If Apple Wireless Keyboard won’t turn on

Today, after complaining about the battery level for a few days, my wireless Apple keyboard finally stopped working. I took out the old batteries, put in the new ones and the keyboard remained dead. One hour later, it’s working again.

The keyboard model is A1255; it takes three AA batteries (a bad idea; apparently the newer model takes just two). It seems many people have the same problem with this keyboard and it looks like the culprit is spotty contact between the + end of the first battery and the keyboard.

To fix it, I took a 2 cm x 2 cm piece of tin foil from the kitchen, folded it into a little ball and dropped it into the battery compartment. I then made sure the tin foil ball was resting on the metal contact at the bottom of the compartment and dropped in the batteries. After putting in the cap, the keyboard turned on.

Some notes:

  • It seems the tin foil ball can move when inserting batteries and fail to make contact. If this doesn’t work on the first try, remove the batteries, again make sure the tin foil ball is resting on the metal contact at the bottom of the compartment and try inserting the batteries again.
  • Information in this post was taken from this thread. A big thank you to the talented people there who came up with the tin foil idea!
  • 64 Responses to “If Apple Wireless Keyboard won’t turn on”

    1. Craug says:

      Cheers, worked a treat!!

    2. Bettina says:

      Thank you – I had two keyboards both went dead at the same time, replaced batteries a few times, but the tin foil worked a treat.

      Cheers

    3. you are a genius !!! says:

      You are a genius !! It worked.. thank you a whole bunch.

    4. Jacob says:

      omg, this is absolutely BRILLIANT! my keyboard hadn’t been working for months until i did this aluminum foil trip. again, brilliant!

      Important Note: Make sure the aluminum foil is made into a ball. I first made the piece of aluminum foil into a flat piece. That didn’t work. Also, the ball can’t be too big or else the batteries won’t be able to fit inside the compartment.

    5. jt says:

      THANK YOU, SIR! All of my frustration ended instantly employing your suggestion. Thanks for the courtesy of sharing your idea with us all. Much appreciated!

    6. mel duerson says:

      Tried the foil ball, worked, wow!!!!!!!!!!

    7. FAP says:

      GREAT!!!!!
      Thanks

    8. Garrett says:

      Thank you! Brilliant. Worked first try.

    9. Kasun says:

      Thank you very much mate, Didn’t turn on for weeks, Thought I give it one more try before buying a new one.
      Thanks, works like a dream now.

    10. Robert Edwards says:

      OMG! Brilliant! I am typing with my wireless keyboard now!

      This has plagued me for most of a year; I had tried every thing in the book…

      I am very, very happy…

    11. Gerald says:

      Works great, thanks!

    12. sad man says:

      it just stuck to the bottom didn’t work =(

    13. Arnt Egil says:

      Briliant!

      Thanks!

    14. designsusi says:

      Thanks. My keyboard has not worked for days and I was about to buy a new one.

    15. DC says:

      Awesome fix!!

    16. eschrank says:

      Awesome. Thought it was toast. Worked like a charm.

    17. Frank Rutherford says:

      Way out in the woods in Western Montana. Without this post and a loving grandson, I would have been incommunicado for the next two months! Never thought I’d be enamored with aluminum balls. Thank you whoever you are!!

    18. brock says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! VERY HELPFUL! :D THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    19. Theo says:

      Genius move!! Thanks so much. This worked with the two keyboards that I replaced because of the battery contact issue. Saved me a long out-of-the-way trip and buying a wired keyboard or trying to convince Apple to give me a break…

    20. jeebus uses a mac too says:

      thanks a million, you’ll fly through the perly gates so fast it’ll make your head spinn

    21. roycie says:

      Fantastic! Was just about to go out and buy a new keyboard when I happened across this. Don’t know who you are but a huge thanks from me :)

    22. [...] Googling around for a while, I finally came across a few people mentioning a problem many of them had been experiencing where the contact on the inside end [...]

    23. Beckyb says:

      I was hopeful the tinfoil ball would work. Unfortunately instead of the keyboard staying on for two seconds without it, it stays on for 5 seconds. Any suggestions?

    24. Pedro Teixeira says:

      Worked like a charm, Thank you internet!!!!!!

    25. Flo says:

      Saved my day! Thanx!!!

    26. Stacy says:

      Worked like a charm!! Thanks so much! Brilliant idea!

    27. Liam O'Leary says:

      Thank you! Worked perfectly, after a couple of attempts.

      I had to use a much bigger piece than 2cmx2cm. I used about 5cmx5cm and rolled it up.

    28. JakeMan says:

      Thanks man , you’re my hero!

    29. Ian McKinnell says:

      Worked for mine. Thanks.

    30. Danny says:

      I suppose a wireless keyboard in east africa is probably a bad idea in the first place. Nonetheless, you should wear a cape. Thanks big time!

    31. James says:

      Thank you!

    32. Adam Williams says:

      I can’t believe this worked! I don’t understand why but it does! :-) Very happy

    33. And another happy customer :) This wireless keyboard had both problems; rechargeable batteries and the tin foil ball. Without the piece of tin foil it was dead. a tiny piece did the trick already. I made not too compact ball to be sure it would both touch the contact inside the keyboard and the battery contact. Than I inserted the rechargeable batteries and the light flickered on but it couldn’t connect to the computer although it was found. Than I replaced both the batteries for no rechargeable once and inserted a new tin foil ball. No every thing works perfect again. Only question that remains: What to charge the customer? :)

    34. Tamsin says:

      Amazing! Worked a treat! Thank you so so so much!!!

    35. Justin says:

      Really? I had to do this to a $70 keyboard, really? Whatever. It works people. But it’s dumb that you have to do this. (Typed on the working keyboard)

    36. Lindaleelou says:

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I used a metal earring back and it worked a treat!

    37. Babak says:

      I had no aluminian foil, so I used a foil around a candy and it worked!

    38. Marcio says:

      THANS A BUNCH GUYS, MY KEYBOARD WAS DEAD FOR QUITE SOME TIME AND AFTER READING THIS BLOG I WAS ABLE TO FINALLY FIX IT. CHEERS TO ALL!!!!

    39. Laura B says:

      OMG!!!!! It worked
      Thanks Thanks soooo much

    40. Edel says:

      You can also use a small amount steel wool from a brillo/scouring pad. Worked like a charm!!!

    41. Joachim says:

      Worked here too. Thanks for the hint!

    42. steve says:

      My keyboard has been collecting dust for over a year because of this. And finally I found your trick. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! :) :) Apple support pages were no help at all. But you saved me! Thanks again!!

    43. markeb23 says:

      I was thinking about buying a new one as a couple of keys went and then no power, but I tried this and up and running again! Cheers have a virtual beer on me! 👾

    44. Mescaline says:

      GREAT!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

    45. X-Ed says:

      Wow!! That was really awesome!!! Thanks!!

    46. Greg Payton says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

    47. Chris says:

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

      (It worked)

    48. And a good way to start the new year. Worked for me, too!!!!!

    49. gege says:

      It won’t work on mine. :( I’ve tried many times but still the same answer. Won’t working. I’ve make it sure that the ball foil is at the center metal contact. But still. It won’t work.

    50. Angie says:

      Had I not looked up this issue, I would have probably ended up buying a new one. THANKS for this tip our keyboard is up and running again!!! :)

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