Does this keyboard work like a normal wired keyboard if connected via the USB cable?

I have both Mac OS and Windows OS installed on my iMac. I want to go to the boot menu after power on, by pressing the option key. This doesn't work for bluetooth keyboards because the system's bluetooth service is not loaded yet at the beginning of start up.

If I connect this keyboard to my iMac using the USB cable, will my iMac recognize the "option" key press during start up, so that I can enter the boot menu?

Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Product No Longer Available

3 Answers from the Community

  • Answer

    Hi guys,

    It's bit confusing, some say yes, some say no, and it's bit confusing from both answers here... So does the new full magic keyboard from Apple work in both operandus? :

    - via bluetooth (with usb/lighnting-cable unplugged)
    - fully wired via lightning/usb-cable when connected and bluetooth switched off?

    It was not so clear from both answers... (and i presume you are both talking about the keyboad in the picture of the thread, the full layout magic keyboard?)

    Thanks for your help!

    Cheers, Yannic

  • Assuming it's the same model that comes with the new (2017) iMac Pro, then yes, it does work as a normal wired keyboard when connected via the Lighting-to-USB cable. Not only does this work for boot commands, but it solves another problem: if you have to turn BT off to reset an issue, you're frozen out of your computer if all you have is a wireless mouse and keyboard! It's a pain to have to keep a wired one on hand at all times.

    Fortunately, if you connect this keyboard via cable, you can at least use it to turn BT back on.

    (Unfortunately, the Magic Mouse does not work as a wired mouse when connected via cable, so you have to use the keyboard - e.g., F5 to access the menu bar, then Tab and Space to navigate to System Prefs > BT and turn BT back on.)

  • No, this keyboard does not become a USB wired keyboard by plugging in the Lightning charging cable. It's still Bluetooth, it's just charging the onboard battery.

    However, you CAN activate the boot menu with Bluetooth keyboards. But because of the way wireless keyboards initialize, you must wait until after you hear the system startup sound ("Bong...") and press the Option key immediately afterwards. Yes, there is a much shorter window of time with Bluetooth keyboards and you may sometimes miss it and boot into MacOS, but it does work. One annoying but reliable trick is to repeatedly press and hold Option a couple times a second starting at power-on and continuing until the boot menu appears.