Apple Keyboard (Aluminum) keycap removal

I decided to switch around my new Apple Keyboard to use the Dvorak layout. I didn’t find any resources when I searched, so here are photos and directions. It worked for me but I can’t guarantee your success. Research the cost and availability of replacement parts before attempting.

All of the keys that must be moved to convert the new aluminum keyboard to the Dvorak layout have their scissors arranged this way. The two clips along the top of the keycap hold onto the bars near the top of the scissors. These must be pulled free. Then the lower tabs are released by moving the key toward the upper edge of the keyboard; turning the keyboard face down helps.

I found these easier to remove than the keycaps on the MacBook Pro—I didn’t break any of the scissors this time! Also, the scissors appear to be harder to replace as a result of their stronger design. If you break one, leave a note to help others avoid the same outcome.

Keycap Removal

  1. Slide a thin, non-marring tool such as a fingernail under the top edge of the keycap.
  2. Depress the bottom edge of the keycap.
  3. Rotate the keycap up with increasing pressure until the two top clips are released from the scissor.
  4. Invert the keyboard and jiggle the key to release the lower hinges.

Keycap Replacement

  1. Drop the keycap into place.
  2. Jiggle the key to seat the lower pivots.
  3. Press down with increasing pressure until the top clips click into place.

101 thoughts on “Apple Keyboard (Aluminum) keycap removal

  1. Thanks for posting this, Andy! My MacBook keyboard gave me such a hard time, I was a little nervous when I couldn’t figure out where to unhook the scissor hinge on the aluminum. I guess I didn’t have to after all!

  2. I spilled some soda on my keyboard and after an hour or so my Spacebar got really sticky and I just wanted to let you know that this post really helped me out. πŸ˜€

  3. Watch the larger keys. The Ctrl key, for one, has a metal support hoop to stabilise it. This if pulled off too hard WILL bend the support tang. The metal tang is very soft and will not stand repeated removal. Just pushing the key on with the hoop out of alignment made a permanent impression in the metal.

  4. Thanks a lot! My T key got sticky and you helped me find the booger underneath it. Works fine now.

  5. Just wanted to let anyone reading this that this does work. It’s the best way to clean your keyboard especially if you got some soda in there.

  6. Just a heads up … not all keys come off the same way. Trying this it appears that atleast the arrow keys are different. The up arrow should be lifted on the left side to start out and then unclipped from there. I have no reason to take my keyboard apart, so I did not try any other keys. Be gentle and patient or you risk damaging small difficult to replace parts.

  7. Definately easier to get them out…

    Thanks, much better to use the keyboard with less… i don’t even know what it was… under the keys!

  8. Thanks for this. It worked great.

    I wish there was some way to get the index marks in the right spot again or that — gasp — Apple actually sold some of these as Dvorak to begin with so we didn’t have to muck around with it… or sell a hard wired Dvorak so you didn’t even have to change the keyboard setting at all on OSX.

  9. This tutorial helped me a lot. I spilled about a half of a can of soda onto the center of my keyboard. I figured that there was no way to fix it, since it was all so compact. Don’t try to remove the larger keys though. (Command, option, control, etc.) They are held in place by metal, if you break those, you won’t be smiling.

  10. So then what’s the best way to clean under the right command key if I can’t remove it due to the metal? The other day I was having McDonalds Hot Cakes while I was editing some film and as I poured the syrup there was a piece of Pankcake leaning over the edge of the plate. Syrup hit it, slid off and right onto my Spacebar/Command/Option keys on the right side but I was able to clean it out so the spacebar and option keys have no stickiness to them. But hours later I find that my command is still screwed and I do use that key on a semi-regular basis. What should I do to specifically break down the syrup substance under that key?

  11. arghhhh, I’ve struggling with re-clipping the “y” key for an hour… it won’t clip arggghhhhhh

  12. Thank you! I was worried that my current apple keyboard (dvorak layout) would have to carry me well into the new generation of mac keyboards! I would sit around the mac section of the store pondering if it were possible to extract the keys and surreptitiously trying to remove them when the salespeople weren’t looking!

    Now I’ll feel much better about getting a new mac, but seriously, I think I’ll just switch to a happy hacking keyboard with no key markings!

