0

Really weird problem that started today: my MacBook Pro Retina 2015 won’t stay on unless I hold down the power key and keep it held down for the entire time I’m using it. It works perfectly as long as I keep it down but shuts off within a minute or so after I release it. I’ve reset the SMC and NVRAM, to no avail.

This is not just a power on/boot issue (Google hits are all about Macs not powering on unless the power key is held down for several seconds, but then stay on).

I don’t think it’s a software issue, but I installed the 10.15.3 update a few days ago.

The only clue I have is a very brief “Do you want to shut down/sleep” dialog that popped up once before the random shutdown but hasn’t since. I’m guessing this is some kind of hardware issue like a dirty power switch contact.

Any solutions?

  • Have you tried to reset the SMC ? – Lulucmy Feb 7 at 21:09
  • 1
    You have to replace the top case. This post goes into detail why. While the power button isn't a key per se, it's part of the whole assembly and it will need to be replaced. – Allan Feb 7 at 21:35
  • Tape it down. That's my suggestion. – user288181 Feb 7 at 22:01
0

My MacBook Pro Retina 2015 won’t stay on unless I hold down the power key and keep it held down for the entire time I’m using it.

Unfortunately, this is a hardware issue and not a software one. This is very similar to the question/answer: Keyboard key stuck or not being recognized; how to fix but different in that we're dealing with the power button and not an individual key.

The keyboard is connected via USB and the power button functions through the USB as well. If you disassemble your MBP and remove the top case assembly, you'll find there's only one cable connecting it to the logic board and that cable is a USB cable.

More than likely, it's a short and not a dirty contact because the power button isn't a latching switch; it's a momentary switch like your keyboard keys. If the contact were dirty, you wouldn't be able to turn it on. In this case, you can turn it on but you have to hold it because there's a short in the circuit somewhere. How do we know this?

The only clue I have is a very brief “Do you want to shut down/sleep” dialog that popped up once before the random shutdown but hasn’t since.

That pop up happens when you press the power button. Thing is, it's happening too fast and acting like you're holding the power button for the "5 second power off no matter what."

We also know it's not a software issue because it happens from a powered off state. The OS is not in the picture during the pre-boot process.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yup, replacing the top case fixed it...got one off eBay for $65 (Apple wanted $475 to fix!) – zencraft Feb 21 at 22:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .