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How to Fix a Mac Keyboard Typing in All Caps

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

This guide will walk you through checking the most common causes of being only able to type in capital letters on your Apple Mac. We'll show you how to check your Caps lock on your keyboard and teach you how your shift key works. Finally, we'll try to resolve the issue with a reboot or rule out if you're having a hardware issue.
Caps Lock Key

1 Check the Keyboard Caps Lock & Shift Keys on Your Mac

Check the Caps Lock Key

Most keyboards have a key labeled Caps Lock on the left-hand side. Press the Caps Lock key one time, and try typing again.

Mac Desktop Keyboard
Mac Desktop keyboard with Caps Lock highlighted
Mac Laptop Keyboard
Mac laptop keyboard with Caps Lock highlighted

Check the Shift Keys

Sometimes, the Shift keys can get stuck, causing problems. Check the Shift key on the left and right sides of your keyboard and make sure they didn't get stuck down, then try typing again.

Mac Desktop Keyboard
Mac Desktop keyboard with Shift keys highlighted
Mac Laptop Keyboard
Mac Laptop keyboard with Shift keys highlighted

2 Reboot and Try Again

If the issue is still happening, you may need to restart as part of the troubleshooting process.
Before you restart or shut down your computer, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.

Reboot Your Mac

  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
  2. Test your keyboard again to see if we fixed the issue.
    TextEdit program open showing the keyboard works

3 Rule Out a Possible Hardware Issue

If Problems Continue

Keyboards have moving parts that can wear out over time, as well as simple electronics that can have problems.

At times, the shift or caps lock key may become stuck internally on the keyboard, or the simple control processor in the keyboard may start having problems, resulting in strange behavior including all-caps typing.

  • If available, connect a different keyboard and see if problems continue. If this solves the problem, the keyboard has failed and simply needs to be replaced.
  • If the keyboard is wireless, make sure it's charged fully, or replace the batteries.
    Wireless keyboard being plugged in
  • As a last step the keyboard may need to be serviced or replaced.

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This guide will walk you through checking the most common causes of being only able to type in capital letters on your Apple Mac. We'll show you how to check your Caps lock on your keyboard and teach you how your shift key works. Finally, we'll try to resolve the issue with a reboot or rule out if you're having a hardware issue.
Caps Lock Key

Check the Caps Lock Key

Most keyboards have a key labeled Caps Lock on the left-hand side. Press the Caps Lock key one time, and try typing again.

Mac Desktop Keyboard
Mac Desktop keyboard with Caps Lock highlighted
Mac Laptop Keyboard
Mac laptop keyboard with Caps Lock highlighted

Check the Shift Keys

Sometimes, the Shift keys can get stuck, causing problems. Check the Shift key on the left and right sides of your keyboard and make sure they didn't get stuck down, then try typing again.

Mac Desktop Keyboard
Mac Desktop keyboard with Shift keys highlighted
Mac Laptop Keyboard
Mac Laptop keyboard with Shift keys highlighted
If the issue is still happening, you may need to restart as part of the troubleshooting process.
Before you restart or shut down your computer, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.

Reboot Your Mac

  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
  2. Test your keyboard again to see if we fixed the issue.
    TextEdit program open showing the keyboard works

If Problems Continue

Keyboards have moving parts that can wear out over time, as well as simple electronics that can have problems.

At times, the shift or caps lock key may become stuck internally on the keyboard, or the simple control processor in the keyboard may start having problems, resulting in strange behavior including all-caps typing.

  • If available, connect a different keyboard and see if problems continue. If this solves the problem, the keyboard has failed and simply needs to be replaced.
  • If the keyboard is wireless, make sure it's charged fully, or replace the batteries.
    Wireless keyboard being plugged in
  • As a last step the keyboard may need to be serviced or replaced.