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Repair guides and disassembly information for the MacBook Pro 16'' released in November of 2019. Model A2141, EMC 3347.

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Can keycaps be replaced without damaging the switches?

Hello,

Is it a bad idea to try to replace Macbook Pro 2019 keycaps? Can it be done without damaging the switches?

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Can you give us a bit more here. Like what is your reason to replace the keycaps?

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@danj I live in slovakia and unfortunately I cant buy the US version of the macbook pro 16 at the current situation. Since I am in a need of a new laptop I was thinking about buying the slovak version and replace the keycaps if possible. However when doing research I found that it could potentially damage the key switch.

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There are two versions of the upper case which makes alterations tough.

Your Slovakian system Slovak - (SL) uses what we call an ISO keyboard layout which is different than the North American (English) model. If you need a more US style of keyboard layout you could go with the English, Great Britain - (B) or English, International - (Z) version both are based on ISO keyboard layout. Here’s a breakdown of the different key layouts How to identify keyboard localizations

You should be able to order a system online from the UK either Great Britain or English, International system.

Your other option is to get stickers or a keyboard skin with the keys marked with the layout you want.

The last thing here is altering the OS so the keyboard is reflecting what you are using. Here’s how How to Change your Keyboard Layout Mac OS-X

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Would not a set of stickers on top of keys ruin the user experience? I believe that they will wear off very easily. Unfortunately my only option at the moment is to buy a slovak keyboard they told me that if I wanted other keyboard I would have to wait for 6 weeks (at all stores).

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@Adam Sucharda - Ah! So getting it is not the issue, it's the time it will take to get it!

Some stickers do remove the keys backlight of the key (as well as the skins). I was recommending using the skins on the butterfly keyboards (13 & 15") as the crumbs and junk would mess them up.

How about looking at renting a laptop for now while you wait for the one you really want.

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In what way does this answers the question "Can keycaps be replaced without damaging the switches?"??

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@Vasco Marques - Sometimes location and time is important as it was here:

"I live in slovakia and unfortunately I cant buy the US version of the macbook pro 16 at the current situation. Since I am in a need of a new laptop I was thinking about buying the Slovak version and replace the keycaps"

The OP wanted to buy a US system but could only get an ISO Slovak model.

The keyboards them selves use a very different key layout and to add to it as the system was so new parts (any) where just not available. Thats different now!

So today if you have an ISO based system and wanted the US layout you would need to replace the complete upper case 16" MacBook Pro Upper Case/Bat/TP US keyboard - Silver

If you wanted to just replace the keycaps you would need to get the ISO British set Full keycap set, UK (Type-R) as again the ISO layout is required for the ISO uppercase.

If you had a US system (NA uppercase) then this is the set you would buy Full keycap set, US (Type-R)

And lastly, if you only needed the discreet key or two, look though here to find the needed key Type R keycaps

So as it would have cost the OP a grand for the replacement uppercase it really wouldn't have been economical to do that, so replacing the keycaps alone would have been the next best option. But then again the keyboard layout is different with the ISO based systems so if the OP was wanting a real US layout he would need to wait till he could get one from the states which was what I had recommended.

"How about looking at renting a laptop for now while you wait for the one you really want."

One last point: The Butterfly keys are very hard to take off or even put on without breaking! The 16" model was the first to go back to the better scissor design (Magic Keyboard) still harder to replace than the older 2015 systems, still better than the Butterfly's by a long shot!

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Yes the keys can be replaced. But you must be gentle and careful when removing and replacing the keys as there are delicate plastic clips on the underside of each key which engage in the scissor mechanism beneath and are easily broken.

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