MacBook Pro Owners Demand Recall Over Failing Keyboards

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Apple once used the marketing slogan, "It just works," and now that slogan is coming back to haunt them, thanks to a group of very frustrated MacBook Pro owners.

An online petition that's drawn more than 3,500 signatures demands that the company "recall every MacBook Pro released since Late 2016, and replace the keyboards on all of them with new, redesigned keyboards that just work."

MacBook Pro Owners Demand Recall Over Failing Keyboards

Why is that? "Because," the petition continues, "these keyboards don't work." Yes, a petition is the latest sign that the keys in Apple's current MacBook Pro are failing at alarming rates that make the notebook a dodgy purchase, especially when they start at $1,299 and can cost as much as $2,799.

Specifically, certain keys in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros tend to stop working, with many blaming the butterfly-switch design in each key. Musician Jonathan Mann turned this dilemma into a song "I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening," wherein just that happens.

The key failures occur, at times, when dust particles get lodged under keys, making them unable to work. Apple provides instructions for trying to fix this, which include holding the laptop at 75 degrees and spraying keys with compressed air, but that shouldn't be a regular part of your life. What if you're on the road and this happens? Are you supposed to go hunting for a can of compressed air?

MORE: Which MacBook Should You Buy? MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro

Apple blogger John Gruber is also quoted in the petition, and he says that "This keyboard has to be one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history."

Yesterday, during a company-wide meeting, I saw one of my colleagues holding a MacBook Pro in the air and trying to blow into the space bar. As he speedily tapped on the space bar for about 5 or 10 minutes, I worried about my personal MacBook Pro.

My 2012 MacBook features keys that have more-traditional switches, and this laptop has been my favorite piece of tech I've ever owned, partially because it just works. Hopefully, Apple figures out this keyboard conundrum soon, but until then, I'll remind you that Apple still sells that model (it's the last-listed model under 15-inch MacBook Pros), which I comfortably — without any issue — wrote this article on.

Credit: Mike Andronico/Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
Add a comment
  • Ken Dunnder Says:

    MacBook, my MacBook Pro quit on me a few years ago! It’s an older one about 2008! The touch pad is as hard as a rock! Will Apple make good on

  • Kenneth Lowey Says:

    bought a 2016 MacBook Pro and never had any problems with keyboard or anything else for that matter

  • Robert Grant Says:

    As a long time Apple user I purchased a fully loaded MacBook Pro. Having recurring issues with G, H, period, and other keys that either don’t work or when pressed deliver multiple entries. Very irritating. I hope they recall it and make it right.

  • Michael Kelly Says:

    Bought my dream MacBook Pro fully loaded, only to have the keyboard fail several times. The lights behind the volume icons on the touchbar are dead (still works, just can’t see them). Keys stick, or repeat themselves. I didn’t get Apple Care (never needed it with past models). All this happened just after their factory warranty expired. My advice. Buy an older Mac or get an external keyboard for backup if you need the new one.

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