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How To Replace Key Caps And Butterfly Clips On The MacBook Pro (2016 – 2018)

The complete guide on how to replace keys caps on the MacBook Pro A1706, A1707 and A1708

In this article we will cover how to install keycaps and butterfly clips on the MacBook Pro A1706, A1707 and A1708. To replace any keycap in this guide it is essential to have a thin, rigid tool to pry the keycaps off. We offer key removal tools which are ideal for the task.

Table of contents

Introduction

This guide will demonstrate how to remove and install all key caps on the MacBook Pro 2016 – 2018. This guide is applicable to the following models:

MacBook Pro 13" Late 2016 (A1708)
MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar Late 2016 (A1706)
MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar Late 2016 (A1707)
MacBook Pro 13" Mid-2017 (A1708)
MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar Mid-2017 (A1706)
MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar Mid-2017 (A1707)

Replacing Letters, Numbers and Special Character keycaps

Removing Letters, Numbers and Special Character keycaps

Letters, Numbers and Special Character keycaps are the most common square style keycaps and are the easiest to replace. Each keycap contains two small clasps on the top and two hooks on the bottom which attach the keycap to the butterfly clip.

1 Pry the keycap from the top right

Pry the keycap from the top right

Gently slide your tool of choice under the top righthand side of the key cap and slightly lift to detach the clasp from the clip.

2 Slide the tool across the top

Slide the tool across the top

Then, slowly slide your tool across the top of the key to detach the second clasp.

3 Life the keycap in the upward direction

Life the keycap in the upward direction

You will then be able to slide the key upwards to completely unhook it from the butterfly clip.

4 Clean the area

Clean the area

You can then use this opportunity to remove dust and crumbs from under the keycap before reinstalling the new one.

Installing Letters, Numbers and Special Character keycaps

In this section we will cover how to install Letter, Number and Special Character keycaps. When reinstalling a keycap you should start by attaching the bottom hooks by sliding the keycap downwards and then pressing the top of the keycap to attach the two clasps to the clip afterwards.

1 Get familiar with the keycap and clip

Get familiar with the keycap and clip

The keycap will attach to the four pins on the butterfly clip. The two pins at the top will attach to the keycap clasps and the two pins at the bottom will attach to the keycap hooks.

2 Slide the key down hooking the keycap to the butterfly clip

Slide the key down hooking the keycap to the butterfly clip

Being very careful not to damage the two bottom hooks on the keycap, slide the key down hooking the keycap to the butterfly clip.

3 Firmly press the top of the keycap

Firmly press the top of the keycap

Firmly press the top of the keycap either side to click both clasps into place. You should hear and feel them click into place.

Replacing the Enter keycap

Removing the Enter keycap

In this section we will demonstrate how to remove the Enter keycap from the MacBook Pro keyboard. The Enter keycap is attached to the keyboard by three clasps and three hooks. Unlike the other keycaps the Enter keycap will be removed from left to right.

1 Pry the Enter keycap from the top left

Pry the Enter keycap from the top left

Gently slide your tool under the top left of the Enter keycap and detach it from the first of three clasps.

2 Slide the tool downwards

Slide the tool downwards

Sliding the tool downwards detach the keycap from the middle and bottom clasps.

3 Slide the key to the left

Slide the key to the left

Finally, slide the keycap to the left to remove it from the below butterfly clip.

4 Remove dust and crumbs

Remove dust and crumbs

You can now remove dust and crumbs from beneath before replacing the Enter keycap.

Installing the Enter keycap

Installing the Enter key is slightly different to most other keycaps on the keyboard so it is important to familiarise yourself with the placement of the hooks and clasps on the keycap. There are three hooks on the right of the keycap and three clasps on the left of the keycap which attach to the clip.

1 Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

The Enter butterfly clip has two pins at the top, two pins at the bottom and two bars in the middle which the keycap connects to.

2 Hook the keycap on by sliding it to the right

Hook the keycap on by sliding it to the right

Slowly slide the keycap on to the right attaching the three hooks to the clip.

3 Press the top left of the keycap

Press the top left of the keycap

Then press down on the top left of the keycap to attach the clasps to the clip. You should hear and feel them click into place.

4 Press the bottom right of the keycap

Press the bottom right of the keycap

Repeat the process for the bottom of the keycap to complete the installation.

