The 9 Most Common Ways to Damage Your MacBook

MacBooks are some of the most popular and long-lasting laptops on the market. They are known for their durability and high-quality; however, they are not indestructible. Instead, in some ways it’s worse to damage a MacBook. While other laptops can be fixed or have their parts replaced, this is not so easy for MacBooks.

In this article, we will list nine of the most likely ways you could damage your MacBook. By familiarizing yourself with this list, you can keep your MacBook as safe as possible

9. Spilling Liquids on It

Many people damage their MacBook by spilling liquid on it because they weren’t being careful enough when handling liquids around their laptops. This is because lots of people aren’t aware that MacBooks are not water-resistant.

If water seeps into the MacBook, it can short circuit and rust the internal components, rendering the MacBook unusable. To prevent damage from spilled liquids, you should be careful when handling liquids around your MacBook.

8. Exerting Pressure on It

Many users damage their MacBooks by putting heavy items—like books—on them, or by sleeping beside them and unknowingly rolling onto the MacBook while they’re asleep. MacBooks are fragile computer and aren’t able to take such pressure, especially on a regular basis.

From cracking the screen to damaging the hinges, there are a lot of possible consequences of exerting undue pressure on your MacBook.

7. Dropping It

MacBooks are particularly vulnerable to damage from being dropped because of their all-metal unibody design. If a MacBook is dropped, it is very likely to become dented, which can permanently damage the computer. Here are a few possible outcomes of dropping your MacBook:

  • It could become severely dented, making it difficult to close the lid.
  • The screen can crack, which would render the computer unusable.
  • Internal components can get damaged, causing data loss or hardware failures.
  • It could be damaged beyond repair, making it necessary to buy a new one.

To prevent your MacBook from being damaged if it is dropped, you can use a MacBook case or sleeve to cover it while carrying it around. Hardshell cases work particularly well in preventing such damage.

6. Scratching the Surface

Many people damage their MacBooks by accidentally scratching them. The MacBook has an aluminum body, which can get scratched quite easily compared to other laptops. Here are some of the common ways users scratch might their MacBooks:

  • Brushing the MacBook with a dry, rough cloth
  • Using a soft-bristled brush on it
  • Wearing a metallic wristwatch while typing
  • Placing it on a sharp or rough surface

And the list goes on. Your MacBook’s color can make these scratches more or less obvious. If you have the standard silver color, the scratches may not be as visible. But, if you have the space gray—or the new midnight M2 MacBook Air—then these scratches can take all their class away.

5. Using a Harsh Cleaning Agent

MacBooks are made with an anodized aluminum chassis, which is a type of aluminum that has been treated to make it more durable and resistant to corrosion. However, this treatment can be damaged by harsh cleaning agents (like acetone, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or abrasives) available as household cleaners.

These agents can strip the anodized coating from the aluminum, leaving it susceptible to corrosion and other damage (like discoloration). Instead, you should always clean your MacBook with a soft, lint-free cloth lightly dampened with water or a mild cleaning solution.

4. Leaving It in a Hot Car

Leaving a MacBook in a car is yet another way users can damage their MacBook, as the temperature inside a car can rise to well over 100 °F within one hour if it’s parked in direct sunlight. MacBooks are not designed to withstand such high temperatures, and this can lead to permanent damage, like a swollen battery, a warped screen, and—in worse cases—melted internal components.

Avoid leaving your MacBook in the car for starters. But, if you must leave your MacBook in your car, then try to park in a shady spot, and if possible, leave the windows slightly open to allow for some airflow. Make sure your MacBook is well out of sight if you choose this option though.

3. Exposing It to Dust or Sand

According to a thread on Apple Discussions, one user got some sand into their MacBook, which damaged the battery. When they took the laptop for repair under warranty, Apple refused the claim, calling it “user created.” So, if you don’t want to spend $200 to replace your laptop’s battery, don’t let dust and sand accumulate in your MacBook.

This problem is particularly relevant for users living in dusty areas (like the Middle East) or near beaches. And not only can the accumulation of dust and sand damage the battery, but it can also cause the MacBook to overheat by clogging the fan. And it can cause permanent physical damage by scratching the screen.

To prevent this from happening, try to keep your MacBook as dust-free as possible. Avoid using it in dusty and sandy areas, if possible, and cover it with a cloth or protective sleeve when not in use.

2. Using a Cheap, Knock-Off Charger

It’s common for users to use third-party chargers for their MacBooks because they are so much cheaper than those sold by Apple. However, these cheap, knock-off chargers can end up damaging the MacBook. This is because original Apple chargers have many security features which these knock-offs lack. Those features help protect the MacBook from problems like power surges.

Potential consequences of using third-party chargers include fires, explosions, and damage to the battery. So they’re not only bad for your MacBook, they can be dangerous to you as well. To avoid this, only use chargers that are sold or certified by Apple.

1. Using It With Sweaty Hands

Perhaps one of the worst things that users can do to their MacBook is to use it with sweaty hands. The reason for this is that MacBooks are anodized. As explained above, anodization adds a protective layer to the metal, but sweaty or moist hands can wear away this coating, discoloring the MacBook in the process. This is permanent damage, and it is not covered by Apple.

It’s most common for this to affect the palm rest area, where your hands normally rest while typing. You can prevent this damage by keeping your hands dry and clean, applying protectors to your MacBook’s palm rest area, or using an external keyboard.

Take the Right Precautions to Protect Your MacBook

A MacBook is durable, but not as durable as many people think, which is why you can end up damaging it in so many ways. Who knew that using a MacBook in dusty areas or with sweaty hands could permanently damage it? At the end of the day, MacBooks still require careful precautions to keep them working for as long as possible.

This raises the question, how can one protect their MacBook physically? A few smart investments—like a well-padded sleeve, a MagSafe pouch, hardshell cases, and screen protectors—can get you started.

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