How to Fix a Sticky Key in a MacBook Pro

Written by robert kingsley
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How to Fix a Sticky Key in a MacBook Pro
Alcohol will evaporate off of your keyboard which helps to avoid short circuits. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Everyone knows that you should avoid drinking and eating when working on a computer, but that knowledge stops very few of us from doing it. You may think that you're too careful to spill, but that won't matter when a hilarious YouTube video makes you snort soda all over your keyboard. You can wipe the mess off the top of the key, but when the soda dries, your key will be sticky. You'll have to pop the key off the keyboard, clean it, and the hinge below it and set it back in place.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol

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  1. 1

    Shut down your MacBook Pro, and unplug the power cord. Remove the battery from the bottom of the laptop.

  2. 2

    Insert the head of your screwdriver under the bottom corner of the sticky key. Twist the screwdriver to pry up the key and pop it off its hinge. Lift up and remove the key from the keyboard.

  3. 3

    Dip your cotton swap in a cap full of Alcohol and clean the key thoroughly. Once it is free of stickiness, set it aside.

  4. 4

    Remove the white plastic hinge from its place under the key. Use the cotton swab dipped in alcohol to wipe the hinge clean and set it aside with the key.

  5. 5

    Dip the cotton swab in alcohol and squeeze out any excess liquid. You only need it to be slightly damp to clean the keyboard. Wipe the key slot with the cotton swab to clean out any sticky substance.

  6. 6

    Press the plastic hinge in place in the key slot. Align the key over the hinge and press it down into place.

Tips and warnings

  • The spacebar is a bit more difficult to clean than the other keys. Remove it by unclipping its top corners. Lift the key up and slide it down towards the track pad. Clean the key, all three hinges and the slot before replacing the key. Slide down the metal bars on the bottom of the key and slide them into the small holes on each side of the key slot. Press the key into place to snap it on to the hinges.
  • If any keys or hinges should break during this procedure, you can purchase replacement parts online

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