13" Air (Mid-2011) Tiny loose screws under keyboard

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kaleido, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. kaleido macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.

    What prompted me to make my first post is the following.

    I just bought the new Macbook Air w/Thunderbolt.
    Everything's great, except the keyboard.

    I always love Apple's keyboard, soft touch, light, and responsive.
    Not this one.

    Some of the keys are very mushy, some keys are non-responsive if pressed on the edge instead of the center, and some keys are just uneven.
    While most other keys are just fine.

    I tried to press hard on the problem keys to try to fix it, one or two keys got better, but the problems remained.

    Finally, I tried to peek under the keys and found something under the keys!!!


    Each of the problem keys has a tiny loose screw under it!
    The screws were preventing the keys from pressing down evenly.

    I used a tiny tweezers to pick up the screws from under each key.
    In total, I picked out 6 or 7 screws.

    After all the screws are removed, the keyboard is working fine.
    None of the uneven, mushy feeling.

    I'm really disappointed with Apple's quality control.

    My guess of what happened is that during assembly, some loose screws got spilled on the keyboard tray before being fitted into the case.

    For anyone who feels their keyboard on their Macbook Air is uneven, hard to press, or just doesn't feel right, I suggest look under the key to see if there's anything under it. And don't try to fix it, just take it back to Apple Store.
  2. quackinator macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I feel sorry for the Chinese children workers who were told that they would get beaten if the manufacturing plant doesn't reach the number of macs built for the 2011 refresh...they probably had so much weight on their shoulders due to that stress and thus we see poorer quality on our macs...

    Just kidding...or not, there might be some truth to that statement :(
  3. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    So you're saying you had rogue screws chilling out under your keys? weird!

    When I think of "loose screws" i think of screws that are supposed to be there, just lose.
  4. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Just hit it with an arc welder and you shouldn't have any more problems out of it.
  5. The Catalyst macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2009
  6. Erieg macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    Old thread.. sorry but I thought I would jump in. I purchased a macbook air 3 days ago and have the same problem. At first it was just the period. I took it in and the genius took the key off and went "huh.. that weird" and removed the screw. The rest of the keys were fine. I get to work the next day and power up and now the F10, G & W keys were doing the same thing so back to the apple store I go and low and behold there are screws under all three. where did they come from and why didn't the show the day before? The genius says "huh.. I don't know"

    At this point I am worried. Having to take a brand new laptop in twice in three days is not fun. I asked the guy what they were going to do if more of these appeared but since I bought the laptop from the on-line mac store I would have to deal with them. I guess the physical store and the on-line store are parts of different companies.

    My main worry is they cant tell me where these things are coming from. If this is the extent of the problem all is cool but I am worried its not. Random pieces of metal don't magically appear.
  7. Sacke macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    It was difficult to find information about this issue. I thought I was alone with it.

    I bought an 11" MacBook Air 5 days ago. Quite quickly, I noticed that the screen size was just plain too small for my use.

    Yesterday I went to exchange the 11" for a 13", and as soon as I came home I noticed that the the entire keyboard lacked responsiveness and the keys required significantly more effort to push down, than on the 11".

    Today I went to the store, almost thinking that I was being paranoid about it.

    I went to the store and returned the computer. They exchanged it for a new one.

    Now I am at home, and I have the impression that this keyboard, albeit more responsive that the one before, still has a problem especially with the space-key.

    The first exchange (11"->13") was smooth, but today I could feel like they were not so happy about exchanging the laptop. (Apple store Montpellier, France)

    I think I will just have to go back again, but I am not sure how they will react when I bring back a computer that I tried in the store, and said "It's fine".

    I did have a crying baby in my arms, and my 2 year old son next to me that was getting impatient after having been in the store for a good 45 minutes already. I think I'll just have to go back again tomorrow, without the kids to have time to possibly try more than one computer before finding the one that really works, like it is supposed to.

    As long as they exchange the computer for a new one, I am fine. I just hope they do not refuse the next time.
  8. unwinded macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    Bumping an old topic. I had the same problem with a teeny tiny screw under a keyboard key.

    I don't have an air, I have the rMBP which probably uses a similar construction method since it's thinner. Since I got it on day one, the 'B' key was hard to press so I took I pressed on it hard and that made a snap sound. The key was still difficult to press and now it made a loud nose.

    I took off the key, noticed a piece of the inner plastic thing underneath. Took it out and went to put it back on, that's when I saw the screw. Now it works fine, I just think when I pressed down on it the screw nipped the plastic. It's not a big deal since the key snapped in and works normally.

    But I am concerned about the screw. Anybody else have this problem? Anybody know where they came from? Are they part of the keys themselves? Or was it just a case of blowing around in the factory. I just hope it's nothing internal. I just got this thing recently and now I'm worried.
  9. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    my trackpad was also a bit loose (feels like having empty space between the glass and the trackpad)

    i finally went to the Genius Bar of an Apple Store, and had my MBA open, the screw under the trackpad thightened

    fixed in 10 minutes

    it could be the same for the keyboard i guess
  10. Retina MacBook macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    What happened to the picture? I WANNA SEE IT!:eek:
  11. aelbler macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2014
    i bought a macbook air 2013 a few days ago and the O-key was sticky / mushy... i won't believe my eyes, i found this tiny screw under the key:

    Attached Files:

  12. MER1039 macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2015
  13. MER1039 macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2015
    11/13/2015: I had the same problem as kaleido with my 2015 15" Retina Mac Book Pro. There was a tiny lose screw under one of the keys that prevented the key from registering when pressed. The Genius Bar at the Apple store snapped off the key and found a very tiny screw with no threads lying lose under the key. The key was snapped back on and problem was solved. Have not check other keys since all other keys are currently working OK.
  14. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    Well the keyboard is indeed secured in place with many many of those tiny screws, but they are screwed from the inside out (underneath the motherboard), not the other way around. Hard to imagine them getting into the keyboard mechanism. Super weird.

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13 July 30, 2011