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The MacBook family was first introduced in May 2006 and replaced the iBook as Apple's consumer laptop.

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Why is my MacBook shift key always pressed?

My right shift button wasn't working. I took it off with a paperclip in order to clean around underneath. After putting the key back I was confronted with a far more annoying problem—the computer is now registering that the key is always being pushed. I restarted my laptop, which was a terrible idea, because now I can only boot in safe mode.

Ideally, I'd like it all to be better. How could I possibly fix this key? If not that, I'd at least have it not working again in the sense that it isn't stuck "on" anymore. There are a limited number of things that I can do from "Safe Boot," and it totally sucks. Worst comes to worse, is there a way I can just completely disable my internal keyboard so that I'm only using this external one? Apparently it doesn't register as connected until AFTER my computer has booted in to safe mode.

Any suggestions? :)

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I have a continueus shift key down prob as well, i didn't fix it yet but i saw a tip somewhere that ressing esc key while booting prevents it from going into safe boot,

that might help ya with that part of the prob.

Regards

Jeroen v Goor

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i have this problem aswell. I'm on the edge of ordering a new topcase for my 17 inch unibody MBP.

the system just thinks i always have the shift key pressed in. I already removed the key but there's no difference.

what if it's not the keyboard?

what more could it be???

I don't want to order the topcase only to find out it's not the shift key.

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I have the same problem but I don't see any answer here. How do you remove caps lock key or shift key?

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Pry them up from underneath the top edge. Spudger, tweezers, small flat blade screw driver.

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Hi guys, I have the same problem and the same Macbook of your. But I have also FN stuck . I tried reinstall mac os x, the problem remains. I think that the problem is firmware because I tried Live cd ubuntu and the keyboard work greatly. Do You think the problem is firmware? What I have to do if it's a firmware problem?

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18 Answers

Chosen Solution

Turn the computer off, take off the shift key, and reboot the Macbook. If the computer boots as it should, make sure to reinstall the key correctly. I guess the scissor mechanism or the metal arm under the key is not well fixed.

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Or something could be caught underneath pressing on the little nipple that actuates the key.

N.

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Agreed +

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I tried removing the key with the metal arm as well as removing the scissor mechanism, but in vain. Even clearing NVRAM from terminal in safe mode doesn't seem to help. Finally tried to press the option key after the boot chime and that seems to override the shift pressed event to get the OS to boot normally.

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I had a similar problem, the left shift key appears to be damaged, it doesn't feel 'right' when pressed. The machine works perfectly with a USB keyboard. Apple are only interested in replacing the whole keyboard, and say they may need to replace the top cover too. Not cheap! I'm not too confident about fixing the key myself, so I used a software fix.

I downloaded and installed KeyRemap4MacBook, then disabled the left shift key, clicked on the 'Reload XML' button, and all now works OK, except i can only use the right shift key, which isn't a huge issue. Caps lock is still OK.

This fix is at the software level, so you still need to hold down the option key to bypass safe boot. You also need to go into the system preferences and add KeyRemap4MacBook as an application that should start on login.

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This is great temp solution love it thanks for posting such a great tweak.

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Great information! Thanks so much for the option key tip. My computer is finally out of safe mode.

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Great solution... thank you!!! Bow!!!

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great it worked for me as well thanks a ton

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bro I did same way but facing other probs my keys r becaming replaced with each other. what to do now?

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I spilled some milk all over my keyboard a month ago. It has slowly been improving (keyboard didn't used to work, but now it works near perfectly). The only problem that I still have is that the left shift button seems to be stuck.

It was mentioned above in this discussion that the c or esc button needs to be held down to not boot up in safe mode with a stuck shift key. This did not work for me. I held down the option key and that worked for me. Finally out of Safe Mode! I'm on version 10.7.5

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Actually I have mentioned the option key, if you read my answer fully:)

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This works for me on macOS Sierra. You need to press the option key just after the apple chime.

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during booting < after restart> press the c key and it will log in as normal>>> also you could use a external key board>

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option key worked for me

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While I was investigating my problem of a stuck shift key I found multiple answers that pointed in a faulty mainboard direction (I had a moisture spillage on the laptop).

