"Staingate" - Apple exchange program for display spots on MacBook and MacBook Pro

The problem of protective layers peeling off on MacBook and MacBook Pro displays, which is making the rounds under the name of “Staingate”, is drawing wider circles. How The H regarding MacRumors The Apple exchange program, through which affected users can claim a free exchange of the screen up to 4 years after the date of purchase, was reported to have been extended. In addition, not only older models of Apple laptops are affected by the unsightly display change, but also series of the current models in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Update 25.10.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: Exchange program still active

A reader has just left me a comment below and noted that the Staingate exchange program is obviously still being processed by Apple as a goodwill gesture:

Hello Sir Apfelot, current information on the Staingate topic: The exchange program seems to continue to exist. On my MacBook Pro 13 ″ Early 2015 (purchase date 11.2016/4), the display was exchanged in October as a goodwill gesture (XNUMX year period!). New display and back within a week - TOP!
Apple Shop Berlin Kurfürstendamm & Apple Support Center were involved.

Of course, you can't "insist on your rights", because officially it's already expired. However, it is still advisable to visit an Apple Store with your device and ask politely whether a goodwill repair might not be possible.

Update April 24.04.2020th, XNUMX: Inexpensive state gate repairs possible at service partners

I recently had a chat with repair service provider Sadaghian and asked them a bit about what they fix. They're aware of the Staingate issue and will do repairs for less than $200 - with free shipping to and from you, by the way. If you don't get a goodwill fix from Apple and don't dare to try the DIY solution, then Sadaghian may be the right partner for you. With the code “SIRAPF” and via this link you can get the Staingate repair for a fixed price of 140 EUR. I negotiated this action for you with Sadaghian.

Advertisement: If you have Sadaghian fix your Mac, I will get a few euros per repair. That helps me to maintain the Sir Apfelot blog and to invest more time on it. But I wouldn't advertise the service if I didn't find it recommendable - you can be assured of that.

Update 9.1.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: DIY repair of the Staingate problem

Since many readers have reported that they received a rejection from Apple Support and their display is no longer being repaired, I started looking for a different way of solving the problem. I found what I was looking for in English-language forums and wrote a post about the possibilities you have when you have the Would like to remove Staingate display stains yourself.

Update December 31.12.2019, XNUMX: Macs can only be exchanged to a limited extent

My reader Andy gave me the tip to point out that the above sources represent information from 2017. Correspondingly, repairing MacBooks is no longer so easy today. At the moment, devices from 2013 and 2014 no longer seem to be repaired for free.

If you want to take part in the exchange program, you should bring proof of purchase to Apple that is not older than 4 years. Then you may still have a chance that the display will be repaired.

The so-called Staingate problem: The protective layer on the Apple MacBook (Pro) display is peeling off, causing spots and streaks. Here you can find information about the free replacement of the screen.
The so-called Staingate problem: The protective layer on the Apple MacBook (Pro) display is peeling off, causing spots and streaks. Here you can find information about the free replacement of the screen.

Free display replacement if the MacBook (Pro) display is stained

Among other things, the sources highlighted that Apple MacBook models from 2012 no longer benefit from the exchange program. According to MacRumors, the oldest devices listed in an internal Apple document on the subject, for which the program is still valid, date from 2013. The complete list reads as follows:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2013) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2013) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2013) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2014) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) 
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) 
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015) 
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016) 
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2017)

Technical data, pictures and price: MacBook Air 2018 in summary

Repair program is an "insider tip"

If you are annoyed with your Apple MacBook (Pro) that spots, bubbles or streaks appear on the display, then you should contact the Apple Support or contact an authorized dealer / repair partner. Because the repair program for peeling screen protective layers is not communicated publicly. In order to benefit from the “insider tip”, you have to recognize the defect yourself and ask for an exchange. It can't hurt to have proof of purchase ready at least for models from 2013 and 2014 in order to qualify for the four-year period.

Further information, facts and figures on the topic can be found at the sources indicated. 

Update March 03.04.2019th, XNUMX: Feedback from a reader

I just got an email from my reader Reinhard, who gave me very positive feedback that I don't want to withhold from you. It shows that you can get help with the Staingate problem relatively easily if you contact Apple about the exchange program:

With my MBP year 2015 I had these monitor changes since 2017, it was annoying, but otherwise the MBP ran perfectly. After reading your article, I called the Apple hotline (it worked very well) and then brought the MBP to Gravis in Dortmund in March. There, as announced, replacement of the glass with an extended guarantee within 5 days - better service is not possible. I wouldn't have guessed it without your tip. So a huge thank you!

