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AWS Workspaces Keyboard on Mac

Recently, I set up an AWS Workspace configuration for a client. I ran into an interestingly frustrating issue. When I launched the Workspace client from my Mac (macOS Sierra) the mouse would work just fine, but no keyboard input would be sent across. I spent a bit of time Googling and reading the developer forums, which selected quite a few possibilities, which I tried. Like many folks out there, none of the fixes presented solved my problem.

I did, however, run across one post that mentioned programs that can change your key mappings, which now seemed like the most likely suspect to me. However, to my knowledge, I don’t have anything like that installed. I had a few likely suspects that I was not excited to try and test out the fix on, mostly because it would involve uninstalling them (Parallels, VirtualBox, etc). I decided to start with my AntiVirus – WebRoot. As it turns out, WebRoot includes a “Secure Keyboard Mode” under Advanced Settings.

I disabled Secure Keyboard Mode and Amazon Workspaces immediately started accepting keyboard input from my Mac.

My follow up advice on this is to only disable this setting when you are using Workspaces. Turn it back on, whenever you are done. A little frustrating, but WebRoot will be constantly alerting you that you are not secure if you don’t.