Want a solid gaming experience on macOS? A mechanical keyboard is a vital part of that for nerds like us 😉
BUT more specifically, do Razer keyboards work on Mac?
Yes, Razer mechanical keyboards are compatible with Mac. However, there are 1-2 small tweaks you’ll need to make first (swapping the modifier keys), which is easily done in the macOS system preferences. And while your Razer keyboard will work great on Mac, Razer’s gaming software (Synapse) is Windows-only. But even then, there are still ways to program your custom keyboard on macOS!
Have no fear 👍
Any of the Razer keyboards work fine on Apple devices–even if Synapse 3 doesn’t.
Below I’ll show you exactly how to set up your Razer to work on mac, AND dive into some ways to program custom key binds, macros, etc 😎
Read on ⌨️
Do Razer Mechanical Keyboards Work With a Mac?
Yes, they do! I’ll walk you through the settings just below.
- Razer BlackWidow
- Razer Huntsman
- Razer DeathStalker
All of these work on Mac.
However, it’s worth noting that Razer keyboards (and most mechanical keyboards, for that matter) are technically Windows keyboards by default.
Here’s the main difference between Mac and Windows computers:
- The Modifier keys: These are your Control, Option, Windows, and Command keys. On a Windows keyboard, the modifier keys are in a different order than they are on a Mac.
- The Keycaps: This won’t affect functionality, but Razer keyboards come with keycaps showing the Windows logo (and generally don’t come with a “Command” logo keycap
- Various Functions: On some Apple keyboards, you might have access to the Launchpad, Mission Control, or Siri features. These don’t come on Razer keyboards
And depending on which keyboard you have, there might be some Windows-related keys (scroll lock, pause break, etc) that don’t work on MacOS out of the box (but see below!)
All that said, there are a few simple tweaks that can make your Razer keyboard 99% functionality on any MacOS device.
Let’s get into it.
How to Connect Razer to a Mac Computer
Here are the steps:
- Plug your keyboard into your Mac
- Open System Preferences → Keyboard
- Under the “Modifier Keys…” dropdown, switch the Option and Command keys. This will put your modifier keys in the correct order for a Mac
That’s it! You should now have a fully functioning Razer keyboard on your Mac.
Does Razer Synapse Work on Mac?
Yes and no. The current gaming software from Razer, Synapse 3, does NOT work on Mac. However, older versions (Synapse 2) does work on MacOS versions older than 10.14 Mojave.
You can install and use Synapse 2 on:
- MAC OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) to 10.14 (Mojave)
- MAC OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) to 10.13 (High Sierra)
- MAC OSX 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
- MAC OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) /10.7 (Lion)
Our opinion? Skip Razer’s own software and use tools like Keyboard Maestro for Mac (see below)!.
Troubleshooting tips if you experience any problems connecting or using Razer
|Razer BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Green Mechanical Switches - Tactile & Clicky -...||$99.21 $81.17||View on Amazon|
If you’re having trouble connecting your Razer to a Mac, or if some keys aren’t working correctly, here are a few troubleshooting tips:
Reset your external keyboard for your Mac
When you first connect your Razer to your machine, you should see a popup assistant asking you to press a few keys to determine the layout, etc.
But you can also delete your keyboard preferences file to start from scratch.
Here’s what you do:
- Disconnect the keyboard
- Head to Finder and click the hard drive icon (under Devices)
- Head to the Library folder, and then the Preferences folder
- Click on the file named com.apple.keyboardtype.plist and drag that into the trash!
- Empty your trash
- Reconnect the keyboard via USB
You should see the setup assistant again! Follow the instructions and you should be good to go.
Reach out to Razer support or post on Reddit
If you’re still having issues connecting the Razer to your Mac, you might either…
- Head to Razer’s website and contact their support team. They’re a decent sized company at this point and should respond promptly
- Post on the r/mk subreddit with your issue (be detailed)
Additional Mechanical Keyboard Tips for Mac Users
There are a few other tips and tricks to making the most out of your mechanical keyboard on a Mac:
- Via (only for Via-supported keyboards)
- Keyboard Maestro: A SLICK hotkey & macro tool that’s cheap and flexible!
Sadly, Razer keyboards do not support Via or QMK–so the only way to change keybinds or other custom programming is to use Synapse 2 on Mac, or Keyboard Maestro.
Keyboard Maestro for Razer Keyboards
Keyboard Maestro is a GAME-CHANGER for any Mac user, really, but especially keyboards that don’t support Via (like Razer).
It does cost about $30-40 (one time, not a subscription), but it’s totally worth it.
You can use Keyboard Maestro to…
- Set up custom keybinds for ANY key on your keyboard
- Create custom macros
- Change modifier keys
- SO much more
It’s an insanely powerful tool. We highly recommend it (then check out some tutorial videos on YouTube, or here’s a great setup guide).
Other Mac-friendly keyboards
Though we love everything that Razer puts out, there are several other keyboards that work great for Macs too!
- Keychron Keyboards (can’t go wrong with the 75% K2, or the low-profile K7)
- Anne Pro 2
- Budget Pick: RK84 (this has a Fn keybind to switch between macOS and Windows)
Want to see our full list? Read this post: The 7 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Mac.
If you’re still shopping for your mech, you can also gauge more of our setup guides here:
- Does the GMMK Pro work with Mac?
- Does Redragon work with Mac?
- Do Corsair keyboards work with Mac? What about their software, iCUE?
- Can Mechanical Keyboards Be Used on Mac?
Happy clacking, Mac friends!
Mac Keyboards F.A.Q.s
Can a gaming keyboard work with Mac?
Absolutely! Just about any keyboard (mechanical or membrane) will work on a Mac, but you might have to tweak a few settings first (including the modifier keys). This process will be different depending on your specific keyboard, but you can start by changing the modifier keys (Command & Option, specifically) in the macOS System Preferences. With that done, your gaming keyboard should be compatible with most Mac activities.
Is Razer Mac compatible?
Yes, Razer keyboards will work with Mac computers. However, you’ll need to change the modifier key settings under System Preferences first (to switch the Command & Option keybinds). You can also use software like Razer Synapse 2 (but not Synapse 3) or Keyboard Maestro to adjust keybinds, macros, etc, to your preferences.
Do Razer keyboards need software?
No, Razer keyboards will work on both Windows and Mac when you plug in your keyboard (although you’ll want to swap your modifier keys on MacOS under System Preferences). However, Razer’s gaming software (Synapse 3 for Windows, Synapse 2 for Mac) does greatly enhance the keyboard experience, allowing you to customize keybinds, macros, RGB, and more.
How do you program a Razer keyboard?
You can program Razer keyboards in a number of ways. If you’re a Windows user, Razer’s own gaming software, Synapse 3, is the preferred tool to customize your keybinds, RGB, and macros. If you’re on a Mac, you can either use an older version of Razer’s software (Synapse 2), or use third-party software like Keyboard Maestro.
Does keyboard need Razer Synapse?
No. Razer keyboards do not technically need Synapse (2 or 3) in order to work, on both Windows and Mac. However, the Synapse software (Synapse 3 on Windows, Synapse 2 on mac) does greatly extend the functionality of your keyboard, including custom macros, keybind shortcuts, RGB settings, and more.