MacOS – MacBook startup problems – mouse and keyboard not working at login / stuck on apple logo


Today I restarted my Mac after several weeks uptime. After restart, I got the login screen with unresponsive keyboard and mouse.

Right before this problem I had Aperture open, with a problematic library. I don't know if it's related, I just mention it. I have my Aperture photos on an external disk, which disconnected improperly because the cable disconnected. I tried to reopen Aperture, but it refused, and repairing the library failed several times. That was the time I decided to do a restart, after which this problem appeared. (Update: Aperture seems not related, as this problem has occured another time wihtout using Aperture.)

I have two accounts on this MacBook (early 2015 13" retina), so I see two icons for these accounts, with the names under it. Below that I see the following text:

If you're having a problem entering your password, press andOS. hold thepower buttn on your Mac to shut it down. Then press it agin to start up in the Recovery OS.

The touchpad is unresponsive (no movement at all), the keyboard doesn't work. I tried pressing TAB, cursor keys, and the first letter of my account name.

I tried a restart, after which the Mac started into recovery mode. I don't want that. I know the password, and I know that's not the problem. I've had this problem once before, about six weeks ago. Since then I've had some restarts. Back then I couldn't start for one day, and then suddenly it worked. I don't remember what I did to get it working. After that I did one or two restarts, which worked normally.

System information

  • macOS Sierra 10.12, latest updates
  • early 2015 Mactbook Pro Retina, 13"
  • Base Qi SD-card inserted, which is always connected
  • External harddisk was connected
  • All disk, including OS disk, are encrypted using FileVault


  1. When this happened I tried another boot, which showed a black screen with only the Apple logo on it, for 10 or 20 minutes. I just killed it, and noticed the laptop was very hot at the top of the keyboard, where the function keys are. Near the touchpad temperature is normal.
  2. I did another boot, and then I see the startup screen with the two accounts. The touchpad does not work, the mouse doesn't move. This is not a hardware problem.
  3. In recovery mode, the mouse and keyboard work OK.
  4. After several tries, I could select my account using the tab key. This means I press the key, nothing happens, I try again and then suddenly one account is selected. I did press the S key for the first letter of the username (S), so that might as well be the key that activated this. It's not responsive. I just press a key, wait ten seconds, press another key, hope to see something happen. Then suddenly I get the password field. Entering the pasword is problematic, but I'm going to try. When I start to enter my (long) password, it suddenly fils up with dots faster than I was typing. The password doesn't work, I tried several times.
  5. I press the power button to kill the machine. Several hours later I tried again. Now it works without a problem.

So while this means the problem is solved, I've had this situation twice now. After leaving the machine off for several hours, it seems to work. I haven't done anything to fix this, apart from leaving the machine of power for several hours. Power adapter was not attached. My gut feeling tells me that this might be a hardware problem, but I don't understand it.

Can anyone explain this behaviour?


So far I've seen three "solutions" to this problem. See the comments!

  1. Connect a USB mouse or keyboard during login. You can disconnect after login. If an external drive is connected during login, disconnect it first.
  2. Disable Filevault.
  3. Fresh reinstall; user account can be kept as is, inclusing user library.

Update 1

This has happened a third time. Yesterday I shut down the Mac. Today I tried to boot, and this process repeats. I've tried many restarts. When the restore system boots, I can type and the mouse works. I can unlock the disks, so the password is OK. But I don't need to reset the password – I just proved that iw works. So I reboot, then again – no mouse, no keyboard.

Well, I can press the first letter of my username, and then after a long wait I see that user is selected. Then I can press enter, and I get the password field. I can press one key, wait until I see that one character is entered (one bullet), then press another key. Sometimes nothing happens, so I press the same key again, and after a while you have no idea what is entered and what not.

Update 2

I got it working again. I tried all this without the power adapter connected. After connecting and charging to a full 100% I could start up again. I don't know if it's related, and I'll try to reproduce it.

Update 3 – solution (for now)

Disabling FileVault seems to fix this problem immediately, within seconds. Then I can restart, login, and at that moment the disk still has to be decrypted, so that is not the problem.

Update 4 – warning

See Password incorrect after enabling FileVault

Don't re-enable FileVault after disabling it.

If you really want to do this, make a good backup first, possibly an image of the disk.

Update 5 – Fresh reinstall – it works for now

I did a fresh reinstall, with Filevault enabled, and it works again. This means the old system library is gone. I kept the user system library, copying it with the rest of the user account. I don't know how long it will last, but I know how to get things working again.

Update 6 – Seems like an issue (bug) involving Filevault and USB

Some comments suggest connecting a USB keyboard or mouse at login, which can be disconnected right after being logged in. One commenter said this only happened when an external drive was connected. Disconnecting it solved the problem for the moment. After connecting it, the problem reappeared. It seems like this is a bug that involves both USB and Filevault.

Best Answer

I had the exact same issue. For me this was an issue of FileVault.

Try disabling FileVault and see if it helps. Also by cleaning the NVRAM the next boot will be OK.

Judging from forum responses this is a known issue by Apple but no software update or hardware replacement program has been announced to my knowledge.