Last week Apple announced a battery recall program for some of their 15-inch MacBook Pro units. A press release from Apple states the battery in these units “may overheat and pose a fire safety risk.”
Apple is offering free battery replacements for all MacBook Pro units affected by the recall. They also urge customers to stop using affected units immediately.
Find out all there is to know below.
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Is my MacBook Pro eligible for a battery recall and replacement?
As stated on Apple’s website, only a “limited number” of MacBook Pro units are affected by this battery recall. Specifically, third-generation MacBook Pro units (without a Touch Bar), which were mainly sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
To find out if the battery recall affects your MacBook Pro, you need the model name and serial number.
Follow the steps below to find out if your MacBook Pro is eligible for a battery recall and replacement:
- Go to > About This Mac.
- Look at the model name that appears, affected models read:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
- If your model is affected, double-click and copy the Serial Number.
- Follow this link to enter your serial number in Apple’s eligibility checker.
- If your MacBook Pro is eligible for the battery recall, stop using it immediately.
Different MacBook models or those with ineligible serial numbers can’t get a free battery replacement. Yet, you may still want to look at other repair and exchange programs on Apple’s website.
How do I get a battery replacement?
If your 15-inch MacBook Pro is eligible for the battery recall, you have three options to get your free replacement:
- Visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider
- Visit an Apple Retail Store
- Contact Apple Support for mail-in service
Whichever route you choose, Apple sends your MacBook Pro away for service, which takes 1–2 weeks. Reportedly, this delay is in part because Apple must use ground shipping, due to the battery fire risk.
Customers outside the US are likely to experience longer wait times. Apple quotes 2–3 weeks in the UK, for example.
The battery recall does not affect your MacBook Pro warranty or statutory rights. If your MacBook Pro needs other repairs, you should arrange for Apple to complete them as well.
Make sure you back up your MacBook Pro before sending it away for repair.
How do I back up my MacBook Pro if I can’t use it?
Apple lists contradictory advice on their battery recall page. Stop using the unit if it’s eligible for a battery replacement, but also back it up before you send it away.
You can’t back up a MacBook without using it, so what should you do?
Apple wants you to stop using your MacBook Pro because the battery could overheat and start a fire. That’s understandable. But your MacBook Pro might be erased in the repair, and if you don’t have a backup, you could lose all your data.
We recommend using your best judgment here. If you have a recent enough backup or there’s nothing important on your MacBook Pro, don’t use it until Apple replaces the battery.
Alternatively, if there are irreplaceable documents and photos on your machine, it might be worth the risk to turn it on and back it up. We suggest you keep the MacBook Pro well ventilated and don’t leave it unattended.
What other MacBook recall programs are there?
This isn’t the first time Apple has issued a recall for some of its products. It’s not even the first time the MacBook Pro has experienced problems.
In April last year, Apple announced a battery replacement program for 13-inch MacBook Pro units due to swelling. Unlike the 15-inch MacBook Pro battery recall, Apple didn’t consider this a safety issue.
Take a look at every exchange and repair extension program on Apple’s website. You might even be entitled to a free repair on your machine that you weren’t aware of!
Let us know in the comments if your MacBook Pro battery needs replacing. Or if you have experience with Apple’s other repair programs, tell us about that too!
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.