Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My cat has a nasty habit of jumping over my MBP and causing keystrokes that mess up things (anywhere from stopping a playing video to deleting a file).

I'm looking for some utility or hack to disable completely the internal keyboard and to re-enable it either using the mouse or using some key combination.

Any ideas how to achieve this?

share|improve this question
I had a cat jump on my MBP once, except it got spooked and tore keys off the keyboard in the leap off the keyboard. Good question though. –  Troggy Sep 7 '10 at 21:35

6 Answers 6

There are a couple 3rd party programs that do similar things.. or just get a stand that will put your MBP at an angle so the cat doesn't jump on it..


edit: you can also try Keyboard Cleaner

share|improve this answer
Keyboard cleaner is nice and simple. you have cmd-q to close it and get your keyboard back. Mouse clicks won’t register. –  Martín Marconcini Sep 8 '10 at 1:25
Lockey seems to be possibly dodgy / scam (as in not trustable in terms of your personal/payment info, scam). The website links to a different domain advertising a new version that works with mavericks and you can only pay by credit card and no trial download and the whole thing just looks dodgy. A shame as it's the only non-terminal solution I could find... –  foregon Jun 26 '14 at 2:16

Just tried this on my 2013 MBP with 10.8.5:

The external keyboard still works fine, and I was able to disable, then reenable my internal keyboard.

To disable the internal keyboard of a portable Mac:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext/ The internal keyboard is then disabled, external keyboards will still work.

To re-enable the internal keyboard of a portable Mac:

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext/

When I initially disable the internal keyboard, terminal notifies me that:

(kernel) Can't unload kext com.apple.driver.AppleUSBTCKeyboard; classes have instances:
(kernel)     Kext com.apple.driver.AppleUSBTCKeyboard class AppleUSBTCKeyboard has 11 instances.
Failed to unload com.apple.driver.AppleUSBTCKeyboard - (libkern/kext) kext is in use or retained (cannot unload).

Nevertheless, the command works, no ill effects.

Thanks to: macrumours

share|improve this answer
confirmed this works on 2009 white macbook running 10.8.5 and I haven't noticed any side-effects. Works like a charm. awesome. –  Aidan Miles May 22 '14 at 23:54

Looks like all cats love to mess with MacBooks

This http://www.indiegogo.com/Mac-OS-X-Keyboard-Lock-Application-Lockey Should solve your problem

or try this http://jan.prima.de/~jan/plok/archives/48-Keyboard-Cleaner.html

PS: Are you the same user who asked this question over here http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1646187

share|improve this answer

Try the free software CatNip, which claims to detect cat-like typing and locks the keyboard in response.

share|improve this answer

There's a excellent free app that does exactly that. It's called KeyboardCleanTool, and it's made by the same guy who made BetterSnapTool.

Unlike with Keyboard Cleaner, you can still use your computer as normal while your keyboard is disabled.

share|improve this answer
Please don't link directly to downloads. You should instead link to the product page. Also read How do I recommend software for some tips as to how you should go about recommending software. At the very least you should provide more than just a link, for example some additional information about the software itself. –  DavidPostill Mar 22 at 6:15

You could put a password on your screen saver ("Require password [time] seconds after sleep or screen saver begins" in the "General" tab of the "Security" section of System Preferences, probably best to add a hot corner for quick activation). This will require you to enter your password whenever you return to your computer - unless your cat knows it, you'll be protected from any accidental input.

Unfortunately, this means you have to be not using your computer at that point. Other than using an external monitor and so on and closing the lid, I don't know of any built in way of disabling the keyboard.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.