Staingate important?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2020
Hello, I asked a question in this post, and a question that nobody answered me is the staingate is something to consider?
I am a rookie on Macbooks, and I am between buying a 2013 MBP and a 2015 MBA.
There are 2 MBPs that I consider:
  • One that the seller says is in good condition but presents staingate that is only noticeable with the screen off.
  • Another one that does not talk about the staingate issue, maybe I don't have it but how can I realize it or can it happen in the future?
The Macbook Air does not present this problem, and it would be a safer purchase but with lower benefits.


macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2018
Kingman, AZ
From what I've read on the forums and elsewhere during the last 7 or so years, it really only is noticeable when the screen is off. Maybe when blacks or other very dark colors are displayed, but I don't think it will be as prominent.

Staingate is usually created by cleaning the screen improperly which wipes away the antiglare coating. It is also worth noting that you can wipe the entire screen clean of the coating, which will stop staining altogether.

If you can live with some more glare, cleaning the screen will give you a perfect display that will never display stains again.


macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
SF Bay Area
Staingate is a caused by the anti-reflective coatings on the screen have been wiped off by excessive screen cleaning, or cleaning with incorrect cloths or cleaning chemicals. It never gets better without replacing the screen.

I bet if you looked at the screen with the issue in the right light you could see it whether or not the system was powered up.


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
"One that the seller says is in good condition but presents staingate that is only noticeable with the screen off."

You DON'T want this one. Or ANY MBP that has a display with the coating flaking off.

ALL retina MacBook Pro's from 2012-on are vulnerable to StainGate if the screens are abused or are improperly "cleaned".

Apple will replace the displays free-of-charge for units up to 4 years old (from date of sale). After that YOU pay, and it won't be cheap.


macrumors 6502
May 13, 2005
It's very noticeable, don't buy any MBP with the coating flaking off. Instead, look for a MBP that has had the display replaced. Sometimes you'll find one that has had both the top case and the display replaced. It's like getting a new MBP for a used price.

I don't know if Apple improved the coating over time, but I had a 2012 MBP that had the display replaced twice. I also have a 2014 MBP and a 2015 MBP and so far no problems.