    Thank you very much for this post. By the way, how do you like the feel of the keyboard itself? I have only ever used the old-style mac keyboards up until the version included with the g5 imacs and the original intel imac. Is it nice? I’ve always found that the mac keyboard is pretty decent.

  13. Thanks a lot – I spilt Orange Juice in my old style Wireless KB, and it died. Just a couple of points for anyone coming across this – you need to pull harder than you think, but still to be careful. I don’t know if I broke anything when putting them back on, but the only problem I had with taking them apart was the two halves of the scissors coming apart, but I could carefully and reasonably easily put them back together.

    Not so keen on the keyboard though, but people seem to like it so maybe it’ll grow on me.

  14. My aluminium keyboard was the recipient of the best part of a pint of orange squash yesterday. 😦

    I’ve dried it all out as best I can, but some of the keys are still sticky – in particular, the space bar. Has anyone had any luck with getting it off? Any help with getting the space bar off would really be appreciated.

    Any other tips on getting the other keys off would be helpful, too – I haven’t work out how, exactly. Do I just have to pull them up really hard, or do I have to depress something to release it? I took the keys off my MacBook keyboard a while back to turn it to Dvorak, and I had to press the scissors in the right place under those to pop them off…

  15. OP here. My dad spilled coffee with cream and sugar right over my keyboard. Funny, I wrote this without giving much thought to liquid disasters.

    Anyway, I unplugged up the keyboard and took it to the sink for a long rinse in warm water. Total time from spill to rinse: 5 seconds. The coffee barely had a chance to cause damage. After about a minute of rinsing I left the keyboard near a vent to dry.

    A month later, it still works perfectly and I never had to remove a key. Take this advice: if you spill something on your keyboard, unplug it and get it into clean water ASAP!

  16. Many, many thanks. I always use qwerty layout here in Slovakia. But someone once decided Slovaks use qwertz. And now, I have full featured with all the accented chars keys slovak QWERTY Apple aluminum keyboard. Thanks, Andy!

  17. I work in a school where a handful of students take it upon themselves to swap the key caps around (they usually end up breaking things in the process because they don’t really know what they’re doing and/or are just plain malicious). I have successfully used the plastic “scissors” from a 9″ iBook keyboard to use as replacements on the new, flat aluminium ones. They appear to be exactly the same size and shape. It is a tricky process, and you will probably need to use a magnifying glass, but I have done it a few times, and it has saved us buying a complete new keyboard each time. You can’t buy sets of keyboard parts from Apple – I have enquired a number of times without success.

  18. ATTN:

    I spilled 1-2oz of bottled water on my Apple keyboard (same keyboard being discussed here) and 1/3 of the keys don’t work anymore. Taking the keys off the board and fiddling inside didn’t help.

    Can anyone offer any advice?

  19. Steven Jones: I can’t find the receipt but I did buy scissors online last year. It might have been here .

    Elliot: Unplug and rinse the keyboard for a few minutes, then dry it thoroughly. I put mine near a warm air vent for a few hours to dry it.

  20. Excelling info! Got my keys off and back on without breaking a single one. Unlike previously on my iBook where I broke a few.

    When replacing the keycaps the wiggling can sometimes break the wider, bottom, latches. I found the best thing to do is to hold the scissor up slide the key almost upside down under it (about 130 degrees) and latch it. There’s a little gap there for it to latch this way. Once the bottom is hooked let the key fall naturally, then wiggle a little with your finger as you push the top in place.

    Thanks again for saving me from breaking my keys!

  21. I have a PB4 and the Apple key popped up from the lower edge. I thought it was going to be a big problem but I followed your instructions and in less than 5 minutes it was fixed. Thanks for taking the time to offer your DIY site.

  22. I live in Chile, and macs are gaining popularity but im probably one of the few with a 24in imac, which I brought with me from the states. As such, its a popular item when people are over, and I find when I stand up to go to the bathroom, upon returning, without fail, someone will be taking hundreds of photos of themselves with the distortions. On one of these occasions my knucklehead cousin spilled a glass of coke on the right side of the keyboard and kind of just stared at it for a bit. Being my first aluminum, I thought it would be resistant. Not. Whole left side is sticky and, worse, the keys actually make noise now. Gone are the days of smooth stealth key stroking. I was going to go buy a new one, but after looking up cleaning the mighty mouse due to the wont scroll down issue, second one to do this, I figured id look into cleaning this sexy beast. Thanks for the info!

