How to Clean a Macbook Pro Screen

You need to exercise caution when cleaning your Macbook Pro screen since abrasive or heavily saturated cloths can cause serious damage to the computer.

Method 1: Polish with a Dry Cloth

Step 1: Shut the computer down. Turn the Macbook Pro off and detach the power adapter from the computer. Detaching the power adapter is not an essential steps if you are only using a dry cloth to clean the screen, but it is still advisable since the friction produced by the cloth could still interact with and damage the adapter.

Step 2: Buff away prints with a microfiber cloth. Carefully polish the screen with a microfiber cloth, moving across the entire screen in small circles. Apply steady yet slight pressure as you work, but do not use excessive force.

  • Optical microfiber cloth is ideal, but just about any cloth will do as long as it is soft, lint-free, and static-resistant. Stay away from abrasive cloths, dish towels, and paper towels.
  • You may need to buff the screen for five minutes or more before all fingerprints and smudges have been removed.
  • Hold the computer by the upper edge or by the keyboard to prevent yourself from accidentally re-smudging the screen.

Method 2: Wipe with a Moist Cloth

Step 1: Shut the Macbook Pro down. Turn the computer off and unplug the power adapter.

Step 2: Dampen a soft cloth with water.[1] Apply a little water to a soft microfiber cloth, making the cloth barely moist.

  • Only use soft cloth. A static-free, fiber-free cloth works best, but most non-abrasive cloths will also work well. Do not, however, use paper towels, dish towels, or other rough cloths.
  • Do not drench the cloth in water. A soaked cloth is more likely to drip excess water into the machine, which could cause serious damage to your computer. If you accidentally use too much water, wring the cloth out well until it is only slightly moist.
  • For best results, use distilled water instead of tap water. Tap water contains minerals, and some of these minerals can be conductive. As a result, tap water is more likely to cause a short than distilled water.
  • Do not, under any circumstance, spray water directly onto the screen of the Macbook Pro.[2] This significantly increases your odds of getting water into the machine, thereby making a short more likely. Only use water if you apply it with a soft cloth.

Step 3: Wipe down the screen. Wipe the screen from side to side and top to bottom, working in small circular buffing motions. Apply sturdy but slight pressure to the screen as you work.

  • Hold the screen toward the very top or very bottom to avoid re-smudging it as you work.
  • You may need to pass over the screen multiple times before all the smudges have been removed. You may also need to re-dampen the cloth as you work, depending on how many passes over the screen you need to make.

Method 3: Using Formula Cleansers

Step 1: Shut down the computer. Make sure that the Macbook Pro is turned off before proceeding. Detach the computer from its power adapter. You should not proceed without detaching the computer. These components could get damaged if exposed to the wet cleanser. You could also get a slight shock if moisture reaches these electrical components as you work, especially if the power adapter is plugged in.

Step 2: Spray a little LCD or plasma cleanser on a microfiber cloth. Use a cleaner specifically sold for use with LCD screens

  • Spray a small amount of this cleaner onto your soft cloth. Do not drench the cloth. It should only feel a little moist to the touch, and you should not be able to squeeze any liquid out of it.
  • Only use soft, lint-free, and static-free cloths. Lens cloths work especially well, but any microfiber cloth will usually do the trick. Avoid paper towels, dish towels, terry cloth towels, and other abrasive fabrics.
  • Only use cleaning products specifically created and sold for use with LCD screens.[3] Do not use all-purpose cleaners, alcohol-based products, bleach, aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives. All of these products could seriously damage the screen. In extreme cases, the screen may even break completely.
  • Do not spray the cleaning solution directly on the screen. Doing so increases the likelihood of getting moisture into the openings at the bottom or along the sides. Moisture should not be allowed through these openings, since it can short out your computer if it gets inside.

Step 3: Wipe the screen using the cloth. Pass the cloth over the Macbook Pro screen, working either from top to bottom or from side to side. Buff the screen in small circular motions, applying steady but light pressure.

  • Hold the computer screen near the very top or very bottom to reduce the risk of accidentally smudging it as you work.
  • Continue buffing the computer screen as necessary until all smudges are gone, reapplying cleaning solution as necessary. This may take several passes over the screen and several minutes to complete.

Method 4: Using LCD and Plasma Wipes

Step 1: Turn off the Macbook Pro. Shut down the computer before you do anything else. Unplug the power adapter before continuing on. Moisture from the wipes can get into the computer, even if you work carefully. In the event that this happens, it is important that the power adapter have been previously removed. Prior removal of these electrical components will prevent them from getting damaged and will also prevent you from getting shocked.

Step 2: Use a specially formulated electronic wipe. Wipe an LCD-specific across the entire screen, working from top to bottom or side to side. For best results, buff the screen using small circular motions while applying light but even pressure.

  • Electronic wipes contain just enough solution to clean the screen without soaking it. The solution used is also formulated to work safely with electronic products.
  • Make sure that any wipes you use have a non-alcohol formula, since alcohol could damage the screen.

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