I have a MacBook Pro (mid-2012) with a US keyboard layout, but after a keyboard replacement I noticed my backtick/tilde key is now a section § symbol.

After some googling, I found the Karabiner app. Yes it can remap the button but I felt that my OS (Sierra) became very slow, and I don’t want to rely on an app just for remap a single key.

Has anyone experienced this issue before? I think maybe the technician installed a different kind of keyboard (maybe a UK one) instead of US.

Note: I’ve called the service center and they will get back to me next week.

  • 1
    Well, if your keyboard was replaced with the wrong layout, the best thing for you to do is to have it replaced again, with the correct one.
    – user11633
    May 24, 2017 at 15:12
  • On your original keyboard which symbols where on the key below the [esc] one? [return] On your replaced keyboard which symbols are on the key below the [esc] one?
    – dan
    May 25, 2017 at 17:43
  • the button was the backtick/tilde. Problem solved, the replacement keyboard was the faulty one.
    – Wenes
    May 29, 2017 at 2:43

4 Answers 4


for me it was a matter of configuring the keyboard through Settings -> Keyboard and then "recognising" again "unrecognised keyboard" (i.e., my plain keyboard which was plugged in all the time) and then setting its type to US (ANSI) instead of European (ISO).

  • 2
    Indeed ! I'm also switching between an external apple keyboard and my integrated MabookPro Mid 2012 one, and was having the § character typed instead of `, and just going into Settings > Keyboard and pressing Change Keyboard Type, which asked me to press keys next to the two shift buttons, solved the problem. Many thanks ! Mar 20, 2020 at 9:12
  • glad it helped :)
    – Antek
    Mar 21, 2020 at 15:51

If you now have an extra key to the left of the Z, that is where you should find backtick/tilde.

(British and English International keyboards have this extra key and move those characters to it)

If you want things back where they were, a custom layout can easily be made with this app.

If you do not have the extra key, then you have the keyboard type being recognized incorrectly by the machine, which is another problem. But you can still fix it with a custom layout.

  • I don't have the extra key on the Z key. The weird thing I saw the keyboard replacement & compare that side by side with my old keyboard, and didn't see any difference. I also changed the 'keyboard -> input source' to US/English/ABC but none of them works.
    – Wenes
    May 25, 2017 at 2:45
  • Then read the link I gave you with "another problem" in my answer. May 25, 2017 at 9:34
  • yes I did that before I got another replacement yesterday but still not working except using that karabiner app. Anyway problem solved, I got a new keyboard installed and everything works normally now. Except I got a newer F3 & F4 retina button lol.
    – Wenes
    May 29, 2017 at 2:53
  • You'll need a PhD to understand how to use Ukulele
    – zundi
    Feb 9, 2018 at 20:04
  • @zundi On the contrary, it's an incredibly intuitive app, I doubt it would take more than a minute or two to make a custom layout with one modified key. Feb 9, 2018 at 21:10

I'm using an external Bluetooth Mac keyboard and for me it helped to run the following sh file:

hidutil property --set '
  "UserKeyMapping": [{ 
#ref: https://ppolyzos.com/2020/10/09/swap-places-between-tilde-and-section-sign-%C2%A7-key-in-your-macbook-keyboard/

and then to restart the keyboard.


The UK keyboard does have a § key where the ~ should be.

enter image description here

This probably means they selected the wrong layout (for whatever reason). If you do have a US Layout keyboard, just go into System Preferences and select the correct one for your keyboard:

If it doesn't show up, click the "plus" button and add in the US keyboard layout.

enter image description here

  • The replacement keyboard was physically same with my old one. But I guess there's some difference inside. Anyway I'll let you know after the technician change the keyboard again.
    – Wenes
    May 25, 2017 at 2:50
  • 1
    The layout doesn't matter. If the physical keyboards are different with the extra key, or if the machine is recognizing the wrong keyboard type, all Apple English layouts including US will put backtick on the extra key and § on the key under escape. Fixing requires a custom layout or solving the keyboard type issue. May 26, 2017 at 11:52

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