  23. This was really helpful; I keep swearing I’m going to stop eating at the keyboard, but that keeps not happening. I successfully repaired one stuck key. Another key (my “C” key) still makes occasional funny clicking noises, and there’s no visible dirt or goop, so I’m going to try the rinse-in-water trick next (AFTER I buy an alternate keyboard).

    @Oben: If you’re a little handy, you could probably make your own index marks. A drop of epoxy would work perfectly. You’ll still have the original index marks on F and J, but maybe you could file them off? (Or, if you don’t mind the cheapo look, get an extra E and I keycap, and with marker or paint, turn them into F and J πŸ™‚ )

    I used one of those clear plastic stick-on dome-shaped feet (for putting knickknacks on glass tables) to make the Mac Pro’s power switch easier to feel. That idea would work for the keyboard too, but I don’t think they come nearly small enough…

  24. Thank you, Andy !! Very useful info. Key removed and replaced with no problem.
    And ours was the “C” key sticking, as well… Hmmm…. CoinCidenCe?

  25. What is the “scissor” you talk about? I still can’t reconnect my “down” arrow key..

  26. Thanks so much Andy for this brilliant ‘how-to’. Really was the best info I could find on how to remove the keys to clean the beer from under several sticky keys. Top tip: Don’t leave your bottle of Miller next to your shiny keyboard when surfing You Tube! Thanks again!

  27. Thanks a million for this description. I also managed to remove the larger keys (even Caps Lock) without damaging anything. You can unpin in the same way like skeltoac described, but mind to slide the metal support hoop back into its hangers before putting them back in place

  28. Has anyone run into the “clicky keys” problem? I’m on my third aluminum keyboard in six months of owning a Mac, and inevitably, some of the keys start getting, well, clicky. It’s as if there’s some tiny particle that they’re crunching down on, but when I remove the keycap, I can’t see anything. Likewise, sometimes they’ll start feeling sticky and “slow”.

    I’ve tried compressed air, wiping down the keycap, scissor, and aluminum edge, and nothing seems to work. I’ve even (accidentally) removed the scissor and re-attached it. Sometimes I think I’ve fixed it, but then it returns on the same key. The membrane switch itself feels normal.

    My environmental hazards are the usual: food and drink, pet hair, arm hair. Obviously, I try to be careful.

    I just took one of my non-functioning keyboards and rinsed it for a few minutes, so I’ll find out soon if that helps, but it seems a bit extreme. Any clues? I’ve owned probably a dozen different keyboards from Microsoft, Logitech, and Kinesis Ergo, and I’ve never seen this before; Apple’s keys are incredibly fragile.

  29. @Jay: I too have my “M” key starting to “click”. Having pulled it off, I noticed that the top section of the round membrane is not stuck to the base unlike the bottom side. Slightly wobbling this I can reproduce what sounds like the “click”. I’m thinking that perhaps on a normal key, the whole membrane is adhered to the bottom, and that on this key it has somehow worked itself off resulting in the dreaded clickiness. Likewise the key started off being a bit sticky which lead me to invistigate it further.

  30. Beware!!! On a new aluminum keyboard which came with a Mac Pro, I was about 80% through swapping keys when I found that the F key has its scissor switch rotated 90 degrees. Gaaaa!!!! I decided to stop and undo all the work I’d done already because not only would at least two keys be sideways, but these keys are not exactly square so there was a chance they wouldn’t fit properly in their new locations. I hadn’t gotten to the other key with a bump ( J ); that one might have been rotated also.

    I can’t think any good reason why Apple would have done this except to discourage people from swapping keys. I wasted a lot of time and put my keyboard through unnecessary wear (especially having to swap keys back) just because of some assholish decision at Apple. If they’d offered a dvorak keyboard I would have bought one, but now I’m stuck with keeping things qwerty or using my icky, old keyboard (which at least was easy to change to dvorak).

  31. Wow. I bought the aluminum keyboard one week after it hit the shelves, and had a friend spill my campari orange over it three days later πŸ˜›
    Everything on the right of the return key has been incredibly sticky ever since.
    Why did it take SO long for me to find this amazing howto?

