How to Recover a MacBook from Water Damage

If you accidentally spilled some water on your MacBook or accidentally swam, here’s how to protect your MacBook from water damage.

If there’s one thing you need to know about electronics, it’s that they don’t mix well with water, but sometimes accidents happen and that’s where you need to act to make sure nothing worse happens.

You’re probably eating and drinking on your computer, which is perfectly fine (as am I), but you have to be a little more careful while doing so because a slip could cause your coffee or other beverage to get into your MacBook.

Obviously, this will cause some panic and you might be so fussy that if you know what steps to take to save your MacBook from certain death, you’re less likely to get damaged.

Here are some things you need to know 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.


let it dry

This can be difficult to do, but you should let your MacBook dry for at least a few days. This will allow enough time for each last drop to eventually evaporate and dry completely.

Be sure to keep it in a room with good air circulation and low humidity. Ideally, place a few box fans in the room to keep the air flowing strong. Otherwise, if there’s a ceiling fan in the room, just turn it on high and let it do its thing.

Do not open the MacBook until it has dried for a significant amount of time. You’ll wonder if it still works, but the longer you wait to plug it in and turn it back on, the better the results can be.

Skip rice

Putting your tools in uncooked rice is said to help draw water into a water-damaged appliance, but it doesn’t really work as well as people say.


Putting your devices in brass, according to a cell phone repair shop mostly just a safety precaution to ensure that users do not mess up the gadget and try to turn it on again. It might work a bit, but old-fashioned air drying works much better.

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Also, you’re going to need a ton of rice for a MacBook, so it’s not really practical in that aspect alone.

run it

Finally, after several days of air drying, the moment of truth came.

Install your MacBook and try to open it. If it opens, great! If not, try plugging it into the charger for a few hours to get some sort of start.


If that still doesn’t work, either the battery is dead or some other component is preventing the MacBook from turning on because it may itself be fried. This is where you need to take it to Apple for repair, but it’s water damaged so it’s not covered by AppleCare, so you pay for any repairs.

That said, repairs usually still cost as much, if not more, than a new MacBook. If that’s the case, it looks like you’re paying unexpected fees, but at least you can buy a brand new MacBook now.

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about avoiding any damage if you spill something on your MacBook is that you should turn it off immediately and leave it closed until it is completely dry. Water and electronics do not mix, but this only happens when the electronics are turned on. Otherwise, the water will not hurt.