Does your MBP 16" 's trackpad leave marks on the screen?

hajime

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Hi, after coming back from school, I noticed that the marks on the screen are from the trackpad rather than from the keyboard. Anybody else has this issue? What is the best way to avoid this situation as some of you mentioned that it is not a good idea to clean the screen often.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,668
203
Just don't sandwich your MacBook in a tight container and make sure to purchase AppleCare in the off chance you will need a display replacement later.

Trust me... this is a known issue and Apple will for sure replace your display if the keyboard and trackpad end up leaving permanent marks on the display. It has been a known issue with them since the 2012 Retina display because apparently... the thinner glass that they have been using with the retina computers scratches very easily.

In contrast, I still have my 17" MacBook Pro and to this day, I still haven't been able to put a single mark on the display glass. I have had to replace the display on up to 3 retina computers now (2012 15", 2015 15", 2017 12"), and I'm fast approaching my 3rd replacement (2018 13"). Work-issued MacBook Pro also shows keyboard and trackpad dents on the screen but eh... I'll let IT deal with that.
 

tomd25

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2009
42
17
Yeah had this issue with all my Macbooks. I wasn’t able to get Apple to repair my 2015 under Applecare, they said it was my fault as it must have been squashed too tightly in a bag causing the screen to press on the keyboard. You may have more luck these days, I took it to the senior support level but with no luck.

As the other poster says, try to avoid placing too much pressure on the Macbook, it seems this is caused by e.g. putting it in a backpack which so too full. I’ve also purchased a large micro fibre cloth which I’m putting over the keyboard when I close it - I have heard mixed messages about whether this is a good idea or not (for example, you could trap dirt rubbing against the screen) but it has worked well so far.
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,777
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The other thing if you're using a rucksack is to be aware of how you set it down - try not to have the weight on top of the laptop if you're putting it on the floor or in a luggage rack etc.
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Thanks but my bag has LOTS of space in the laptop compartment. Seems like just by closing the lid some dirts or perhaps finger oil get transferred to the screen.

I used Radtech cloth 10 years ago but did not find it useful at that time. Anybody using it on the MBP 16"?
 

butterflyscisstor

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2020
16
4
This has happened to me for years. I talked to the local Apple store about it hoping they sold a little insert to go between the keys & screen or some sort of or key cleaner. They don't sell either, however they pointed me to go across to a Target store and get some Whoosh cleaner. They said it used to be sold in Apple stores and they still use it all day on all the devices - screen, keys, body of laptops. He said use clean microfiber cloths and recommended not reusing them when cleaning keys or screen because the coating on screen is delicate and scratching it with a dirty microfiber can leave marks.

I haven't done any of this, because Target was out of Whoosh. I also found that using a clean microfiber cloth gently moistened with water, as apple recommends, is the way to keep the keys clean and from transferring oils. I have a cloth on order that will fit between the keys and the screen for those times I am traveling.

Hard to believe this phenomenon has been an issue with Apple laptops since the PowerBook G4 era and still continues...
 

Nacho98

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Jul 11, 2019
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I use the RadTech cloth on the keyboard of my 16", but am disappointed it doesn't also cover the trackpad. It does protect the screen from the keys though.

So far so good, but just today in fact I decided to cut the sheet that came with my laptop from Apple to make a cover for the trackpad. That sheet is so thin I cut two rectangles so it's double thick. Do note that the two sides of that sheet are not the same - one side is much smoother, that side goes against the screen.

Real pain in the ass to have a RadTech and two sheets of that paper to deal with, but whatever - my MBP will never leave the house so I can deal with the hassle.

Edit: got some double sided tape and taped the two sheets together which makes things easier. Also the strips of tape sort of bolster the thickness within the borders of the trackpad, providing a little extra leveling of the sheets where they transition from the palm rest to covering the trackpad borders.

The things we do :rolleyes:
 
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Nacho98

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I don't see how these ShaggyMax products can cover the entire 16" MBP and fit at a thickness of 0.6 mm, without putting some serious pressure on the display/hinge.

I have a RadTech that is even thinner at 0.45 mm thick, designed to cover a full 12" Macbook (so considerably smaller than the top of a 16" MBP), and even that one puts noticeable stress on the display/hinge, no matter how it's positioned, whether it starts at the touchbar and goes down over 2/3 of the trackpad, or if it's all the way towards the front of the machine from 1/3 of the way from the top of the keyboard to the front edge of the trackpad - however I do it, I can tell the display/hinge is under duress. Does the laptop close? Sure. Does it feel good? Nope.
- - Post merged: - -


Anyway here's my setup with the Radtech and two sheets of the Apple shipping sheet double sided taped together (smooth sides out) to protect from trackpad marks.

Ugly solution no doubt, and a hassle, but I want this machine to last 5, 6, 8 years so family heirloom treatment it is I guess.

The other option I suppose is I could leave the display open 100% of the time and use a ShaggyMax to keep dust out of the keyboard?
 

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smirking

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Aug 31, 2003
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I've never had a problem with just spray bottle lens cleaner and soft paper towels for cleaning my screen.

Once in a while I use Hoodman Lens Cleanse enzymatic cleaning wipes on both the screen and the entire topcase to give everything a complete wipedown. These wipes are used to clean camera lenses and they are very effective in cutting through grime and dirt.

 

jh.dks

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2020
15
2
I always put a screen protector on my MacBook's screens. You talk (and spit), accidentally touch the screen, this and that... it's just easier to clean a protector and I'm not worried it'll damage the coating like it did on my Retina MacBook (I put one of these protectors with black bezels on that one to fix that, lol).
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,883
812
I use the RadTech cloth on the keyboard of my 16", but am disappointed it doesn't also cover the trackpad. It does protect the screen from the keys though.

So far so good, but just today in fact I decided to cut the sheet that came with my laptop from Apple to make a cover for the trackpad. That sheet is so thin I cut two rectangles so it's double thick. Do note that the two sides of that sheet are not the same - one side is much smoother, that side goes against the screen.

Real pain in the ass to have a RadTech and two sheets of that paper to deal with, but whatever - my MBP will never leave the house so I can deal with the hassle.

Edit: got some double sided tape and taped the two sheets together which makes things easier. Also the strips of tape sort of bolster the thickness within the borders of the trackpad, providing a little extra leveling of the sheets where they transition from the palm rest to covering the trackpad borders.

The things we do :rolleyes:
I asked RadTech why there is no full size version of the cloth for the MBP 16" 2019. According to them:

"Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but a full-size pattern cannot be used on these machines - the smaller pattern absolutely prevents any screen contact with the chassis or trackpad.
Does your machine’s trackpad sit higher than the palm rests when doing the straight-edge test?

If a full-size was possible, we absolutely would have done it. If you need something full-size, tissue paper is the only option (like the one Apple ships the machines with). Anything larger exerts too much face pressure on the display, which results in fairly rapid failure. A handful of clients have rejected my advice on this and every one had their display panels fail. The cost to replace the panel on a 15in MBP is between $900 and $1000."

Does this make sense to you guys?
 
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simonmet

macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2012
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Sydney
+1 for a screen protector. It's set and forget. Be sure to use one of the cling-on types though (like a phone protector). I tried one of the firmer ones, but they seemed to use a glue on the edges that interacted with the display coating. Yes the cling films are harder to install, but you only have to do it once.
 

Nacho98

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Jul 11, 2019
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I asked RadTech why there is no full size version of the cloth for the MBP 16" 2019. According to them:

"Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but a full-size pattern cannot be used on these machines - the smaller pattern absolutely prevents any screen contact with the chassis or trackpad.
Does your machine’s trackpad sit higher than the palm rests when doing the straight-edge test?

If a full-size was possible, we absolutely would have done it. If you need something full-size, tissue paper is the only option (like the one Apple ships the machines with). Anything larger exerts too much face pressure on the display, which results in fairly rapid failure. A handful of clients have rejected my advice on this and every one had their display panels fail. The cost to replace the panel on a 15in MBP is between $900 and $1000."

Does this make sense to you guys?
It doesn't really make sense because the further you are from the hinge, the less it should matter. And while keys can depress if needed (RadTech told me they actually do when the display is closed), my RadTech also covers the Touchbar which is A) fixed and B) the closest thing to the hinge. So the keys being able to depress doesn't really matter when I already have a hard, fixed point that can't depress right next to the hinge.

So in theory, if I have a RadTech covering the touchbar near the hinge and causing no issues, it shouldn't matter if that same cloth was just extended to cover the trackpad. Yet, it does matter and it does put extra stress on the hinge trying to put anything over the palmrest/trackpad.

Guess I'm just going to keep using my RadTech on the keys and double layer of Apple paper on the trackpad. *shrug* Wouldn't it be great if we didn't need anything? My computer will never leave that desk or have anything on top of it and I still don't feel comfortable with nothing in there.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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I don't see how these ShaggyMax products can cover the entire 16" MBP and fit at a thickness of 0.6 mm, without putting some serious pressure on the display/hinge.

I have a RadTech that is even thinner at 0.45 mm thick, designed to cover a full 12" Macbook (so considerably smaller than the top of a 16" MBP), and even that one puts noticeable stress on the display/hinge, no matter how it's positioned, whether it starts at the touchbar and goes down over 2/3 of the trackpad, or if it's all the way towards the front of the machine from 1/3 of the way from the top of the keyboard to the front edge of the trackpad - however I do it, I can tell the display/hinge is under duress. Does the laptop close? Sure. Does it feel good? Nope.
- - Post merged: - -


Anyway here's my setup with the Radtech and two sheets of the Apple shipping sheet double sided taped together (smooth sides out) to protect from trackpad marks.

Ugly solution no doubt, and a hassle, but I want this machine to last 5, 6, 8 years so family heirloom treatment it is I guess.

The other option I suppose is I could leave the display open 100% of the time and use a ShaggyMax to keep dust out of the keyboard?
The thing on the trackpad looks like a diaper to me.
 

Nacho98

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Jul 11, 2019
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I also am curious why RadTech hasn't made anything thinner than 0.45 mm...there are thinner microfibers out there, found one on Amazon that is 0.32 mm.

Would like to find something like 0.2ish mm thick.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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812
I also am curious why RadTech hasn't made anything thinner than 0.45 mm...there are thinner microfibers out there, found one on Amazon that is 0.32 mm.

Would like to find something like 0.2ish mm thick.
In the supermarket, there are some paper-like things to suck out the oil of fried foods. Will that be good?
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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I just use a normal A4 size paper and it "seems" fine. Don't know if the long-term effect is negative or not.

I think I know why there are oily marks on the display in area that corresponds to the trackpad. I put my MBP in a big laptop messenger bag. Whenever I take it out, I just grab it using the thumb and index finger of one hand. The place where I grab correspond to the location of the trackpad area. This could cause some pressure and the oil/dirt from my fingers during trackpad use got transferred from the trackpad to the screen. If this is really the cause, the MBP16" case is fragile compared with pre-butterfly generations.
 

Nacho98

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Jul 11, 2019
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I ordered this, which arrived today.


Of course I had to cut it to size to fit just right over the keyboard and trackpad, and it works well. At 0.32 mm thick, it's thinner than RadTech's thinnest 0.45 mm microfiber. Computer closes nicely with no stress over this, so I can retire my RadTech and diaper combo. It also stays in place when handling the computer.
 
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