After the spillage had happned I disassembled the complete laptop, put the top cover with glued-on keyboard complete in a very hot water tub and let it stay there for a while, to clean out the moisture residue, also the trackpad which didn't register hardware cilcks anymore. I managed to compeltely clean out the microswitch under the trackpad, it clicks really snappy again but it still doesn't work, neither was the problem of the stuck shift key solved. You can switch "Touch pad to click" on in settings and that works once booted.

Currently I'm using the macbook pressing C or Esc key while booting (both work in snow leopard) and I use a small wireless iMac keyboard with it as external keyboard. I already tried installing OSX Lion on this macbook but had to revert to leopard, no audio/webcam and unable to do a normal system boot. I thought I had a corrupt lion install but swapping the lion harddrive to my mac mini worked ok. I must admit i didnt know about pressing C during boot maybe that still works under osx lion.

Regards Jeroen.

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one drop of rain fried my left shift button _ after hours of reading it appears that only a compleat new keyboard fixes a shift key _ others can be cleaned and repaired>

just my luck the shift took the raindrop >>>

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I had the same problem with my MacBook Pro 13.3" A1278 year 2010 and after replacing the keyboard it's still doing the same thing. Replacing the keyboard will not fix this issue 100% as once my logic board was repaired then it's all working fine.

P.S. I also had issues with running applications as it would highlight 20-30 programs when just choosing one to run, that also has been resolved after the logic board repair because of an ounce of water spillage.

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I downloaded and installed KeyRemap4MacBook, then disabled the left shift key, clicked on the 'Reload XML' button, and all now works OK, except i can only use the right shift key, which isn't a huge issue. Caps lock is still OK.

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how did u bypassed the safe mode?

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Thank you much dude!!! You just saved my life!!!

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This saved me! Thank you!

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Hold down the options (Ctrl) key while it boots.

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Options is the ALT key

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I can't even open my computer because the password has capitals and lower case and the key board is stuck. Any ideas?

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mattandjeray - For future reference you posted a Question in the place where only Answers belong. Please use the add comment link to the O.Q. or a particular Answer.

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Attach any (doesn't have to be Apple) USB keyboard before booting and use that.

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I had the same problem with the shift key and I fixed it replacing the keyboard. Customer spilled liquid on it. I tried to clean it up but it didn't work. I hope it helps.

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I have 6 keys that don't work. 5 in same sort of area (Return key and shift key to name two of them) so would point at water damage in that spot but then the other key is the other shift key on opposite side which is weird! I'm just concerned having the keyboard replaced might not solve this? How much did it cost replacing the keyboard and where from? Many thanks

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I just had the same problem, but I solved opening my macbook air and disassemble battery and localizing the keyboard flex cable and then disconnect and reconnect again... and Great!!! It worked for me!!

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i had the same problem .but i plugin in a extend usb keyboard.system ask me to identity the keyboard . after identity completed . i restart the system and unplugin usb keyboard. the shift stuck problem gone.

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Easy fix, just use the free Karabiner app to disable the stuck key. Also Ctrl+R at boot to enter recovery mode, where you can add a firmware password to make it boot straight to login, might be wise to set a password in all caps as Karabiner won't start up at that stage. You can try using compressed air on the keyboard to clean it, that worked for me.

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I to have the same problem, at first the right arrow key continues press down after booting, but now the shift key continued being press down so it boot at safe mode, so I restart and press the command key or any key before the apple logo comes out and came out of safe, by the way the arrow key does not bug me anymore right after the shift key become my new problem.

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Finally, I resolved the issue by cutting wire of shift key.

The caps key has also been sacrificed, but I can avoid the issue that always boot safe mode.

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i replaced my keyboard with a new one.. made no difference.. next do i replace the trackpad or the flex? or is it likely a board issue?

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After I installed Karabiner, it does solve the stucked shift key issue. But still can use the right shift key with no problem. But to avoid booting in safe boot, still have to press the option key.

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Kyle Taylor will be eternally grateful.
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