Shift Key Less Responsive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MBX, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    Since few days my MBP (nTB 2016) shift key has become much less responsive and i have to push extra hard on it for it to become active.

    But after a restart it works perfectly again.

    Could this be software related?

    I notice that the shift key acts stupid after I play some games. I just started to play Lara Croft and Call Of Duty MW3. Could these games be causing it for some reason?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I can't see how it could be in all honesty. I really don't have an answer though.

    Does the other shift key exhibit the same behavior?
  3. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Heat seems to play a major role in key failures. Gaming on such a small and thin device = excessive heat.
    Your restarting of the MBP fixes the issue, and restart cools the device down.

    I would say yes, gaming on MBP can cause your issue. But can't be 100% sure :)
  4. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    There’s a pretty well known issue with keys on 2016- MacBook pros failing, and this is possibly linked to heat, so it certainly fits that prescription if you’ve been playing games. Unfortunately the only remedy Apple offers is a topcase replacement - and these are costly out of warranty.

    It’s a difficult one in your case because it’s still functional, and affects a key that there are two of. If you were to get a topcase replacement your ‘e’ key might go instead, and then it’d be good only for typing out gadsby 2.
  5. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    Damn, yes that's most likely it.

    I noticed this issue only occur after playing GPU/ CPU intense games.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 17, 2018 ---
    Ok I found a solution, hope this helps others: Use the free app Macs Fan Control and run it at manual full 7200 while playing GPU/ CPU intense games. Keeps the MBP cool and no key issues anymore.
  6. kudos212 Suspended

    Jan 20, 2018
    Heat plays literally no role in key failures in the MacBook Pro 2016. This guy is literally just making stuff up.

    It certainly wouldn't act up one key and make it less responsive. That literally makes no sense at all from a technical stand point.
  7. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    You must be so sure about that. *literally*

    When it's exactly when I started playing GPU/ CPU intense games and my MBP heating up a lot that this shift key issue occured. It could've been any other key maybe but in my case it just so happened to be the shift key.

    Now that I use Macs Fan Control app at full speed of 7200 while playing graphical intense games I no longer have this issue.
  8. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    And in other news, Earth is flat... :D
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    KeyGate™ strikes again.... (sigh)....

    Is the MBPro still under warranty?
    Do you have AppleCare?
  10. kudos212 Suspended

    Jan 20, 2018
    I am sure unless you want to name the part that can't withstand the temperatures of the MacBook Pro. Sorry but it's easy to tell when people are talking out of their a$$.

    I'm waiting.
  11. aevan, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    There are three popular "theories" why keys fail on MBPs. Note that these are just theories and we can't know for sure, really.

    - Heat. The most popular one, the idea is that heat causes the butterfly mechanism to change (which does make sense in a way, materials grow under heat) making the keys unresponsive or "double" pressing.

    - Dust. Small dust particles get into the mechanism and create issues. This certainly happens to some people, but it's not necessarily the cause of all problems. For example, if some dust gets captured in a key and it's physically hard to press as a result, blowing it out with compressed air can solve the issue. I've heard reliable reports of this happening and air solving it. However, while it does solve issues with physically pressing a key, I had an issue with spacebar double registering and cleaning it didn't help (they removed the key in service, cleaned it, and put a new button with no result).

    - Force. Some claim that hitting the key too hard may cause the butterfly mechanism to deform.

    Also, it could be something else entirely.

    As I am aware, keys on MacBooks that have 1st generation butterfly keyboard don't have so many issues other than dirt. I haven't heard so many complaints about double-presses though. So I'm guessing it's not just the dust, it's heat or force (or something else).

    My MBP had the top replaced with the new, 2017 keyboard. It feels slightly different, so I can imagine the mechanism is made out of slightly different material, or in a different way. People here compared keycaps and said the difference is there, however, before the top replacement, they replaced a few keys with the new keycaps, and the feeling was identical. So, I'm guessing the change, if there is any, is "deeper". I can only hope that it is more resistant to temperature changes or whatever is causing the issue.

    I love the new MBPs and the 2016 redesign. Would I advise against buying one because of the keyboard issues? No. But I do advise getting AppleCare. Manufacturers do make tweaks in the manufacturing process, and I do hope that Apple has fixed or at least greatly reduced the issue. I doubt they are preparing for 2018 revision (that reportedly has the same design) with this remaining a problem. So, a 2016 MBP with AppleCare can have the latest top case replacement if the issues arise.

    If you have AppleCare and have issues, try to get your top replaced. Do not try to fix the issue with fan controls or anything similar! That is not a long term solution!

    If you don't have AppleCare, you have to pay for service. You will pay a lot (a 600-700 euro part in Europe), but at least you get a whole top replacement that has a new battery, new metal housing, new Touch Bar, etc, so at least there is some consolation there. My advice to anyone that have issues out of warranty is to somehow live with it until the 2018. models come out. While I do believe if there is a fix, Apple already fixed it, it's still safer to wait a few months if you can and be sure you get the latest iterration of the keyboard. Also, since you'll be getting a new battery as well, why not strech it a little? Again, it's a LOT of money, but at least the battery will be new, and any scratches or dents you made on the top case will be gone, so you at least have that. In the meantime, if your keyboard is doing double registering - you can use BetterTouchTool to remedy that on the software side (while you wait, like the fan control, this is not a long term solution!)

    And press Apple. Write to them. Send polite feedback. If you're under AppleCare, send it for service and ask for top replacements. Believe me, a 700 euro bill charged to Apple sends a much better message than forum rants :)
    Note that while I understand your anger, "fire Tim Cook" messages to Apple will get you nowhere. I know it's tough to swallow, but advanced design can have design issues (remember all those Surface Pros issues?). So, make sure you're heard and hope for the best.

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10 February 17, 2018