2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar keyboard issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sultanoflondon, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. sultanoflondon macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi all,

    Earlier today, I noticed that the 'E' key on my keyboard was failing. There was a slightly weird sound when I pressed it and also it felt slightly odd. It felt as though something was stuck between the key itself and the connector.

    Anyone have any tips? I'm not gonna open the keyboard myself, I'd rather take it to my local Apple Store.

    Thank you!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Welcome to "the failed keyboard club".
    Take it back to the Apple Store.
    They should replace it under warranty.
    They -might- have to send the MacBook out for a few days...
  3. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Welcome to the club.

    I'm on my third keyboard.

    As Fishrrman said, take it to the Apple store - they'll need to replace the top case/keyboard. Hopefully you won't have the same issue repeat.
  4. sultanoflondon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2013
    Thank you both for your replies. Are these failing keyboards a common thing? That’s fairly worrying to be honest!
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Apple has not, to my knowledge, given any hint of the commonality of the keyboard failing. Understandably so.

    However, a brief review of threads in Apple support indicates it is relatively common. In my most recent communications with Apple, each person I spoke or chatted with has said keyboard issues are much more frequent than in the past. Only one person, at an Apple store, was willing to put a number on it; he suggested that he sees approximately 1 failure per 5 machines. I have no way of evaluating the veracity of that statement, but from my personal experience that seems low - as noted above, I'm on my third keyboard with this machine, and I'm headed to Apple on Saturday to insist on a replacement.

    The fact that the keyboard has been replaced twice suggests that the keyboard is either a defective design, or that something else is going on with my particular MBP. Neither is acceptable.
  6. sultanoflondon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2013
    Thank you for your that!

    I contacted Apple and the technical assistant told me to use a can of compressed air to blast away whatever is underneath the key, so I will try that first. If this fails, I will go to my local Apple Store.
  7. Nilhum macrumors regular


    Dec 20, 2016
    Yep, and when the laptop keyboard fails out of warranty you can pay some exorbitant fee for a defective laptop. It just works.
  8. sultanoflondon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2013
    Okay so an update after using compressed air.

    It seems to have worked. The "E" key seems to be working fine whenever I tap it. The key seems uniform across the key (pressing on different areas of the key itself does not sound or feel different) and the key does not feel loose or wobbly compared to any of the other keys on the keyboard. All seems fine at the moment.

    I must stress the word seems in the last sentence. I did this yesterday and so I cannot say that this is a long term solution. From what I have heard on this thread, it sounds as though this is a weak solution to an inherently faulty keyboard, which I really hope is not the case. I guess I will have to wait and see!
  9. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Cleaning with compressed air worked on my 2016 for a couple of days.

    Does your MBP heat up when in use? That appears to be at least part of the problem.
  10. parajba, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    parajba macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008
    So are 2017 keyboards also affected? I have a 2017 MBP nTB 13 delivery scheduled for tomorrow but I am worried that the new keyboards are as bad as the old 2016 ones???

    I like the feel of these keyboards and I am ok to use compressed air every now and then, if this fixes the problem.

    I am still using a 2010 pre retina MBP and I really want a new machine...
  11. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    yes - my 2017 started failing with the E letter and it got worse.. way way worse . see here
  12. ahmedouvix macrumors member


    Dec 20, 2013
    my b key is repeating on 2017 15". it's not as bad as 2016 tho i had 2016 and replaced it for keyboard problems too. don't know how to try to fix it.
  13. sultanoflondon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2013
    Update on my issue: went to the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London, yesterday and they told me that they they would replace the top case of the Mac which entails replacing the keyboard, trackpad and battery (as this is attached to the keyboard). This would take them 14 days. I told them that that was way too long and that I would need to have a Mac that I could use in the meanwhile at the very least. He told me that this is not Apple policy and that he couldn't do that. He then suggested I use an Apple Authorised Service Provider because they usually have a faster turn around time. I found the nearest one using my iPhone and he said that he recommends that one in particular because he knows that they are good (Amsys on Poland Street, London). If anyone has any experience with them in the past, I would be very grateful to receive some information or tips.

    So I went to Amsys and they said that they should be able to turn it around within 5 days or so. So I gave it to them and I am now waiting on Amsys to call or email me telling me to pick it up. I was assured that any hardware damage would be covered by Apple's warranty. But nonetheless I am incredibly concerned that a two month old Apple premium machine is exhibiting hardware failures already. In particular, the keyboard is usually one of the most durable components of the machine (I understand that the design of the keyboard is new but for Apple, this shouldn't be an excuse) and this really shouldn't go wrong.