Replacing the Command keycaps

Removing the Command keycaps

Replacing the Command Left and Command Right keycaps are identical to replacing the other similarly sized keycaps such as Shift Left. They have two small clasps at the top and two small hooks on the bottom which need to be removed from the butterfly clip below.

1 Pry the Command keycap from the top right

Pry the Command keycap from the top right

Pry your thin tool under the top right of the keycap to remove the keycap from the first clasp from the clip.

2 Slowly slide the tool along

Slowly slide the tool along

Then, slowly slide the tool along the top of the Command keycap to remove it from the second clasp from the clip.

3 Slide the keycap upwards

Slide the keycap upwards

You can then slide the keycap in the upward direction towards the screen to detach the hooks from the butterfly clip.

4 Remove dust and crumbs before replacing

Remove dust and crumbs before replacing

You should then remove dust and crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Command keycaps

In this section we will cover how to install the Command (left and right) keycap. The butterfly clip has four pins: two at the top and two at the bottom. The hooks on the rear bottom of the keycap attach to the bottom pins and the clasps on rear top of the keycap attach to the top pins.

1 Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

The Command butterfly clip has two pins at the top, two pins at the bottom and two bars in the middle which the keycap connects to.

2 Slide the Command keycap down

Slide the Command keycap down

Being very careful not to damage the two bottom hooks on the keycap, slide the Command keycap down hooking the keycap to the butterfly clip.

3 Then press the top of the keycap either side

Then press the top of the keycap either side

Then press the top of the keycap either side to clip it into place. You should hear and feel the clasps click into place.

Replacing the Tab keycap

Removing the Tab keycap

The Tab keycap has three small clasps at the top and three small hooks at the bottom. To detach it from the keyboard remove the clasps from the butterfly clip first and then slide the key in the upward direction towards the screen to completely detach it from the keyboard. Removing the tab keycap is identical to removing the Delete and Caps Lock keycaps.

1 Pry the tool under the top right corner of the Tab keycap

Pry the tool under the top right corner of the Tab keycap

Pry your thin tool under the top right of the Tab keycap to remove it the first clasp from the clip.

2 Slide the tool along the top detaching the three clasps

Slide the tool along the top detaching the three clasps

Next, gently slide the tool along the top of the keycap detaching the second and third clasp from the butterfly clip.

3 Slide the keycap upwards towards the screen

Slide the keycap upwards towards the screen

You can then slide the keycap in the upward direction towards the screen to detach the hooks from the butterfly clip.

4 Remove dust and crumbs before replacing

Remove dust and crumbs before replacing

You should then remove dust and crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Tab keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the Tab keycap. The keycap has three clasps along the rear top and three hooks along the rear bottom. These will attach to the four pins on either corner of the clip and the two bars in the middle of the clip.

1 Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

The keycap attaches to four pins on either corner of the butterfly clip and the two bars on the top and bottom middle of the clip.

2 Slide the keycap downwards over the clip

Slide the keycap downwards over the clip

Slide the keycap downwards over the clip attaching the three keycap hooks over the clip pins.

3 Push along the top of the keycap

Push along the top of the keycap

Then, gently push along the top of the keycap to attach the three clasps to the clip. You should hear and feel them click into place.

Replacing the Delete keycap

Removing the Delete keycap

Like the Tab and Caps Lock keycap, the Delete keycap has three small clasps at the top and three small hooks at the bottom. To remove it from the keyboard we want to remove the three clasps, working from top-right to top-left, and then slide the key in the upward direction towards the screen to completely detach it from the keyboard.

1 Pry the Delete keycap from the top right corner

Pry the Delete keycap from the top right corner

Pry your thin tool under the top right corner of the Delete keycap to remove the first clasp from the clip.

2 Slowly slide the tool along

Slowly slide the tool along

Then, slowly slide the tool along the top of the command keycap to remove it from the second clasp from the clip.

3 Slide the keycap towards the screen

Slide the keycap towards the screen

You can then slide the keycap in the upward direction towards the screen to detach the hooks from the butterfly clip.

4 Remove dust and crumbs

Remove dust and crumbs

You should then remove dust and crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Delete keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the Delete keycap. The delete and tab keycaps use exactly the same clip with three clasps and three hooks.

