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The April 2014 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Air features refreshed dual-core i5 and i7 processors, plus slightly increased battery performance.

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Keyboard and Trackpad only work in Diagnostic mode

After liquid damage to the MacBook Air, I’ve been able to get it nearly operational with a lot of cleaning w/ isopropyl alcohol & contact cleaner. However, I cannot get the trackpad or keyboard to work. I replaced the ribbon cable with one from iFixIt and now the trackpad & keyboard only work in Diagnostic mode.

Weirdly enough, the caps lock light is always on and remains on if I boot into macOS or Recovery mode. If I hold D when booting, I can get into diagnostic mode & can press caps lock to turn the light off. The trackpad functions in this mode.

I’ve reset PRAM and SMC multiple times. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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What is the errors (if any) you got in diagnostics?


@danj No errors at all since cleaning the entire logic board w/ isopropyl.


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1 Answer

You likely need a new Trackpad and/or the trackpad cable.

This series uses the Trackpad to carry the keyboards signals to the logic board via the combo cable.

MacBook Air 13" (Mid 2013-2017) Trackpad Cable Image


MacBook Air 13" (Mid 2013-2017) Trackpad Cable


MacBook Air 13" (Mid 2013-2017) Trackpad Image


MacBook Air 13" (Mid 2013-2017) Trackpad


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But then why would the trackpad work fine in Diagnostic mode? If this was a hardware failure, the trackpad and keyboard wouldn't work at all.


The trackpad is the junction of the two signals which then go to the logic board. I often find liquid gets to the connector area damaging it or the circuity on it gets damaged. Time to replace both!


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Aaron will be eternally grateful.
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