How to Fix Macbook Key Press Bug

Want to know how you can fix your Macbook key press bug?

The keyboards on the MacBook Pro (at least the ones after 2016), the MacBook, and the MacBook Air (2018) have been a huge issue for Apple and a definite nightmare for us Mac users to put up with. The keyboard just lacks the reliability factor because every now and then some keypress bug will pop up with the keyboard and just disrupt your entire workflow making it to a certain extent unbearable.

The following solutions can reduce the effect of the keypress issue and help reduce the frequency of it happening. This is great so that you can at the very least make the Macbook usable and we know that we are not going to jump onto a Windows PC now that we are stuck inside Apple’s ecosystem.

Once you go Mac, you don’t go back. 😉

Let’s dive right in and get this bug fixed.

1. Using Unshaky (Free & Open Source)

Unshaky is a free and open source app that was developed by Sam Liu as a solution to the double key press issue that occurs to all the MacBooks that have the butterfly keyboard (that includes MacBook, MacBook Air 2018 and MacBook Pro 2016 and later)

The way Unshaky works is best described by their illustration below:

fix macbook key press bug

Let’s install Unshaky now. You can follow the video created by Sam below or follow the steps provided here.

The steps are as follows:

  1. To begin, download the Unshaky app by clicking the official download link below:
  1. Once you’ve downloaded it, simply move the into the /Application folder in your Mac.
  2. Next, you can follow the instructions directly in Unshaky to set up Unshaky for your Mac. If, however, the instruction doesn’t work, then simply jump into your System Preferences and then Security & Privacy and then select the Privacy tab. Following that, click on Accessibility from the left panel and simply add the Unshaky application. Make sure that it is selected as shown below in Image 3.

fix macbook key press bug

  1. You’re now done with all the setting up. You can still have Unshaky be activated from the moment your Mac starts up by automating it. To do that simp jump back into your System Preferences, then Users & Groups. Following that select the Login Items tab and simply add the Unshaky app once again like shown below. This will make it launch at startup.

fix macbook key press bug

Okay, great! But now how do I know if it is working?

You have to set your Delay time in milliseconds (ms) for the defective key(s).

For instance, if you consider yourself as a super fast typer, then having a shorter delay like 30-40ms will help to avoid the key from being unresponsive. As stated by the official Unshaky docs some users may find that a delay of 60ms or even 80ms delay would suffice but, in our opinion, we like to follow what the official documentation recommends by putting a short delay like 40ms delay as the ideal starting point and then increase it gradually to your comfort.

The reason why you need to add this delay using Unshaky is that it will force the other key presses that happen within the delay period you’ve chosen to be ignored. This is how the app solves to solve the problem of when you press a key once, it executes several times.

2. The Off-Chance Remedy.

Another solution that you can try is a simple tweak in your Mac’s settings that can help potentially fix the key press bug.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go ahead click on your Apple menu at the very top and then select your System Preferences.
  2. Next, jump into the Keyboard preference panel and then select the Keyboard tab (similarly as shown below)
  3. Now, see the Key Repeat setting? Yes, adjust the slider all the way to the left so that it is set to the Off position.

Key Repeat Setting

  1. Once you’ve saved that, exit out of your System Preferences.

Annnd you’re done!

You can try to open up any notepad on your Mac and try typing phrases to see if the steps above have managed to solve the double-typing or the double-spacing issue you were having.

3. Cleaning the Crevices.

The keyboards we have on our MacBooks are certainly not in any way the best dustproof keyboards.

A quick look between the keys should allow you to see how easy it is for dust and all kinds of lint to get stuck in there and eventually block the key from ‘pressing’.

clean Macbook keyboard
You don’t have to open the keys one by one but the crevices (sides) should be cleaned.

So how do you clean your keyboard?

Well, there are a few ways, but the safest and most effective way would be to take Apple’s instructions on cleaning the keyboard.

Just make sure your MacBook is turned off. This is because you don’t want to wipe your keyboard and accidentally press anything.

You can try rotating the MacBook at a 75-degree angle and gently tussle the dirt and lint out of it.

fix macbook key press bug

Another way would be to take a lightly damp cloth and then wipe the keyboard gently. You can also try grabbing a can of compressed air and then gently blowing the dirt out from the crevices of the keyboard.

fix macbook key press bug

4. Apple’s Keyboard Service Program (Free)

Finally if nothing in this guide does work and you absolutely need to get this resolved as soon as possible, then know that Apple has a free (yup, I’m not lying) Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pros which they will fix and replace they keyboards for free with no hidden costs or sly tricks.

You can read more about it on Apple’s official Keyboard Service Program page in the link below:

Unfortunately the 2018 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air are not covered under the program despite them having the same keyboard design as their predecessors and despite countless Mac users complaining their new 2018 MacBook’s keyboard still has the same key press issue.

Anyways, still, it’s best to go to your nearest Apple Store and have a chat with Apple’s Support team regardless if you’re Mac is qualified under their program or not since they may help you using the limited warranty plan that is available.

Let us know below if any of the above solutions have proved to be useful as they could help others too. 🙂

Don’t forget to share this post!


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

  1. The Off-Chance Remedy worked for me on my 2018 Macbook Air. I’ve had to learn to moderate my typing speed to match the Macs rhythm, but that’s a lot easier and more effective than mistyping and having to go back and change errors or completely replacing accidentally erasing letters, words, and even whole paragraphs. It’s not a complete solution, but it’s working reliably for me. Bravo!

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