Last week, Apple launched a repair program for the butterfly keyboard of the MacBook and MacBook Pro thereby perhaps acknowledging that the keyboards have an inherent design flaw and are simply not as reliable as the previous non-butterfly keyboards.
The company in its support document says that a “small percentage” of MacBook and MacBook Pro models may suffer from aberrant behavior which includes letters or characters repeating unexpectedly or not appearing at all, with the keys feeling sticky and not responding in a consistent manner.
If you own a MacBook or MacBook Pro launched in 2015 or later and are facing any of the issues mentioned above, you can take it to your nearest Apple authorized service center for a free service. The keyboard issues with the butterfly keyboards of the MacBook Pro is widely documented, and by launching this free repair program, Apple is finally accepting its mistake.
If you own a MacBook or a MacBook Pro with a faulty butterfly keyboard, here’s everything that you need to know about Apple’s service program and how you should avail it.
The first thing you need to ensure is that your MacBook or MacBook Pro is eligible for the keyboard service program from Apple. The service program is only meant for MacBooks which come with butterfly keyboard. Apple lists the following Macs as compatible with the program:
- 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 identify whether you have one of the above MacBooks or not, click the Apple logo on the top-left corner of your Mac and select the About this Mac option.
If your MacBook or MacBook Pro is listed above, well then you are in luck as you are eligible for the free service repair program from Apple. This repair program is valid irrespective of whether your MacBook is under warranty or not, though do note that this program does not extend the original warranty of your MacBook in any way. The repair program is going to be valid for any of the above-mentioned MacBooks for a period of 4 years from the date they were first purchased. So, if you purchase a MacBook or MacBook Pro now, it would be covered under this service program until June 2022.
Do note that Apple’s service technicians will first go through your laptop’s keyboard before deciding on whether the whole keyboard needs to be replaced or just replacing the keys will do. Simply taking your MacBook or MacBook Pro to Apple because you have an eligible device is not going to be enough. You must already be facing one of the issues mentioned above to take advantage of the repair program.
Additionally, Apple is not covering any kind of liquid or physical damage to the keyboard under this service program. However, any broken keycaps are eligible for the repair program. Apple’s internal document suggests a turnaround time of around a week for fixing any keyboard issue on your MacBook or MacBook Pro.
How To Get MacBook or MacBook Pro’s Keyboard Repaired Through Apple’s Service Program
Depending on your location and preference, you have three options to get your MacBook serviced for its faulty keyboard: find the nearest Apple retail store, authorized service provider, or mail your laptop to Apple. My recommendation would be to go with the first two options as the third option can turn out to be pretty cumbersome.
Apple Store or Apple Authorized Store
Step 1: Head over to Apple’s support page and select Mac as your product category.
Step 2: Now select Hardware issues followed by Keyboard not working as expected.
Step 3: You will now get the option of scheduling a call with Apple support, initiate a chat session, or bring in your MacBook to the nearest Apple Authorized Service Provider or Genius Bar.
Step 4: Select the Bring in for repair option, proceed to enter your Apple ID followed by your location, and then select an Apple retail store or Apple Authorized Service Provider nearest to you.
Step 5: You will then be able to schedule an appointment day and time when you would be able to carry-in your MacBook to the store for the keyboard repair. Make sure to carry your original ID card for the appointment.
Mail Your MacBook to Apple
This is not an option that I’d recommend, but if there’s no Apple service provider or retail shop near you, you can mail your MacBook to the company for repair. For this, you will have to get on a chat or phone call with Apple’s support team, explain to them your problem, and then follow their instructions.
Get a Refund For a Paid MacBook Keyboard Repair
If you have already gotten a (paid) repair done for a faulty keyboard on your MacBook or MacBook Pro, you can get a refund from Apple. For this, you will have to again contact Apple support, explain to them that you have paid for a keyboard repair issue for your MacBook, provide them the necessary details, and then follow the instruction you get.
It is important to note that your MacBook or MacBook Pro must have been repaired by an authorized Apple Service Provider or Genius Bar for you to be eligible for a refund. If you got your MacBook or MacBook Pro repaired from a third-party store, you are not eligible for a refund from Apple.
Has your MacBook’s keyboard conked off yet? Or are you happy with its reliability and performance? If you end up taking your MacBook to Apple for a keyboard repair, do drop a comment and let us know how the experience was for you.