Apple is Now Fixing MacBook Keyboards at its Stores

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Mac and macOS with 14 Comments

In a bid to turnaround repairs more quickly, Apple will now fix broken MacBook keyboards in its retail stores. Previously, it had been sending out the computers to off-site repair centers.

“Most keyboard-related repairs will be required to be completed in store until further notice,” an Apple internal memo obtained by Macrumors reads. “Additional service parts have been shipped to stores to support the increased volume. These repairs should be prioritized to provide next-day turnaround time. When completing the repair, have the appropriate service guide open and carefully follow all repair steps.”

The issues with Apple’s so-called butterfly keyboards—available in various generations across its MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air laptops—are legendary and are clearly endemic. In March, Apple took the rare step of apologizing about the ongoing issues. And this more recent change is clearly designed to address a big side-issue for anyone experiencing keyboard problems: The repairs simply took too much time: three to five business days, and sometimes longer.

Now, however, Apple can turnaround a keyboard repair by the next day. This should be less frustrating for customers, though there’s no guarantee that the same problems won’t simply happen again and again. After all, the butterfly keyboards are terribly designed, and Apple, not coincidentally, now faces at least three lawsuits for the broken design.

If you do own a broken butterfly keyboard-based MacBook, you can schedule a free repair at Apple’s Get Support website.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Apple is Now Fixing MacBook Keyboards at its Stores”

  1. jwpear

    Apple should do the right thing and either replace all the butterfly keyboards with a better design or they should support free repairs for the life of the devices. These things are absolutely going to break over and over.

    • mclark2112

      In reply to jwpear:

      I agree. And I am speaking as an owner of a 2016 Macbook Pro 13. The keyboard is constantly getting jammed. A little compressed air fixes it for a bit, but then another key gets wonky. I don't think the fix will change this behavior and I know they won't replace it with a better design, they'll just try to sell me on a new Macbook.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to jwpear:

      They’ll do neither.

      15 years ago, the later white iBook models had a pitifully designed video board. The solder connects for the BGA on the Radeon GPU would break and render the machine useless. Instead of replacing them with a new version which did not have that fault, they just kept slapping the known-faulty units in there.

      Check out Louis Rossmann on YouTube to see how junky Apple notebooks are.

  2. skane2600

    I hope they give up on this failed design. People don't want fast repair turn-around, they want their expensive computers to just work.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to skane2600:

      Sadly they thought they had fixed it with the membrane around each switch. That didn't work (and clearly wasn't tested enough. Or, perhaps they really did know the fix wasn't good enough and that's why they not only claimed it wasn't a fix but didn't retrofit the updated keyswitches on the failed units.

      One problem they have is that if they admit the design is really broken they're likely to have to replace all those defective keyboards for free forever.

  3. blackcomb

    But but but we pay the Apple tax to avoid problems!

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to blackcomb:

      you also are balmed by apple if there is a problem, that maybe will be solved in next device version, or apple will take some action only after many user complaints and class actions

  4. randallcorn

    The Apple method. Make a high dollar keyboard that breaks.

    Never had an issue with Lenovo keyboard. But Apples is better because it is Apple?

    • christianwilson

      In reply to randallcorn:

      I don't believe that is true, at least not until recently. Apple always made keyboards that were reliable and felt great. I would put Apple's pre-butterfly switch keyboard right up there with Thinkpads in terms of quality.

      That does not seem to be the case with the newer keyboards in the MacBook line. While the shallow key travel is something that will always be subjective, it cannot be denied that something is truly wrong with the mechanical design of these butterfly switches. I generally trust Apple products but I would not purchase a MacBook today with one of these unreliable keyboards.

  5. dontbe evil

    as usual they never admit and fix their problems... till many user complains and class actions... ah the quality of apple consumer service... but what else do you want for their cheap prices???

  6. glenn8878

    Keyboard aren’t supposed to be hard.

  7. rina mandal

    It seems like they are going to fix the problem completely in the future.