Apple discontinued USB Keyboard-why isn't this news?

Hey folks, I found out the hard way (I guess Covid brain let this slip by me this summer) that Apple no longer sells the USB version of their Extended Keyboards. Ironically, this last week, I have seen three users lose function of their older, USB Extended Apple Keyboards that came with their iMacs (2013, 2014 models). Now I know that wear and tear can havoc devices, but these were light users.
So when recommending them to buy new ones, their only OEM option was the Magic Extended Keyboards ($150!). Sure, I could suggest Logitech or Mathias, or other non-Apple. But when it comes to booting up with key commands, its not guaranteed with non-Apple keyboards (anyone confirm?).
And the vendors out there list it as no stock/discontinued.
For those with the Magic Extended: you can leave the USB charging cable connected, but does it use the USB cable for input or just charging?
I thought this would be news as its just another way Apple keeps killing hardware to force you to their higher priced option. “We feel that wireless and rechargeable is more desirable” - Really?? Spill a coffee on a $50 keyboard, you lose a coffee and $50. Spill it on a $150 keyboard…
(Note: I found a new one in a drawer at home! I guess I bought it and forgot. Wonder what it will fetch on ebay?.. or should I keep it? )

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Apple killed its USB Keyboard some time ago. It was in the news. I remember our office buying some before they ran out and then ordering different keyboards from other companies for testing. I have been using keyboards made for Macs with startup key combinations but I can’t say if it works with all keyboards.

I haven’t used one myself, but I remember reports from others that yes, the Magic Keyboard works as a wired keyboard when attached to a Mac via the charging cable. Even when Bluetooth is disabled on the Mac.

FWIW, I’m using an old Apple wired keyboard with my new Mac mini. I’ve got two of the aluminum keyboards and one older “Pro” keyboard from a 2002 PowerMac. Plus two third-party Mac keyboards from MacAlly.

I will probably eventually replace these with something nicer with good tactile switches, but I’ve been putting off that decision for ten years, so there’s no rush right now. :slight_smile:

I bought the Wireless Extended Keyboard in 2018 and it didn’t even last 2 years. I first lost the “/“ key on the number pad, which is important in QB but I worked around it. A few months later I lost a few actual letters on the left side. I would not buy another one simply because I feel it should last longer than that! I think I paid $125.00

Now you’ve made me wonder what happened to my wired extended keyboard, which I’m sure I had one of.

I started a thread on keyboards awhile back. I haven’t bought a new one yet.

Oh and yes, you can use it while charging, unlike the mouse.


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I bought a new one right when they stopped selling them. And then spilled coffee all over my old one three days later. It was toast (well about four keys). So now I’m down to the one I have.

What I’ll really miss is the ability to daisy chain a USB mouse off the KB. I’m not into Bluetooth peripherals on a desk, so being able to hook up my mouse to my KB and then only have one cord across the desk is nice. I understand Apple’s wireless KB will work as a wired KB when plugged in, but it still won’t connect a mouse. Oh well, I guess eventually I’ll have to go and buy a third party extended USB KB. There’s gotta be one that has Mac keys in the right places, feels good, isn’t fugly, and works even on boot up. :slight_smile:

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  1. Note that there are 2 models of the keyboard: space grey is $149 while silver is $129. Without the numeric keys, a silver model is $99.

  2. The keyboard works as a USB keyboard when the cable (included in the package is plugged into a USB port on the computer. With my iMac, the Bluetooth connection is chancy at startup and I often find myself plugging in my keyboard to login.In fact, I keep a USB-Lightening cable permanently plugged into a USB port on the computer to facilitate this and charging my keyboard, trackpad, and even my Phone when they need it.


I still use an Apple Extended Keyboard II (plugged into a Griffin iMate) when I connect a keyboard to my MacBook Air :grin: Lovely keyboard, but unfortunately most of the time I’m using the built-in keyboard in my MBA.

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Before getting a 3rd party keyboard, make sure you’re OK with where the control key is, and whether there is a Fn key.

On my Logitech K780, the left control key and Fn key position are swapped, compared to on my MacBook Pro and various Apple External Keyboards. And there’s no way to swap the functionality, either with Logitech software, or 3rd party apps.

This makes launching macros tricky, as I had some macros that launch with control-option-command-keystroke.

Logitech and various companies make Mac-specific keyboards where the keys are not swapped. Or maybe where the key functionality is swappable.


Good advice.

John Gruber earlier this year humorously self linked about this kind of keyboard, and his recommendation for replacing. Have a look here, but click on footnote 1

Having a 2018 mini and 2 Apple wireless keyboards each start behaving badly by losing their wireless connections or spuriously entering keys for no reason, I may be desperate enough to get his recommendation. Especially considering this comment about the key positions on Logitech K780, an otherwise fine product.