    I second that you have to pull harder than you think, but it’s even more important to note that not all keys have the scissors aligned to the top. The arrow keys are to be pulled off from the left side etc. Try to carefully lift and check each key before pulling!

  32. Thanks. I was eating an egg sandwich when some egg yolk squirted onto the keyboard. My arrow keys started working funky on account of the dried egg yolk in the keyboard. Thanks to this message I was able to restore my keyboard to its pre-egg condition. Many thanks!

  33. I was just able to successfully reattach the space bar. I, too, spilled coffee on mine and it didn’t work for a few days. During the downtime, I pried hard enough with a knife on the space bar to get it off. I don’t think you can break it, just pry it from the middle and it will come off.

    The hard part was getting it back on. The key is to pull out the two metal pieces that run the length of the key and place them into the keyboard before snapping the key back on.

  34. thanks, this is my first computer and think i made the right choice.
    the return/enter key was sticky for some unknown reason and your article saved me a trip to the mac store to get raped. the return enter key is removed as described in the article. Thanks man

  35. Wow, your a legend, just saved my the Β£30 i was about to shell out on a new keyboard cause the can or relentless i split many months ago that was playing with about 10 of my keys was going my nut in, first time ive done out out this, and not a single key damaged, thank you very much!

  36. Darn it, I broke part of the scissors AND the plastic bit of my key.

    Where can I order a key replacement? Would Apple help me fix it under warranty?

  37. Absolutely recommend against removing the keys on a MBP

    I have a 15 inch and after removing several keys about half of them broke in some way on reseating or would never reseat properly despite following the guidelines given here and elsewhere

    I have worked with several other keyboards and never had a problem before

    Strongly recommend investing in a canister of compressed or otherwise working on keys in situ

  38. one more bit of advice; for anyone who unfortunately does not have a wonderful set of nails, i recommend the use of a credit/debit/id card!!

    every little helps πŸ˜‰

  39. Great hints, thanks a lot!

    Two additions: I used the thin plastic toothpick of my penknife for lifting. And the ENTER key comes off from the left side. Good luck, everybody!

  40. Great work, Andy. I’ve fixed an unresponsive ‘a’ and caps lock key by placing a small amount of BluTac above the plastic column for these keys – worked a charm!

  41. Thanks for the tips!
    I have been looking around and I can’t find any info anywhere. I thought maybe you would know?
    My question is “Can you wash the aluminum keyboards in water like there predecessors?”

    If anybody knows or has tried then please let me know…

    : )

  42. thanks! i spilled juice on my iMac Aluminum keyboard and the “s” was sticking a bit. I just got my nail under the top of the letter and gently pulled until it clicked out of place. i was then able to clean it all up and it is good as new. Good lookin out with the site.

  43. I had better luck getting the space bar off from one short end at a time. Had to remove the metal bars from the plastic space bar – they are what was really the stickiest, I found out. (Limoncello liquor) Pay close attention to how the tips of the metal bars are turned in before you remove them – you have to put them back the same way. A bit of a beast to put back on. I found that slipping the top metal bar slightly in first, followed by bottom metal bar worked best. I would not try the running water trick unless I had tried to clean individual keys first. If you do it, don’t plug it back in until it has dried out overnight over an air vent like Andy (OP) did. Excelsior!

  44. Thanks for this. Just spent the last 30minutes puting all the keys back in the right place on a keyboard in one my my uni’s computer labs. Some little brat switched them all around… *sigh

  45. I found a quite good improvised tool: the top from a cheap Bic pen. Push it in on the front side (facing the screen) of the key at about a 75 degree angle, and it will insert between the key and the metal frame rather easily, due to the shape, size, and slipperiness of the plastic. Pull the top towards yourself (towards the space bar), push the bottom of the key downward so the bottom edge is below the frame, and pull key towards yourself (towards the spacebar). It will pop-off rather well. Beware of damaging the plunger by inserting the top too deeply. Using this method, I removed and reordered keys into Dvorak in less than 1/4 hr.

  46. The esc key is clipped on the left. You’ll need to pull up the left side to get it off. This may be true of the other F keys but I haven’t checked.

