Have you ever been typing on a Mac laptop keyboard and noticed that hitting the spacebar sometimes randomly inserts double spaces between words? Or maybe you’re typing some other letter and randomly two of that key is doubled-typed? Some MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook users have discovered this happens seemingly at random, where hitting a key or the spacebar actually inserts two spaces or two characters instead of one, which is a nuisance at best and problematic at worst.
Mystery double key presses are a well-documented issue with some MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook computers, and while it’s not clear what causes the issue or how widespread the problem is, if you’re encountering the double typing issue yourself, you may find a settings change in Mac OS can help reduce the frequency, or even fix it entirely. We’ll also cover a few other possible troubleshooting options for addressing double typing issues on Mac laptops.
How to Fix Double Typing Key Problems on MacBook Pro & MacBook Air
Note this settings change may not resolve the double typing problem for everyone, but for some Mac laptop users it does appear to completely remedy the double typing key and double spacebar issues. It’s a simple settings change either way and thus is worth a try, here’s what to do:
- Pull down the Apple menu and go to “System Preferences”
- Go to the “Keyboard” preference panel, and choose the Keyboard tab
- Locate the “Key Repeat” slider setting and adjust it to the “Off” position
- Exit out of System Preferences
- Open any typing application (TextEdit, Word, Pages, etc) and try to replicate the double-typing issue by typing sentences and phrases as usual, the double space and double typing issue should be resolved
If you’re able to successfully type sentences, phrases, spaces, keys, letters, numbers, and anything else without double-typing occurring, then your issue may be resolved entirely by this simple settings change. If the double typing problem is now resolved when this feature iso ff, that could indicate a bug associated with the Key Repeat functionality in MacOS, though that’s purely speculation.
Unfortunately not all MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air users will have such luck, and some Mac laptop owners may discover they issue persists despite changing the key repeat settings.
Mac Laptop Still Double Typing? Clean the Keyboard!
If the Mac is still double typing characters and spaces, the next thing you should do is clean the Mac keyboard, which can be made easier with an app called ‘Keyboard Cleaner’ that temporarily blocks the keys on a computer so that they can be pressed down without inserting any characters. Typically wiping down the keys with a very lightly damp cloth or
If you have a 2016 or later MacBook Pro with the newer flat keyboard design, then you can also choose to follow this official instruction set from Apple on cleaning a MacBook / Pro keyboardwhich involves a series of gymnastic movements of the computer with precise angle instructions, rotation suggestions, and directional recommendations on how to blast a keyboard with a third party compressed air canister. It’s a fascinating support guide, and the method described using compressed air might work to resolve key issues for you.
Help, my MacBook Pro / MacBook Air keyboard is still typing double-spaces and double keys!
If you cleaned the keyboard and made the above settings change to Key Repeat and yet you find your Mac laptop keyboard is still randomly repeating keys when pressed once, it is possible the MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air keyboard has a physical hardware problem.
The good news is that Apple actually has an extended service program for faulty keyboards on some Mac laptop models, including all 2016 MacBook Pro models, all 2017 MacBook Pro models, all 2015, 2016, and 2017 12″ MacBook models (note the keyboard program does not include any 2015 MacBook Pro or Air model, which had a completely different keyboard design). In fact, the first keyboard issue identified by Apple with the faulty keyboards on some Mac laptops is “Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly”. Thus if your Mac laptop falls in that model release year, you may be able to get a free keyboard repair. If you aren’t sure which model year Mac you have, you can check when a Mac was built and what the Mac model is with these instructions.
The “Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro” from Apple covers many modern Mac laptops with the new flat key keyboard design. Interestingly, the 2018 model year MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air are not included in the keyboard repair program list, despite those Mac laptops having the same flat keyboard design, and despite some users have issues with double-repeating keys as well (yours truly included with a max-spec 2018 Retina MacBook Air, hence part of the motivation of this article).
Regardless, if you have a 2018 model year Mac laptop that is experiencing the double-key press issue, and cleaning the keys or disabling the aforementioned ‘Key Repeat’ does not work to resolve the double-typing keyboard issue for you, you might want to reach out to Apple Support anyway, because many 2018 Mac laptops will still be covered under the limited warranty.