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How Can I Lock the Keyboard On My MacBook 15″ So I Can Clean It?

How can I lock the keyboard on my MacBook 15″ so I can clean it. Any key press wakes it up or restarts it even when turned off.

How can I lock the keyboard on my MacBook 15″ so I can clean it. Any key press wakes it up or restarts it even when turned off.
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David R

Comments: 10 Responses to “How Can I Lock the Keyboard On My MacBook 15″ So I Can Clean It?”

    7 months ago

    Instead of trying to clean it while it is sleeping, just go into an app like Pages or TextEdit and start a blank document. Then carefully clean your keyboard, making sure you hit only one key at a time so you never trigger any special functions. All of the letters you type will then just go into that document that you will delete anyway. Modifier keys won't do anything if you are pressing them just once without another key. Then just clean the Touch ID/Power key last, taking special care there.

    When cleaning, you will want to have System Settings, Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts, Modifier keys set so the function keys are F1-F12 instead of giving you one-key access to functions. This avoids launching LaunchPad, starting music, or changing your brightness or volume, etc. But think about if you have ever customized your Mac with apps that will use F1-F12 to launch Shortcuts or perform other functions and be careful with those keys.

    Others recommend simply locking your Mac, so you are on the Lock Screen. But then typing will enter characters into the password field. In some conditions, like after a restart or shut down, you are limited in login attempts so this could be dangerous. Better to have that input go into a harmless document.

    Make sure you follow Apple's recommendations at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172 for how to clean your keyboard. Read every word before cleaning.

    Robert
    7 months ago

    Or when you buy a new MacBook (or any keyboard) also get a keyboard cover - they are not very expensive and might keep stuff from getting into the keyboard.

    7 months ago

    Robert: I would advise against that. It is very dangerous to ever close a MacBook with something in-between the keyboard and screen, no matter how thin. The internet is filled with sad posts from people who have broken their Macs that way. Sometimes the damage isn't immediate, but happens over days, weeks or months.
    If you have to use a keyboard cover, say in a dirty-hands environment like a mechanics shop or factory floor, Make very sure that you remove the cover every time before closing the MacBook.
    But I recommend against them in general because it is so hard to remember to remove it every single time without fail.

    Indigo
    7 months ago

    I am wondering why powering off and cleaning hasn't been suggested as the safest and main way to clean?

    7 months ago

    Indigo: Because on modern MacBooks (maybe the last 5-6 years?) pressing any key on the keyboard will start it up after a shut down, as David noted in his question.

    Jane
    7 months ago

    Thanks for that great advice, Gary about not putting anything between the keyboard and the screen. Out of curiosity, can you explain why not?
    I use a monitor and independent keyboard with my MacBook, so have a piece of thin cardboard over my MacBook keyboard to stop it getting dusty (I need to keep the laptop open to access the Touch ID key). When I finish using the computer I just shut the lid on to the cardboard - I had no idea this could be damaging!

    7 months ago

    Jane: When you close a MacBook with something between your screen and keyboard it will put pressure on the screen. There isn't enough space there to have a piece of material. It may seem OK the first time you do it, and even after a while, but eventually the pressure could break the screen and destroy your MacBook. And I'm talking about something very thin here. If you are doing that with cardboard I'm surprised it hasn't broken yet. Search the web and you'll find all sorts of sad stories of people trying to "protect" their MacBooks only to find they have broken the screen.

    Jane
    7 months ago

    Thanks so much for the explanation, Gary. Will be removing the cardboard before closing now :)

    Indigo
    6 months ago

    Gary, pressing any button starting up a macbook is only true if the macbook is in sleep mode. Once shut down, not sleeping, the power button must be pressed to start up. How else would a user apply different keyboard start up combinations if any key powered the mac?

    Indigo
    6 months ago

    Wow! I stand corrected! Thank you Gary and David R for explaining this about any key powering up on recent macbooks. What a shockingly awful inception from Apple. Have sent feedback (fwiw) to have normal power up behaviours reinstated.

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