2018 and Newer MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Now Eligible for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program

Apple today extended its Keyboard Service Program to all MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models equipped with any generation of its butterfly mechanism keyboard, not long after apologizing over the issues.


This means 2018 MacBook Air, 2018 MacBook Pro, or just-announced 2019 MacBook Pro models that experience keyboard issues such as sticky or inconsistently responding keys now qualify for free repairs up to four years after the original purchase date worldwide, regardless of warranty status.

To address the underlying issues, Apple said it has changed the material in the 2019 MacBook Pro keyboard's butterfly mechanism to "substantially reduce problems that some users have seen," according to The Loop.

The new keyboard design on the 2019 MacBook Pro is still classified as "third generation" like the 2018 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air. Owners of the 2018 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air can have their keyboards replaced with ones that have the new materials during repair, according to The Verge.

To initiate a keyboard repair, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website to book a Genius Bar or Apple Authorized Service Provider appointment.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

This article, "2018 and Newer MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Now Eligible for Apple's Keyboard Service Program" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Additional Details About Apple’s New MacBook and MacBook Pro Keyboard Service Program

Following a few years of anecdotal complaints, and no less than three lawsuits, Apple on Friday initiated a new worldwide service program offering free repairs of MacBook and MacBook models equipped with low-profile, butterfly mechanism keyboards, which have been a source of frustration for some customers.


We've already reported about the service program in more detail, but the gist is that Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers are now offering free repairs of affected 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016-and-later MacBook Pro models with sticky, unresponsive, or inconsistently functioning keys.

Many questions have arisen since the program was announced, so we wanted to consolidate some additional information that we have gathered from Apple and other sources we have spoken with:
  • Apple distributed an internal document on Friday with more information about the service program. It notes that keyboards damaged due to attempted repair by a customer are still eligible for free service under the program. If your MacBook or MacBook Pro has physical top case damage unrelated to the keyboard, it also remains eligible.
  • As to be expected, if your MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboard has liquid damage, it is ineligible for the program.
  • If a key press is not recognized, key presses feel abnormal or sticky, or keys are loose or missing, Apple has instructed its authorized service providers to clean or replace the affected keycaps if possible.
  • Keycap replacement kits are available for English keyboards in ANSI and ISO layouts, along with British, French, German, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, and Japanese keyboards.
  • If characters are repeating, or previous keycap replacements were ineffective, Apple has instructed its authorized service providers to replace the whole keyboard, which requires replacing the whole top case, including the trackpad and speaker grilles.
  • Be prepared to go a week-plus without your MacBook. Apple quotes a turnaround time of five to seven business days for service to be completed at Apple's off-site repair centers, but wait times may increase as an influx of customers take advantage of the program.
  • If your MacBook or MacBook Pro experiences keyboard issues after being serviced under the program, Apple says customers can bring their unit back in to be looked at again. This suggests, but doesn't explicitly state, that the program may be used more than once.
  • Apple is offering refunds to customers who paid to have an eligible keyboard repaired prior to this program, but a Genius has advised us that refunds are not available in person at an Apple Store, and must be requested by contacting Apple Support by phone, online chat, or email.
  • It's still not entirely clear if the replacement keyboards have been slightly revised to address the issues that prompted the service program in the first place. Apple has been fairly communicative with me about this program, but has so far skipped right over this question when asked.
  • We do know that Apple has been replacing 2016 MacBook Pro keyboards with the 2017 version, which has slightly different markings on the Control and Option keys, but a Genius we spoke with believes the 2016 and 2017 keyboards are functionally equivalent.
  • iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens also told me he believes the keyboard design hasn't changed at all in a few years.
  • However, anecdotal reports from customers suggest the 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard "has a different feel to it," with some calling it "better" and less prone to issues. Marco Arment, for example, said it is "more 'damped' in both feel and sound, as if there's more rubber somewhere."
We'll share any further information as we come across it. In the meantime, if you are experiencing keyboard issues, read our article on How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple's Service Program.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook

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How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple’s Service Program

Apple has initiated a new worldwide service program offering free repairs of MacBook and MacBook models equipped with low-profile, butterfly mechanism keyboards, after the company determined that "a small percentage" of the keyboards may develop one or more of the following issues:
  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • Letters or characters do not appear
  • Key(s) feel "sticky" or do not respond in a consistent manner
Apple or Apple Authorized Service Providers will service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards free of charge. Apple says the process may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.


The following MacBook and MacBook Pro models are eligible for 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, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)
All other MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models are not equipped with butterfly mechanism keyboards, and thus are ineligible.

To identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro model to see if it is eligible for this program, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and select About This Mac. A window should open, and in the Overview tab, the model should be listed, such as MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016).

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will examine the MacBook or MacBook Pro prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program. If the notebook has any damage which impairs the service, that issue will need to be repaired first, and in some cases, there may be repair fees.

Step-by-step instructions ahead… Continue reading "How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple’s Service Program"

Apple Now Offering Free Repairs of 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 Models With Swollen Batteries

Apple will repair select Apple Watch Series 2 models that do not power on or have a swollen battery free of charge as part of a new service policy.

An original Apple Watch with an expanded battery via Apple Support Communities

"Apple has determined that under certain conditions, some Apple Watch Series 2 devices may not power on or they may experience an expanded battery," wrote Apple, in an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers on Friday and subsequently obtained by MacRumors.

"Apple will service eligible devices free of charge," according to the document, numbered SN4534 in Apple's internal GSX portal. "Apple will authorized coverage for eligible devices for three years after the original date of purchase."

The policy was issued in at least the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, so it is likely a worldwide initiative where service providers are available.

A swollen battery can prevent an Apple Watch from powering on or cause the display to burst open. Photos of the issue have been shared by customers in the Apple Support Communities and MacRumors forums in recent months, but the majority of the incidents are first-generation models released in 2015.

Eligibility is limited to any 42mm-sized Apple Watch Series 2 models, including Sport, Edition, Hermès, and Nike+ variants, pending a visual-mechanical inspection, according to a companion document numbered OP1977. The warranty status of the Apple Watch does not affect coverage, the document states.

This new policy does not apply to the original Apple Watch, Series 1 and Series 3 models, or any 38mm model. A few years ago, however, Apple enacted a similar policy for original Apple Watch models with swollen or expanded batteries that offers free repairs within three years of the original date of purchase.

Affected customers can visit the Contact Apple Support page, select Apple Watch → Battery, Power, and Charging → Bring in for Repair to schedule an appointment with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. There are also options to contact Apple advisors by phone or online chat. Battery replacements are completed at an off-site Apple Repair Center.

Apple advises customers inquiring about a refund for a previous Apple Watch Series 2 battery replacement to contact its support advisors.

Apple has not announced this policy publicly as it does with some of its other repair programs, but MacRumors has verified the internal document's authenticity with multiple sources. However, outside of our control, some Apple employees advise customers that no such policy exists. In these cases, our only advice is to keep trying or escalate the case to a senior advisor if possible.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Extends Free Repairs of Anti-Reflective Coating on 2013-2015 MacBook Pro

Apple has extended free repairs of anti-reflective coating issues for the 2013 to 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display.


Apple has authorized coverage within four years from an affected MacBook Pro's original date of purchase, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors.

Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2013, 2014, or 2015 qualify for a free display replacement within the four-year coverage period. Apple says all 2012 models are no longer eligible for free repairs since both the 13-inch and 15-inch models were discontinued by October 2013.

Below is a list of the absolute latest dates that each MacBook Pro model may remain eligible for coverage based on when each was discontinued:

• 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro: July 2018
• 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro: July 2018
• 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro: March 2019
• 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro: May 2019
• 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro: October 2020
• 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro: Still sold

Apple previously confirmed to us that the repair program continues to be handled internally rather than being publicly announced.

Affected customers can schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store using the Apple Support app. Or, on the Get Support page, click Mac → Mac Notebooks → Hardware Issues → Display Issue and options should be presented to initiate a repair or contact Apple via phone, email, or online chat.

Apple's support website will ask for your Mac's serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu.

Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. If you have already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue, you may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple support directly.

Since the repair program has not been publicly announced, some Apple support representatives may be unaware of its existence. Escalating your request to a senior advisor may help, but your mileage may vary.

Apple first began the repair program in October 2015, and has now extended it twice, after some MacBook Pro owners experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on the Retina display.

The damage appears to be caused by a variety of factors, including the pressure of the keyboard and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of incorrect third-party cleaning solutions with microfiber cloths.

Over 12,000 customers joined a Facebook group dedicated to the issue, and hundreds of others have claimed to be affected across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors forums, Twitter, Reddit, and other discussion platforms.

The website Staingate.org contains a gallery of MacBook Pro models with seemingly damaged anti-reflective coating, revealing that the blemishes can be relatively minor or extend across the entire display in extreme cases.

The anti-reflective coating issues do not appear to affect any MacBook Pro models released in 2016 or later.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)

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