Introduction

Sticky keyboard keys are a common problem with laptops, usually resulting from drink spillage, food crumbs, or other substances gumming up the keys. Fortunately, with this guide, it is an easy fix.

Before getting started make sure to completely turn off your computer.
  • Before getting started make sure to completely turn off your computer.

    • Click on the apple in the upper left-hand corner of your computer screen. A drop down menu will appear.

    • Click "shut down".

Add Comment

Dip a q-tip in isopropanol, and wipe around each sticky key. Make sure the q-tip is damp, not dripping. You may need multiple q-tips, as they get pretty dirty.
  • Dip a q-tip in isopropanol, and wipe around each sticky key.

  • Make sure the q-tip is damp, not dripping.

  • You may need multiple q-tips, as they get pretty dirty.

Add Comment

Use a toothpick to remove crumbs or debris from under the sticky keys.
  • Use a toothpick to remove crumbs or debris from under the sticky keys.

Add Comment

Now test out your keys. If they are still sticky continue on to Step 5.
  • Now test out your keys. If they are still sticky continue on to Step 5.

Add Comment

Use a spudger or plastic opening tool to pry up sticky keys. Insert the spudger under the side of a key. Lift up.
  • Use a spudger or plastic opening tool to pry up sticky keys.

    • Insert the spudger under the side of a key.

    • Lift up.

    • Use your fingers to twist the key off.

  • To avoid damaging your laptop, use a spudger or plastic opening tool rather than the butter knife shown in the image.

Add Comment

When you are removing a key if one or both of these white plastic pieces come off the key board, don't worry. They are called key carriers and are very easy to put back on. If one part of the carrier is still in the keyboard, remove it so you have both in you hands.
  • When you are removing a key if one or both of these white plastic pieces come off the key board, don't worry. They are called key carriers and are very easy to put back on.

    • If one part of the carrier is still in the keyboard, remove it so you have both in you hands.

    • Look at the second picture and align the two piece then push them together. There should be a soft clicking sound.

    • In the same alignment as the second picture, place the carrier in the spot on the keyboard where it came off and press firmly into place.

How do the Carrier pieces fit in to the keyboard? Which way do they go? And I don't see the picture that aligns into pieces.

George Anderson - Reply

Put soap and warm water in a cup. As you remove the keys, put them in the soapy water.
  • Put soap and warm water in a cup.

  • As you remove the keys, put them in the soapy water.

  • Let the keys soak for 10 minutes.

Add Comment

Wipe down your keyboard with q-tips damp with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wipe down your keyboard with q-tips damp with rubbing alcohol.

Add Comment

Optional: If your keys are particularly sticky use rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to wipe the back of the keys. Dry the keys completely with a paper towel.
  • Optional: If your keys are particularly sticky use rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to wipe the back of the keys.

  • Dry the keys completely with a paper towel.

Add Comment

Pop the keys back on: First align the key and press firmly into place.
  • Pop the keys back on:

    • First align the key and press firmly into place.

    • Then, move your finger side to side until you hear a double clicking sound.

All i needed was the tip to go ahead and pop key off. There WAS a crumb stuck under there, removed crumb & returned key and now things are working perfectly again. Thank you!

catherine4bs - Reply

Finish Line

39 other people completed this guide.

Lilly Paul

Member since: 02/24/2015

1,321 Reputation

5 Guides authored

Team

Cal Poly, Team 24-6, Green Winter 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 24-6, Green Winter 2015

CPSU-GREEN-W15S24G6

4 Members

9 Guides authored

15 Comments

YOU ROCK THANK YOU

(I'm going to type "S" a few times to demonstrate how well this helped me!

SSSSSsssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssSSS

Victoria Patterson - Reply

Ugh it frustrates me that the author doesn't comprehensibly guide you through the complexities of taking keys off and on your keyboard. They are delicate and fit together elegantly. You should really elaborate before going and telling people to yank their keys off.

Aeron Ebbs - Reply

I disagree. He specified what to use, how to put them back on, etc. It's clear and precise!

Anyway I'm going to try this tonight so we'll see how it goes!

kaymay -

Great help - thx!

Kate - Reply

I'd just buy a new keyboard and fit it. Would take a lot less time!

Kevin Gill - Reply

You mean opening up the bottom of the macbook, unscrewing all of the screwed down components one at a time, undoing ribbon cables, keeping track of various different tiny screws (which you’ll probably have to go and buy a special trilobe screwdriver for along the way)?

Yeah definitely quicker.

Garion Bracken -

Thank you! Lifesaver! My only complaint is that it took me forever to put the key carriers back together and onto the keyboard because they were totally different from the ones in the photo... I fixed it in the end, but I definitely felt like it was a lot more complicated than the instructions suggested. But really useful guide nonetheless!

Beatrice MH - Reply

I used a guitar pick to take off the keys. I needed to fix my space bar because it kept sticking. Here's what I learned about it:

There are two normal clips on either side of it with metal bars around the outside, but the center has the plastic plug which can easily be lost. This must be placed in the center (test it by pressing it and the computer should Space) and then press the plastic bar back into place making sure it clicks a few hundred times. Also, on the inside, you want to make sure the pegs that are closer together are closest to the trackpad and the ones farther away are closer to the CVBNM keys.

Kevin Stuckey - Reply

I used glasses cleaner to lightly dampen a paper towel. Gently wiped around the key, blew on it. Problem solved. Thank you for the idea.

Richard - Reply

Great post! Thank you very much! I have done this on a 2014 Macbook Pro 15 inch, and it was very similar to this walk through. More than sufficient info to get the job done!

Adam Flaxman - Reply

This did not work for me on the new 2016 MacBook style keyboard. Keys caps donot come off. Used this Reddit thread instead. https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/...

Yudron Wangmo - Reply

This do not work for me on a 2013 MacBook Pro.

key carriers and are NOT easy to put back on.

You do not even show how the pieces go on keyboard.

This sucks.

George Anderson - Reply

my tab key actually bounces back now! hoora!

bryn eigl - Reply

Thank you, Lilly and friends! Found a sesame seed under the down arrow key. Much better now! (Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15).

Ilhan Yusuf - Reply

LOL.. its common sense guys.. naturally you would with ease pull the keys off.. In fact, I used a small paring knife and gently lifted as close to the bottom up the key from underneath and held the knife down while pulling gently with the keys.. i only had to put the plastic pieces back on two of them that came off when i started.. Once i got the 'feel' for how much pressure to use, I had no problems after that. PATIENCE. Nice tutorial but i was actually searching for a tutorial that showed how to get SUPER STICKY keyboard cleaned.. my mac is 7 years old and it has sat at a bar for some time.. .. i'll figure that one out too.. :) Good luck guys.

Kimberly Southern - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 678

Past 7 Days: 3,712

Past 30 Days: 17,337

All Time: 131,387