How To Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard until a Liquid Spill

Liquid and laptop keyboards are not a match made in heaven in any way. In fact, if you don’t act quickly, a liquid spill will fry out the circuitry in your laptop very quickly. I recently received a mid-2012 MacBook Pro (MBP) 15” with Retina display from a family member who spilled some coffee on it. A row of keys wasn’t working nor was the space bar. With some help from iFixIt.com (guides and parts), I was able to replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard. The process is NOT easy, in fact, I would be very careful attempting to do this type of repair. But if your MBP is already broken, you might give it a shot.

Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard - the operating table

The important thing to remember is that you should do your best to keep liquids away from electronics. But if you DO happen to spill on your laptop, there are two things you should do immediately:

  1. Turn off the laptop
  2. Turn the keyboard upside down to drain the liquids

The faster you can do this, the less likely you will have permanent damage to the circuitry. But with the 2012 MacBook Pro that I had, the damage had already been done. While it did boot up, I couldn’t log onto it because my password had some letters that could not be typed on the keyboard (luckily a USB keyboard worked fine). Oh and the keyboard had a wonderful aroma of coffee.

 

Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard - iFixIt guide

Here are the tools/materials I used in this repair:

  • iFixIt.com guide
  • MBP Upper Case Assembly – refurb/A-stock from iFixIt ($550) or new from iFixIt ($800)
  • T5 & T8 Torx Screwdrivers
  • MBP/MBAir 5-point pentalobe screwdriver
  • Spudger
  • Plastic Opening tool
  • Tweezers
  • Egg carton (to hold small screws)

Video: Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard

Here is the video (which is also available directly on YouTube . Do note, it is over 30-minutes long. The actual process, the first time through (which included filming) took me about 4 hours. A second time through only took me about 2 hours, once I knew what I was doing.

The most important thing to remember is don’t rush throught the process. There are many tiny, fragile ribbons and connectors that can easily rip or break.

Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard - Back-lit Keyboard Ribbon

While this was one of the more difficult repairs that I have done, it also allowed me to really understand all of the components that make up a MacBook Pro. And although I’m not a repair expert, I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have about this how to replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard article.

Replace a MacBook Pro Keyboard - Open MacBook Pro

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received the part at cost from iFixIt.com for consideration in preparing to write and film this content. I was/am not expected to return this item. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page.

HTD says: Keep liquids away from computers! But if you do spill and damage is done, you CAN repair it yourself!

Buy me a coffee!”>

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Post Author: Tech Review