Following the introduction of a class-action lawsuit filed by MacBook and MacBook Pro owners experiencing keyboard failures, Apple announced its Keyboard Service Program. Through the program, owners of specific MacBook and MacBook Pro models having keyboard malfunctions can obtain repairs at no cost for up to four years after the original retail purchase date.
SEE: Home usage of company-owned equipment policy (Tech Pro Research)
The Macs covered by Apple's Keyboard Service Program are listed below:
- 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)
If your Mac isn't included in the above list, your Mac isn't covered by Apple's Keyboard Service Program. To learn which specific Mac model you own, follow these steps:
- Click the Apple icon from the Mac's title bar.
- Select About This Mac.
- Review the specific Mac information displayed within the resulting window.
The keyboard malfunctions are tied to Apple's butterfly switches. The switches provide a particularly crisp tactile feel, which I find improves typing speed and accuracy. However, the butterfly switches are proving vulnerable to dust contamination—at least for some users.
Symptoms that your Mac's keyboard is failing include the following characteristics:
- Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly.
- Letters or characters do not appear when you press the corresponding keys.
- Keys feel sluggish, sticky, or don't respond consistently.
SEE: Top 20 Apple keyboard shortcuts for business users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Impacted owners may take their Macs to Apple or Apple Authorized Service Providers. The repairs will be completed at no cost to the owner. Following examination of the unit, repairs may involve replacing individual keys or the entire keyboard. The amount of time required to complete a repair varies and is dependent upon the repair required and availability of required parts.
Apple recommends all users back up their systems before the repair service is initiated. Once prepared, covered users may initiate repairs using one of three methods:
- Contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
- Make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store.
- Mail the device to the Apple Repair Center.
- Apple products you shouldn't buy (June 2018 Edition) (ZDNet)
- Don't buy these Apple products (May 2018 Edition) (ZDNet)
- Apple patents keyboard that resists liquid, dust, and crumbs (TechRepublic)
- The MacBook mess: Or, why it's so hard to choose an Apple laptop (CNET)
- MacOS Mojave includes familiar iOS apps and points to Apple's future (Download.com)
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.