Apple's Butterfly Keyboard repair program for MacBooks is almost over

by Joe Rossignol

Apple's long-running service program for MacBook butterfly keyboards is ending soon, and only a few models are still eligible for free repairs.

Below we will look at the problems with the Apple butterfly keyboard that led to the appearance of this program.

Butterfly Keyboard

For most of the 2000s, MacBook keyboards had a traditional scissor switch mechanism. That changed in March 2015 when Apple released the ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook with a low-profile keyboard that used a new butterfly switch mechanism. Although the keyboard fits into the thin body of a 12-inch MacBook, it can experience problems such as letters repeating unexpectedly or not appearing when you press keys.

  • Related:Apple butterfly keyboards vs. scissor switch keyboards

That was until Apple updated the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models to include the latter's butterfly keyboard generations. In October 2016, customers began seriously complaining about keys that were sticking and unresponsive. A few years later, Apple expanded the butterfly keyboard on the MacBook Air, leading to even more complaints.

The situation came to a head in May 2018, when Apple filed a class action lawsuit in the US alleging that the company knew the butterfly keyboard was defective. An online petition on these issues received nearly 43,000 signatures that year.


In June 2018, Apple launched the “Keyboard Maintenance Program” worldwide after , has found that a “small percentage” of keyboards in certain MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behavior:

  • Letters or symbols repeat themselves unexpectedly.
  • Letters or symbols do not display.
  • Keys seem sticky or do not respond as expected.

Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers will repair eligible MacBook keyboards free of charge for four years after the defective laptop was first sold at retail. This window is almost over, as all relevant models except two versions of the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro were discontinued more than four years ago.

Butterfly switch mechanism for the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard ( iFixit)
List of all models that were eligible:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12 inches, early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12 inches, early version) 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12 inches, 2017)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13 inches, 2018)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019), two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016) g., four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, four Thunderbolt ports 3)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, four Thunderbolt 3 ports) li>
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch) 2019)

Apple has discontinued the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro in November 2020, so some customers who own this laptop may still be eligible for free keyboard repair until recently. as of November 2024, depending on when they acquired it. After that, the service program will be completely discontinued unless Apple renews it.


In March 2019, Apple finally apologized for the keyboards.

“We know that a small number of users are having issues with the third-generation butterfly keyboard, and we regret that,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement relayed to Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal. . “The vast majority of Mac notebook customers have responded positively to the new keyboard.”


Starting with the 16-inch MacBook Pro in November 2019, Apple dropped the butterfly keyboard and went back to using a scissor switch mechanism. This change was rolled out to the MacBook Air in March 2020 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro in May 2020, marking the end of the troubled butterfly keyboard era for the Mac.


In July 2022, Apple agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action lawsuit in the United States related to butterfly keyboard issues. Affected customers who submit a valid claim before the March 2023 deadline will receive a payout ranging from $50 to $395.

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