The water resistance of the MacBook Pro is a common question for consumers looking to purchase one of these premium laptops. With its aluminum unibody design and steep price tag, you would expect the MacBook Pro to have some level of water protection. However, the reality is a little more complicated. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the waterproof capabilities of the various MacBook Pro models and help you understand exactly how water-resistant they really are.
Can MacBook Pros Get Wet?
The short answer is yes – MacBook Pros can get wet. However, they are not fully waterproof. Apple does not advertise the MacBook Pro as a waterproof or highly water-resistant laptop. There are no official IP ratings for water resistance on any MacBook Pro model. But some MacBook Pros are more water-resistant than others due to their design and build materials.
The main thing to understand is that the MacBook Pro is not designed to withstand full submersion in water or heavy exposure to water. You do not want to intentionally get your MacBook Pro wet. Water can still damage a MacBook Pro if enough gets inside the ports, cracks, or crevices.
However, the MacBook Pro keyboard and ports can withstand small accidental spills of water or light rain exposure without issue. The aluminum unibody construction is very solid and tightly seals the components inside. The keyboard uses a protective membrane to block minor spills from reaching the internals.
Factors That Impact Water Resistance
There are a few key factors that affect how water-resistant a particular MacBook Pro model is:
- Keyboard design – Models with the butterfly keyboard are less resistant to water damage than those with the newer Magic Keyboard.
- Vent and port covers – Covers help prevent water from entering the machine through ports and vents.
- Manufacturing quality – Variations in the tightness of the aluminum chassis affect resistance.
- Age and wear – Older, worn MacBook Pros are less resistant than new models.
In general, newer MacBook Pro models tend to offer better water resistance due to design improvements like the Magic Keyboard and port covers. But there can be variances even between machines of the same model.
Liquid Contact Indicators
Inside every MacBook Pro are small liquid contact indicators. These paper dots will turn pink or red if they get wet, even from very minor exposure to liquid. The indicators are meant to show if any internal water damage has occurred.
Seeing a tripped liquid contact indicator does not necessarily mean your MacBook Pro will malfunction. It just signals water got inside at some point. The computer may continue working normally for a long time after. But any presence of internal moisture does raise the risk of eventual corrosion or shorts.
Water Resistance by MacBook Pro Model
Here is a breakdown of how water-resistant each recent MacBook Pro model is:
2022 14-inch & 16-inch MacBook Pro
The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2022 have excellent water resistance for a laptop thanks to multiple design elements:
- Magic Keyboard with sealed rubber dome switches to block spills.
- Port and vent covers to prevent water intrusion when closed.
- Tightly sealed aluminum chassis.
These models can withstand accidental spills of reasonable volume onto the keyboard and moderate rain exposure when closed. The keyboard can handle a splash without failing. But the ports are still vulnerable if open during a spill.
2020 & 2021 13-inch MacBook Pro
The 2020 and 2021 13-inch MacBook Pro models with the M1 Apple silicon chip have moderate water resistance:
- Magic Keyboard has basic spill resistance.
- Vents have covers but ports do not.
- Tighter aluminum chassis than older designs.
The keyboard will likely survive a minor spill, but larger spills or exposure when open could still damage these machines. The lack of port covers is a weak point.
2016 – 2019 MacBook Pro
The 2016 through 2019 MacBook Pro generations are the most vulnerable to liquid damage:
- Butterfly keyboard has very poor spill resistance.
- No port or vent covers.
- Looser fit of chassis components.
Even a small amount of water or other liquid on the butterfly keyboard will likely render it non-functional. And the ports are constantly exposed to potential water entry. It’s best to keep these models away from liquids.
Is the MacBook Pro Waterproof? Conclusion
No MacBook Pro is fully waterproof and none are designed for water exposure. But newer models have much better water resistance than older ones, with features like the Magic Keyboard, port covers, and tightly sealed aluminum chassis.
The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros offer the best water protection currently available for the line. Their keyboards and closed state can withstand moderate splashing or rain. But no MacBook Pro can safely endure full submersion.
In general, it is not recommended to use any MacBook Pro in wet conditions. Accidental spills or splashes on newer models will likely be harmless, but liquid should be cleaned off as soon as possible. Always keep drinks away from your MacBook Pro to be safe.
Tips to Waterproof Your MacBook Pro
Here are some useful tips to help waterproof your MacBook Pro:
- Use a waterproof case or bag when traveling with your laptop.
- Apply a water-repellant skin or sealant spray to the exterior.
- Keep ports closed whenever possible.
- Use port plugs during wet conditions.
- Avoid using the MacBook Pro in the rain.
- Dry your hands before using the keyboard.
- Immediately dry any spills or moisture.
- Keep drinks and liquids away from your workspace.
While not a substitute for actual waterproofing, these tips will reduce your MacBook Pro’s exposure to moisture. Be especially careful to protect older models lacking design features for liquid resistance.
