Patrick Joyce

February 18, 2017

Setting Up Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard on Mac (Sierra)

Update: This problem is fixed in MacOS Catalina.

MacOS now recoginizes the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard as a keyboard and you can remap the modifier keys by opening System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys and remapping the keys in the normal way.

Remap Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard Modifier Keys on MacOS Catalina


OSX doesn’t recognize the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard as a keyboard out of the box. It pairs, and you can type, but you can’t remap the command keys. As a Mac user that makes the keyboard pretty much unusable as I would be forever typing “ç√” (option-c option-v) instead of copying and pasting (⌘-c, ⌘-v).


This should also work on El Capitan.1

  1. Install Karabiner Elements - Karabiner Elements is the new version of the a key remapping tool Karabiner. It lets you intercept and remap keyboard input.
  2. Launch Karabiner Elements, open the Preferences, and go to the Devices tab and uncheck “Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad”. Otherwise, these instructions will also swap the keys on your built in keyboard.

Only Check "Ergonomic Keyboard"

  1. Switch to the "Simple Modifications Keys" tab and swap both the left and right option keys with the command keys. The screenshot below shows the final state.

Swap Modifier Keys

  1. Close the preferences and test that everything is working as expected (⌘-c and ⌘-v to your heart’s content)
  1. You can also follow my eariler instructions for using Karabiner—not Karabiner Elements—on El Capitan. 

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