iMac and dust


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 5, 2011
I got a new iMac a few days ago, and it's my first Apple desktop after a few MBP's. It has been a great experience so far, but today, all of the sudden, when I dropped the reservoir of my dust cleaner and huge puff of dust filled the room next to my office, this "I can't clean my Mac" thought filled my head... Previously, with the MBP it was only a matter of opening the bottom and cleaning...

So, i was wondering, does the dust becomes a problem in the long run? Or is the unit very well sealed?
Does the air intake entrance have any filter? If so, can I use the vacuum cleaner to clean it? And apart of keeping the desk clean, anything else I can do to ease the dust intake?


macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2017
I have a 2011 and when I opened it up a couple of months ago it was remarkably dust free so I'm guessing it's a non issue. There is no filter.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2007
Seattle, WA
IMO.... the OP raises a good question for the closed iMac casing.

I opened a 2014 15" rMBP the other day and found it had considerable dust deposits. The machine had been used primarily in the office of the 3 yrs of use. Given this I have to think that dust can collect and deposit inside the iMac just as it did in the rMBP.

Thus the question is valid - How do you clean out the dust inside the iMac, especially after a few years of use ?


macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2017
I have a 2011 and when I opened it up a couple of months ago it was remarkably dust free so I'm guessing it's a non issue. There is no filter.
That depends on your environment, do you have wall to wall carpeting or bare floors? Carpeting creates a lot of dust.


macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2016
Sonoma County CA
I've had my 2015 27" for 2.5 years and have never done any maintenance on it. I am worried about dust. Does anyone address this? I am used to MBP's and installing new HD's or RAM after awhile and blowing dust out at that time, but this is another animal.


macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
The Sillie Con Valley
Dust definitely builds up over time but not one that I have ever seen cause a problem. I have opened up a lot of iMacs over the years.

The Mac Pro 5.1 and earlier along with the G5: major issue with the heat sink vents when (never if) they get clogged.
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macrumors 65816
Jan 17, 2008
I opened up my mid-2007 iMac recently to replace the SSD and did not notice any dust issue. I think the way these iMacs were designed, minimizes dust issues. Meaning, the enclosure seems to have no easy path for dust to collect and/or enter. For example, my mid-2007 iMac has vents at the top for air intake and air out-take. But, they're angled in such a way that dust can't just fall in through them.

I also have another Mac with similar enclosure, a mid-2010 15" MBP and I didn't notice noticeable dust buildup on it either when I opened her up just now to show you guys. Just small amounts of dust on the fan blades. This is another enclosure where there are no noticeable/obvious gaps for dust to go into, except through the vents in the back where the LCD hinge is located. This is also where the two fans are located to suck in cool air and then blow it out, through the same opening.


As you can see on the photo above, there are only minor dust buildup on the blades, which can be easily removed with a brush and one of those pressurized blower can things. FYI, did not dust the computer for months, if not a year and a half. And, this photo is as is without me dusting it before hand. Nor, would I be that lame to tamper or doctor or lie about it, either, just FYI.

I mean, if you look at the design, there is no where for dust to enter.

This is different when you look at the design of the classic Mac Pro tower, the cMP 5,1, which I have. It's a well ventilated and roomy case where dust can enter. Even though it relies on positive pressure, dust can still blow in from the vents and accumulate inside. But, one would simply periodically dust out the inside once in a while as well and that would solve it.

I wonder if the situation mentioned in that MR article yesterday where there is a class-action lawsuit regarding dust in iMacs are rare circumstances with particular environmental and situational nuances involved in creating what to me seems like abnormal dust bunny accumulation.

I also dont see how it can enter in between the screens.
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