Big Sur changed behaviour of Search key on my Microsoft 4000 keyboard

I use a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard with my Mac, and in previous versions of macOS (Mojave, Catalina) I've had a KM macro setup to emit Cmd + F when I press the Search key on the top row of the keyboard.

When I upgraded to Big Sur, it must have done some low-level changes to the keyboard mapping, because when I press the Search key I get the Spotlight prompt first, and KM only triggers when I press the key a second time.

Quite why that behaviour has changed, I don't know. All the other keys act the way I expect them to, and KM triggers for those keys I've bound macros to. I'm not sure if there's a fix for this, I could try Better Touch Tool or Karabiner Elements but there's no guarantee they won't get pre-empted too.

I have one of those keyboards, and fixed it with Karabiner

Ah, that's good to know. Seems odd that it suddenly changed with the upgrade to Big Sur.

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Dear hello! I am trying to fix the same issue. As a novice to Karabiner, could I kindly ask you to provide some more detail regarding what you did to fix it? Among others, I have a hard time identifying which key the Search key represents in Karabiner? Thanks! Chris

Welcome @toando21

What do you want to do? Remap a key, remap a non-working key, create a new mapping?

Karabiner has a Event Viewer:
Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 6.30.38 AM

There, you can see how keys are identified with your keyboard.
i.e. press "F5 (Search)" and it might be detected as "F21".

Also, one note and a caveat:
I have the keyboard switch set to blue, as in the picture:

Some keyboard keys of the MS Scult are not detected on a Mac. for example the Calculator key.

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Dear hello,

Thanks for the welcome! The Karabiner Event Viewer does not see the Search key of my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard on Big Sur 11.6. On OSX Catalina, the KM macro setup to emit Cmd + C (for "Copy") worked well when I pressed the Search key on the top row of the keyboard. Please know that the key to the left ("Web/Home" --> Cmd+X for "Cut") and to the right ("Mail" --> Cmd+V for "Paste") of this 3-key row work as before (but the Karabiner Event Viewer also does not report anything when those keys are pressed).


Regarding the Calculator key, this works well for me:


I might try USB Overdrive again when it comes out of beta.

Thanks for the help! :smiley:

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