Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,485
13,127


Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date.


Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after determining that a "very small percentage" of 13-inch MacBook Pro units sold between October 2016 and February 2018 may exhibit vertical bright areas along the bottom of the display or a backlight that stops working completely. Only the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) are eligible.

To identify which Mac model you have, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and then select "About This Mac" in the menu. Apple has not expanded the program to any other MacBook models at this time.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro units, free of charge. To initiate the repair process, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website. If you believe your MacBook Pro was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your display repaired, you can contact Apple about a potential refund.

In 2019, repair website iFixit reported that the backlight issues are caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple extended the length of the flex cable by 2mm in 2018 models, which seemingly fixed the issue.

Article Link: Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program
 
Last edited:

Slash787

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
122
216
What about the 2017 models? I am having since issue since the last 8 months now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Natzoo
Comment

Mkondrak

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2014
161
245
Yeah I actually had this issue on my 13in MBP from Nov2016. It slowly started showing up until it got to the point shown in the article. Thankfully the repair was painless except for the fact that it took a week and a half to get my laptop back (fixed around spring 2019).

The thing that they dont mention in this article or from apple is that apple doesnt "fix" this issue at all. All Apple does is replace the display with an identical one that will have the same issue in 3-4 years. Apple fixed it with a longer display flex cable in the 2018+ models but that longer display cable doesnt fit in the 2016 and 2017 MBPs so you get the same short one.

So effectively after this program ends in 5 years, if you have a 2016 model you are stuck with a failing display. smh
 
Comment

LeeW

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2017
2,209
3,882
Glasgow, Scotland
Sounds like and as expected, more are being returned. The issue will only show up after you flex the top case often enough to eventually cause an issue with the cable.
 
Comment

thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
12,918
10,812
Im part of the 'very small percentage' affected on my 2016 NTB Pro.

but I still had AppleCare at the time to cover it, and haven't really ever opened the laptop past a bit past 90 degrees

since Im paranoid the flex cable is still small and can tear with regular extended angle use (perhaps even regular)
 
Comment

its93rc

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2012
493
423
Texas
The 2016/17 MBP were a POS. I owned both and they have been a nightmare. I was wondering if I should just buy M1 now and wait a year or two when the updated versions of the 14” / 16” drop. I’m tired of dealing with Apple support who act dumb about issues that are well known. ‘Are you sure you didn’t eat on your MBP’? — ‘Only a small number were affected, actually’. The worst part is they keep installing keyboards they know will fail in a couple of months/years.

My brother had this specific issue with his MBP 2017 TB, and Apple wanted to charge him the display because it was damaged. They said he put something in the MacBook to cause this. Ridiculous. My brother kept that thing in his office.

I say this as a huge Apple fan.
 
Comment

icanhazmac

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
533
1,625
The thing that they dont mention in this article or from apple is that apple doesnt "fix" this issue at all.

I thought I had read somewhere that the cable was replaced with a slightly longer one that was supposed to fix the issue.
 
Comment

neinjohn

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2020
38
25
Yeah I actually had this issue on my 13in MBP from Nov2016. It slowly started showing up until it got to the point shown in the article. Thankfully the repair was painless except for the fact that it took a week and a half to get my laptop back (fixed around spring 2019).

The thing that they dont mention in this article or from apple is that apple doesnt "fix" this issue at all. All Apple does is replace the display with an identical one that will have the same issue in 3-4 years. Apple fixed it with a longer display flex cable in the 2018+ models but that longer display cable doesnt fit in the 2016 and 2017 MBPs so you get the same short one.

So effectively after this program ends in 5 years, if you have a 2016 model you are stuck with a failing display. smh

That is default option for all problems with MacBooks or iPhones.

Would love to see them pulling this strategy with the Apple car repair..
 
Comment

Jamalien

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2014
97
166
The 2016/17 MBP were a POS. I owned both and they have been a nightmare. I was wondering if I should just buy M1 now and wait a year or two when the updated versions of the 14” / 16” drop. I’m tired of dealing with Apple support who act dumb about issues that are well known. ‘Are you sure you didn’t eat on your MBP’? — ‘Only a small number were affected, actually’. The worst part is they keep installing keyboards they know will fail in a couple of months/years.