1 Familiarise yourself with the Delete keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the Delete keycap and clip

The keycap attaches to four pins on either corner of the butterfly clip and the two bars on the top and bottom middle of the clip.

2 Slide the keycap downwards over the clip

Slide the keycap downwards over the clip

Slide the keycap downwards over the clip attaching the three keycap hooks over the clip pins.

3 Push along the top of the keycap

Push along the top of the keycap

Then, gently push along the top of the Delete keycap to attach the three clasps to the clip. You should hear and feel them click into place.

Replacing the Caps Lock keycap

Removing the Caps Lock keycap

In this section we will cover how to remove the Caps Lock keycap. Although the keycap is slightly wider than the Tab and Delete keycaps it uses exactly the same clip with three clasps and three hooks.

1 Slide your tool under the top right of the Caps Lock keycap

Slide your tool under the top right of the Caps Lock keycap

Start by prying the Caps Lock keycap from the top right corner to remove the first clasp from the clip.

2 Next, slide the tool along the to detach the second clasp

Next, slide the tool along the to detach the second clasp

Then slide the tool slowly along the top of the keycap to remove the second clasp from the butterfly clip.

3 Then, continue to the end removing the final clasp

Then, continue to the end removing the final clasp

Continue all the way to the end of the keycap to remove the final of the three clasps from the hook.

4 Once loose, slide the keycap in the upwards direction towards the screen

Once loose, slide the keycap in the upwards direction towards the screen

The key should now sit loosely and you will be able to lift it upwards towards the screen to remove the keycap hooks from the butterfly clip.

5 Finally, remove dust and crumbs before replacing

Finally, remove dust and crumbs before replacing

You can now use this opportunity to clean any dust or crumbs from under the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Caps Lock keycap

1 Familiarise your self with the Caps Lock keycap and clip

Familiarise your self with the Caps Lock keycap and clip

The keycap attaches to four pins on either corner of the butterfly clip and the two bars on the top and bottom middle of the clip.

2 Slide the keycap downwards

Slide the keycap downwards

Slide the keycap downwards over the clip attaching the three keycap hooks over the clip pins.

3 Push along the top of the Caps Lock

Push along the top of the Caps Lock

Then, gently push along the top of the Caps Lock keycap to attach the three clasps to the clip. You should hear and feel them click into place.

Replacing the Spacebar keycap

Removing the Spacebar keycap

In this section of the guide we will cover how to remove the Spacebar. The spacebar has four clasps at the top and four clips at the bottom. As with the rest of the keycaps, start sliding the tool along the top of the keycap to detach the keycap clasps from the clip and then slide the keycap upwards to unhook it from the clip.

1 Pry the top corner up and slide your tool underneath

Pry the top corner up and slide your tool underneath

Starting from the top right of the Spacebar keycap, pry the top corner up and slide your tool underneath. Slide your tool along the top of the keycap to remove the first clasp from the butterfly clip.

2 Continue sliding your tool along to remove all the clasps

Continue sliding your tool along to remove all the clasps

Continue sliding the tool along the top to remove the second clasp.

3 Continue all the way to the end removing the third and fourth clasp

Continue all the way to the end removing the third and fourth clasp

And then continue all the way to the end of the keycap removing the third and fourth clasp from the butterfly clip.

4 Finally, put a finger either side of the keycap and move it in the upwards

Finally, put a finger either side of the keycap and move it in the upwards

Finally, now the keycap is loose you will be able to put a finger either side of the keycap and move it in the upwards direction towards the screen to completely remove it.

5 Use this opportunity to remove and dust, dirt or debris

Use this opportunity to remove and dust, dirt or debris

You can now use this opportunity to remove and dust, dirt or debris from under the Spacebar before replacing it.

Installing the Spacebar keycap

In this section we will hover how to install the Spacebar keycap on the MacBook Pro. The Spacebar is the longest keycap on the keyboard and has four clasps along the rear top of the keycap and four hooks along the rear bottom of the keycap.

1 Spend time to familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Spend time to familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Spend time to familiarise yourself with the Spacebar keycap and butterfly clip. The Spacebar has four clasps along the rear top of the keycap and four hooks along the rear bottom of the keycap.

