Resolved Delete key stopped working on Apple Wireless Keyboard

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by RedTomato, Sep 13, 2016.

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  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #1
    I have an Apple Wireless keyboard (not the magic keyboard) which I love and use almost every day and it has been rock solid. It was working fine yesterday. This morning the Delete key has stopped working.

    Every other key works fine. I haven't spilled anything on it or sat on it or dropped it.
    I've changed the batteries for fresh ones, I've taken off the Delete key and cleaned under it (it was already pretty clean, no hairs, no crumbs, a little bit of dust), but I still can't make it work.

    Any help? I'm not a brilliant typist and it is pretty unusable without a Delete key.
     
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #2
    Make sure there isn't a custom Keyboard Shortcut attached to the key.

    You might try booting in Safe Mode and see if the key works there. I'm not sure if Safe Mode disables keyboard shortcuts or not, but it does disable all non-Apple extensions. Because it could be an extension unexpectedly claiming the key.
     
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    Ok I'll try that in the morning.
     
  4. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #4
    Tried Safe Mode, and nope, Delete key still doesn't work. :(

    Anything else I can try?

    BTW
    Safe Mode seems to keep any key remappings. I had a key remapped on the laptop keyboard (# to £) for the last 2 years, and that still works in Safe Mode. I've never had any remappings on the Wireless Keyboard - it already has the £ symbol.
     
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #5
    Try booting in single-user mode:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201573

    Before doing anything, make sure you know how to proceed or restart from single-user mode.

    SIngle-user mode will present just a command-line shell, which is about as minimal as it gets. Type a command like:
    Code:
    ls -l ; pwd
    
    If that works, then try another command, like echo'ing some text, but use the delete key to delete some of it.

    If the delete key works, then there's a software problem, maybe in an extension. If the key doesn't work, I'd be looking for a hardware problem, like a defective key.

    To further investigate the hardware, plug in an external USB keyboard and see if all its keys work. If they do, then it's almost certainly a defective key on the keyboard.

    If the delete key doesn't work on the external keyboard, then it's probably a software problem, and I'd guess it's in one of the essential system components. Then you'd think about reinstalling the OS, or booting from a bootable clone of your disk.
     
  6. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #6
    Thanks, I've tried all that. Definitely a hardware problem with the keyboard. I may have to look for a second hand keyboard.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 16, 2016 ---
    I've fixed it now :) I took off the Delete key again, and this time, took off the scissors mechanism for a closer look at the internals. There's a small plastic buckling cup or nipple thingy. I tried to take that off too, but it was glued to the thin plastic keyboard underlay, which itself was glued to the rigid backing.

    I then noticed that the underlay was a little bit loose on the backing. I took off the adjacent +/= key to compare. The cup on that key had a tightly glued down backing, but the Delete key definitely had a looser backing. Here's a pic from someone else's website.

    [​IMG]

    The key on the right has the scissors removed, and the plastic nipple is glued to the grey underlay that sits on top of the metal backing.

    Aha! With a pair of tweezers I was able to pull up the cup a bit, making the plastic backing looser, and was able to get a look underneath from the side. It appeared perfectly clean under there, but there must have been a small hair or bit of fluff there, because after I carefully poked around with a needle, it started working again.

    £80 saved!

    Now the underlay is a bit looser, I'm aware the same problem may happen again but now I know it's fixable.

    Thanks for all your help.
     

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