If your Mac’s touchpad or mouse stops working, or if a mobile disability is impairing your movement, you can enable a feature that lets you use your keyboard to control the cursor on your screen.
How to Enable Mouse Keys on Mac
Similar to moving your cursor without a mouse on Windows 11, you’ll need to enable Mouse Keys before you’re able to begin. First, click the Apple icon in the menu bar, and then select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
Next, select the “Accessibility” option.
In the left-hand pane of the next screen, scroll down to the Motor group and select “Pointer Control.”
Click the “Alternate Control Methods” tab and then check the box next to “Enable Mouse Keys” to turn on the feature.
Mouse Keys is now enabled. You can customize a couple of things before you start using it, though. To do so, click “Options” next to the feature.
This screen provides a few options for you to choose from. The top two options lets you press the “Option” key on your keyboard five times to toggle Mouse Keys on and off, as well as disable the trackpad when Mouse Keys is enabled.
You can also set the initial delay, which is the amount of time it takes the cursor to react once you press a key, and the maximum speed, which is how fast the cursor moves.
Once you’ve set these options to your liking, press “OK” to close the window.
Moving the Cursor
Here are the keys you need to press to move the cursor. Pressing and holding the keys will make your cursor move quicker.
|Down||K (2 if using numeric keyboard)|
|Left||U (4 if using numeric keyboard)|
|Right||O (6 if using numeric keyboard)|
|Up and left||7|
|Up and right||9|
|Down and left||J (1 if using numeric keyboard)|
|Down and right||L (3 if using numeric keyboard)|
Here’s how to click with either the primary or secondary mouse buttons.
|Primary||i (or 5 on numeric keyboard)|
|Secondary||Control + M (0 on numeric keyboard)|
Dragging and Dropping Items
You can also drag and drop items with Mouse Keys.
|Drag an item||Hover your cursor over the item and press M (0 on numeric keyboard). After that, use the keys to move the cursor to drag the item.|
|Drop an item||Navigate to the location on the screen that you would like to drop the item and then press Period (.).|
Mouse Keys has been around for a while and is still a great accessibility feature on Mac. However, Mac is always looking at ways to improve accessibility on its platform. Not a fan of Mouse Keys? Try using your face and head to control your Mac.