2 Slide the keycap downwards attaching the four hooks to the clip

Slide the keycap downwards attaching the four hooks to the clip

Slide the keycap downwards attaching the four hooks to the butterfly clip. Take care to make sure all hooks are properly attached.

3 Gently push down on the top right of the keycap

Gently push down on the top right of the keycap

Then, gently push down on the top right of the keycap to attach the first keycap clasp to the clip.

4 Attach the remaining clasps to the keycap

Attach the remaining clasps to the keycap

Finally, slide your hand along the top of the keycap and attach the remaining three clasps to the clip.

Replacing the Up Arrow keycap

Removing the Up Arrow keycap

In this section we will cover how to remove the Up Arrow keycap from the MacBook Pro. The Up Arrow keycap has two small claps on the righthand side and two hooks on the lefthand side. Where Up Arrow keycap is removed from the righthand side the Down Arrow is not the same: is removed from the lefthand side.

1 Pry the keycap up from the right side.

Pry the keycap up from the right side.

Start by prying the keycap up from the right side. The keycap may shoot off in this step to be careful not to lose it.

2 Lift the Up Arrow keycap and slide it to the right

Lift the Up Arrow keycap and slide it to the right

You can now lift the Up Arrow keycap and slide it to the right to remove it from the hooks.

3 Clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it

Clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it

You can now use this chance to clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Up Arrow keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the Up Arrow keycap. The Up Arrow keycap has two hooks on the lefthand side and two clasps on the righthand side. You should slide the keycap to the left and then gently pressed down on the right to attach it.

1 Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Before installing, spend time to get yourself familiar with the keycap. The Up Arrow keycap has two hooks on the lefthand side and two clasps on the righthand side.

2 Slide the keycap over the clip to the lefthand side

Slide the keycap over the clip to the lefthand side

Slide the keycap over the clip to the lefthand side attaching the hooks to the butterfly clip.

3 Gently press down on the righthand side of the keycap

Gently press down on the righthand side of the keycap

Then, gently press down on the righthand side of the keycap to attach it to the clip. You should hear and feel it click into place.

Replacing the Down Arrow keycap

Removing the Down Arrow keycap

In this section we will cover how to remove the Down Arrow keycap from the MacBook Pro. The Down Arrow keycap is removed from the left side starting with the two clasps  on the same side. The key should then slide to the left to remove it from the laptop. The Up Arrow is not the same. It is removed from the right hand side.

1 Pry the Down Arrow keycap up from the right side.

Pry the Down Arrow keycap up from the right side.

Start by prying the Down Arrow keycap from the left side. The keycap may shoot off in this step to be careful not to lose it.

2 Lift the keycap and slide it to the right

Lift the keycap and slide it to the right

You can now lift the Down Arrow keycap and slide it to the left to remove it from the hooks.

3 Clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it

Clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it

You can now use this chance to clean any dust or crumbs from below the keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Down Arrow keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the Down Arrow keycap. The Down Arrow keycap has two hooks on the right hand side and two clasps on the left hand side. The keycap should be slid to the right and then gently pressed down on the left to attach it.

1 Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Familiarise yourself with the keycap and clip

Before installing, spend time to get yourself familiar with the keycap. The Down Arrow keycap has two hooks on the right hand side and two clasps on the left hand side.

2 Slide the keycap over the clip to the right hand side

Slide the keycap over the clip to the right hand side

Slide the keycap over the clip to the right hand side attaching the hooks to the butterfly clip.

3 Gently press down on the left hand side of the keycap

Gently press down on the left hand side of the keycap

Then, gently press down on the left hand side of the keycap to attach it to the clip. You should hear and feel it click into place.

Replacing the Shift Right keycap

Removing the Shift Right keycap

In this section of the guide we will remove the Shift Right keycap. The large Shift Right keycap has four clasps at the top of the keycap and four hooks at the bottom attaching it to the clip. The USA variation of the keyboard layout will have this larger Shift keycap on the left and right hand side.

1 Start by prying the keycap from the top right corner

Start by prying the keycap from the top right corner

Start by prying the keycap from the top right corner removing the first of the four clasps from the clip.

2 Slowly slide the tool along the top of the keycap from left to right

Slowly slide the tool along the top of the keycap from left to right

Slowly slide the tool along the top of the keycap from left to right removing all four of the clasps from the clip.

