13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Fix for Freezing Keyboard In the Works

The 13-inch Macbook Pro Retina late 2013 model which just arrived on store shelves last week comes with an annoying error that can render the keyboard and mouse useless while the owner is in the middle of typing something.

We shared a few possible fixes for owners to try when the 13-inch MacBook Pro keyboard and mouse become unresponsive and now Apple is acknowledging the problem with a short-term fix and the promise of an update to address the cause.

In a new knowledge base article Apple offers a one-minute fix for an unresponsive trackpad and touchpad, and plans an update, but does not offer an estimated release for the issue.

Read: 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Haswell Benchmarks

13-inch Macbook Pro Retina Haswell Video

Users who experience the freezing mouse and keyboard on the MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch late 2013 model do not need to go to an Apple Store or send their new notebook in for repair, so this looks like a software issue.

If the MacBook Pro Retina freezes while you are working on something, putting the computer to sleep for a minute will fix the issue. Simply close the lid of the MacBook Pro Retina and wait 60 seconds. When you open the lid the touchpad and keyboard should be reset and working.

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In one week of usage we’ve run into the unresponsive touchpad and keyboard once, while in the middle of writing an article. Closing the lid allowed us to use the notebook again without losing any progress. In our experience closing the lid for just 10 seconds was enough to trigger the reset and get us back to work.

This is not a good permanent fix, especially if the freeze happens while on a video call or during another tim sensitive moment, so Apple is working on a fix. The company offers the following information,

“Apple is aware of rare circumstances where the built-in keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive on 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (Late 2013) computers and is working on an update to resolve this behavior.”

Apple experienced issues with the new MacBook Air WiFi soon after its release and pushed an update out over the Mac App Store, which is where we expect to see this update arrive.

The new 13-inch Macbook Pro Retina late 2013 model uses new Intel 4th generation ‘Haswell’ processors which include enhanced integrated graphics and are able to deliver better battery life than earlier models. Watch the 2013 Macbook Pro Retina Unboxing and Demo below.

  

Comments

  1. Scott says

    I have had this happen TWICE within 4 days. Maybe I am an outlier but that doesn’t seem “rare” to me. This is my first Mac, and want to love it, but this hang up may prevent me from being able to.

  2. Jase says

    Could they still be using the old usb3/haswell c1 stepping which is widely reported during launch?

  3. david says

    ive had this mac for 3 days and its happened 3 times, though I do expect Apple will fix it soon (ish)

  4. xyz says

    If “rare” equals a frequency of 3 times within 1 hour, I don’t want to know what “occasional” means in Apple terms…this is more than pretty annoying IMHO.

  5. David Beaton says

    Has happened to me 4 times in past week (since purchase). For me this was a very expensive investment and the issue of freezing has more than taken the gloss of the purchase. Apple need a fix quickly or mine is going back.

  6. Kyle says

    It’s happening to me right now. I’m on a tight deadline and closing the computer does not seem to be working. Any other suggestions???

  7. Andy says

    I just bought mine two days ago. The first day was fine. Then today it froze twice within a 45 minute span.

  8. Nathan says

    This has happened to me at least 5 times since I first got it. I was in the middle of a complex trade when it froze just recently [IN FACT IT JUST HAPPENED AS I WAS WRITING THIS POST] Not so rare…..I hope this is a mission critical issue with Apple by now.

  9. jeff says

    Happens to me once a day or so. Note that there’s a very easy temporary fix: just connect something by USB. E.g. a USB drive, your iPhone, an external mouse. Anything. This will prevent the problem from happening.

  10. Bob says

    Check software updates. It looks like Apple has released a firmware update to address this problem.

  11. Azure says

    I’ve had this happen quite often, but today, after closing the laptop to “fix” the problem, when I reopened the laptop, the screen was black (like I had shut it down) and did not respond when I clicked the mouse, keys and even the power button. I closed it for a bit, reopened it, had a screen up, but still an unresponsive mouse, and after repeating this process several times, I eventually forced shutdown and restarted a few minutes later. This is EXTREMELY alarming. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • bewilder says

      Mine (13″ retina 16GB ram) froze upon connecting iPhone and opening iTunes … putting it to sleep after didn’t help. I had to do a forced shutdown …. not happy at all with that. I cannot afford it to freeze like that as I plan to use for live performance. My gf’s 3 year old 13″ pro never had any issues like that … go figure. If it happens again I will simply return it.

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