My brother had this specific issue with his MBP 2017 TB, and Apple wanted to charge him the display because it was damaged. They said he put something in the MacBook to cause this. Ridiculous. My brother kept that thing in his office.

I say this as a huge Apple fan.
'I was wondering'. Seems you already have
 
Comment

Mkondrak

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2014
161
245
I thought I had read somewhere that the cable was replaced with a slightly longer one that was supposed to fix the issue.
Nope. Flex cable remains the same even when whole display is replaced on the 2016 and 2017 models.

Only 2018, 2019, and 2020 models have the slightly longer one that fixes the issue

Also I see you've had 3 keyboard replacements on your MBP 15. I also had 3 keyboard replacements on my 2016 MBP 13 and Apple replaced it with a 2020 MBP 13 in October. Id recommend you try calling Apple support about a potential replacement.
 
Comment

Populus

macrumors 68000
Aug 24, 2012
1,680
1,683
Valencia, Spain.
The 2016/17 MBP were a POS. I owned both and they have been a nightmare. I was wondering if I should just buy M1 now and wait a year or two when the updated versions of the 14” / 16” drop. I’m tired of dealing with Apple support who act dumb about issues that are well known. ‘Are you sure you didn’t eat on your MBP’? — ‘Only a small number were affected, actually’. The worst part is they keep installing keyboards they know will fail in a couple of months/years.

My brother had this specific issue with his MBP 2017 TB, and Apple wanted to charge him the display because it was damaged. They said he put something in the MacBook to cause this. Ridiculous. My brother kept that thing in his office.

I say this as a huge Apple fan.
Just my case. A couple of days ago I became pretty excited with the news about new MacBook pro and Air, rumors saying they won’t have touchbar (or it will be optional), return of magsafe, a more strudy and square design, a new generation of M processors... However, I think it is safer to get the M1 MacBook Air, with a reliable and tested design, and wait until the second -or third- generation of this new design MacBooks, and choose wisely between the M3 MacBook Air, or the M3X MacBook Pro.

Also, with the M1 MacBook Air being so powerful, I can easily wait more than 2 years with it.
 
Comment

anthony13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2012
652
605
I had this same problem but on my 15” 2017, not the 13”. Apple ended up replacing the entire screen.
 
Comment

MNLondon

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2009
24
12
London
The 2016/17 MBP were a POS. I owned both and they have been a nightmare. I was wondering if I should just buy M1 now and wait a year or two when the updated versions of the 14” / 16” drop. I’m tired of dealing with Apple support who act dumb about issues that are well known. ‘Are you sure you didn’t eat on your MBP’? — ‘Only a small number were affected, actually’. The worst part is they keep installing keyboards they know will fail in a couple of months/years.

My brother had this specific issue with his MBP 2017 TB, and Apple wanted to charge him the display because it was damaged. They said he put something in the MacBook to cause this. Ridiculous. My brother kept that thing in his office.

I say this as a huge Apple fan.
I would wait.

I had a problem with my M1 Mac mini, and support didn't know what to do, because they hadn't received training on it yet.

I upgraded to Mac OS 11.1 and I lost all my information. I hadn't backed up, which was silly of me, but the Mini wiped everything and then the upgrade would not load at all. After 4 attempts and a couple of calls to support I gave up, got it collected and was refunded. I'm back on my old 2009 Mac Pro for a while. It's much slower, of course, but it works. I've kept the cash aside and I'll probably buy a Mini with more ports later this year, so I can enjoy 2 x 4K without having to buy an adapter.

I'm a huge Apple fan too, but I guess even the best companies in the world make a few mistakes.
 
Comment

ksec

macrumors 68000
Dec 23, 2015
1,581
1,671
I am expecting some Mac SVP personnel changes related announcement soon. I mean some of these Mac's directional changes is something else entirely. Some new management must have taken helm.
 
Comment

Slash787

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
122
216
I had this same problem but on my 15” 2017, not the 13”. Apple ended up replacing the entire screen.
I have the 13", did they charge you anything for it? cause it says it is only eligible for the 2016 models and I have the 13" 2017 model.
 
Comment

MNLondon

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2009
24
12
London


Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date.


Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after determining that a "very small percentage" of 13-inch MacBook Pro units sold between October 2016 and February 2018 may exhibit vertical bright areas along the bottom of the display or a backlight that stops working completely. Eligible models include the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports).

To identify which Mac model you have, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and then select "About This Mac" in the menu. Apple has not expanded the program to any other MacBook models at this time.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro units, free of charge. To initiate the repair process, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website. If you believe your MacBook Pro was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your display repaired, you can contact Apple about a potential refund.

In 2019, repair website iFixit reported that the backlight issues are caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple extended the length of the flex cable by 2mm in 2018 models, which seemingly fixed the issue.

Article Link: Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program


Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date.


Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after determining that a "very small percentage" of 13-inch MacBook Pro units sold between October 2016 and February 2018 may exhibit vertical bright areas along the bottom of the display or a backlight that stops working completely. Eligible models include the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports).

To identify which Mac model you have, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and then select "About This Mac" in the menu. Apple has not expanded the program to any other MacBook models at this time.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro units, free of charge. To initiate the repair process, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website. If you believe your MacBook Pro was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your display repaired, you can contact Apple about a potential refund.

In 2019, repair website iFixit reported that the backlight issues are caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple extended the length of the flex cable by 2mm in 2018 models, which seemingly fixed the issue.

Article Link: Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program
DECE9F0E-48FB-47ED-87EF-55A859684AC1.jpeg
I have the same problem with. Lees on my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9. I have no idea what to do.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: TraceyS/FL and iZac
Comment

anthony13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2012
652
605
I have the 13", did they charge you anything for it? cause it says it is only eligible for the 2016 models and I have the 13" 2017 model.
No charge, but it occurred very close to purchase back in 2017 so I was under warranty.
 
Comment

Rafagon

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2011
301
286
Miami, FL
When I move my eyes while looking at the image from the article, the lights look like they're moving.

Anybody else experiencing the same phenomenon?
 
Comment

Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,164
1,826
I had my 2016 MBP keyboard swapped with a 2019 in the spring and immediately sold it afterwards using the fact it had an “improved” keyboard and brand new battery as a reason to ask more for it. Now I’m using a 2020 MBP and other than the fact the thing gets hot enough in my lap to make me sterile I’m enjoying it much more.
Because of those heat issues, however, and due to how much I truly despise the gimmicky TouchBar, if the 14” drops that and includes some other upgrades, I’ll be trading up to that later in the year.
 
Comment

MJaP

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2015
92
224
Well this is making me paranoid about buying one of their newly redesigned MacBook Pros towards the latter half of this year, perhaps I should hold off until all the faults have been identified and ironed out.

On the one hand you have to applaud Apple for supporting hardware issues well past where any standard warranty would cover it, however on the other hand Apple has had quiet a few hardware issues due to the way they design things, and sometimes trying to get them to acknowledge the problem is their fault is like getting blood out of a stone.

Those little moisture dots inside their laptops can change colour if the air happens to be humid, you don't need to have spilt anything on your MacBook, but once they've changed colour you've had it.
 
Comment

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,907
2,873
long island NY
I had my 2016 MBP keyboard swapped with a 2019 in the spring and immediately sold it afterwards using the fact it had an “improved” keyboard and brand new battery as a reason to ask more for it. Now I’m using a 2020 MBP and other than the fact the thing gets hot enough in my lap to make me sterile I’m enjoying it much more.
Because of those heat issues, however, and due to how much I truly despise the gimmicky TouchBar, if the 14” drops that and includes some other upgrades, I’ll be trading up to that later in the year.
They don’t upgrade the keyboard
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nicole1980
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.