Question about using an external keyboard with a MacBook Pro

Hardware & Accessories

I've just been given a MacBook Pro for my job. I need to attach an external keyboard that is not an Apple product. Can anyone tell me how to do this? It can be wireless or wired. I am just not able to use the tiny keys on the MacBook. Many Thanks. --Patty



Submitted by Tyler on Saturday, January 25, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I don't know if there are any keyboards that connect over USB C, but you can use a USB C to USB A hub or dongle to connect a standard USB A keyboard.

A wireless keyboard can be paired with your Mac using Bluetooth preferences.


Submitted by Justin on Sunday, January 26, 2020

Hi Patty,
The best way to use the mac with an external keyboard is to buy an apple magic keyboard. It's wireless, the keys are full size normal keyboard like, with a month long battery life between charges. Also, it integrates with the mac system and can access the battery level thru the menu extras by pressing VO, the voiceover keys are control and option by the way, VO+M M, and it should say menu extras, then whatever you land on. Since you're new to the mac, please look up guides on here on how to use the mac with VoiceOver and you should be fine. I am not sure what keyboards work seemlessly with the mac except the apple brand ones. How new is your machine? is it one with the touch bar? The apple keyboards have physical function keys, and the keys aren't really that small.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Sunday, January 26, 2020

Hi. I use both USB and bluetooth keyboards with my touchscreen MacBook Pro and my iMac Pro. They work great. Both have numeric keypads and a full keyboard. No keys are missing. The bluetooth keyboard battery really does last a whole month, but it is very thin, so minimum care is needed to be sure you don't put a lot of weight on it or accidentally bend it. The USB keyboard is pretty sturdy. Both are very easy to use. For the bluetooth, once it's been set up, leave it permanently turned on, and you're connected as soon as your MacBook finishes booting up, if that's the way you have it set up. for the USB keyboard, all you have to do is plug it in and turn on your MacBook. That's it. You don't have to do anything else.

I totally understand about the MacBook built in keyboard. Those keys are way too tiny for my big fat fingers, and I'm a pretty fast typist.

Smile. Have fun! You can buy either of them at the Apple Store.