Apple Confirms Major Issues With MacBook Keyboards, Offers Free Service

Haythem Elmir

Apple acknowledged on Friday that some MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops have faulty keyboards and has offered free service to all affected customers.

The problems, as acknowledged by Apple, include situations like the following:

Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
Letters or characters do not appear
Key(s) feel « sticky » or do not respond in a consistent manner

The company published a list of MacBook models confirmed to be affected by these issues:

MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Owners of such devices who encounter one of the issues listed above can visit an Apple Store or authorized service and receive free service for their problems, even a full keyboard replacement, at no cost, Apple said.

The offer for this extended warranty stands only for models listed above, and for four years after the customer has bought his model at retail.

MacBooks with butterfly switches affected

All of the above models are the MacBook series that included Apple’s new technology called « butterfly switch, » a custom key case that the company developed a few years back.

At the time of its release, Apple said the new key case technology should work better because it was assembled from fewer parts, hence lesser chances of something going wrong, instead of the classic « scissor » design, used by most models.

Apple butterfly switch key case

But for the past three years, users have repeatedly complained that new MacBook laptops that came with the new « butterfly switch » key case mechanism were fragile, misbehaving, or getting stuck on a regular basis.

Apple-centric forums filled with MacBook users complaining about keyboard issues, and there are now countless tutorials on YouTube describing basic tech support techniques on how to get keys unstuck and the « butterfly switch » fixed.

The issue got so bad that one Outline journalist even penned an article titled « The new MacBook keyboard is ruining my life, » and most people commenting on the story online agreed with his assessment.

Apple said that users who in the past paid for their own repairs for the above-listed issues can also request a refund.


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