Repairing Liquid Damage on a MacBook Pro
If your MacBook Pro does suffer water damage, don’t panic. Here are some steps to take:
- Immediately power down the laptop if it is still on.
- Unplug all cables and accessories.
- Wipe away any standing moisture with a dry towel.
- Open the machine and dry any interior moisture.
- Place the disassembled laptop in front of a fan to air out.
- Once fully dry, reassemble and test the MacBook Pro.
- If it works correctly, you likely dodged damage. Monitor closely over the next few days.
- If issues arise or parts failed, seek professional Apple repair services.
Liquid damage is often repairable with proper care. But serious water exposure requires disassembly and cleaning to prevent eventual corrosion. Contact Apple Support or a repair shop for help.
Waterproof Laptop Case Recommendations
Using a waterproof case is the best way to protect your MacBook Pro from liquid exposure. Here are some top recommendations:
Pelican Voyager Case
The Pelican Voyager is a durable, watertight hard case that fully seals the laptop for protection. Though expensive, it offers the most secure defense against water.
STM Myth Laptop Sleeve
For a more portable sleeve option, the STM Myth uses a water-resistant nylon exterior and waterproof zipper to keep moisture out.
Tomtoc 360 Protective Laptop Sleeve
This affordable sleeve from Tomtoc has a water-repellent outer layer and soft padding to cushion your MacBook Pro.
Incase ICON Laptop Sleeve
Incase makes the popular ICON sleeve with a water-resistant woolen exterior and plush interior for absorbing shock.
Be sure to compare case ratings and reviews to choose effective MacBook Pro water protection.
Best Waterproof Laptop Backpacks
Backpacks with water-resistant designs are also excellent for safeguarding your MacBook Pro during wet commutes or outdoor use. Here are top picks:
|Timbuk2 Spire||Roll-top closure, waterproof liner and flap|
|OtterBox Trooper||Modular waterproof internal compartment|
|Pelican U100 Urban||Watertight fabric, sealed seams|
|Chrome Industries BLCKCHRM22||Weatherproof main compartment, water-resistant zippers|
Choose a backpack with waterproofing features that fit your budget and style. Proper storage while in transit is crucial to keeping your MacBook Pro dry.
Waterproof Skins & Sealants for MacBooks
For added surface-level water resistance, you can apply waterproof skins or sealant sprays to your MacBook Pro:
Skinit Pro + MacBook Skin
Skinit’s Pro skins provide scratch protection and repel minor moisture. They allow full use of the laptop.
ScreenGuardz skins just cover the palm rest area but help protect from spills and splashes.
Liquid Glass Screen Protector
Liquid Glass solutions coat the MacBook Pro surface to make it more water-repellent and scratch resistant.
Scotchgard is a durable water repellent sealant that can be applied to the outside of a MacBook Pro.
Such barrier protections provide extra insurance against accidental liquid exposure for your investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use my MacBook Pro in the rain?
It is not recommended to use your MacBook Pro in the rain. While the newest models can likely withstand very light rain exposure when closed, wet conditions pose many risks. Water may still intrude through ports or seams. And using an open MacBook Pro in the rain can easily damage components.
Is it OK to spill a little water on my MacBook Pro keyboard?
You should never intentionally spill anything on your MacBook Pro. But accidental small spills onto the keyboard of newer models with the Magic Keyboard design will likely be fine. Just be sure to promptly dry off all liquid. Larger spills or any moisture under the keys can result in keyboard or internal damage.
Can I wash my MacBook Pro with water?
No, you should never wash or rinse your MacBook Pro with water or submerge it in any way. The machine is not waterproof. Exposing it directly to water can cause permanent damage very quickly. Even splashing water can enter ports or crevices.
Is apple care worth it for liquid damage protection?
AppleCare+ warranty coverage for Mac does provide some protection against accidental liquid damage. It covers up to two incidents of accidental damage each subject to a service fee. However, any core liquid damage may still total a MacBook Pro. Consider a dedicated waterproof case for more reliable protection.
Does turning off a wet MacBook Pro help?
Yes, immediately turning off and unplugging a wet MacBook Pro can reduce further damage. Powering down stops electrical current flow, which may be impacted or shorted by moisture. But you still need to properly dry out the machine and have it inspected after serious water exposure.
While no MacBook Pro models are fully waterproof, newer generations have improved resistance via design features like the Magic Keyboard, port covers, and tight chassis. Serious water damage can still occur, so these laptops must be shielded accordingly and kept away from liquids.
Take the proper precautions – quality case, no rain use, spill avoidance – and your MacBook Pro can survive the minor splashes and spills of everyday use. But Apple’s premium laptop line remains fundamentally vulnerable to major liquid exposure without expensive waterproofing accessories and care.