It’s between that or paying $150 for the “Pro” Apple wireless keyboard, and another $150 for the Magic Trackpad 2 to replace also misbehaving magic trackpads.

It also uses the USB-to-lightning cable to sync the computer and keyboard/trackpad. So if someone wants to use my computer peripherals, I move my MacBook away, then they attach their MacBook to my external keyboard, and then to my external trackpad. After that, even when they detach the cables, they can use my external keyboard and external trackpad wirelessly i.e. don’t have to use the Bluetooth control panel for pairing.

IMO this is a Nifty Feature.

If I’m not mistaken, this also works with iPad Pro (wired and wireless?), but I can’t remember now.

I think the Apple keyboard with numeric keypad is fine but expensive, although I seem to remember reading something about them flexing in the middle. The trackpad is IMO amazing.

Edit: Apple is probably justified in continuing to reduce the number of USB-A devices that they sell.

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I can confirm my extended keyboard flexed in the middle! I thought I did something wrong with it, but it just sat on my desk….


Yeah. This was odd to me, because I had placed an order two weeks ago, for an iMac 5K and the option for a corded USB keyboard was there. CTO (custom built to order) from my work, and scrolling down, at the bottom of the Apple Keyboard and Documentation was (065-C930) Wired Keyboard with numeric keypad (English) - Must be ordered with Wired Mouse (which I also selected, (065-C92W).
This is why I was frustrated not to find the Keyboard as an accessory only. And thanks to all that responded that its been discontinued for months by Apple.
I’ve large hands and the Space Gray Magic Keyboard I have for work (yes, it has a flex to it) isn’t ideal. I make more typos with it, that with the older Aluminum Wired one. And more mistakes with that model than I do with DAS keyboard. I have their model S pro for work (Windows/Dell Workstation) and it can get loud for coworker (but since I work alone now…) and can say it is best feel since the IBM keyboard (I have a Model M that I still use with configuring/recycling some older PCs for repurposing/donating to needy–you’d be surprise how many older laptops and i5 can run Win10).
Good to know that the Magic w/numeric can work with USB-Lighting charge cable.

I still have my Wired Extended Keyboard in a cupboard as a fallback, although I’ve also got a space Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard now for when the one I’m using reaches the end of its useful life. I mentioned this in a previous discussion here, but I switched because as great as the Wired Extended Keyboard was, I found the shallow depth and lack of support for my wrists was getting very detrimental to my hands.

Ahem. I support people in small businesses. Some people have keyboards that have lasted for 5 or more years. One lady I work with wears THROUGH the plastic on a key or two every 12 to 18 months.

I’m a people in small business. I do expect more from an Apple product. I have OEM keyboards that are still going strong as well as an Macally keyboard that I probably bought for my G4 and am using now.

I have worn off letters on both my 2008 and 2015 laptops, but they are still useable. The extended wireless is not.


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Indeed, the USB cable acts as a data cable while the Keyboard is charging. Please note that this also applies to the Magic Trackpad… and would apply to the Magic Mouse if the charger position was not so awkward :wink:

You can verify this by looking at the pairing status of the keyboard/trackpad: as soon as you plug it to the cable, the Bluetooth connectivity is lost, but the keyboard (or trackpad) works as intended.

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It’s a fallacy that everything should be wireless. Apple’s bluetooth peripherals can be unreliable, plus it’s a problem when you have several computers near each other and the mice and keyboards get mixed up! Then there’s the problem of remembering to charge them (or replace batteries). I always set up my client computers with wired, they are welcome to change if that’s what they really want.

As for keyboard quality, I’m using an Apple keyboard that’s so old I don’t even know when I got it. I’ve opened and cleaned it a couple times, it’s fine. Most importantly, it’s easier to type on than the current flat models. It’s also a fallacy that everything should be as thin as possible!


With my 2019 iMac I’m using an Apple Pro Keyboard I got with my PowerMac G4. Can’t remember when I got it but the keyboard was produced between 2000-2003 and I would have gotten it new, so around 20 years ago. Still works great, none of the key symbols have worn off, all the keys work. I think I’ve cleaned it once or twice but that’s it. Like Openreels, I find it easier to type on than a perfectly flat keyboard, and the separate arrow keys and home, etc. keys make them easy to type on by feel. I suspect I’ll be using it for another 20 years.

I still use the venerable Apple Keyboard (Model A1048, circa 2003-2007 - the white one) with all of my macs, even docked laptops. Like the Apple Pro keyboard before it, this model is a veritable tank and has provided me with over a decade of reliable service. I too find the older keyboards to be easier to type on than the more modern flat ones. And I don’t mind the wires because my desk has a keyboard tray. I also appreciate being able to plug the mouse into the keyboard.

The A1048 is very repairable. I had a couple of keys go dead on one of mine, but all I had to do was open it up and replace the little silicone plungers that sat under the dead keys (they were torn). After that it was working perfectly again.

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