Can I repair a Mac wired keyboard?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by unkleE, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. unkleE macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2013
    I have a Macbook which when home I use as a desktop using an external monitor and keyboard. The keyboard is the standard Apple aluminium wired keyboard.

    Today the comma key stopped working. Reading on the internet tells me there is a sealed switch (not sure if that is the right words) under the key so it is unlikely that dust has interfered with it, and the best suggestion I found seemed to be that the membrane and switch have become slightly depressed. The answer suggested is to lift up the key and put some thin packing inside.

    Before I did anything so drastic I wanted to ask for some advice please. I seem to have the following options:

    Buy a new keyboard

    That is the sure option. But we have some people in our house with severe chemical sensitivities and Apple plastics give off a gas that they are sensitive to. It took months for my previous keyboard to off-gas enough in an unused room before I could use it (and my wife's recent expensive Macbook Pro has been in the same room for 2 months so far unable to be used for the same reason - we pay a heavy price to use Macs!).

    So that's not an attractive option. Are there Apple compatible keyboards by third party manufacturers that have the correct key configuration?

    Use a function key

    I can sort of work around it e.g. at the moment I have cut and pasted a comma into a TextEdit file and I just paste that in when I need it - annoying but it works. So that makes me wonder: is it possible to reconfigure a function key as the comma/less than key?

    Try the repair

    I could try what I've seen on the web and put some thin packing under the key. Does anyone think this could be the problem and thus recommend this action?

    Alternatively, does anyone think it could be solved by buying a new key on the web?

    I would really appreciate anyone's thoughts. Thanks.
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Since the key doesn't work, i don't see any risk in taking the key off and investigating the problem. There are a couple of online tutorials for taking the keys off. I've removed all of the keys off a wireless keyboard for cleaning and once you get the hang of it, its pretty straightforward. You can buy keys on the internet if the physical key is broken. If it is the sealed switch, im not sure there is anything you can do. You could check if there is any type of warranty on apple keyboards.

    Personally, re-assigning keys seems impractical because you would get in habits and it would be tough to type on other keyboards after they have developed.

    Logitech makes mac compatible keyboards with the same layout.
  3. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    This will remap your keys so you can assign a different key to the ','
  4. unkleE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2013
    Hi thanks for those thoughts.

    The keyboard re-mapper may be a useful short term solution (I agree not a long term one) but will take a bit of work to get it to re-map the way I need.

    The Logitech keyboard equivalent to mine is wireless, whereas mine is not, so I'm not sure if that matters. I'll look into it.

  5. unkleE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2013
    Keyboard modifier programs

    I thought I should record that I came across a great keyboard modifier program, which seems to be more flexible that the KeyRemap4Macbook that was suggested.

    It is Ukelele and it allows you to remap any key the way you want (within certain limits controlled by Apple) by simple drag and drop (not XML programming required). It worked for me so at least I have a temporary fix.

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