    Yes, so Naimfan was correct and the compressed air worked for the best part of a week after which the issue returned.

    Did the replacement remedy the issue?
  14. nobitasan17 macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2017
    Well I have similar issue as well. After 2 months, the notorious 'b' key started acting up. I just searched the Internet and looked like this was a common issue reported by others too. Pressing the 'b' key either didn't work at all or caused the 'bb'. This happened while I was aboard so I thought I just lifted the key up and see if I can clean anything down there. When I returned from my trip I took the laptop to my IT team they arranged for me to go to Genius Bar.

    The guy at Genius Bar said because I lifted the key it voided the warranty. They didn't listen to the fact that this $2000 laptop had issue with the keyboard and therefore I lifted the key to look. I have to pay $400 to get it repaired and it will take 4-5 days. Luckily it's a company's laptop but 4-5 days to repair is just stupid.

    I wish they admit that there is a flaw in their design and do a recall just like other honest companies.

    So my advice is don't try what I did. It was my stupidity but Apple couldn't handle this any poorer.
  15. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    Apple will make huge amounts of money when everyone's warranty runs out.
  16. ocnitsa macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2011
    There is a good article on the keyboard issue here
    It seems that Apple has changed the butterfly mechanism slightly between the 2016 to 2017 models...not for the dust issue, but for slightly more clickability. I imagine they will continue to make changes with the next version. This issue worries me because I need to be able to rely on my mbps for at least 5 years (I.e. out of warranty). But having to replace the top of a laptop because of a speck of dust is idiotic.
  17. mike218 macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2018
    yes ive got the same problem one month out of warranty back to the shop in leeds and guess what £ 460.00 for a new keyboard thats really bad for a machine that cost £1700.00 just over a year ago bad show apple
  18. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    There are people who still vehemently deny there's a a deep problem.

    Law suits for Apple in 2018 methinks.
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm not defending them, but it seems to me (in a very unscientific observation), that the 2017 model has less issues then the 2016. My hope will that 2018 will see a reworking of the keyboard and the issues will be resolved
  20. herby130, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018

    herby130 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2016
    Gulf Breeze, FL
    I have seen this in the wild myself a few times. My issue is the replacement cost of the keyboard out of warranty. How could I possibly purchase a computer knowing that I have a known probability of having to replace a keyboard for $700. To be honest, I'm not impressed with Apple products my iPhone 7 Plus has had issues, My family members 2015 MacBook Pro 15 motherboard has to be replaced. AppleCare has so many tiers of support now it's disappointing. My son's iPhone 7 sent to apple for warrant repair and they tried to say physical damage because of a hairline scratch on the back that was 1/2 inch long, i crap you not $375 repair. Thankfully "Senior Apple Adviser" looked at images from Depot and saw the light and actually had to override the fee.

  21. natted macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2010
    Just recently my 'b' key on the 2017 macbook pro started having problems intermittently not working or requiring multiple key presses to register. It came right after a few days and some ongoing use of the key. If it starts playing up again I'll have to call apple and figure out repair options. I like the keyboard feel but looking at this thread and others, they seem to be unreliable. I don't even use the keyboard much as mostly have a bluetooth keyboard at my desk.
  22. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    I finally moved on from my 15” MacBook Pro w/TB. The keyboard started failing. The last one I had was a refurbished MacBook Pro, so I was hoping things would be better with that one. No luck. Maybe in a few years or less the keyboards will get better

    PS it was a 2017
  23. Frankfurt macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2016
    Yet to see this issue on mine. Hopefully I won't. If I do during the AC+ timeframe I will get it repaired and then sell it as I don't want to incur a steep bill out of warranty.
  24. Tiber3m macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    I wonder if anyone has had the Keyboard issue I have seen on my own 2017 MBP. I have noticed that the cursor unexpectedly and erratically moves, sometimes jumping to the line above and a few words to the right or left. I have sort of thought it is probably connected to my palm's contact with the touchpad, but now I am beginning to wonder.
  25. SAJD, Jan 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018

    SAJD macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2018
    I'm afraid there are a lot more issues on these new MBP's than the keyboards and keys. Please have a browse through this thread (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7825434) as it lists a number of known faults that people are experiencing from around the world. Some people are on their 3rd and 4th replacement, I myself am on my second machine which only lasted 3 months before a new hardware issue popped up. The thread lists, keys and keyboard issues, thermal issues, speaker issues, touchbar issues, software issue, quality control issues and worst of all - Apple has not openly acknowledged these faults. Please list your faults on this thread if you haven't already. Thank you.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 19, 2018 ---

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