A1708 / EMC 2978 — Released October 2016, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar). The function key version packs an Intel Core i5 and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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How to remove keycaps

Does anyone know how to take off the keycaps on this new MacBook Pro?

A few got some pop under them and now they are sticky. :(

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This is a good question for Jon Ridley



Thanks @mayer, i've just added some details.

Its worth noting, that Apple no longer provide this newer version with the butterfly clips when buying full conversion sets. so if either the butterfly clip is damaged, or the plastic dome section is cracked or damaged, you'll need to source used parts from a scrap casing unit in order to attempt a repair.

But the domes are not really designed to be replaced on this model, so it will be a faff to do and will probably not be the same again


I can confirm they are fragile, my right shift key was sticking and when I lifted the key up (carefully) it broke the clip. Now I'm looking for a new one


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I'd strongly recommend avoiding using tweezers on any keycap removal, (especially retina and MacBook air models) as the manufactures have made the edges of the keycaps extremely thin, so are very easy to break or crack.

Use a very thin piece of plastic, such as a light to medium gauge guitar pick to lift the edge, or you can just use your fingernail.

As others have described in other comments above, one side of the scissor clip is designed to slide into place, and the other is designed to click into place.

So when fitting a keycap, align the slide edge in first, then press firmly on the 'clip' side until it clicks into place.

For the 2016 MacBook Pro models, we have classed this as a different version to the 12" Butterfly clip, although the 2017 model of 12" looks to now have the same clip as the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models.

We call this scissor clip 'Type M', as seen here when you navigate to the MacBook pro range:


As a guide for removing, it varies depending on the key in question, but it is similar to the Type L (12" MacBook Retina 15/16 range)

I'll refer to the 'clip' side as the 'snap' in part, and the 'slide' side as the 'hooks' for clarity.

When i say 'begin in the centre', i'm referring to getting a 'pick' type tool between the butterfly clip and the black keycap, then gently sliding towards the 'snap' side of the keycap until it unclips.

Alphanumeric (number and letter keys), left/right arrow keys, and includes some command and modifier keys (except tab, caps lock and delete on US layouts, and return on UK layouts)

Begin in the centre on either the right or left side of the keycap at the top. The hooks are on the bottom, and the snaps are on the top.

Function Keys

Begin in the centre on either the top or bottom side of the key. Hooks are on the right and the snaps are on the left.

Space Bar

Begin in the centre of either the left or right edge of the space bar keycap. there are 4 snaps on top and 4 hooks on the bottom.

(it takes a bit of force, but make sure you are getting your pick or fingernail beneath the keycap, but above the butterfly clip, otherwise you'll damage the mounts. In some cases, you have to press down the bottom of the key as you are putting upward pressure under the upper side to help release the 'snap' side.

Up Arrow

Begin in the centre on either the top or bottom side of the key. The hooks are on the left and the snaps are on the right.

Tab, Caps Lock and Delete Keys (US layout only

Begin in the centre on the right side of the keycap. There are 3 hooks on the bottom and three snaps on the top.

Return Key (UK and EU layouts only)

Begin at the top centre of the keypap. There are 3 hooks on the right and 3 snaps on the left.

I'll see about getting some photos taken to better illustrate this, but it takes a trained eye to spot the differences between Type L (12" retina) and the new Type M (2016 MacBook Pro Retina) clip types, so for illustration purposes, or as a simple reference, it will suffice using images from the 12" to help see how the later version works.

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Do you have any tips for the down key ?

And awesome post btw!!!!


the down keycap is clipped on the left side, and slides into place on the right.

so if you insert a guitar pick or thin bit of plastic under the centre of the down key from the top (press the up key down gives you a bit more space to work with), making sure the pick goes between the black keycap and the white scissor clip (not under the scissor clip), then slide it to the left.

the left will pop up, then you can gently slide the right side out.

The up arrow is in reverse. the left side slides, and the right side clips, so slide the pick to the right on this key.

i'll add a photo above for your reference


Anyone here can help remove the inner key? I mean the one which holds the butterfly mechanism?


hi @cherryvine.

If you look at the close up of the down arrow key photo above, you will see that there are 4 plastic lugs that go through the keyboard backing. (the 2 on the right are more visible than the ones on the left, because the left side is covered by a black coating).

You have to cut these lugs to remove the plastic mount and metal spring.

Its best to cut the backing off from inside the machines that way no plastic is left over and you can more effectively glue a replacement into place, but if that isn't an option, then remove the white scissor clip, then gently lift the plastic mount and gut the 4 pegs with a scalpel if you have one to hand. Then you can get a replacement from a dead keyboard, with the pegs still in tact (cut from the inside of the backing sheet) and you can push the pegs through the holes and glue it into place.

This will give you the best bond and will allow perfect alignment. if you don't use the 4 pegs to align it, you will likely re-fit the replacement off centre.


@thebookyard - Hi Jon, Are you up to posting this as a guide (technique)? This is well written!


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See step 21 MacBook Pro 13" Function Keys Late 2016 Teardown

Looks like the key clips onto the mechanism from all 4 corners of the key. Use some tweezers and pull the key outwards from the corners, using the image as reference. Be careful not to peel up or knock the dome

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Note that the clips on the bottom edge can't be pulled straight off. Pry the key from the top edge, then slide the key down to remove the bottom clips. See my answer below for more detail.


All keycaps on macs only clip on one side, then slide on the other, as Jan mentioned. if you pull up on the wrong side, you will end up breaking either the peg of the scissor clip, or the mount on the underside of the keycap. they are really fragile


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I just removed two keys on mine: can't believe there's no good info out there on this yet. The clips are on all four corners of the key, but you should only pry the top edge of the key as the clips on the bottom are designed to slide off toward the bottom, rather than pull straight up. I used a thin piece of plastic (the plastic-only edge of a laminated tag) to pry the top edge. A credit card would probably work but might be a little stiff for the initial pry.

Once you have the top clips off slide the key down until the bottom clips are off as well. It's a nice flat surface underneath, I had no qualms about cleaning with a damp cloth. To replace the key slide the bottom clips on in an upward direction, then press the top clips into place once the key is centered in place.

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Hi, which keys did you replace? Just wondering as I need to do the same to some of mine due to spill..


be very carful with this approach!!! replacement keyboards are Not available for this model.


Command and Option on the left side. Just be gentle with the pry and you should be good. Try for something thinner and a bit more flexible than a credit card. Again, a laminated name tag or something like that is ideal.


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has anyone figured out a way to remove the space key? I tried prying it on the top side, but it wouldn't come loose. I removed a lot of other keys without any problem.

Sidenote: I've got a german MacBook Pro 13 with TouchBar, and I had to slide the keys upwards to remove them.

Thanks in advance,


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All these space bars have clips on the top edge, and slide guides on the bottom. it'll be 4 on top, 4 on bottom, so they are stiffer to get off. But if you start on the left or right side of the key with a thin bit of plastic, making sure to get between the keycap and the scissor clip (not under it), roll it around the top corner and slide it along the top edge, you should feel the lips pop off as you move along. You'll need to come out and go back in after each clip pops off. but once the first one pops, you can get your nail under the corner you just passed to hold it up.


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Mike will be eternally grateful.
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