When it comes to the question of “should you use a screen protector on your MacBook”, if we were back in the days of the 2012 MacBook or even the 2016 MacBook Pro, we might have provided a slightly different answer. However, if there’s one company that knows about industrial design and ensuring that their computers can withstand being thrown in a bag on a daily basis, it’s Apple.
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Should You Use a Screen Protector on Your Macbook?
To put it bluntly, you should not use a screen protector on your MacBook. This is especially true for those who are using Apple’s all-new Liquid Retina XDR displays found on the 14-inch and 16-inch 2021 MacBook Pro models. These displays are equipped with a “custom antireflective coating”, which helps cut down on any reflections that would be more prevalent on older models. And if you were to use a screen protector you could find yourself running into a couple of problems.
For one, there would be a definite degradation in the quality of the display, even if you opted for a more expensive or “truly transparent” screen protector. Secondly, there have been countless reports and reviews of users purchasing a screen protector, only to find themselves needing to remove it, and discovering that the display is actually damaged in some capacity. At this point, chances are that the warranty on your MacBook would be voided and you would not be able to get your MacBook’s display (or the MacBook itself) repaired or replaced.
What About A Camera Cover, Palm Rest, or Keyboard Cover?
Outside of a traditional screen protector, there are other accessories that have continued to grow in popularity over the years. These include covering the built-in webcam on your Mac, or using a keyboard cover to keep your MacBook’s keyboard free from potential debris. Unfortunately, Apple recommends against using these and provides the following reason:
“To enable the thin design of Mac notebook computers, the clearance between the display (screen) and the top case is engineered to tight tolerances. If you use a camera cover, palm rest cover, or keyboard cover with your Mac notebook, remove the cover before closing your display. Leaving any material on your display, keyboard, or palm rest might interfere with the display when it’s closed and cause damage to your display.”
So essentially, adding anything to the keyboard “deck” on your Mac could potentially cause stress that was unaccounted for when Apple designed the MacBook. In any event, you’ll want to avoid using a screen protector, camera cover, palm rest, or keyboard cover with your own MacBook. Otherwise, if damage does occur and the reason for said damage is due to usage of these accessories, you warranty will likely be voided.
How To Correctly Clean Your MacBook’s Screen
Following the launch of the 2021 MacBook Pro models with the Liquid Retina XDR display, Apple went so far as to release its own microfiber cleaning cloth. This isn’t the same type of microfiber cloth that you’ll find in your local big box store, as its quite a bit thicker and even features the Apple logo. In the event that you already have a microfiber cloth available to you, or are using Apple’s option, the steps are pretty clear if you want to safely clean the screen on your MacBook.
Apple strongly advises against using any other liquids besides a 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) solution, or just a little bit of water. The IPA solution applies to both the nano-texture glass, along with the standard glass found on the Studio Display and MacBook models. Those with the standard glass can also “dampen a clean, soft, lint-free cloth with water, then wipe the screen.”
Under no circumstances, should you use anything other than this solution in order to properly clean your display. Apple provides the following statement:
Do not use acetone-based agents to clean the display screen.
If you don’t follow Apple’s instructions, there’s a very good chance you could find yourself with a MacBook display that is unrepairable and no longer covered under warranty. So make sure you follow the steps provided, using only the materials listed in order to correctly and properly keep your MacBook’s screen cleaned.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.
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