The internals of a MacBook
Apple

Apple has recalled a lot of MacBooks recently. Your MacBook may be eligible for free replacement of its battery, keyboard, logic board, display backlight, or another component. Here’s how to check whether you can get some free repairs.

Even if your MacBook is working fine, you should check for any available recalls—for example, one Apple MacBook battery recall notes that the battery “may overheat and cause a fire safety risk.” If you take Apple up on the offer of free service, you’re both getting a new, fresh battery and reducing the odds your MacBook will burst into flames.

How to Check Your MacBook’s Model Number and Serial Number

To know whether your MacBook is eligible, you’ll need to know its precise model name. You may also have to provide Apple with its serial number.

To find this information, click the Apple icon on the menu bar at the top left corner of your Mac’s display. Select “About This Mac” in the menu.

Opening About This Mac from the Mac's menu bar.

All the information you need is displayed right here. Your MacBook’s model name is displayed under the version number of macOS you have installed, and the serial number is displayed to the right of “Serial Number” at the bottom of the list of information.

MacBook model number and serial number displayed in the About This Mac window.

Which Macs Are Eligible?

Apple offers a mostly complete list of recalls, which the company calls “Exchange and Repair Extension Programs,” on its website. Check whether your Mac’s model name appears in this list:

  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018) – Apple hasn’t listed this one on its website. However, “a very small number” of these systems have “an issue” with their logic board and are eligible for free replacement of that board.
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) – Some of these MacBooks are eligible for a battery replacement. The battery may overheat. Check the MacBook’s serial number to see if it’s eligible. If you have an eligible Mac, Apple advises you to stop using it immediately for fire safety reasons.
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports) – Some of these MacBooks sold with 128 GB of 256 GB solid-state drives “have an issue that may result in data loss and failure of the drive.” Check your MacBook’s serial number with Apple to see if it’s affected.
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) – Some of these MacBooks have an issue with their display backlight. The backlight may stop working entirely, or you may see “vertical bright areas along the entire bottom of the screen.” Here’s what to do if you have this problem.
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) – Some of these Macs have the same backlight problem as above.
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch) Without Touch Bar – On some of these MacBooks, the battery may expand due to another component failing. Apple says this isn’t a safety issue, but will replace the battery free of charge of your device is eligible. Here’s how to check your MacBook’s serial number. Note that this doesn’t affect MacBook Pros with touch bars.

If You Have a Keyboard Problem

Apple says that “a small percentage of the keyboards” in some MacBooks may have problems. If your MacBook’s keyboard has characters that “appear unexpectedly,” “do not appear,” or the keys just feel “sticky” or don’t respond consistently, Apple will likely fix it for you.

Apple provides a list of affected MacBooks—new MacBooks with the much-discussed new keyboard design. If you have one of these MacBooks and your keyboard is working fine, however, Apple won’t do anything—it will just fix problems that have already become apparent:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2019)

If you have a MacBook with this problem, head to Apple’s website to learn more about the keyboard service process.

Plug Adapters and Electric Shocks

Apple has also recalled some older AC wall plug adapters—specifically, these models were sold outside the US and within the US as part of the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. They may break and “create a risk of electrical shock if exposed metal parts are touched.” Older two-prong adapters and three-prong adapters are eligible for a free replacement.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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