How do i know if I have butterfly keyboard on Mac?

The MacBook’s keyboard history ranges from applauds to controversies, and one can’t mention this without bringing up the butterfly keyboard. The butterfly keyboard mechanism, introduced by Apple, is named for its components that resemble a butterfly’s wings, designed to offer a responsive and slim keyboard solution. This mechanism aimed to provide the same level of performance as the traditional scissor-switch keyboard but in a more compact form. The concept was a step towards innovation; however, it was not without its flaws, as some users reported issues such as unresponsive keys or keys that would get stuck.

Identifying if You Have a Butterfly Keyboard

It’s a common question among MacBook users: “Do I have a butterfly keyboard?” If you’re using a relatively new MacBook model, it’s less likely you have one. Apple implemented the butterfly keyboard starting in 2015 and continued using this design until the end of 2019. If you own a MacBook from the models listed below, it’s equipped with the butterfly keyboard:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

All MacBook models manufactured in 2020 or later have moved away from the butterfly keyboard design. Apple finally phased out this mechanism in favor of a newer scissor-switch keyboard, which is present in Apple Silicon MacBooks.

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Addressing Butterfly Keyboard Issues

While a considerable number of users have experienced few to no issues with their butterfly keyboards, there is a segment of the user base that has faced frustrating problems. If you’re someone who’s struggling with issues like sticky keys or repeated characters, you have a few options available.

Apple acknowledged the issues with the butterfly keyboard and responded by instituting a “Keyboard Service Program for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.” This program offers services for the affected models. If your MacBook is exhibiting any of the known butterfly keyboard issues, such as unresponsive keys or characters not appearing as they should, you’re eligible for repair services free of charge.

However, it’s vital to note that the program covers your MacBook for only four years following the first retail sale date of the unit. It’s always best to check if your device qualifies for the program and to reach out for service promptly if you’re within the eligibility timeframe.

Transition to a New Keyboard Era

The shift from the butterfly keyboard to a scissor-switch design in newer models signals Apple’s commitment to evolving its hardware to meet users’ preferences and feedback. The new keyboard, found in the latest MacBook models, offers improved reliability and user experience.


In summary, if your MacBook is part of the models listed with the butterfly keyboard and you’re experiencing difficulties, take advantage of Apple’s service program. For those with MacBooks from 2020 onward, you can rest assured that your device comes with the newer, more reliable scissor-switch keyboard.

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It’s clear that Apple has made a concerted effort to move past the butterfly keyboard era, seeking to provide a better typing experience for all users. This evolution of the MacBook keyboard is just a part of the innovation journey inherent in technology progression. As always, ensure you’re up-to-date with your model’s specifics and service opportunities to make the most of your MacBook’s capabilities.

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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