Apple Magic Keyboard not fit for purpose, due to extreme vulnerability to water damage

Oct 16, 2019
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Apple Magic Keyboard not fit for purpose, due to extreme vulnerability to water damage

In this post I will argue that the aluminum Apple Magic Keyboard is flawed and not fit for purpose. This is because if the tiniest drop of water is spilt onto the keyboard, or if you try to clean the Magic Keyboard with a damp cleaning cloth, this will often instantly and permanently destroy the keyboard. A few drops of water can kill the Magic Keyboard.

Two Apple Magic Keyboards I've had were instantly and permanently destroyed by a tiny amount of water which got into the keys. When a small drop of water makes contact with the keys, the keys often become non-functional, and no amount of drying out of the keyboard over a warm radiator will fix the problem. You can try to dry out the Magic Keyboard for weeks, but once any water lands on the keys, forget it, as the keyboard is often irreparably destroyed.

It's hard to understand why that occurs, because even mobile phones, for example, which are dropped into water will temporarily stop working, understandably, but once dried out they usually return to function. How can just a drop of water permanently destroy the Magic Keyboard? Nothing should be that fragile.

When used in a home or office environment, you would expect the occasional drop of coffee, etc, to fall on the keyboard, so a keyboard that cannot survive a few drops of water is clearly not fit for purpose. A keyboard should be designed with the home or office environment in mind.

Similarly, you would expect any consumer electronics product to be able to survive gentle cleaning with a damp cloth, but such cleaning often kills Apple Magic keyboards.

I am currently trying to get Apple to replace my Magic Keyboard which several days ago was instantly rendered permanently non-functional because of contact with the tiniest amount of water.

Under the UK Consumer Rights Act (, a product must be fit for purpose, and if it is not, then it is the legal duty of the manufacturer to repair, replace or refund the cost of the product. So I am citing UK consumer law to Apple, to try to get them to replace my broken keyboard.

In other countries, consumer protection law will vary, so if you've had a Mac Magic Keyboard die on you after exposure to a tiny amount of water, check your local consumer protection laws to see if you can legally ask Apple to refund or replace the keyboard. You can learn about the consumer rights you have in your country on Apple's website here:

I lost my first aluminum Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad to water in 2015, when I spilt probably less than a teaspoon of coffee onto this keyboard. Although it was only a small amount of liquid, this rendered many keys non-functional. I thought that drying out the keyboard over a warm radiator would fix the issue, but even after two weeks on the radiator, the keys remained non-functioning. Even after being left in a cupboard for a year, that keyboard was still not working.

Looking online, I discovered that many people have experienced the same issue of Apple Magic Keyboards being completely destroyed by a tiny water spill. Reluctantly I ended up having to buy a new Apple Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad, at a cost of £45 in 2015.

Then some days ago, I was cleaning my Mac Magic Keyboard with a dampened kitchen paper towel, to remove some greasy marks from the keys and aluminum surface. To my horror, the same problem occurred: a tiny amount of water from the damp cloth I guess must have got into the keys, and now these keys are permanently non-functional. No amount of drying out the keyboard has helped. The keyboard is now kaput, simply as a result of me gently cleaning it with a slightly damp cloth.

I am really appalled by how fragile and vulnerable the Apple Magic Keyboard is with respect to a tiny water spill or water exposure. A few drops of water appears to be enough to permanently destroy it.

What's more, in the last 3 years, the cost of the Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad has shot up from £45 to £129! This is a very high price for a keyboard that is not fit for purpose.

This vulnerability in the Magic Keyboard needs to be fixed by Apple.

With other keyboards I have owned, including previous models of Mac keyboard (models prior to the Magic Keyboard), I have spilt coffee on them, and have cleaned them with a damp cloth, without the keyboard dying on me. Yet with the Mac Magic Keyboard, a little bit of water is the kiss of death.

Imagine if the Apple Magic Keyboard were being used in a mission-critical environment, such as in the military, or in a hospital emergency department. You would not want your computer to be rendered dysfunctional just due to a tiny spill of coffee. So unless Apple fix this issue, it would be unwise to employ a Mac for any mission critical purpose, unless you buy a third party keyboard which does not have this aqua-vulnerability.

If you have had a Magic Keyboard die on you after you cleaned it, or after you spilt a few drops of a drink on it, I suggest you do not pay out of you own pocket to replace it. I think it's only fair to complain to Apple, and to ask them to provide you with a new keyboard. It is not acceptable that tiny little water spills can instantly destroy this expensive keyboard. Only if enough people complain in this way will Apple do anything about this fault. I am really annoyed after now losing two keyboards to a few drops of water.

I think the Magic Keyboard is an excellent keyboard in terms of looks and ergonomics, and in general I am a great fan of the Mac; but something needs to be done to make the Magic Keyboard less fragile with respect to tiny water spills.

I posted the above information and complaint on the Apple Support forum (, but that forum deleted my thread. It seems they would rather not have people know about this fault. So for public information purposes, I am reposting the info here.


Jan 25, 2017
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I spilt a small amount of liquid on my Magic Keyboard and 2 keys stopped responding, I turned it upside down and tapped it to get rid of any lquid, I the wrapped it in paper towel and put it in a warm dry place (airing cupboard) for 48 hours. It has worked flawlessly since then.

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