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The March 2015 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display, model A1502, features fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduces the Force Touch trackpad.

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Keyboard and trackpad don't work, loose cable?

My keyboard and trackpad have now completely stopped working. Before, they would work occasionally, and if it wasn't working I'd just reboot and kind of press on the bottom of the laptop and they would work, but that is no longer working.

The power key is the only one still responding, so I've been using a USB keyboard and mouse, but that isn't exactly practical to bring to classes.

My assumption is that it's a loose cable, as I was told by the Genius bar that the keyboard and trackpad are controlled by the same cable (they told me my laptop was scrapped and I needed to purchase a whole new one...how about no?).

Does anyone have any ideas or advice? What does the cable for the trackpad/keyboard look like so I can open up the bottom and see if it's loose?

Thanks!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I never post on sites like this but I would like to let you all know about my issue. My trackpad would start working 1 times out of 2 sometimes asking for a bluetooth keyboard at start up and after sleep sometimes not. Sometimes the trackpad work but not click, most times it wouldnt work and one the keyboard worked without the trackpad even though they are codependent. ANYWAY i ordered a new trackpad cable and set of screwdrivers, replaced the cable and now it is working fine (we will see in a week's time). it is very easy to do though and much cheaper than getting it fixed by apple so highly recommend it. my computer system was also rife with dust so this gave me the opportunity to clean it with a soft brush.

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10 Answers

Chosen Solution

Unless you have some liquid damage I suspect the battery has swelled pressing the keyboard & trackpad from below.

You could try testing this out by using an external keyboard & mouse/trackpad to verify things.

Given the age of the system you should go to an Apple Store to see if they can replace it under extended warranty program.

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Replace it? It = the battery?

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Most Helpful Answer

I had the exact same problem with the exact same mac (MacBook Pro Retina 13") and, after relying on USB mouse and keyboard, was able to fix it by replacing the trackpad flex cable ( as Reece said one should do).

This is the part I used:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0711C...

It is a very easy task:

Take off back of computer

Note the ribbon on top of large battery pack in bottom center; this is the flex cable.

Unscrew metal piece covering connector on top end of ribbon, pop connector off.

Peel tape tab on connector on bottom end of ribbon, pull connector out.

Replace with new flex cable (it will be slightly long, so fold it at the edges a bit)

You're done!

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Here a helpful tutorial how to replace the cable...I followed it and I successfully replaced the defective cable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AVoXTd-... it was my first time fixing a computer and it worked fine. This time DIY is definitively worth it.

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This (replacing trackpad flex cable) works great for me. Thank you so much for the advice. First time opening the laptop but all went well!

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I have this same problem which surfaced just a bit over the 1-year warranty period. Keyboard and trackpad do not boot up and hence can't log in. Then all of a sudden, after a couple frustrating months of using a bluetooth keyboard and a USB mouse, everything started working again. That lasted 3 months. Then back to no keyboard and no trackpad. On a whim, I turned by Macbook over and gently but firmly pressed back and forth on the underside of the laptop in the proximity of the trackpad ... and now it works ... but I have to do this every time to get things working. I thought maybe the trackpad cable was loose, so I finally got ahold of a pentalobe screwdriver (impossible to find outside of the USA). I tried snugging up the cable which looked firmly seated at both ends. Alas the problem continues .... still rubbing the bottom of my expensive 2015 MacBook Pro just to get it to fire up correctly.

Perhaps massaging the laptop's underside flattens out any swelling in the battery ... or it nudges the trackpad cable into action ... whatever the heck is the culprit ... it certainly is a faulty design issue.

Anybody know how I can fix this permanently on my own?

:) Frank

Early 2015 MacBook Pro (A1502)

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Replace the trackpad cable, this goes bad on the 2015 models and causes both the trackpad and keyboard to stop working. £10 part and guarantee it will fix your issue

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Thanks for the feedback.

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where do I find the replacement cable?

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Did this fix the issue? Changing the cable?

