I have a strict no-everything-bagel-near-my-MacBook policy, and even then my MacBook's butterfly switch keyboard cuts out from time to time. It's usually the spacebar or another key along the bottom row that starts sticking and stops working. I've been able to return my MacBook's keyboard to full working order by holding it up so the keyboard is nearly vertical and blowing under the stuck key to dislodge the crumb or spec of dirt. And when that fails, I grab my can of compressed air and get to work.
Other butterfly switch operators haven't been so lucky, getting hit with pricey repair bills and filing lawsuits. Apple, finally, has addressed this sticky issue and will repair the keyboard on your MacBook or MacBook Pro for free.
Apple's keyboard service program
Apple now admits that "a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models" may be plagued with sticky or unresponsive keys that make it so letters repeat or don't appear at all. It's introduced a service program to fix your butterfly switch keyboard problems for free.
"Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will examine the customer's device to verify eligibility and then perform the service free of charge," the company says. "Service may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard."
Both the first and second generations of the butterfly switch design are eligible for the service plan:
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
To find your MacBook's model number, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner and choose About This Mac. The model and year is listed on the Overview tab.
You have three options for getting your butterfly switch keyboard repaired: You can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider near you; you can make an appointment and then take your MacBook to an Apple Retail Store; or you can mail your MacBook to the Apple Repair Center. You can get started on the Apple Support site.