Discover the Reasons Behind Your Sticky MacBook Keyboard

Using a Picker on a MacBook Keyboard

Image source from coolmomtech

Intro to Sticky MacBook Keyboard

Apple introduced the butterfly keyboard in some MacBook notebooks, but it received widespread criticism due to various issues. Let’s take a look at the Mac notebooks that featured the butterfly keyboards and the problems associated with them.

1️⃣ MacBook (Retina, All 12-inch):
Known for sticky or unresponsive keys.
The fragile design was prone to damage from debris or dust.

2️⃣ MacBook Pro (Year 2016-2019):
13-inch and 15-inch models.
Experienced issues such as unresponsive keys, repeating keys, or keys that felt “stuck.”
Users reported inconsistent typing experience and frequent keyboard failures.

3️⃣ MacBook Air (Year 2018-2019):
Featured butterfly keyboards, similar to the MacBook Pro models.
Users encountered problems with keys being unresponsive or sticking.

Pro Tip 1

⚠️ Attention, potential buyers of pre-owned MacBooks!

It is important to exercise caution and conduct a thorough inspection and testing of the keyboard before your purchase. Pay close attention to the responsiveness and functionality of each key to ensure it meets your specific requirements.

Brief Intro MacBook Butterfly Keyboard

The butterfly keyboard design was intended to achieve a slim profile and enhance key stability. However, due to its ultra-thin mechanism, the keyboards were prone to issues. Specifically, the low-travel keys were more susceptible to debris accumulation, leading to keys becoming sticky or unresponsive.

Importantly, in 2020, Apple made a transition to the scissor mechanism with the introduction of the Magic Keyboard. This newer keyboard design offers a more dependable typing experience in the latest MacBook models, marking a significant improvement from the butterfly keyboard’s shortcomings.

Still confused about the “butterfly” keyboard reference? Let this video clear things up for you.

Credit to Wall Street Journal

End of MacBook Butterfly Keyboard

In the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, Apple introduced a redesigned “Magic Keyboard” that utilizes a scissor-switch mechanism by replacing the butterfly mechanism.

According to Apple, the new Magic Keyboard offers the “best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook,” featuring 1mm of key travel and a stable key feel. Apple has specifically designed the keys with a rubber dome crafted by Apple, which stores additional potential energy to deliver a more responsive keypress.

MacBook Keyboard - Plastic dome switch

Image source from iFixit

How to Avoid Your MacBook Keyboard Getting Sticky Keys

To avoid your MacBook keyboard getting sticky, try these tips and tricks:

1️⃣ To prevent getting sticky keys, it is important to keep a clean workspace thus maintaining a clean and clutter-free environment around your MacBook helps reduce the risk of debris, such as food crumbs or dust, entering the keyboard. As a result, you can minimize the chances of keys becoming sticky or unresponsive.

2️⃣ Furthermore it is crucial to avoid liquid exposure hence by keeping liquids away from your device to minimize the risk of accidental spills. However, if a liquid does spill onto the keyboard, take immediate action by turning off your MacBook, disconnecting the power source and seeking professional technical assistance.

3️⃣ It is essential to clean it periodically using suitable methods, for example one option is to use compressed air, which effectively blows away any loose debris from between the keys. Additionally, you can gently wipe the keys with a soft, lint-free cloth that has been slightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol thus helping remove dirt and grime, ensuring smooth and responsive key performance.

4️⃣ Also important is to be gentle while typing thus avoiding applying excessive force or typing with a heavy hand. Such practices can accelerate key wear and misalignment, which in turn increases the risk of keys becoming sticky or unresponsive. By typing with a lighter touch, you can preserve the longevity and functionality of your MacBook keyboard.

By implementing these steps, you can protect your keyboard from potential issues and ensure smooth and responsive typing for an extended period.

Pro Tip 2

Apple Keyboard Service Program

Apple has identified some MacBook models might display certain behaviours thus if your device is eligible, any Apple Authorized Service Provider will provide a free replacement for the affected keyboards.

For more detailed information, please refer to the provided link.

The free replacement program extends coverage to eligible MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models for a period of 4 years from the initial retail sale of the unit.

Contact us

At YP Mac, we offer hassle-free Mac repairs thus with our tagline: “Simplify Mac repairs with us,” highlighting our commitment to providing convenient solutions for all your Mac-related needs. Our skilled technicians streamline the repair process hence ensuring quick and efficient service. Trust us for a seamless experience and join our satisfied customers today. 

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