Apple’s Butterfly keyboards weren’t just bad, they were so bad that they resulted in Apple getting sued. A class action lawsuit was filed in San Jose last year over various defects, and was eventually settled in November — with a judge approving Apple’s proposed $50 million settlement. And now you can submit a claim for your share of the payout.
Emails have already been sent out to claimants, explaining that Apple is paying $50 million into a settlement fund. After legal expenses and fees, this will be distributed among members of the class action suit — though your eligibility depends on a few factors.
The most important point is that the suit only applies to people who purchased a MacBook in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, or Washington state. Affected customers will only receive a share of the pay out if they had keyboard repairs done by Apple or an authorized service provider.
Anyone that needed their keycaps replaced (Group 3) is due $50, while a full keyboard replacement will earn you $125 (Group 2). If your MacBook’s keyboard needed to be replaced more than once (Group 1), you may be owed up to $395. In all cases that’s the maximum amount you could be owned, and you may receive less depending on the number of claimants.
Claims can be submitted through the KeyboardSettlement.com (opens in new tab) website between now and March 6, 2023. If you want to exclude yourself from the settlement, you have until February 10, 2023 to make your wishes known.
The claim site does note that “Apple denies all of the allegations made in the lawsuit, denies that any MacBooks are defective, and denies that Apple did anything improper or unlawful. The proposed Settlement is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing of any kind by Apple. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved this notice.”
So no matter how poor a reputation Apple’s butterfly keyboards now have, the company denies that there was any wrongdoing on its part.
How to submit a malfunctioning butterfly keyboard claim
Filing your claim is pretty easy. You simply head over to KeyboardSettlement.com (opens in new tab) and click the File a Claim (opens in new tab) option at the top of the screen. If you’re already a claimant of the lawsuit, then you need to enter the Unique ID and PIN sent to you in the mail or by email to continue.
If you’re not one of those people, but believe you may have a claim to some of the settlement money, then you’ll need to take a more long-winded route. That involves filling out some forms, and providing proof that you own one of the affected MacBooks and that you had to have some kind of official keyboard or keycap replacement.
The link to this form can be found underneath the ID and PIN fields on the File a Claim page, as pictured below. From there you’ll need to provide your address, MacBook serial number (or proof of purchase) and evidence that you had your keyboard or keycaps replaced by Apple or an official service provider.
The process will take you a few minutes and is fairly self-explanatory, and there are instructions if you’re unsure what to do at certain points — like locate your MacBook’s serial number. If you have multiple MacBooks that are affected by the keyboard issues, then you’ll need to go through this process for each machine.
Before you submit your claim, you have to confirm all your details, and declare that they are correct under penalty of perjury. So make sure all the details are correct before you sign and hit Submit.
It's all fairly simple, and once your claim has been filed you simply need to sit back and wait. A hearing is currently scheduled for March 16, 2023 to decide whether to approve the settlement or not — though the site notes the dates could be changed and appeals may still happen.
If there aren't appeals then claims will be processed "promptly," though there isn't any sort of timeline on how long it might take. Updates will be available on the Keyboard Settlement website in any case.
MacBook Butterfly Keyboard Settlement emails: What to look for
A Tom's Guide staff member has (erroneously, we should note) received four emails in regard to the settlement, each with its own unique ID and PIN. All were sent from the address email@example.com.
To find for similar emails in your inbox, search by that address or "In re MacBook Keyboard Litigation Settlement," which is the subject line from all of the emails our staffer was sent.
Here's how the email begins, with our staffer's name, ID and PIN erased: