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[Fixed] What to Do If You Spill Water on Your MacBook?

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Sherry Song

Written by

Sherry Song
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Summary: It must be a nightmare if you accidentally spilled water on your MacBook. But it's essential to stay calm and act quickly to minimize damage. This post will teach you what to do and what not to do, and it's strongly suggested to use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac if your hard drive and the water damage is small on your Mac.

Summary of Spilled Water on MacBook

Spilling water on a MacBook is a frequently encountered issue for Mac users, so there is no need to fret. If you spilled water on MacBook, and hurry to find the best solutions, you are so lucky to find this post.

Now let's follow this systematic guide, you can salvage your MacBook affected by liquid like an inactive keyboard and Trackpad, and possibly a sudden shutdown. If possible and timely, you can recover all your data with a complete MacBook.  

An overview of steps to take if you spilled water on MacBook

Main processesDetailed waysImportant level
Immediate actions1. Shut down the MacBook
2. Disconnect all cables and peripherals
3. Flip the MacBook upside down to drain excess water  
Drying and waiting period1.Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the exterior of the MacBook
2. Place the MacBook in a dry, warm area with good air circulation
3. Allow the MacBook to dry for at least 48 hours 
Assessment 1.Check for signs of water damage such as water spots or corrosion
2. Consider seeking professional assistance if unsure  
Powering on1. After 48 hours, cautiously attempt to power on the MacBook
2. Monitor for any unusual behavior or malfunctioning components 
Recover and backup data1. Check for lost data and recover with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
2. Consider cloud storage or external drives for backup

If you follow the steps and your MacBook is working as well as before, you'd better check your data and recover it. Please download the effective software iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, which can safely and completely get back your lost data for over 1000+ types.

Please share these important steps to help others who are saving their MacBooks.


What to do if you spill water on your MacBook?

When you spilled water on the MacBook, just follow the steps one by one on how to fix Mac water damage, each of them is indispensable in the whole saving process.

what to do if you spill water on MacBook

Immediate actions

Don't rush to copy or transfer your important files to another external drive, the first step is to shut down, disconnect the external charger, and prevent deep water damage. Remember, acting quickly and decisively can help minimize the damage caused by spilled water on MacBook.

Shut down MacBook immediately

Stay calm and press the power button for over 5 seconds until it shuts down then release. If the keyboard is inactive, wipe the keyboard and the Trackpad and close the lip as soon as possible, which will cut off the main running of macOS.

Check if the MacBook's screen has turned off completely and all lights are no longer illuminated. If not, repeat the process of holding down the power button until it powers off thoroughly.

Disconnect all cables and peripherals

Unplug the power adapter from the MacBook and form the power outlet. Then disconnect any other peripherals such as external hard drives, SD cards, monitors, or USB devices and external input devices from the MacBook's ports.

Check for any wireless peripherals such as Bluetooth devices and turn them off or remove the batteries if possible.

Flip the MacBook upside down to drain excess water

This action can stop the water from entering the deep place. Just hole the MacBook firmly with both hands and turn it over, then shake the MacBook to encourage the water to flow out. Keep the MacBook in this position for a few minutes to allow gravity to drain the spilling water.

After the immediate steps, proceed with the next steps in dealing with spilled water on MacBook such as drying and cleaning.

Drying and waiting period

Drying is necessary after disconnecting the power when you spilled water on the MacBook. There are two main steps:

Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the exterior of the MacBook in a dry place

Use a clean, dry cloth to gently pat the exterior of the MacBook after spilling water on a MacBook and absorb any excess water. Pay attention to areas around ports, vents, and openings where water may have seeped on. Then place the MacBook in a dry, warm area with good air condition.

Allow the MacBook to dry for at least 48 hours

In the dry environment, let the MacBook stay in the upside position for at least two days. And you have to resist the temptation to turn it on during this time.


After drying and waiting, now you have to assess the water damage Mac. Check for signs of water damage such as water spots or corrosion. If it can turn on as normal, so lucky you are, or maybe you should ask for some professional help.

Powering on

If there are not any signs of water damage such as water spots, corrosion, or lingering moisture, try cautiously to attempt to start your MacBook. Reconnect the power adapter and any other peripherals that were disconnected during the immediate steps. Then press and hold the power button for a few seconds to initiate the startup process.

Monitor the MacBook closely as it boots up. Pay attention to any unusual sounds, error messages, or malfunctioning components like the keyboard and Trackpad.

Assume the MacBook has unusual behavior, power off and seek professional help. If the MacBook powers on successfully and functions normally, consider recovering and backing up important data to prevent any potential loss in the following step.

Recover and backup data

Check all the files in the MacBook, you may lose some data during the immediate powering-off process when you spilled water on the MacBook. So data recovery is the necessary step to take and it's highly recommended to apply iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, a reliable tool to get back all important data on your MacBook whether it is in your HDD, SSD, SD card, USB drive, etc.

Therefore, if your files are lost or the data cannot be accessed using the external enclosure method, you'd better recover with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, which can help scan and get back all the lost files or folders quickly and completely.

  1. Free download, install, and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
  2. Choose the drive or volume you store your data in the left menu and choose Search for Lost Data.
  3. After scan, preview the data and choose your wanted ones then click Recover to save them to another place. 
     Recover files after spilling water on MacBook

Then you can choose cloud storage or an external hard drive to regularly backup data to avoid some big loss after spilling water on MacBook.

What not to do if you spill water on your MacBook?

Keeping calm is the first thing and here are some things you can't do when you spilled water on your MacBook:

what not to do if you spill water on MacBook

  • Don't use heat sources: Avoid using hairdryers, ovens, or microwaves to dry your MacBook, as excessive heat can damage the internal components.
  • Don't shake or tilt vigorously: While it's essential to drain water, shaking or tilting your MacBook too heavily can cause water to penetrate further into the device.
  • Don't disassemble the MacBook: Unless you are a trained professional, avoid disassembling your Mac to dry it internally. Disassembling the device incorrectly can cause further damage and void any warranty coverage.

By avoiding these actions, you can decrease further damage to your MacBook and improve the chances of successful recovery after water damage on your MacBook.

How to avoid spilling water on your MacBook?

Saving a water-damaged MacBook takes a lot of effort and you can learn how to avoid this awful case happening next:

  • Use a protective cover: Consider using a keyboard cover or a silicone keyboard skin to protect your MacBook from spills.
  • Keep drinks away: Avoid placing open containers of liquids near your MacBook, especially when working or using it in a crowded or busy environment.
  • Use a sealed container: If you must keep a drink nearby, use a spill-proof container when using your MacBook.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: Stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious when using your MacBook near water resources.

So useful, right? Share it with more people to be careful of spilled water on MacBook.


Final words

By following these methods and tips above about what to do if you spill water on your MacBook, you can minimize the damage caused by spilled water on your MacBook and potentially save yourself from costly repairs or data loss. If you are lucky enough to dry and power on your MacBook, please do some data recovery with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and be more careful in later use.