How do I protect my MacBook Pro from water?

Protecting your MacBook Pro from water damage is extremely important to extend its lifespan. Water can cause serious harm to the internal components and electronics of your laptop. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to safeguard your MacBook Pro against water exposure.

Quick Tips to Protect MacBook Pro from Water

Here are some quick tips to protect your MacBook Pro from water damage:

  • Do not eat or drink around your laptop
  • Keep liquids far away from your workspace
  • Invest in a waterproof laptop case or sleeve
  • Use a laptop skin or keyboard cover
  • Avoid working in damp or humid environments
  • Store your laptop in a dry place when not in use
  • Carefully clean up spills immediately
  • Shutdown and disconnect power if liquid is spilled
  • Allow device to fully dry before turning on
  • Have Apple-certified technicians assess water damage

How Does Water Damage a MacBook Pro?

To understand how to protect your MacBook Pro from water, it helps to know how water can damage laptops in the first place. Here are the main ways water exposure harms electronics:

  • Short circuits – Water conducts electricity. If water gets on the internal circuit boards it can cause short circuits and fry components.
  • Corrosion – Water can cause corrosion on metal contacts and parts, leading to connectivity issues.
  • Mineral deposits – Mineral deposits from tap water can get left behind once water evaporates, interfering with circuits.
  • Physical damage – Water can physically warp, degrade or erode certain parts like the keyboard.
  • Oxidation – Exposure to water introduces oxygen which can accelerate the oxidization and erosion of parts.

Even small amounts of water from drips, spills or humidity can damage your MacBook over time in these ways. That’s why it’s critical to safeguard it from any liquid exposure.

Best Practices to Keep Liquids Away from Your MacBook Pro

Practicing the following habits will help keep liquids safely away from your MacBook Pro in daily use:

  • Never eat or drink around your laptop. Keep food and beverages far from your workspace.
  • Do not place liquid containers like cups or vases near your laptop.
  • Work in dry locations and avoid damp environments.
  • Shut down and unplug your laptop if you will be around water like pools or baths.
  • Do not use aerosols like cleaning sprays around your MacBook.
  • Keep your MacBook out of kitchens and bathrooms which have more liquid exposure.
  • Store your laptop case upright and fully closed when not in use.
  • Be extra careful around children and pets who may spill liquids unintentionally.

Making these safe computing practices part of your routine will reduce the day-to-day risk of any damaging liquid coming into contact with your laptop.

Use Protective Bags, Cases and Sleeves

Investing in a proper laptop bag, case or sleeve specially designed for the MacBook Pro is highly recommended. Here are some ideal features to look for:

  • Water-resistant or waterproof exterior coating
  • Flap or zipper closure secures the laptop compartment
  • Padding or cushioning to absorb shock if dropped
  • Shoulder strap and handles for easy and safe transport
  • Snug fit for your specific MacBook Pro model

A proper case adds an important layer of protection between your laptop and the elements. Just be sure to fully close the bag after use to prevent liquid spills from seeping in.

Waterproof Laptop Sleeves

For extra assurance, using a waterproof sleeve in addition to a bag or case is recommended. These form-fitting sleeves are designed specifically for MacBook models and keep water fully out. Neoprene, TPU or silicone sleeves provide excellent water protection and some even float if dropped in water.

Use Skins and Covers to Protect Internal Components

Keyboard covers and full body skins provide direct defense for your MacBook Pro’s vulnerable internal components against liquids:

  • Keyboard covers – Silicone/plastic covers prevent liquid spills from getting onto the keyboard and internally.
  • Trackpad skins – Provide a protective layer over the trackpad controls.
  • Top case skins – Full skins for the top case prevent liquid ingress through ports and gaps.
  • Screen protectors – Shield the MacBook’s Retina display from water damage.

These inexpensive and thin layers are easy to apply and provide 24/7 protection from accidental spills, drips or humidity entering your laptop’s casings.

