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'Flexgate' Display Issues Affecting 2016 MacBook Pro and Later

Some 2016 and later MacBook Pro models appear to be displaying issues with uneven backlighting caused by a delicate and easy-to-break flex cable, which has been dubbed "flexgate." Impacted machines can feature uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen, which looks a bit like a "stage light" effect, and the display can eventually fail entirely. Image via MacRumors reader SourceSunToM What's the cause? According to repair site iFixit, which first highlighted the problem, 2016 and later MacBook Pro machines are using thin, fragile display flex cables that are prone to malfunctioning with repeated closing and opening of the MacBook Pro's display. The flex cables are loosely wrapped around the display controller board and when the MacBook's display is opened, the cables are pulled tighter, leading to tears and problems over time. Image via iFixit iFixit says the backlight cable is usually the one to break first, leading to backlighting issues and eventual display failure. Which models are affected? The issue can impact any 13 or 15-inch MacBook Pro model manufactured in 2016 and 2017 though it appears to be affecting Touch Bar models more frequently. 2018 models may also be impacted, but Apple did make flex cable changes to these machines that may solve the issue. Apple introduced a redesigned MacBook Pro in 2016, and this was the first to use the new flex cable. Older MacBook Pro models are not impacted because they use a more durable wire that was routed through the hinge instead of around it, mitigating the stress of repeated display openings. The

'Flexgate' Articles

Apple May Have Quietly Addressed 'Flexgate' in 2018 MacBook Pros

iFixit reports that Apple may have already taken steps to reduce the likelihood of 2018 MacBook Pro users experiencing display lighting issues dubbed Flexgate. Affected machines could see uneven lighting that looks like a "stage light" effect with the display potentially failing completely over time. iFixit was tipped off by MacRumors forum user Olivia88 posting in our Flexgate megathread that their 2018 13" MacBook Pro appeared to have a longer cable than previous models. iFixit confirmed this finding: Since we were just wrapping up writing the repair manual for the 2018 model anyway, we checked inside our 2018 15” MacBook Pro again to measure its cable against its 2016 predecessor—and found the 2018 cable was, in fact, a full 2mm longer. Since this change appears in both our 15” model and Olivia88’s 13” model, it’s plausible this change is present in multiple, if not all, 2018 MacBook Pros.iFixit speculates that this could prevent some of the wear and tear that had previously caused the failure though they weren't able to say for certain. Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge the issue, and our Flexgate guide covers what your options are if you are affected by this

'Flexgate': 2016 and Newer MacBook Pro Users Report Display Issues Due to Fragile Flex Cables

An increasing number of users have experienced backlight issues on 2016 and newer MacBook Pro models, particularly those with the Touch Bar, often resulting in a so-called "stage light effect" along the bottom of the display. Image via MacRumors forum member SourceSunTom According to the repair website iFixit, which highlighted the issue today, the underlying cause is Apple's use of thin, fragile flex cables that connect the display with the display controller board on 2016 and newer MacBook Pro models, as opposed to the more durable wire cables used in previous generations. iFixit's Taylor Dixon explains:When it first debuted, the design seemed fine. But as always, the devil is in the details. Apple opted for thin, fragile flex cables as opposed to the beefier wire cables used in previous designs that could be routed through the hinge instead of wrapped around it, helping mitigate the stress of repeated openings and closings.In a nutshell, the normal, repeated opening and closing of the display lid can result in the thin flex cables becoming fragile and breaking over time. And since the issue takes time to manifest, the affected MacBook Pro models are often outside of Apple's one-year warranty period when they start exhibiting symptoms. Many examples of the issue have been documented on the website Flexgate, in the Apple Support Communities, and in the MacRumors discussion forums. It's unclear how many users are affected, but the number continues to increase. The problem gets worse when affected customers take their MacBook Pro