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Old Jan 15, 2013, 04:18 PM   #1
megasad
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Reattaching 11" MBA F10 Key

The F10 key has popped off my 2011 11" MacBook Air and I can't find any instructions anywhere on how to reattach it.

It has a combination of a metal bar plus two tiny plastic hinges.

It's my work machine, so I can't just take it into the Apple Store, if I give it in at work I'll have to use the Windows 7 backup laptop for a few weeks, while they send it off for fixing :/

Does anyone know how to reattach the 11" MacBook Air's F10 key?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 05:18 PM   #2
ScottJ
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This may help:

http://youtu.be/hYWxUEzg4uE
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 05:21 PM   #3
TheRealDamager
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Do a quick search on Youtube - there are dozens of videos on this...
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 05:30 PM   #4
The-Pro
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you can also have a look here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo

2 mins in to the video he shows it on an air.
You need to use that scissor concept he is taking about. slot in under the hook first, press the others down. then push the key down onto it at the end
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 06:03 PM   #5
RedTomato
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Put it on top of the plastic nub, line everything up, & press down with your finger till it goes click.

Sometimes one corner won't engage. Press that down till it goes click.

Source: replaced keys many times on ibooks and macbooks.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:19 AM   #6
krspkbl
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It's kinda hard without seeing the computer but make sure nothing is broken. If it's not broken then just put everything in the right place and align the key cap and push down and it should click back into place no bother!

I had to remove a keycap/scissor mechanism on my old MacBook and those things are so delicate! You need to be very careful, have a very steady hand and be gentle when applying force. All it takes is one tiny little piece of plastic to snap off and you'll end up with a very loose key.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:33 AM   #7
RightMACatU
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It would have been funnier if it had been the Esc key
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 04:33 PM   #8
megasad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ View Post
"Hinge clip" and "metal tab" were useful terms from this video, thanks for suggesting it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealDamager View Post
Do a quick search on Youtube - there are dozens of videos on this...
Unfortunately, all the videos I found showed different mechanisms than that of the 11" MacBook Air's function keys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Pro View Post
you can also have a look here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo
Thanks for this video, it usefully showed putting one corner in before the other, which was needed to attach the hinge clip, as I'll detail below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Pro View Post
2 mins in to the video he shows it on an air.
You need to use that scissor concept he is taking about. slot in under the hook first, press the others down. then push the key down onto it at the end
The function keys didn't work quite like that, as I'll detail below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTomato View Post
Put it on top of the plastic nub, line everything up, & press down with your finger till it goes click.

Sometimes one corner won't engage. Press that down till it goes click.

Source: replaced keys many times on ibooks and macbooks.
I too have replaced many keycaps over the years, on iBooks, PowerBooks and MacBooks, but they were always the larger letter keys, never one this tiny or with metal clips involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krspkbl View Post
It's kinda hard without seeing the computer but make sure nothing is broken. If it's not broken then just put everything in the right place and align the key cap and push down and it should click back into place no bother!

I had to remove a keycap/scissor mechanism on my old MacBook and those things are so delicate! You need to be very careful, have a very steady hand and be gentle when applying force. All it takes is one tiny little piece of plastic to snap off and you'll end up with a very loose key.
Happily nothing was broken, the key now feels just like all the others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightMACatU View Post
It would have been funnier if it had been the Esc key
On account of it trying to… escape?

And so now here are a bunch of attachments, so that I can include them inline in my next post.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 04:38 PM   #9
megasad
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I've fixed my 11" MacBook Air's F10 key thanks to the replies above, here are my notes for anyone else who needs to do the same:

~

The plastic "scissors" mechanism on this key is comprised of two of these:



After a lot of trial and error, I realised that they need to be slid into two grooves either side of the plastic nub. When done correctly they can stand up:



Finally, there's a hinge clip that can be slid under two metal tabs all on its lonesome:



I repeatedly tried clicking the keycap into place on top of this with no success, realised it was because the clip and the key need to connect together like this:



However, simply pushing the keycap on top couldn't make that connection happen. So, I added the clip to the keycap first:



And then, holding the hinge clip and the kaycap as one assembly, I maneuvered the left side of the clip under the left tab, then the right end under the right tab, then clicked it down and forward into place.

~

As I said in my previous post, the F10 key now works and feels just like all the others. Thanks again!

Last edited by megasad; Jan 20, 2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:40 PM   #10
The-Pro
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Nice instructions. Im sure someone will find this useful
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