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.

macbook pro flexgate
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.

Related Roundup: 13" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

its93rc Avatar
18 months ago
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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
17 months ago
But they turned their backs on the 2017 MacBook Pro owners, which had the same problem (display cable was too short). Whatever you do, don't buy a 2017 MBP used. Also, "very small percentage" is a complete lie, it is very much a frequent problem, as ALL of the models had the same flawed display cable. Guess who owns a 2017 MBP? Me!!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mkondrak Avatar
18 months ago
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
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
17 months ago

I wonder why the 2017 models were excluded from the program when they're the exact same screens with the exact same problems?
Money. Apple will screw anyone over for a buck, especially their customers. They ran the numbers and allowing the repairs on the 2017's was just too much cash. We also know from history that Apple isn't afraid of a lawsuit, and they often wait for one before they take action that can cost them money (recall, repair program, etc). I guarantee if someone laid a class action on them for the 2017 models, they would include them in the repair program.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ahmedista Avatar
17 months ago
I have a MacBook Pro 2017 non-touchbar and It's has been the worst purchase I've ever made. I'm suffering from flexgate issue and Apple won't even acknowledge this problem. A problem that Apple already made a recall program for 2016 models only.

I'm pretty sure Apple knows this problem but they are ignoring it for unknown reason.

This is from a recent chat with Apple Support.





This is really frustrating to have a device that cost much having serous design flaws and Apple want us to pay for the repair. Such problems like:

- Stage Light / Flexgate
- Butterfly keyboard
- SSD problems
- And recently battery problems
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MobiusStrip Avatar
14 months ago
True. I can excuse occasional defects. But I will not excuse shipping known defective designs for more than one iteration. The "butterfly" keyboards really epitomize that. It was a shìtty design in service of a bankrupt, anti-customer mania for "thinness" perpetrated by a pompous hack (Jony Ive).

People think Apple is somehow "rebellious" or different, but in fact it's sadly political inside where incompetent pets get promoted for years and degrade the company's entire product line. Jony Ive is one example. Randy Ubillos is another.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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