How to Fix: MacBook Internal Keyboard and Trackpad Not Recognized in macOS Big Sur

macbook keyboard trackpad not recognized

There are a number of small problems being reported by people who have just installed macOS Big Sur onto their computers. And even though these issues may be small and easy to fix, if you don’t know how to get everything working properly, you’ll be stuck and very annoyed.

The problem that we will address in this article is how to fix the issue of a MacBook not recognizing your internal keyboard and trackpad after installing Big Sur. macOS Big Sur is a highly anticipated update for your MacBook, so you’ll want to iron out this bug, or any other you might be experiencing quickly.

Why Won’t My MacBook Recognize My Internal Keyboard and Trackpad?

macOS Big Sur features a lot of new features and functions that you can take advantage of once it is up and running as it should. But because it is a new update, there are some bugs and glitches that will need to be fixed by Apple developers in later versions of the macOS.

These bugs are most likely the source of the issue you are experiencing, and until they are ironed out the fixes mentioned here should help you resolve the issue.

Fix #1 – Restart Your MacBook

This sounds like an obvious fix, and that’s because it is. Restarting your MacBook can often fix small issues that may seem weird and frustrating. If you have just installed macOS Big Sur and are experiencing an unresponsive internal keyboard and/or trackpad, this may be all you need to do to fix the problem.

Another twist on this fix that can help you resolve the issue is to leave the MacBook in its closed position for a few minutes after you restart. I’m not sure why this works, but some users are reporting that it can help.

Fix #2 – Reset System Management Controller (SMC)

Another fix that can help to repair hardware issues such as when your internal keyboard and trackpad are not being recognized is to reset the SMC. The SMC helps keep certain functions like the battery, fans, and power source of your MacBook in good operating order and resetting it can work in a similar way to a simple computer restart to fix certain issues.

To reset the SMC on your MacBook, follow these steps:

  • Shut down your MacBook
  • Press down and hold these keys on your keyboard – Control, Option, Shift
  • Hold these keys down for 7 seconds and then press the power button while still holding Control, Option, and Shift.
  • Hold down all 4 of these keys for another 7 seconds
  • Release the keys
  • Wait a few seconds and press the power button to turn your MacBook back on
  • The SMC is now reset and hopefully your issue is resolved

If you have a MacBook with a T2 security chip, the SMC reset is a little different. Follow these steps to reset the SMC if you have a MacBook model mentioned in the link:

  • Shutdown your MacBook
  • Remove the power cord
  • Wait for 15 seconds
  • Plug the power cord back into your MacBook
  • Wait 5 seconds
  • Turn your MacBook back on

Fix #3 – Delete Library Extensions Files

Some MacBook owners have discovered another fix that can resolve the issue of the internal keyboard and trackpad not being recognized after installing macOS Big Sur. This fix seems to work for some MacBook models and not work on others, but it’s a good option to try if the other two fixes mentioned above have not worked.

To delete library extensions, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Finder
  2. Click on the Go option from the menu bar at the top of your screen
  3. Select Go to Folder from the drop-down menu
  4. In the window that appears, enter the following text – /Library/Extensions
  5. Click on Go
  6. Select all of the files in this folder and move them to your desktop
  7. Restart your computer
  8. If the internal keyboard and trackpad are recognized after the restart, place the files back into the original directory

If you put the extension files back into their original location and the keyboard and trackpad become unresponsive again, you may have to remove them complete the steps above another time.

You can also try to go through each file individually to see if you can identify which is causing the problem directly. You can do this by placing files one at a time back in the extensions folder. If your internal keyboard or trackpad becomes unresponsive after placing a file back in the folder, you found the culprit.

Final Thoughts

If your internal keyboard or trackpad on your MacBook becomes unresponsive or unrecognized, it can be alarming. If this has happened to you after installing macOS Big Sur, make sure to go over all of the steps in the fixes mentioned above.

This should allow you to resolve the issue pretty easily and get your MacBook back to operating as it should. If these steps don’t fix the problem, you may need to contact Apple customer support.

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