Which MacBooks Have Butterfly Keyboard: List

If you are wondering which MacBooks have the Butterfly Keyboard, here’s a straightforward answer:

MacBooks produced between 2015 and 2019 featured the Butterfly Keyboard.

This specific keyboard mechanism was introduced by Apple to make the laptops thinner.

However, they faced various issues, leading to their eventual replacement.

Let’s dive deeper into the specifics!

The Introduction of the Butterfly Keyboard

In 2015, Apple unveiled the Butterfly Keyboard mechanism with the release of the 12-inch MacBook.

This was a significant departure from the traditional scissor-switch keyboards.

The design aimed to be slimmer, and offer a lower key profile.

First Impressions

Initially, users appreciated the sleeker look and the promise of a better typing experience.

The butterfly mechanism was indeed different and unique.

However, this change soon became a topic of contention.

Why the Name “Butterfly”?

The keyboard was named “Butterfly” because its hinges resembled a butterfly’s wings.

Instead of the usual scissor-switch, these keys had a single assembly.

This allowed for a thinner and more stable design.

MacBook Models Featuring the Butterfly Keyboard

Several MacBook models incorporated this keyboard design over the years.

Here’s a more detailed look at those models.

Year MacBook Model
2015 12-inch MacBook
2016 13-inch MacBook Pro
2016 15-inch MacBook Pro
2017 12-inch MacBook (2nd Gen)
2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
2019 16-inch MacBook Pro

Common Issues with the Butterfly Keyboard

The Butterfly Keyboard, though innovative, had its flaws.

One major issue was its susceptibility to dust and debris.

Small particles could get lodged under the keys, causing them to malfunction.

Key Reliability

Many users reported that keys would become unresponsive.

Others noticed that some keys would repeat unexpectedly.

These problems led to widespread frustration among MacBook users.

Typing Experience

The typing experience was polarizing.

Some enjoyed the low travel distance, while others found it uncomfortable.

It often came down to personal preference.

Apple’s Attempts to Address Issues

Over the years, Apple tried to improve the Butterfly Keyboard.

Various iterations of the keyboard were released.

Each version aimed to tackle the reliability issues.

Generational Changes

The first-generation Butterfly Keyboard saw issues almost immediately.

In response, Apple introduced a second-generation in 2016.

The third generation came out in 2018, adding a silicone membrane beneath each key.

This membrane was meant to block dust and improve reliability.

Despite these efforts, problems persisted.

Replacement Programs and Repairs

The controversy around Butterfly Keyboards led Apple to take action.

They launched a keyboard service program.

This program offered free repairs for affected MacBook models.

Service Program Details

If you owned a MacBook with a Butterfly Keyboard, you could get it serviced at no cost.

The service covered keyboards for up to four years from the date of purchase.

This was a temporary relief for many users, but it didn’t solve the fundamental design flaw.

The Transition Away from Butterfly Keyboard

In 2019, Apple decided to phase out the Butterfly Keyboard.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro marked the return to a more traditional scissor-switch mechanism.

The Magic Keyboard

Dubbed the “Magic Keyboard,” this new design aimed to bring back reliability.

It offered a more comfortable typing experience.

Users widely praised the Magic Keyboard for its improved feel and durability.

Comparative Analysis

Let’s compare the Butterfly Keyboard with the new Magic Keyboard.

Feature Butterfly Keyboard Magic Keyboard
Key Travel Low Moderate
Thickness Very Thin Slightly Thicker
Reliability Frequent Issues Improved
Typing Comfort Varied Generally Positive

User Experiences

Many users had strong opinions about the Butterfly Keyboard.

For some, it was a game-changer.

For others, it was a persistent source of frustration.

Positive Feedback

Some appreciated the sleek design and swift typing action.

They felt it made their MacBooks look more modern.

These users often enjoyed the low-profile keys.

Negative Feedback

On the flip side, many found the keys too sensitive.

The reliability issues were a deal-breaker for others.

Repeated trips to service centers left a bad taste in their mouths.


The Butterfly Keyboard was an ambitious move by Apple.

While it aimed to innovate, it faced significant challenges.

Ultimately, Apple listened to user feedback and transitioned to the Magic Keyboard.

If you’re looking for a MacBook with a more reliable typing experience, you might want to consider models from 2020 onward.

These newer models have adopted the Magic Keyboard, offering a balance of design and functionality.

In the end, the Butterfly Keyboard era was a learning phase for both Apple and its user base.

Now, laptops with the Magic Keyboard are widely regarded as a step forward in Apple’s keyboard design journey.

Remember, the best keyboard comes down to personal preference.

It’s important to try out different models and see what works best for you.