How to Revive a Dead Apple Bluetooth Keyboard with Tin Foil

apple-wireless-keyboardI was so mesmerized with my new Apple Magic Mouse yesterday that I neglected to share an interesting, yet wacky, problem. I bought the new mouse to get away from typing and navigating on my MacBook. I already had an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, although I hadn’t used it in nearly a year. So I just bought the mouse. As I was setting up my more traditional setup, I realized that my keyboard wouldn’t power up. That’s to be expected, I thought. After all, the batteries have been sitting in there for a year. So I swapped the batteries and… nothing. No little green light to tell me the power was on. No keyboards found in the Bluetooth settings on my Mac. I really thought that the keyboard was shot and was quite annoyed, since I had just come from the Apple store. Then I did a little online research and found dozens of people with the same problem

Near as I can tell, there’s some sort of clip in the battery slot of the Apple keyboard. And apparently, I lost it. Or it was never there. I can’t be sure. I do know that several folks had the exact same symptoms, and not just with keyboards that sat around for year. Some folks got a low battery warning, replaced their batteries and the keyboard never turned on again. It’s as if the keyboard went into a coma.

tinfoilAs I continued to read through the support discussion, someone suggested a small wad of tin foil be placed in the battery housing. I snickered and continued down the thread. And then I saw someone say that the tin foil worked. Then more people chimed in with similar success. I stopped laughing after the first few reports.

So of course, I shuffled down to the kitchen for some tin foil. I created a small ball about the size of a pea using the aluminum foil and then dropped it into the empty battery slot of the keyboard. I followed the metallic spit ball with three batteries and sealed the housing — the green power light immediately lit up. O.M.G.!!!

Perhaps the metal contact spring was “de-sprung” by having immobile batteries for a year. Or maybe it slowly bends over time. I have no idea. All I know is that a pea-sized ball of aluminum foil saved me from making another trip to buy a new keyboard. Go figure!

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