Cannot Type on Login Screen After macOS Upgrade

General Information

After upgrading to macOS 12.x Monterey from a previous Operating System, a user could be presented with the Mac log in screen but unable to type.

The directions on this article will walk you through how to correct this issue without having to resort to wiping and reloading the user’s Mac.

Step 1: Boot Into Internet Recovery

  1. Make sure the Mac is completely shut down.
  2. If an Ethernet port is available, plug in an Ethernet cable into a hot port.
  3. Press and hold the power button until “Loading startup options” appears.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. If the Mac is not hard-wired, you will need to connect to the PCPS-Apple Wi-Fi with the password applesetup.
  1. Make sure the Mac is completely shut down.
  2. If an Ethernet port is available, plug in an Ethernet cable into a hot port.
  3. Press the power button.
  4. Immediately hold down the following keyboard combination: Command+Option+R.
  5. If the Mac is not hard-wired, you will need to connect to the PCPS-Apple Wi-Fi with the password applesetup.
  6. Hold the keys down until a spinning globe icon appears.

If the globe icon does not appear, the most likely cause is that the key combination was either not pressed quickly enough, or was released too soon. You can shut the machine down by holding the power button for at least 10-seconds and retrying the steps above.

Step 2: Determine Name of Hard Drive

  1. From the app list, click Disk Utility. The Disk Utility app will launch.
  2. In the left column, note what the name of the hard drive. Pay attention to capitalization and spaces, as they are important for a future step.
  3. Click Disk Utility menu > Quit Disk Utility.

Step 3: Remove Security File

  1. Click Utilities menu > Terminal. The Terminal app will launch.
  2. At the prompt, type the following command

    1. IMPORTANT NOTES:
      1. The command must be typed on a single line (do not hit enter until the command is fully typed out)
      2. Replace the “HardDriveName” sections of the command with the hard drive name from Step 2.2.
      3. If the hard drive name contains spaces, a backslash (\) must be used before each space.
        1. Example 1 (hard drive named “Mac HD”): mv /Volumes/Mac\ HD/var/db/auth.db /Volumes/Mac\ HD/var/db/auth.db.bak
        2. Example 2 (hard drive named (Macintosh HD”): mv /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/auth.db /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/auth.db.bak
  1. Hit Enter. If the command was entered correctly, it will appear as if nothing happened and you will be presented with the Terminal prompt again. If there was an error, try typing the command again until there is no error.
  2. Type reboot
  3. Hit Enter. The Mac will begin to perform a normal reboot.

Step 3: Login Screen

After the Mac reboots, you may be presented with an abnormal-looking login screen, however you should now be able to type into the username and password fields.

To restore the normal PCPS-branded login screen:

  1. Log into the Mac with either the local administrator or the user’s credentials.
  2. Launch Self Service from either the Dock or Hard Drive > Applications > Self Service.
  3. Locate the Re-register This Mac policy on the Home page.
  4. Click Re-register.
  5. Click Re-register.
  6. Proceed through the prompts.