  47. This worked. My 13 year old daughter spilled chocolate ice cream on our iMac watching videos. I did the I, J, U, M, N keys perfectly. I used a paper clip bent out to pry up the top of the key and then used my finger to press the base. I didn’t break one. Used rubbing alcohol and swabs and blew out the excess. Everything works perfect and I used the keyboard to type this. Total time for 5 keys, 15 minutes.

  48. Well, 3rd day on dvorak. I started by converting a Dell Quiet Key, and had to deal with fixing the sideways f and j problem. Messy but worked. Then I found this and converted my apple keyboard. No broken keys or sideways problems. Thank you VERY much!

  49. Great help. I spilled Sprite on my MB Air and the FN, Control, Shift, Caps Lock and Tab Keys were sticking like there was no tomorrow. Using the info I was able to remove the keys without damaging them, thoroughly clean them on the underside and clean the latch bar with a q-tip. Great help. Had I not seen this I’m sure i would have removed the key incorrectly and broke something. NO MORE STICKING KEYS!!!

  50. Great info. I’m sure my kids and wife have spilled all kinds of stuff on this keyboard with the D and Spacebar really sticking. Fixed S, D, F, left Command, X, C, V and Spacebar with a bit of alcohol and cotton swabs. For the spacebar, don’t pull it off all the way. I pulled the top left and right corners simultaneously and lifted it up keeping the bottom side down. There are small wires, one on each side, that can get bent as a previous post mentioned. Think of it as opening the hood on your car with the spacebar on a hinge.

    Thanks for the great info! I will pass this along to my other Mac friends!

  51. Extremely helpful. I thought my “S” key felt far stiffer than any other keys, so I popped it off to see if there was a reason. Sadly there wasn’t, but for some reason, I think it feels better now. I’ve also been up for god knows how long, so my fingers could just be quite tired and not translating properly.

    Thanks for the info though!

  52. Spilled a very small amount of water on mine in he lower right corner and pulled the keys off to clean. Everything went back together perfect except most of the keyboard does not work. hoping a day or so of drying will fix it…

  53. This has helped me alot to remove the keys. But i got a few drops of water on my spacebar and took it off to try to dry it. All my other keys work but my spacebar doesnt register at all on my computer. Do you think its fried? and suggestions or help?

  54. Awesome advice!!!!!!! I spilled orange juice and champagne on my keyboard and thought I was going to have to buy a new one. I followed this advice removing 29 keys and cleaning them. The keyboard works like a charm without any problems.

    Thanks again,


  55. Thanks! This was great…. I used a nail file to get under mine, and it came off perfectly… my return key was half stuck!

  56. This is great information- thank you. I spilled some water on my keyboard, and had to take a keypad or two off to dry. Now everything’s working, but one of the keys “clicks” when I press it. It seems to be all the way on, and I’ve replaced it a couple of more times, but can’t get rid of the sound. If anyone has an idea on how to silence this, I’s appreciate hearing from them.

  57. Thank you very much !!!! I was going to an app store to replace the keyboard, but you saved my time.

  58. This guide was great. I have the 2009 Alum Bluetooth keyboard, and i’ve noticed a few keys sticking. I paid $70 for this keyboard a month ago so I’d like to not have to replace it; thanks to this guide, I pulled up a few keys in class and found some root beer stuck underneath. Now I can go home and clean it! Thanks!

  59. Thanks! I was able to remove, clean, and replace a sticky ESC key by following your instructions. Now editing in EMACS is a pleasure again!

  60. Thank you so much for this. My brand new aluminum keyboard had a stiff 3 key. I took it off with this method and found absolutely nothing under or around the scissors. But when I put the key back it feels exactly like all the other number keys.

  61. Thanks! The cuplrit was Coke in my case. A modification that might be helpful: while on step 3, if you push one of the “scissor” arms inward from the side, the key pops out with less pressure required. I gently pried “P” up with an XActo from the top, got my fingertip underneath, pushed the bottom of the key down with my thumb, then used the back edge of the blade to push the right scissor arm a little–pop!

  62. Where can you buy keys for the standard Apple keyboard that comes with MacPros?

    my F and J keys are almost smooth now, so i can’t feel where the raised part is:(


  63. Thanks for detailing how to remove these keys, it was very helpful. I did/do still have a problem with the number “0” key however. Unlike the smaller keys, the number “0” has 2 small wires that have to be aligned before the key is snapped into place. I don’t have any problem inserting the wires under the hooks however getting the key to snap into place so it’s still springy still eludes me. Any suggestions?


