Typing Troubles on the M1 MacBook Air: Navigating Cursor Chaos


“I’m encountering a peculiar issue on my 2020 MacBook Air M1 that affects typing in Safari and Visual Studio, and potentially other applications I haven’t tested. Occasionally, while typing in Safari, the text doesn’t progress along the line as expected; instead, it overwrites existing text, as if the cursor has switched to a different mode. In Visual Studio, this behavior is accompanied by an additional problem: after using the Cmd + C shortcut to copy text, the cursor freezes in place, and pressing certain keys triggers shortcut actions instead of typing. The only solution I’ve found is to repeatedly press the ‘A’ key until the cursor reverts to its normal typing functionality. Could you provide expert insight into what might be causing these issues and how to resolve them?”


The issues you’re experiencing with your 2020 MacBook Air M1 are indeed unusual and can be quite frustrating. Let’s delve into the potential causes and solutions for each problem.

The text overwrite behavior in Safari sounds like the ‘Overtype’ mode, which is not a native feature of macOS but can occur due to software glitches or conflicting settings. This could be triggered by specific key combinations or errors within the browser itself. To address this, try the following steps:


Reset Safari Settings:

Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and select “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” Then, from the Develop menu, choose “Empty Caches” and “Disable Extensions” to see if the issue persists.


Check Keyboard Settings:

Ensure that “Mouse Keys” is turned off in System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control.


Update Software:

Make sure your macOS and Safari are up to date, as updates often include fixes for such issues.

Visual Studio Cursor Freeze:

The cursor freezing and unintended shortcut actions in Visual Studio after copying text suggest a problem with the IDE’s handling of clipboard operations or keyboard input. This might be related to IntelliSense or other code-completion features that can become resource-intensive in large files. Consider these steps:


Disable IntelliSense Features:

Go to Visual Studio > Preferences > Text Editor and disable “Auto list members” and “Parameter information” to see if it alleviates the issue.


Clear Clipboard Ring:

Use a macro or manual method to clear the clipboard history in Visual Studio.


Reinstall Visual Studio:

If the problem continues, a fresh installation of Visual Studio might resolve the conflict.

General Troubleshooting:

For both applications, there are some general troubleshooting steps you can take:


NVRAM Reset:

Resetting the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory) can resolve various hardware-related issues. To do this, shut down your MacBook, then turn it on and immediately press and hold Option + Command + P + R for about 20 seconds.


Safe Mode:

Booting into Safe Mode (hold Shift during startup) can help you determine if the issue is related to third-party software.


Hardware Check:

Although less likely, hardware issues can manifest in peculiar ways. Use Apple Diagnostics to check for any hardware problems.

If these steps do not resolve the issues, it may be necessary to contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Store for further assistance. Remember, backup your data before making any significant changes to your system settings or software. Hopefully, these solutions will restore your MacBook Air M1 to its optimal typing performance.

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