The number one rule as a MacBook owner is to never spill water (or any liquid) over a MacBook. If this does happen then, frankly, you are screwed; but before you panic, there are a couple things that can be done to preserve the machine and its data.
The likelihood of saving the Mac will always depend on the amount of liquid the machine got: if it was dropped into a swimming pool or the sea then it goes without saying that you can kiss it goodbye. The chances of saving the machine are much higher if it is just a splash, perhaps from a knocked glass of water. Since MacBooks aren't as water or dustproof as the iPhone, it's much trickier to save the machine from liquid damage – but it can be possible, so here's what to do.
Since liquids and electricity aren't friends, it's important to stay safe. Too much water on an active machine might cause the circuits to fry and potentially even damage the power socket, so just be sure to be careful when interacting with plugs and breakers immediately after such an incident. If you don't know what to do, call a friend or contact an electrical professional – they will advise you on what to do.
Power Down the Machine Immediately
The very first thing you should do in such cases is to immediately turn off the Mac (if applicable). Hold down the Power button until the MacBook shuts down; you'll have plenty of time to worry about the documents later, and saving all your data is no doubt more vital than losing a few hours work.
Remove Every Connected Device
If you have any devices connected to the Mac, such as an external monitor or hard drive, then remove them immediately while also unplugging any connected cables or cords. Remove the cable even if it is an external keyboard or mouse. This quick action is especially important because devices powered by the Mac could cause a short.
Remove the Battery
If you know where the battery is located and have access to it, remove it immediately. This can't be done with most new MacBook Pro and Air models, unfortunately.
Turn the Device Upside Down
Since the Mac's internals are underneath the keyboard, it makes sense to turn it upside down with the lid open so the liquid doesn't seep further towards the inner components, therefore preventing any further damage… at least if you move fast enough!
Dry Off Visible Liquid
With all the possible electrical sources and externals disconnected, use absorbent materials to dry off every drop of visible liquid. A cotton towel can be a great help, and the same goes for paper towels. You can also use Q-tips in corners, but feel free to use what you have to hand; just make sure it is absorbent and won’t simply spread the water around. Sponges, for example, should be avoided since they will hold onto the water and cannot be properly dried.
The keyboard should get special attention, because the liquid can easily seep under the keys. The second generation butterfly-mechanism keyboards won’t help you much here.
If you have the technical knowledge and the tools for dismantling a MacBook, now is the time to use them. This is not recommended for novice users, though, since you could end up damaging the machine further.
Create Your Own Setup to Enable Airflow and Absorbency
With a little bit of creativity, you can further enhance the flip-over stage by creating a setup which includes a hair dryer or any other fan blowing warm air and a towel or absorbent material. By doing so, you'll speed up the drying process and prevent the liquid seeping further into the heart of the machine.
Patience is key in this situation: no matter how big the temptation is, you should keep your fingers away from the power button for 1-3 days, depending on how severe the liquid damage was.
Take It to an Apple Store
If you are certain that no liquid is inside the machine, now you have the option to either turn it on or take it to the nearest Apple Store to check for damage.
That doesn't mean the machine will be repaired for free, because Apple is pretty clear about this: damage to Mac computers and accessories due to liquid exposure is not covered by the Apple One Year Limited Warranty or the AppleCare Protection Plan. And don’t bet on Apple giving you a free repair, either: the latest Mac notebook computers and Apple wired and wireless keyboards (except Magic Keyboard) have Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI) to help determine if these products have been exposed to liquid.
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