  64. Wow. Thanks so much for posting this. I dropped my pb & j (yes, careless of me – I will not eat near my computer again!) and frantically searched for some advice on cleaning my aluminum 13″ macbook keys. The steps here were clear and helpful. just used some cotton pads and a little rubbing alcohol. Once I figured out how the little pieces worked, it was a lot easier to remove and replace the other keys. Again, many thanks.

  65. p.s. The Shift key gave me some trouble. The little plastic things came out different than the others and I had to reassemble them a few times… tricky little guys but I got it.

  66. This worked on my iMac 7,1 Aluminum keyboard!

    Following Andy’s instructions – remove the keycap from the top, once the two clips are free, I was able to gently push the bottom of the key, up and away.


  67. Thanks alot for this Andy, I wasnt sure how to start, but I whipped a bottle of isopropanol out and followed your instructions. Now I can finally type efficient again =)

  68. My favourite spillages are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Removing the key caps has been an easy task. Cleaning the remaining cavities with cotton swaps removed the grape stains and left the little contraptions shine again. The mulfunctioning regions of the keyboard, however, did not experience resurrection. Tomorrow, I woll see my Apple dealer and later, I will consult the friendly clerk at Jacques’ Wine Depot for lyophillized Merlot or so.

    Do better,

    PS: this message is typed with an antique “Cherry” device made in the Czech Republic!

    PS2: Anyone out there making a living with aluminum recycling? I got a gift for you!

  69. When I popped my keys back in using the Dvorak layout, I noticed that certain keys (J, U, F, and H) had to be put in different directions. Did anybody else face this issue?

  70. Hey guys–

    I followed these directions and it worked with all the keys except the shift key. I broke two of the tabs on the little white squares what lock together and rise/fall with the keyboard. Is there anywhere I can go to get a replacement shift key? or would i have to take it to the apple store?

  71. I tried this on my iMac keyboard, as I also prefer the Dvorak layout. It worked just as you said – but I found that the F and J scissors are rotated 90Γ‹Ε‘CW. F, J, H and U still fit into their new spots just fine, albeit turned.

    Thanks for the info!

  72. Thanks!
    The spacebar is a little tricky to get back on because there are two parallel steel wires that are shaped like stretched “U”s underneath. You need to pivot the bottom “U” so its ends stick out, then line these up with the bottom “hoops” on the keyboard, and slip them in. Now your spacebar is sitting like a car hood (as described in an earlier post where they didn’t take the whole thing off). Now spin your keyboard around and using a pin, pivot the top “U” so its ends stick out a bit. Line up the “U” ends so that when you press the space bar down these will slide in to the top “hoops”. Push down and snap into place. You will be able to feel immediately if it has worked.

  73. @mercutio, thanks for the tip about getting the space bar back on. Mine was squeaking really badly every time I pressed it so I took it off to clean but was having a devil of a job getting ut back on.

    Something to watch out for is that the space bar has a right and a wrong way up, so if you find that it is not clicking into place even when you have the metal pieces in the right place, try turning it round. You might find it useful to mark your space bar before removing it.

  74. Thank you so much for this! I spilt juice on my macbook pro and as a consequence two keys (fn and ctrl) were sticky. I followed your instructions and cleaned the keys, without breaking anything!

    I am very grateful for your advice, it was the most helpful article I found on the matter of sticky keys on the web, and gave me the confidence to take my keys out and clean them.


  75. The above advice was very helpful. I would like do add that if you are trying to reinsert a key with the metal u-bar attached to it (like the above mentioned space bar but in my case the delete key.) it can help to detach the metal u-bar from the key, insert it through the hoops, make sure the white folding chair thingy is up (by maybe holding the thing upside down) and giving it a gentle little wiggle as you put it in.

