
  4. Once uncheck the box, click on the Restart button again to restart your iMac.

#3. Remove and Re-connect  your USB Connection:

If you are still facing issues with your keyboard or mouse, then try reconnecting to your USB. What you can do is, unplug the wire and then plug back it again. If you want to check if you’re USB ports are working correctly or not. Then you should unplug your keyboard wire and plug some other’s wire, if that works, then your USB port is fine. See, if now your keyboard and mouse working properly or not.

#4. Charge or Replace Keyboard or Mouse Batteries:

Always remember to charge your mouse and keyboard. A Bluetooth mouse and keyboard might be not working properly because of the low charging. And it may be the reason iMac does not recognize mouse and keyboard. So, charge your device first and check if they are working properly or not.

If you are using the input devices with replaceable batteries, then you should change them to new ones. Or you can plug your keyboard and mouse into a USB port on your iMac, and you should wait for at least 15 minutes before using it again and check their condition.

#5. Make sure the Bluetooth is Turned on:

While using your iMac built-in keyboard or a USB mouse, make sure that you have turned on your Bluetooth settings. If not, then follow these steps to turn it on.

  1. Go to the Apple menu. 
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Then click on Bluetooth, and make sure that the Bluetooth is turned on or not. 

If your Bluetooth is already turned on and the Bluetooth icon is not appearing on your Mac, then you should restart your iMac once and try turning on Bluetooth again.

#6. Disconnect and Reconnect to Bluetooth:

Maybe your issue is occurring due to a corrupt Bluetooth device cache. So, you should disconnect and reconnect all your device’s keyboard, mouse, and trackpad to see if the issue is solved. Try the following steps to reconnect your wireless keyboard, mouse, or trackpad on your iMac: 

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select the Bluetooth option from the system preference window. 
  3. Select the X-icon next to the input device, and then select Remove.
  4. Restart the input device and select Connect to re-pair the keyboard or mouse with your iMac again.
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#7. Reset Bluetooth Module via Terminal:

You can also try resetting your iMac’s Bluetooth module using Terminal:

  1. Open the Launchpad on your Mac and select Other > Terminal. 
  2. Type the following given command and press Enter: sudo pkill bluetoothd
  3. Type your Mac’s admin password and press Enter again.

#8. Factory Reset Apple Devices:

If you are still facing the problem then, you can also factory reset your entire Apple device. If you are using the macOS Big Sur or earlier, you can factory reset the keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. Resetting all your device may also solve all the issues you are facing. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Firstly, connect your Mac keyboard or mouse through USB.
  2. Click the Bluetooth icon on the Control Center or menu bar.
  3. Select Factory Reset all Connected Apple Devices.
  4. Select OK.

#9. Reset Bluetooth Preferences using Finder:

Now, that you have reset all the Apple Devices. You can also try to reset Bluetooth Preferences. Maybe your Bluetooth preferences file can be corrupt for one reason or another also the reason why you getting issues on your iMac. Delete it and reset it and check if that solved your problem.

  1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock and select Go to Folder.
  2. Type the following path into the Go to Folder box: ~/Library/Preferences/
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Find and drag the following file into the Trash:
  5. Finally, restart your Mac.

After restarting your iMac, macOS will automatically create a new Bluetooth preference file from scratch once you restart your Mac.

#10. Use the Bluetooth Setup Assistant:

In the case of macOS Recovery, your iMac may not automatically connect to the keyboard and mouse. If this happens, then you should press the Power button on your iMac three times, and wait for one to seconds in between each time you press the button. And use the Bluetooth Setup Assistant to connect to them manually.

#11. Reset NVRAM on iMac:

NVRAM as non-volatile random-access memory is a small amount of memory that your Mac uses to store certain settings on your iMac. Resetting NVRAM may also resolve the issues with the keyboard and mouse. Here is how you have to perform to fix this problem.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press and hold these four keys together: Option + Command + P + R.
  3. You can release the keys after about 20 seconds, during which the Apple logo will be going to appear to restart.

#12. Perform SMC Reset:

If you still getting issues with your iMac, then you can reset your iMac’s SMC as Storage Management Controller next.

  1. Turn off your iMac.
  2. Unplug the power cable.
  3. Wait for 15 seconds and plug in the Power cable.
  4. Wait for another five more seconds.
  5. Press the Power button to turn on your iMac.
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#13. Update your Mac to the Latest:

If you have pending any latest update then you must update it first. It might be possible that macOS newest update may solve your issue with the mouse and keyboard. Updating is the best to remove any bugs or errors with your iMac. Follow this procedure to update your iMac:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select About This Mac.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. If there is a pending update, then click Update Now. 

#14. Delete Recently Installed apps:

Your iMac does not recognize the keyboard or mouse because of some unknown apps too. Maybe some of your newly installed apps on your iMac are the problem with your keyboard and mouse not working properly. What you should do is remove all the recently added apps from your iMac. If you don’t remember which apps you have installed recently. Here is how you can see recent apps on a Mac:

  1. Open Finder, and go to the Applications folder.
  2. Using the sort options at the top of Finder, select Sort By > Date Added.

Here, you can find all your recently added apps which you can delete. After deleting them, check if your mouse and keyboard are working fine or not.

Why won’t my iMac Keyboard or Mouse still doesn’t Work?

I am pretty sure that all of the above methods will definitely solve your problems with your keyboard and mouse. However, if you are still facing the same problem and iMac won’t recognize your keyboard or mouse, then your devices need a detailed check-up. Maybe your Apple’s input devices have broken or are faulty and can’t repair.

If you are still facing a problem the one last thing you can do is to ask for the professional help from Apple.

Ask for Apple’s help, and see what the actual issue is, and maybe they can fix your keyboard or mouse with no charge too if your iMac is covered. You can also try troubleshooting your iMac into a Safe Mode. As well as, you can also try your keyboard and mouse on a different computer to check if they are working fine with that PC.


iMac is very important for our daily life, as well as keyboard and mouse, are too. Them not recognized by your iMac can be a very frustrating situation. As you can’t do a thing without a keyboard or mouse. If you are thinking of changing your keyboard or mouse, don’t be still. I ensure that after trying all these above-given methods your keyboard and mouse will probably work perfectly. If not, then at last you can also ask for Apple’s help to fix them for you. So, which above method had resolved your problem? Thanks for reading, and have fun working with your iMac.