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  1. #1
    Stain/dirt? inside MBP Screen
    Has anyone encountered something like this? Stain/watermark/dirt INSIDE the screen?

    I have an old Macbook (pre-2011) that wasn't used for a month and was stored on a shelf (nowhere wet/humid) same place it's always been regularly shelved for the past 2 years without a problem, and when I powered it up today, saw this brownish stain at the screen's lower half. It's definitely inside/under, the screen's outer side is clean.

    Plus the weird smudge over the word "screen" at the bottom near center.

    It doesn't look like molds... I'm not exactly sure what it is, what caused it, and how to clean it up- any advice? Thanks!!


  2. #2
    Stain/dirt? inside MBP Screen
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Your Mac's Specs
    Late 2015 5K 27-inch Retina iMac, 4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Flash Drive, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
    Hi and thank you for posting.

    In the broadest sense, it represents water ingression. It could be as a result of the conditions pertaining to where you stored the Mac; or a water spill.

    Wiser counsel than I may have better ideas, but I don't see any alternative to removing the screen and either clean/replace or brand new/replace.

    I would also want to make sure that the water has not leaked further into the Mac.

    Given the age of the Mac - "pre-2011" - any repairs would have to be done by you or an Apple authorised dealer. Or, at worst, someone who claims to be able to repair Macs. Apple won't touch it as it's at least 8 years+ old.

    So, for you, the question is whether the expense is worth it or whether you might be better buying a newer (or new) Mac if that is feasible.


  3. #3
    Hi, Ian. That's the weird thing-- there's zero possibility that it's caused by water as it stood beside other books on a shelf, totally nowhere near anything moist. It's even enclosed in a laptop sleeve. I was thinking maybe the display is of some liquid component and having been stored the vertical position it was stored messed it up (leak or run off)? Is that even a thing...

  4. #4
    Stain/dirt? inside MBP Screen
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    That's definitely a moisture stain. Don't underestimate the power of humidity and moisture which can easily be caused by temperature fluctuations and evaporation. We never recommend storing a computer away like that for several years especially when it has been enclosed in a sleeve. That entire display assembly would have to be replaced, certainly not worth the cost and effort for a vintage machine.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the help, chscag. Hmm... The macbook is used maybe twice a month, short sessions, then put in its sleeve to protect it from dust. Routine's been like that for 3 years now, same place beside books and paper supply, and no problem til now. Darn it... moisture... ok, dumb questions to follow lol, does that mean there's still moisture inside since the stain is visible? Or even if it dried up, a stain would still have been left behind?

    If it means there's still moisture, will it help if I lock it up in an airtight box and toss in a lot of silica pouches to help "dry" it out? Or maybe keep it turned on for a solid 24 hrs to heat up the screen and dry it?

  6. #6
    Stain/dirt? inside MBP Screen
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Did you leave it turned on (by accident) when putting it away, prior to this happening? And, maybe the battery was almost dead when you tried using it?

    Also, do you let it get acclimated to the room temperature, when starting it? Or, let it cool down, before encasing it in the sleeve?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Hi, ferrar. No, the macbook doesn't have a battery anymore and requires direct outlet power, which is why it's not used as often and mostly for backup/spare need. I just turn it on once in a while to keep its electronics "exercised" from junking out, as per someone's advise. And mostly kept for sentimental reasons and one program there I can't install elsewhere (ancient OS compatibility).

    Technically yes to acclimating before use, since the shelf is literally right beside my work desk. Then usually around 30mins or an hour of use and it's put back in the sleeve and back on the shelf. There are are no drastic changes in the room temp to maybe cause condensation, no ACs or heaters. It's really a head scratcher for me what caused it, but if chscag is sure it's moisture stain, I won't doubt it.

  8. #8
    Woops, if it makes any difference as to what kind of screen this is (or it has any liquid component)... it's NOT a MBP, sorry couldn't edit the title earlier. Just the old black, heavy macbook with the soft non-glass screen, the one that still depresses when you poke it a bit.

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