Some 2016 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Keyboard Problems

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's latest line of notebooks introduced an entirely revamped keyboard featuring flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism, designed to optimize for stability while also maximizing travel. The butterfly mechanism was originally introduced in the ultra thin MacBook, but a newer version was implemented in the MacBook Pro.

There have been mixed opinions about the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro due to its vastly different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models, and it appears the new butterfly mechanism may also be less reliable compared to older construction techniques.

A growing number of customers who have purchased a 2016 MacBook Pro are running into issues with the keyboard, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. There are dozens of threads both on MacRumors and on the Apple Support site.


One of the most significant issues appears to be keys that make different higher-pitched sounds than other keys in some cases, a problem that was caught on video by MacRumors user monstermac77. As is demonstrated, when the caps lock key is pressed, it makes a sound that's much different than the other keys on the keyboard.


According to monstermac77, the issue is only reproducible when the Mac is warm, a complaint that has been echoed by several other MacBook owners in the thread, suggesting heat plays a role in activating the problem. Some users are experiencing the overly-clicky sound without heat, though.
Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H', and 'C'.
The high-pitched clicking sound is irritating, but it isn't as serious as some of the other issues MacBook Pro owners have been having with the keyboard. In some cases, certain keys on the MacBook Pro miss clicks, enter double letters, or refuse to respond at all, a problem that we here at MacRumors have also experienced. MacRumors reader rroch describes the problem:
My 2016 15'' MacBook Pro arrived yesterday (as one of the first). 63 of the 64 keys work fine. But the i-key most of the time types the letter twice. I suggest you test out your keyboard thoroughly. With auto-correct it can be easy to think it works. However, my password contains the letter i, and I quickly became super frustrated not being able to get my password right (come to think about it, maybe that's why they added Touch ID, so you don't need the keyboard for passwords). So take a document, turn off auto-correct, and check all the keys. I found that the failure happens more frequently with a slight delay before releasing the key.
It's not clear what's causing the issue with the keys that suddenly become non-functional, but the butterfly mechanism is sensitive and can be interrupted by something as simple as a bit of dust. In our case, with the machine we had that was experiencing issues with a specific key, the problem cleared up on its own, but other MacBook owners have not been so lucky.

One other minor keyboard complaint is an inconsistent feel across keys, with some keys that feel spongier than others or that don't press down consistently. This seems to be related to a problem with the butterfly mechanism which some users report having fixed with a needle or other thin tool, but most people should not try that sort of repair at home.

While many of the complaints seem to be focused on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, some users have also had problems with both the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar and the 13-inch model with no Touch Bar.

Customers who are experiencing keyboard problems should visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In most cases, Apple is offering repairs and replacements for affected users, especially those who have verifiable hardware problems related to skipping keys, but some MacRumors readers have needed to go through several replacement machines to find a keyboard that doesn't experience issues.

Keyboard replacements are also not a simple matter on a machine as complex as the MacBook Pro, and users should expect repairs or replacements to take multiple days. According to reports from customers who have sought repairs, Apple is outright replacing most Touch Bar models while sending non-Touch Bar models out for repairs.

Article Link: Some 2016 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Keyboard Problems
 
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jmh600cbr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2012
956
2,054
my delete key is super high pitched. and on my wife's 2015 macbook the delete key is also super high pitched.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
Old age advice still holds, don't buy a rev A apple product. The next version will these issues resolved. And not being a smart arse , I've bought my share of Rev A to see the next version improve while I am stuck with issues.

Interestingly they had 2 generations of Mb to get it right
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,552
My P key typed the letter twice out of the box. Was going to get a replacement, and then two weeks later the problem went away. It's been fine for two months now. Fingers crossed.
 
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iCal

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2009
15
13
I strongly dislike the butterfly keyboard on my 2016 Macbook 12-inch. I prefer the keyboard from my Late 2013 MBP.
I bought one for my daughter. "I" key was DOA.

They sent me a brand new one the next day.

However I still hate the feel of the keyboard... Will wait until they do a refresh of the model line and I am sure it will be discontinued....
 

DDustiNN

macrumors 68010
Jan 27, 2011
2,004
881
I can't stand the new keyboard. I've hated it ever since the new MacBook was released. This thread just proves that I was not wrong, haha.

The keyboard in my MacBook Air is absolutely perfect. I still think it's the best computer they've ever made.

I also hate the new click-less trackpad. It just doesn't feel right.

All I want is a MacBook Air with the same keyboard and trackpad, a retina screen, and some higher specs than what I have (2011 model). Been waiting for years and they JUST WON'T DO IT. COME ON, APPLE! I don't like this new crap. The keyboard is garbage (which is now proven).
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
I'm happy with the keyboard on my 15", but I did notice that the keys in the centre (H, G, Y, J) are a little louder than the others.

Overall I think this keyboard is an improvement over the one in my old Late 2008 15". The old one just feels so mushy in comparison, although I understand why this new one so divisive.
 
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spiffers

Suspended
Apr 12, 2009
104
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If you return it within the first 30 days, you can get a new one, since its "Dead On Arrival". I had problems with the first one I got, exchanged it for a new one, and now Im happy with it.
 
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CrownVic

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2016
193
144
I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority here, but the 2015 MBP has the perfect feeling keyboard, in my book.
I really love the keyboard on my 2015 MBP, but I wish the key travel was a little lower. Not so much as the 2016, but more like the Magic Keyboard. I can tell my Magic Keyboard has slightly less travel than the MBP
 

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,857
2,563
United Kingdom
My '3' key got stuck down, but then again my Command key on my old non-retina 15" MBP also got stuck once. It's not just slightly harder to fix considering the shallowness of the keys. Gave it a few blows of compressed air and it's been fine ever since.

I've really been enjoying the keyboard other than that. Everyone who's only tried it for 5 minutes at the shop may say they hate it, but after I've actually used it for four months, I find it more comfortable and quicker to type on than my old MBP (and my external keyboard I use with my monitor). If you give it a chance, you'll likely be surprised.
 
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