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Apple finally acknowledges ‘sticky’ keyboard issues on MacBooks, offering free fix and refunds for past repairs

Apple today launched a new MacBook & MacBook Pro service program that it says covers a small percentage of users that might experience sticky, repeated characters or unresponsive keys.

An Apple spokesperson provided the statement below to 9to5Mac:

“Today we launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models which may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly or don’t appear when pressed or keys that feel “sticky” or aren’t responding in a consistent manner.”

Apple adds that the process “may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.”

Users that are experiencing any of the issues described above with their MacBook or MacBook Pro can get the servicing done free of charge through Apple stores or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. For anyone that was already experiencing the problem and had to pay for servicing through Apple, the company will be refunding customers the cost of the repair. The program will cover eligible MacBook and MacBook Pros for 4 years from the date of purchase.

Apple’s ultra-thin butterfly keyboard designs– first introduced over three years ago with its 12-inch MacBooks and more recently adopted for its latest line-up of MacBook Pro models– have been the topic of much discussion among the community since introduced.

Ahead of the introduction of Apple’s new repair program today, we reported on news of three separate class action lawsuits related to various problems with the keyboards. At least one of those lawsuits also alleged problems with Apple’s repair process for the faulty keyboards, claiming that it doesn’t have a process in place to permanently repair the keyboards. We ourselves have chimed in on the conversation on multiple occasions with comments and discussions here on 9to5Mac.

A list of specific models eligible for the program is below:

  • 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)

For those experiencing issues, Apple has a new support document on its website detailing the MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard service program.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.