Skin/Cover Type Protection Level Price Range
Keyboard Cover Very Good $5 – $15
Trackpad Skin Good $5 – $10
Top Case Skin Excellent $10 – $20
Screen Protector Very Good $10 – $20

How to Handle Spills on Your MacBook Pro

Even with safeguards in place, liquid spills can still happen unexpectedly. Here are the proper steps to take if your MacBook gets exposed to water or another liquid:

  1. Stay calm – Don’t panic as this may cause further damage.
  2. Disconnect power – Immediately unplug the charger and any connected devices if possible.
  3. Dry off excess liquid – Gently wipe off any pooled liquid from the exterior using a dry towel.
  4. Open laptop and drain out liquid – Carefully open the MacBook and tip it to drain as much internal liquid as possible.
  5. Absorb moisture – Lightly place paper towels on the keyboard and trackpad area to absorb moisture.
  6. Dry out device – Let the MacBook dry out completely for at least 24-48 hours in a dry environment.
  7. Do not turn on – Don’t power on until fully dry as short circuits can occur.
  8. Get professional help – Take your MacBook to an Apple Authorized Service Provider for proper cleaning and damage assessment.

Following these steps can greatly improve the chances of reviving your MacBook after a spill. Be sure to get professional assistance for any internal cleanup or component replacement needed.

Liquid Exposure Severity Good Prognosis?
Very minor spills, no internal moisture Excellent prognosis with proper drying
Small spills, slight internal moisture Good prognosis if quickly dried
Major spills, liquid in ports/openings Questionable prognosis, damage likely
Submerged in water, major water ingress Poor prognosis, motherboard likely damaged

Water Damage Diagnosis and Repair Costs

If your MacBook Pro suffered water damage, be sure to get it formally diagnosed by Apple or an authorized repair center. Costs vary considerably based on damage severity:

  • Minor spills requiring keyboard/trackpad cleaning – $200-$500
  • Liquid damage to top case requiring replacement – $500-$800
  • Corrosion damage or short circuiting – $800-$1200+
  • Motherboard replacement from liquid damage – $1000-$2000+

Liquid damage often cannot be fully assessed until the device is opened up and tested. Be prepared for any range of fees, especially if the spill was major. Catching damage early vastly increases repair success and reduces costs.

Best Moisture-Safe Work Areas for Laptops

Setting up a laptop workstation in an area that avoids liquid risks is ideal. Here are the best places:

  • Desks away from kitchens, bathrooms or plumbing
  • Surfaces elevated above damp basement floors
  • Low-humidity indoor rooms around 40-50% relative humidity
  • Air conditioned spaces during hot and humid months
  • Locked offices that restrict access to liquids
  • Kitchen tables after removing all drinks/food
  • Outdoor patios on dry days with covered shade

Positioning your MacBook Pro in one of these drier and controlled spaces removes many preventable water hazards from the equation.

Avoid These Higher Risk Areas

Try to avoid using your laptop in these liquid prone locations:

  • Pool decks, saunas or steam rooms
  • Bathroom sinks, tubs or showers
  • Outdoors during rain or snow
  • Kitchen counters and eating areas
  • Laundry rooms near washers
  • Near appliances like dishwashers, ice makers or wet bars
  • Boats, docks and waterside patios

Being aware of risky environments allows you to take extra precautions or avoid setting up your MacBook Pro in dangerous areas when possible.

MacBook Pro Water Damage: Quick Facts

Here are some key facts to remember about protecting your MacBook Pro from liquid damage:

  • Apple does not cover water damage repairs under warranty
  • Even small drips or moisture can fry internal components
  • Spills involving minerals from tap water are particularly damaging
  • Liquid exposure through ports, vents or openings poses high risk
  • Not powering on a wet laptop prevents potential short circuits
  • Always assume liquids may have reached vital internals after a spill
  • Fast professional diagnosis results in the best repair success rates
  • Delays in addressing water damage reduce the chances of saving the device


Guarding your expensive MacBook Pro from potentially devastating water damage involves both prevention measures and quick reaction if accidents occur. Invest in a waterproof case, be vigilant against liquids in your environment, and act fast if spills happen. With proper precautions and responses, you can avoid making your Apple laptop another liquid casualty.