Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple's Butterfly keyboard repair program winds down soon

Close-up view of a black and silver MacBook keyboard with focus on the QWERTY keys.

Last updated

The last two models of 13-inch MacBook Pro with the infamous "butterfly" style keyboard, both from 2019, are still eligible for a free repair for most of 2024 — but you need to hurry.

Starting with the 12-inch MacBook that came out in March of 2015, and continuing through the 2019 models of 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple was using a controversial very low-travel keyboard switch mechanism of its own design. While the vast majority of owners had no issues with the "butterfly" keyboards, a free repair program was eventually set up for those who did.

The repair program eventually covered a wide variety of Apple's notebook models for up to four years after sale. The oldest were the short-lived MacBook models of 2015 to 2017.

This was followed by the 13-inch MacBook Air with a "retina" screen from 2018 and 2019, and a variety of MacBook Pro models between 2016 and 2019. All the models with the "butterfly" keyboard are now no longer eligible for the free repair program, which mostly added a silicon membrane to the switch to improve reliability.

The last two models of 13-inch 2019 MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt ports continued to be sold until November of 2020, meaning they may still be eligible for free repairs until this November, depending on when a user purchased them.

Qualifying for a free fix

Following a class-action lawsuit that was resolved in July of 2022, Apple agreed to compensate owners of the butterfly keyboard models who had already paid to have the keyboards repaired before the program was announced. The deadline for the submission of those claims expired in March of last year.

People who bought one of the remaining eligible 2019 MacBook Pros sometime in 2020 are not automatically going to get the free repair. Only those who are have the following problems are eligible:

  • Letters or characters do not appear when pressed
  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • A key or keys feel "sticky" or do not respond in a consistent manner

If one of your eligible machines has these problems, you need to first find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or arrange to mail in your device to Apple. Be sure to make a backup of your data first.

It's important to note that the repair program only covers replacing defective butterfly keyboards for free. It doesn't cover any other types of repairs, and doesn't extend your MacBook's general warranty.