Dear Apple, here’s how I solved my MacBook keyboard problem

Chris Matyszczyk for ZDNet:

The legend of the latest MacBooks and their unworthiness has continually grown like a creepy cactus on your front porch.

Principally, the problem has been the keyboard. It functions about as well as many of the world’s current governments…

Regular sufferers of this column will know that I bought a MacBook Air and, within months of my purchase, the M key was suddenly wonky. I’d press it and it would resist. I’d press it harder and it would resist more… I trained the appropriate fingers of my right hand to hit down on the M far harder than on any of the other keys. Honestly, at times this was conscious bashing of the M key. It was as if I could pick at an especially obstinate zit and it would finally go away…

Last week, however, something strange happened. I realized I’d stopped bashing. Actually, I didn’t even notice at first. It was like a hiccup that had suddenly disappeared, a cut that had mysteriously healed, a Twitter troll who had oddly liked one of my tweets. As I write, my M key is reborn. It shows no signs of stubbornness. It’s simply stopped throwing its tantrum.

MacDailyNews Take: The “keep bashing it harder and harder” method doesn’t sound like a good idea for anything other than winning a boxing match or an MMA fight, but, hey, it worked!


  1. I have owned a retina MacBook Air since they were launched. I have no problem with the keyboard whatsoever. It performs well, is easy to type on, and no key has ever stuck. I know there are those with problems, there are many of us without them as well.

    1. They will replace it with another keyboard just like it. They should go back to the design that worked. Function should be the first priority, then make it look good.

      1. They will repair or replace. Why suffer for months and months with a bad keyboard. It’s not as if there are 5 million Air users with the dreaded M problem. It actually sounds more like a Pepsi Syndrome problem.

  2. This sounds more like a space filling anecdote than a recommended antidote.

    I’ve “fixed” things by continuing to use them until the problem went away itself, but never thought these events events publishable……

    ….meanwhile, even if they don’t break, I have trouble typing on the new KB’s and still find them excessively loud. If Apple intends to drive my daily computing onto an iPad with a choice of attachable (or even stand alone) KB’s where I won’t be stuck, their “secret plan” may be getting closer to working…. ….but I still need an MBP level of performance for larger photography projects I’ve been deferring.

  3. Jonny Ive’s should be demoted for not admitting when he designs something that was poor from the get go. I think of the newbies who tried a MacBook as their first apple product. If I paid that much for something that acted like shit not long after I bought it and then read the reviews about others who were having the same problems, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to buy apple again that’s for damm sure. Apple should stop insulting their customers and quit putting bandaids on the keyboard and go back to the design that actually worked. All that trouble because apple wanted to save .5 of a millimeter. The users want a reliable machine with good battery life, but apple is not listening.

  4. Apple doesn’t believe in the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Of course, if a company doesn’t try new things then it will be considered a company with a lack of innovation. Sometimes, new things don’t always turn out right and if Apple has tried to fix the keyboard problem and isn’t succeeding, well that’s not a very good thing. Naturally, I’m unhappy with a company that moves away from a reliable keyboard to save a few millimeters in thickness. I’m a keyboard person and I prefer a keyboard that’s reliable with keys that have nice travel and feel. After all the years keyboards have been around, it’s unthinkable to me that Apple should have a keyboard that’s faulty.

    Maybe this keyboard problem is being overblown, but in my opinion, a keyboard should have zero problems. It’s not rocket science. I’ve used dozens of various keyboards as a career word processing professional and it’s quite unusual to have problems with a keyboard and when you have to type thousands of words a day you shouldn’t have to deal with a problematic keyboard. I can only hope Apple solves the keyboard problem as soon as possible.

    1. A designers job is to solve real problems – they original keyboard didn’t have problems , unless you count the “tilting of the space bar when you press on in side” man did Apple ever fuck this one up – worse, they’ve been lying to longtime fans for 3 yrs

      1. Apple was solving the “problem” of thinness, trying to eliminate an extra millimeter of space from their laptops.

        I use a 2016 MBP and haven’t had any problems, but I dock it every day at work using an external full-sized keyboard with numeric keypad. I also have a thin/light protective cover to keep cruft out of the mechanism. I would highly recommend this procedure.

        Sure, the repair might be free, but who wants waste time trucking down to the local Apple store.

  5. The disgraceful mess Cook has made of Macbooks and macOS warrants nothing less than his dismissal imho. But nothing sticks to him, as they still turn a profit on the iPhone, albeit with terrible software issues of it’s own. 🙁

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