3 Slide it upwards towards the screen

Slide it upwards towards the screen

The top of the key will now sit slightly raised allowing you to slide it upwards towards the screen to completely remove it.

4 Clean any dust or crumbs from under the keycap

Clean any dust or crumbs from under the keycap

You can now clean any dust or crumbs from under the Shift Right keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Shift Right keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the right hand Shift keycap. The Shift right keycap is the larger of the two shift keys and has four hooks and four clasps. On the US keyboard layout both shift keycaps are the same size. The following steps will apply the Shift Right and Shift Left if you are using the US layout.

1 Familiarise your self with the Shift keycap

Familiarise your self with the Shift keycap

The keycap has four hooks running along the bottom of the keycap and four clasps running along the top of the keycap.

2 Slide the Shift keycap downwards

Slide the Shift keycap downwards

Slide the Shift keycap downwards attaching the four hooks the bottom of the clip.

3 Press down along the top of the keycap

Press down along the top of the keycap

Then gently press down all around the top of the keycap to clip it into place. You should hear or feel it clip into place.

Replacing the Escape keycap

Removing the Escape keycap

In this section of the guide we will cover how to remove the Escape keycap from the MacBook Pro 13″ A1708. The escape keycap is removed in very much the same way that the F1 – F12 and Power keycaps are except the keycap is wider.

1 Pry the keycap from the left hand side

Pry the keycap from the left hand side

Pry the keycap from the left hand side to remove the two keycap clasps from the butterfly clip.

2 Lift the keycap and slide it to the right

Lift the keycap and slide it to the right

The keycap should then be loose and you should be able to lift it and slide it to the right to completely remove it.

3 Clean any dust from under the Escape keycap before replacing it

Clean any dust from under the Escape keycap before replacing it

You can now clean any dust or crumbs from under the Escape keycap before replacing it.

Installing the Escape keycap

In this section we will cover how to install the Escape keycap. This keycap, as well as the function keycaps, are only present on the 13″ MacBook Pro A1708 without the touch bar. Installing this keycap is very similar to the function keycaps except the Escape is longer.

1 Get familiar with the Escape keycap & Clip

Get familiar with the Escape keycap & Clip

The Escape keycap is very similar to the function keycaps. There are two hooks on the bottom right and two clasps on the bottom left.

2 Slide the keycap over the clip to the right

Slide the keycap over the clip to the right

Start by sliding the keycap to the right over the clip. This will attach the keycap hooks to the butterfly clip pins.

3 Gently press down on the left of the keycap

Gently press down on the left of the keycap

Then, gently press down on the left side of the keycap to attach the two clasps to the clip pins. You should feel and hear it click into place.

Replacing the F1 - F12 and Power keycap

Removing the F1 - F12 and Power keycap

In this section of the guide we will cover how to remove the Function keycaps (F1 – F12) and the Power keycap from the MacBook Pro 13″ A1708. These are some of the smallest keycaps on the keyboard and are all removed in the same way. You should start from the left hand side to remove the keycap from the clips and then slide the keycap to the left to completely remove it.

1 Pry your tool under the bottom left corner

Pry your tool under the bottom left corner

Pry your tool under the bottom left corner of the keycap to detach the key from the clip below.

2 Slide the the keycap left

Slide the the keycap left

Slide the the keycap left to remove the hooks from the clip and totally remove the keycap from the keyboard.

3 Clean any dust or crumbs from under the keycap

Clean any dust or crumbs from under the keycap

You can now clean any dust or crumbs from under the Function or Power keycap before replacing it.

Installing the F1 - F12 and Power keycap

1 Familiarise your self with the keycap and clip

Familiarise your self with the keycap and clip

The function keycap will attach to the four pins butterfly clip. The keycap hooks will attach to the right two and the clasps will attach to the pins on the left.

2 Slide the keycap to the right to attach the hooks

Slide the keycap to the right to attach the hooks

Start by sliding the keycap to the right being careful not to damage the hooks.

3 Then apply pressure on the left side of the key

Then apply pressure on the left side of the key

Then apply pressure on the left side of the keycap to attach the keycap clasps to the clip. You should hear and feel the keycap click into place.