I have a working MacBook Air (2015 model) with a non-functional keyboard. Water was spilled on it accidentally which shorted everything out. A 3rd party local computer repair shop got the machine working again except the keyboard. Since then it's been used with a Logitech Wireless PC USB keyboard without any problem, putting it to sleep when done, and waking it up via the external keyboard. This has been working fine without any issue.

Recently the battery has completely drained out, effectively powering down the machine. Although the machine has been fully charged, it isn't responding to the Power button on the external keyboard.

What options do I have to make the machine boot again?

  • See this relevant answer: apple.stackexchange.com/a/239551/119271
    – Allan
    May 6, 2018 at 14:30
  • Your problem is now solved, but you might want to set an automatic startup in Energy Saver, in case the machine dies again, and you are not in a position to use any of the below answers. Not ideal, since you'd have to wait until the set time, but can't hurt.
    – Scot
    May 7, 2018 at 23:09
  • Great suggestion!
    – Mugshep
    May 8, 2018 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


Here's the approach you can take:

  1. You'll need to open the bottom case of your MacBook Air and remove the battery connector. You can follow the instructions shared on the iFixit website, MacBook Air 13" Early 2015 Lower Case Replacement, to remove the bottom case:

    1. Remove the 10 screws using the below mentioned screwdrivers.:

      • 9 mm P5 Pentalobe screws (2 nos.) (Shown in Red).

      • 2.6 mm P5 Pentalobe screws (8 nos.) (Shown in Orange).

      You'll need a special screwdriver that can remove 5-point Pentalobe screws.

    1. Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air. Remove the lower case and set it aside.

  2. Now remove the battery connector as instructed in the article, MacBook Air 13" Early 2015 Battery Replacement.

    1. Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the Air to disconnect the battery from the logic board.

  3. Once the battery connector is removed, put the MacBook Air in upright position, plug in the charger and turn on the power. Your MacBook will power on.

  4. You can close the lid to place the MacBook Air in sleep mode (while plugged in), and carefully plug in the battery connector while it's powered on.

P.S.: If you do not wish to remove the case yourself, it is advisable you seek professional assistance.

  • Every time?? o.0 Mar 22, 2019 at 14:23

Various internet sources (YouTube, iFixit) mention that bridging two solder points with a flathead screwdriver will start up the MacBook Air.

The following iFixit question includes an answer showing the location of the two points in question on the 2015 MacBook Air: iFixit.com

More images and repair guides also can be found on the iFixit site: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Air_13%22_Early_2015

With liquid damage, the chance the keyboard fails and no other damage is done is very low. Be sure you’re prepared for a short to the electronics and a fire if you keep charging a liquid damaged and clearly non functioning device. It would be best to have someone qualified to make a safety determination look over the device if charging is now affected in addition to keyboard function.

  • This isn't always mentioned across these sites, but the onboard keyboard needs to be disconnected for the jumper to work. May 6, 2018 at 13:30
  • @LivedWithOtters: thanks; are you talking from experience? If yes, would you like to build your own answer (I can take mine down in favour of a more MacBook Air experienced user/fixer)?
    – Redarm
    May 6, 2018 at 14:21
  • No need to take this down. It’s a great answer and I’ve added the safety aspect of liquid damage and charging issues.
    – bmike
    May 6, 2018 at 15:29
  • I did not try this since Nimesh's answer worked for me on first try, but good to know this is an option. Thank you.
    – Mugshep
    May 7, 2018 at 22:14

You could search eBay or a local computer market for an old iMac G3 USB keyboard which includes a power button.

imac g3 usb keyboard

Alternatively, you could do a bit of simple tinkering and make an USB power button yourself as per instructions on Instructables

usb button

  • This is a good answer. If only the keyboard is broken, disconnecting that from the MacBook logic board and then using external devices would allow an otherwise functioning device to work. Odds are, more than just the keyboard suffered from corrosion due to the liquid exposure and subsequent damage.
    – bmike
    May 6, 2018 at 15:31
  • 1
    @bmike OP wrote MacBook was running w/o problems on external keyboard. Hopefully after a successful jumpstart this will continue to be so.
    – boris42
    May 6, 2018 at 19:59
  • Agreed. I hope this MacBook is the exception to the rule and the report isn’t wishful hoping.
    – bmike
    May 6, 2018 at 20:04
  • This looks like a good answer. I should have clarified that the external keyboard in question was a PC keyboard whose power button does not boot the computer when shut down. Although Nimesh's answer worked for me, am guessing an Apple keyboard with a dedicated power button (or a simple dedicated external one as linked above) would do the trick.
    – Mugshep
    May 7, 2018 at 22:08
  • @Mugshep Apple indeed used a different power button on the USB keyboards than PC keyboards do.
    – boris42
    May 8, 2018 at 9:52

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