Macbook 12, keyboard replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by c0ppo, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013

    As many of you know, keyboards on rMB12 get stuck or stop working at all. My rMB12 is on Apple Care, so I can have my replacement for free. That's not an issue.

    But there are some of you who had their keyboards already replaced, so I have a simple question for you guys. Does Apple replace entire keyboard or just those few keys that are stuck?

    For example, I have 6 keys that are semi-stuck. I can use them, but they are not in good shape. And I have a couple of keys that will surely get stuck in near future, but at this moment they function ok. Can I ask for a entire keyboard replacement, or do they just replace the stuck keys?

    Thanks in advance for your replies :)
  2. WickedPorter macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2012
    I've had two rMBs so far and never had any keyboard issues. I'm wondering; are your keys / mechanisms actually broken? Do you use the rMB in an environment where dust/dirt could get under the keys and cause an issue? With the very small amount of travel, I'm guessing any mildly unfriendly environment could cause a key problem. If not, I hope Apple does something about the failed keyboards, I've read a few posts recently on stuck/malfunctioning keys. Not good!
  3. iscajal, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016

    iscajal macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2015
    First, try flipping it overhead and tap the stuck keys with a fingernail. See if that gets it to hop out again.

    Next, get a very thin, flexible piece of plastic (like a laminated business card or similar) and gently pry under the stuck key, then blow in (with compressed air if need be) - just enough to lift it so airflow can happen. Don't try to pry any further without understanding where the keycap is held. There's VERY LITTLE GIVE in it, so be really careful. With luck, you'll dislodge a piece of breakfast/dust/world and your key will be able to extend fully again.

    Next option is that the microswitch/butterfly plastic crap is broken. It's held with four little nobs in place in a scissor-like construct; two on the left are clipped into prongs, the ones on the right slide under; then the same reversed for the holding mechanism on the top case itself. I can provide details if you want to pry it off, but be warned, madness lies that way and getting spare parts is near impossible anyways. In this case, Apple usually switches out the key itself - at least that's what happened to me.

    Third failure mode is the little plastic/rubber cap underneath that pushes they key back up having deflated or otherwise being broken/squished. This one is glued to the keyboard assembly itself, which in turn is glued to the topcase. Apple swaps the whole topcase, including the trackpad, in this case.

    Experience: MB12 since 2015, 5 instances of keyboard issues that required apple to help, over one year or so. Even the current one feels flaky on a key, and I would not be surprised if it would go in a few months, simply through normal, daily and very, very careful usage. These keys are just too flimsy for anything but casual use and QC is atrocious. Would not buy again.

    Edit: The MB2016 keyboard is exactly the same as the 2015 one.
  4. c0ppo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Normal office/home usage. No dust or anything. Before rMB, never had any keyboard issues.


    Thanks for the suggestions, but already tried them all. Fixes a problem for a short while, afterwards keys get stuck again. Problem is that I really love this machine, but as a indie developer I do use it a lot, and I type a lot. A lot!

    I will give my macbook to be serviced, but after that I will sell it. I have no trouble typing on this keyboard, actually, I love it. But a 1400 euro laptop with keyboard 'quality' like this? Thanks, but no thanks.
  5. byeehaaw macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2007
    New York, NY
    Did they end up replacing your keyboard? Im in the same boat right now
  6. c0ppo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Yes. Repaired it, and sold it afterwards. Using 2017 version for more then a month now, keyboard is way better, and still no issues.

    But if they occur I will do the same thing I did before. But this time I won't purchase a replacement. But I really hope it doesn't come to that :)
  7. darkmatter343 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2017
    I was at the Apple Store last night checking out the 12", and the one I checked out had problems with the G & H keys lol. I noticed G & H would only work if I pressed on one particular corner of each key. I know the stores get hundreds if not thousands of people walking through each day, bashing on the keys but still :rolleyes:, I thought if anything shouldn't this be the ultimate test for durability :D
  8. byeehaaw macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2007
    New York, NY
    oh so no full keyboard replacement? At the moment theres only one permanently stuck. wondering if i go in, they can try to fix it, if not im hoping for a full replacement keyboard lol. My applecare+ runs out in May.
  9. Trixs macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2008
    With the macbook pro they replace the entire top case including battery. Prob similar with the macbook, but not sure.
  10. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    The battery isn't replaced, at least when it comes to the Macbook. They "only" replace the whole topcase with the keyboard. The battery replacement involves the bottom side. I know this so exactly because I had to have BOTH parts - sticky keyboard and failing battery – repaired separately on my MacBook... :(
  11. polee macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    My 2017 macbook had stuck keys too which I resolved by using a can of compressed air.
  12. c0ppo thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    The whole keyboard was replaced.

    That helped me a lot. Until a point when it didn't :)
  13. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    This happened on my previous 2016 13" MacBook Pro TB (along with a logic board issue) last November and they replaced the entire Keyboard. I then had one of the keys stick shortly after (The A key) but one of the many tricks to fix online, worked and it was fine right up until I sold it just two days ago.
  14. byeehaaw macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2007
    New York, NY
    sweeet thanks man. I wonder how many keys need to get stuck to warrant a new keyboard lol
  15. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Whole keyboard/"upper."
  16. stephanep macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2018

    I bought the 2016 version of Macbook 12.

    To make it shortly, it's the best laptop I ever had. But I too have the keyboard issue. Until now, when I had a stuck key, I just (gently) removed it (see youtube to know proper way to do so) and cleaned the place below with a brush. Each time, issue occur because of crumbs stucks under the key...

    But every 2 month, I have to do again the whole process, most of the time with the space and tabulation key. And I'm affraid one day or another, I will end with a broken key, and since the Macbook is still under the legal Belgian garanty protection (under which Apple is legally tied, even if the Macbook is not recipient anymore of the Apple Care Protection), I was thinking to let the key stuck the next time I had a problem, and use the legal protection to get the keyboard or the machine replaced, either with the new model of keyboard or with a later model of Macbook 12...

    I wanted to know :

    1. Does the new keyboard can be installed on a Macbook 2016 or is it only available for Macbook 12 from 2017 and after?

    2. If not, can I expect a model replacement, since a 2016 keyboard will logically suffer the same issue ?

    The root cause of the issue is clearly a faulty conception, and if so, a keyboard replacement with the same model of keyboard will bring the same issues.

    The Macbook still benefits 9 month of legal protection. I want to take proper action before it ends.

    Thank for your help.
  17. Banjo&kazooie98 macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2018
    Hey Stephanep,

    Personally I would just call in the issue even if it is something you can fix. Just so you can have a case file saved they generally send one after you visit the store or call Apple. This way you have a record of the issues. My cousins 2016 had quite a few keyboard issues. It does worry me having a 2017 model and although I have not experienced anything yet, still I am kind of paranoid. The odd key he was able to fix with compressed air, yet still called in to report a problem after the 3rd or 4th key becoming stuck. This way he went into the store the next time he experienced an issue was polite but did make a fuss about the inconvenience and with the backup he had and it seemed to have worked. They did replace his keyboard. I often joked with him about it being similar to his BMW 535i in terms of reliability even though he took such extreme care of it. Although that’s a story for another time.

    I hope this does help. Best of luck.

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16 September 30, 2016