How to Save a MacBook from Water Damage
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How to Save a MacBook from Water Damage



If you accidentally spilled some water on your MacBook or it went for an accidental swim, here’s how to save your MacBook from water damage.

If there’s one thing you should know about electronics, it’s that they don’t mix well with water, but sometimes accidents happen, and that’s where you have to take action so that nothing worse happens.

You probably eat and drink at your computer, which is completely fine (I do too), but you have to be a little extra careful when you do this, as one slip up could cause your coffee or other beverage to run into your MacBook.

Obviously, this will cause a bit of a panic and you may be so flustered that you if you know what steps to take to save your MacBook from certain death, you’ll reduce the chances of it being damaged.


Here are some things that you should know in order to save a MacBook from water damage.

First Line of Defense

If you spill anything on your MacBook, follow these steps as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your laptop.

  • Power It Down – Shut off your MacBook as soon as you can. Most water damage is from when devices are still powered on, which can cause short circuiting and lead to components failing.
  • Unplug All Accessories – Anything that can be unplugged should be unplugged. It might not make a big difference, but any last opening that water can spill out of will help the chances of your MacBook surviving.
  • Dry Off Excess Water – While you won’t be able to dry off any water that made its way inside, you can at least get a towel and dry off the outside to remove any excess water. This will prevent more water from making its way inside your MacBook.
  • Flip It Over – Open up your MacBook and flip it over so that the keyboard is completely face down. Since the screen doesn’t open up all the way, you may have to place your MacBook on an elevated surface and let the screen hang down over the side (picture below).
  • Disassemble It – If you really want to, you can take off the bottom cover to help with soaking up excess water, but be gentle because you’ll expose the innards of your MacBook.


Let It Dry

This may be hard to do, but you need to let your MacBook dry for at least a few days. This will allow enough time for every last drop to eventually evaporate and dry completely.

Be sure to keep in a room with good air circulation and low humidity. Ideally, put a couple of box fans in the room to keep the air flowing strong. Otherwise, if the room has a ceiling fan, just turn it on high and let it do its thing.

Don’t power up the MacBook until it has dried for a significant period of time. You’ll no doubt be curious to see if it still works, but the longer you wait to plug it in and power it back on, the better the results could be.

Skip the Rice

Putting your gadgets in uncooked rice is said to help soak up water to a water-damaged device, but it really doesn’t work as well as people say it does.


According to a cellphone repairman, putting your devices in rice is mostly just a safety measure to ensure that users don’t mess with the gadget and try to turn it back on. It might work a little bit, but old-fashioned air drying works a lot better.

Plus, you’d need a ton of rice for a MacBook, so it’s really just not practical from that standpoint alone.

Power It On

Finally, after it has been a few days of air drying, it’s the moment of truth.

Get your MacBook set up and try to power it on. If it powers on, then great! If not, try plugging it into the charger for a couple of hours to give a kick-start of sorts.


If that still doesn’t work, it’s possible that the battery is dead or some other component is preventing the MacBook from powering on because it itself is fried. This is where you’ll have to take it to Apple to get repaired, but since it’s water damaged, it doesn’t fall under AppleCare, so you’ll be paying for any repairs.

However, repairs usually cost as much as a new MacBook anyway, if not more. If that’s the case, it looks like you’ll be paying some unexpected fees, but at least you can buy a brand-new MacBook now.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about preventing any damage when you spill something on your MacBook is that you should power it down immediately and leave it powered down until its fully dry. Water and electronics don’t mix, but that’s only when the electronics are powered on. Otherwise, water doesn’t hurt.



  1. John Browning

    07/12/2015 at 12:34 am

    Just reading your article that says wait to buy because Apple will have promotion such $100 gift card, etc. It is now July 12, 2015 and still no prmos? What’s up with Apple not enough billions this quarter? Do you think they will give any Apple perks before some students start school?
    In would be nice to get one and learn about it before walking through the front door of the school and turning it on for the first time.
    Thank you, John

  2. Help

    02/16/2016 at 3:47 pm

    I spilled water on it about 3 weeks ago and i let it dry over a fan upside down for 1 week. It was working completely fine after that until yesterday. The mouse will jump all around the screen and random applications will open. Is it too late to save my mac now?

  3. Sydney

    02/17/2016 at 10:16 am

    I spilled water on to my mac, I put it upside down and water goes away. Clean it up with clean towels and nothing happens. After one year, it is still fine.

  4. Jill Diamond

    03/12/2016 at 6:33 am

    I’ve spilled water twice on my Mac, actually last night, and I turned it upside down right away and then held a hair dryer to it to dry it out….the mouse jumped everywhere and random applications opened and then it was normal again after awhile…fine this morning…I’m amazed that I have toasted this computer….

  5. Carol

    03/13/2016 at 7:47 pm

    I put my macbook air in the washer. The computer took a few spins for at least 10 minutes. Never thought it would come back — I bought a new one — but next day, much to my surprise the soaked one powered on and is working just fine. Imagine that!

  6. jules

    03/15/2016 at 3:18 am

    I spilled a glass of water on my Macbook Pro last week, I immediately turned it off and put it upside down and waited a few hours. It would not turn on. I took it to an apple tech guy, who took the battery out, and let it dry out for 4 days. I recovered my hard drive and miraculously my computer is working perfectly now, however I am not sure for how long…but surely that is a good sign???

  7. Michelle

    03/27/2016 at 4:42 pm

    What happens if you spill water and it shuts itself down! It won’t charge or turn on or anything? It just happened? Just turn it over and leave it be?

    • Bataa

      05/23/2016 at 4:48 am

      Hi Michelle, Did you sort out the problem? I also spilled half cup of hot tea and the MacBook shuts itself down… What should I do?

  8. Bataa

    05/23/2016 at 4:50 am

    Hi guys, I just spilled hot tea on my MacBook and it shuts itself down….. What I do now?

  9. Elhonna

    07/16/2016 at 8:26 pm

    I spilled a 1/2 a shot on the corner my MacBook Air last night and it stayed on until it died then I plugged it in because it was still working and then today I turn it on to type in my password and the keyboard isn’t working please help. It is currently upside but how long should I leave it if it doesn’t fix itself who do is end it to ?

  10. mikayieeee

    08/26/2016 at 11:31 pm

    I have shared my entire experience through my blog post here :

    A well-known repair shop saved me from buying a whole new unit.

  11. Ted

    10/26/2016 at 8:22 pm

    I spilled about a cup of water directly on my Mac, I read all the googled comments and did the following..
    Immediately turned upside down and wiped keypad
    Placed a fan on floor with milk crate with keypad facing fan for 1 day then placed on 1/2 sheet pan with rice opened computer and placed large coffee filter with rice tied up and placed on keypad and wrapoedcwho thing in garbage bag for 2 days … started it and till this day it is still working
    MY COMPUter was drenched

  12. Jade

    04/07/2017 at 9:06 am

    My son was with me at work and he spilled his Gatorade on the keyboard of my Macbook Air, which ive had probably a month, I immediately wiped it down it ended up shutting down on its own and would not start back up. so I set I upside down Clueless I went home and tried to plug in the powercord, still nothing. I unplugged it and kept it upside down. though the power cord light does come on, Im hoping this is a good sign? I have read numerous comments on several sites saying that the rice trick works! I am going home tonight and going to try rice. Praying this works, I am sick over this! ugh :(
    If anyone can help me and let me know if the fact that it will still charge is a good sign please let me know! Thank you!

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