  76. First thanks so much! I got my period key off with no problem and was able to clean under it and fix it really easily. πŸ˜€

    But, question: do you (does anyone?) know what to do if the scissor comes apart? Not breaks, but just the bottom piece comes out. That happened when I tried the same thing on my comma key, and now I can’t get it back together. 😦

  77. First remove batteries!!!!
    Hold the keyboard flat and soak in rubbing alcohol to the point where it is coming out all the keys. Work the effected keys and shake the alcohol out. Repeat several times to be sure to remove all the sticky stuff. (Chocolate milk in my case from my 5 year old). Almost half my keys were affected and this fixed the problem. Have done this twice now and it still works fine. I did remove the space bar with the instructions given here and this will work also but you run the risk of breaking a tab. With several keys affected this works like a charm. !!!Be sure to let all the alcohol evaporate before powering back up with the batteries. The circuit board be fine if you give the alcohol time to evaporate.

  78. Yep use white spirit sparingly !!!!!! cotton buds and then with needle point tweezers lift the top of the key, pulling evenly and gently toward you until you hear click if the little centre piece of rubber comes out use the tweezers to put it back into place.

  79. Thanks so much! I called apple and they said if I spilt something on it I voided the warranty and would need to spend 70 dollars!

    My keyboard is nice and no more sticky keys. Great tutorial! I thought it would have been a lot harder, but it was really a piece of cake.

    I was really nervous with these keys and thought it was complex to take the keys off, but it’s easy.

  80. ok i removed the shift key.. cleaned around it and replaced.. thanks for the tip.. but as you can see it still will not ‘shift’.. any ideas////

  81. Just spilled a full mug of coffee all over my apple aluminium keyboard.
    Dashed to the bathroom to grab an old towel to soak up all the superficial fluid.
    Unplugged and wrapped the keyboard in the towel and swung it around to try to force out whatever fluid remained internally. Plugged it back in and it works fine.
    Time for another mug of coffee.

  82. Thanks!! I noticed my right arrow key had become stiff and didn’t feel right today. I was wondering if I got something stuck under it, so I wanted to remove it and see, but when I read your info, I tried just pressing down firmly on the top, and it made a nice click, and now works fine! Apparently the scissors had come out of place somehow. A nice quick fix to a annoying problem I might have just let go on bugging me forever. Thanks for the info!:)

  83. Most keyboards (in the UK at least) have the fixtures for the F and J keys at 90 degrees, presumably to prevent you rearranging the layout. Apple didn’t do this; I bought a UK layout aluminium wired keyboard in late 2008 and rearranged the keys to Dvorak without a problem. I bought another of the same in early 2011 with the intent of changing it to Dvorak, however Apple has now spitefully revised the keyboard to include aforementioned special fixtures for F and J.
    If you are thinking of trying the Dvorak layout be sure to remove the F key first to check if this is the case for you. You can still go ahead but keep in mind the F, U, J and H keys will sit at a very annoying 90-degree angle. Apple’s reputation used to be all about thinking and being different, but this is a sad display of conformity. Thanks a lot Apple.

  84. Folks,

    Bought a used aluminum keyboard. Worked flawlessly for weeks. Then, slowly but
    inevitably, it started getting balky…

    It’s a strange assortment of keys whose scissors are on “sideways”:

    – The skinny little function keys across the top, which are tricky to remove. At least one of the scissor “axles” (on the top and bottom center, for these keys) will likely break. At least that was the case for me. It’s possible a previous owner of the keyboard broke ’em, though ;-).

    – At least “F” and “J” (possibly others: I only removed the sticky keys) are rotated so that the “top” of the mechanism is to the right.

    – Left shift has *two* scissors and a metal stabilizer bar running across the *bottom* of the key.

    – Left control also has a stabilizer bar, but it runs across the *top* of the key.

    Happy typing,


  85. Awesome! The only thing to add is that if you need to take the smaller keys off the top row of the keyboard to clean them as I did, you will need to pry them up from the left side of the key instead of the top. Other wise, it’s the same procedure for them as well.

  86. I’m using the ultra-thin aluminium keyboard now. I try to change the layout to Dvorak, and the F and J keys just can’t fit in!!! The F, H, J and U key is annoying!!!!! It’s rotated 90ΒΊ!!

  87. Thanks for the post. Do you have a picture of the keyboard layout after you completed the conversion to DVORAK?

  88. F, H, J and U are the only problem keys in this conversion. Does anyone sell a kit of just these four as replacement keys for properly converting a keyboard to DVORAK layout??

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