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@kangyaruu Just search for "A1502 trackpad cable" and you should get it

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All I had to do was order a $7 USD trackpad cable from Amazon and install it myself. It’s easy to install. Just unscrew the back casing (you do need a special screwdriver that can also be bought on Amazon for a few bucks). The cable itself just plugs in after unscrewing a couple small screws holding it in place. The 3rd-party vendor cable that Apple installed in many Macbook Pros were crap. Has been working fine for 2 years now with the new cable.

Start with replacing the cheap cable. The repair shops will tell you that the keyboard and trackpad components need to be replaced or that your motherboard is dead. They just want to make money, or they are too lazy or incompetent to do a proper diagnostic. In some cases, Apple requires Authorized Resellers to replace complete component units rather than just the minor failing part.

Don’t listen to those that make this sound complicated; it’s not!

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This worked perfectly for me. New cable part is 821-00184-A. €11 on eBay. Video instructions are perfect, but pay careful attention to flip connector removal. Unlike in video, the new cable had it's own self-adhesive strip which is identifiable on eBay images by blue tabs that are the peel-off adhesive strip covering. There was no obvious problem with connectors at either end of old cable so no idea what problem is with cable.

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I just wanted to add my own +1 to this. I had the exact problems of intermittent and then complete loss of functionality of the trackpad and keyboard on an Early-2015 MacBook Pro. I’m in Europe so I bought this part off of Amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0759H3KKR/ref=... and it took all of 30 seconds to replace. The part even comes with the double-sided tape to hold it on the battery. It seems to be maybe 1-2cm longer than the OEM version, but I just had to prebend it a bit.

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I also had the same problem. So I replaced the ribbon cable on my Mac pro 2015 13inch and al went well for few weeks. Thereafter suddenly I had the same problem so I bought another cable that lasted for 5 days. I am back to the same problem all over again. Any idea on what it can be??

Thanks,

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We also had the same problem. Trackpad and keyboard suddenly stopped reacting. My daughter has an “early 2015 edition” of the Macbook Pro, which she bought in December 2015. First contacted Apple Support. They just informed us that it could be a hardware issue, after they requested us to do all kinds of nonsense tests. Then we contacted an Apple Partner repair center. They told us immediately that this issue is caused by a damaged cable inside the Macbook Pro. We went to the repair centre and they told us again that this happens with many Early 2015 series of the Apple Macbook Pro. They did not check the Macbook at all, just immediately opened it and replaced the cable. That was the solution. My daughter was charged € 71 (which is a substantial amount for a student). We asked them to make a note on the invoice that this happens very often with this model, but they said that they are not allowed by Apple to mention this on the invoice, as long as Apple has not issued an official report on this cable. We sent a complaint to Apple and specifically asked them for a written reply and a refund to my daughter for the repair costs, since Apple knows, or should or could have known, that this is a common issue with this specific Macbook. They have had, or should have had, more of these reports from their repair centre(s). Apple continues to say that they are not aware of any more issues with such keyboard/trackpad cable. They also continuously refuse to send a written reply and only call you saying that they will not compensate any repair costs. If you want to share your experiences regarding this cable issue, please write to mbprocableissue@gmail.com. It may help Apple to understand that more clients have or had this problem and hopefully they will compensate us all.

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No need to go to any Apple Center or third party repair center for the cable. You need part: A1502 2015 821-00184-A and it is all over the internet. try a few sites. They are made in China, the US and in Europe and they should not cost you more than 5-8 USD depending on the country. You put them in yourself within 10 minutes.

The problem mostly start out with failing keys. This happens when you wake up your computer or restart it and than the issue moves to your trackpad. Try connecting it to an external screen and close the lit. If you don’t you still might experience problems with your external Bluetooth keyboard. I have had the problem on more than one computer and the problem mostly started after replacing the battery or when an older battery was slightly bloating. You fte cannot see that the cable is damaged. it looks all fine at inspection.

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I have the same problem. And the reason is a failure in the motherboard.

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btmiclette will be eternally grateful.
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