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

48 Response to “Staingate – Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro Screen Stains Exchange Program”

    1. Hi Peter! It's hard to tell. Ultimately, it depends on Apple whether or not they will finance the repairs for you as a goodwill gesture. I would just ask in a friendly manner. With the serial number of the MacBook Pro, the support can certainly give you a statement. LG! Jens

  1. Hallo,

    when I bought it on 09.05.2014/21.04.2016/XNUMX first display repair on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX a new exchange is now refused although the new display looks worse than the first.


  2. Today I picked up my Macbook Pro, series spring 2015 and purchase 08/2015 from the repair, first I contacted the Apple Support and they made an appointment for me at CMC in Karlsruhe. Tuesday I handed in the part and on Thursday afternoon I was able to pick up the Mac again. Thanks for the tips in the article!

    1. Great that it worked! My 2017 MBP is currently being repaired by Apple Care because of a bloating battery ... it is sometimes worth doing something like that. : D

  3. The display on my MBP from the beginning of 2015 was swapped without a hitch. I was mistaken in assuming that my display wipe destroyed the coating. With Gravis you knew immediately that it was Staingate. After a short check, it was clear that I was only entitled to the free repair within 2019. Otherwise the exchange would have cost € 800. Lucky!

  4. I just noticed these stains while cleaning the display and now I hope that the display of my MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016) will also be replaced. Next week I'll go to the Apple Store and find out.
    Is there any explicit source that I can refer to if the Apple Store employees don't want to do the repairs?


    1. Hello Vivienna! You can refer to this repair program when making an inquiry (Link) Respectively. They should actually see that this is what it's about for you too. LG!

      1. So I've made an appointment for next week. But on the phone the lady said it wasn't a problem and it would be replaced for me free of charge. Yes

  5. Tobias Fahrmeier


    I bought a used macbook today.

    Unfortunately, in the rush, I didn't see that I also have spots on the display.

    do you think apple would trade that for me?

    is a MacBook Pro 2017 15 inch


    1. Hello, tobias! Yes, I'm relatively sure of that. The model should be covered by the exchange program. But you only know if you go to the Apple page for the repair programs and enter your MacBook Pro serial number in the check.
      VG! Jens

      1. Tobias Fahrmeier

        I just looked again for the repair program and only 13 inch models from 2016 are listed for the backlight.

        I think I'm out, well maybe something can be done if I stop by the Apple Shop, it's just around the corner ????

  6. Tobias Fahrmeier

    Great idea.

    You can't find a program for this on Apple's homepage.

    Just go there and ask if you are concerned
    Or say that you are affected, although you are not at all ????

    1. Hello, tobias! You can find the two exchange programs directly here at Apple in the top two places. Virtually everyone is affected when it comes to the keyboard because the design of the keyboard itself is cheese. You just have to say that every now and then a key does not work and then you are entitled to have a new keyboard built in. The battery is automatically replaced with the keyboard because it is a complete module. That means, then you already have a free new battery in your MacBook Pro. I would mention the display to them. They may then swap that too. If not, they'll usually ask if it'll cost you anything. And yes, you just have to slap over to them. They know the problems with the keyboards. You don't have to argue much about that. : D good luck!

        1. Yes, I think that's nice too. A hotline where someone can be contacted quickly and friendly staff who really want to help. You don't have that in every company ...

          1. Tobias Fahrmeier

            Well, I was there, but unfortunately I refused everything.

            Said my keyboard was hanging, just cleaned it up.

            They said about the display that it was water damage.


          2. Hello, tobias! I've already replied to you by email, but just for the record: All MacBook Pro models from 2017 (and from other years) are eligible to participate in the exchange program. I think the Apple employee was kind of out of it. The butterfly keyboard has been causing problems for years - not with individual MacBook models, but across the board, because the construction is stupid. For this reason, Apple already had an exchange program for the last MacBook Pro model when the MacBook Pro came out. Simply to give customers the security that they will not be left out in the rain in the event of a failure. So you can always have this exchanged for you. In an emergency, I would call the support team and complain. With the keyboard you will then automatically get a new battery, because everything is a coherent module. But you will probably have to pay something for the water damage. But you can take part directly on the occasion.

  7. Unfortunately, at the beginning of 13 my Macbook Pro 2015 ″ is 3 months too late for the Staingate exchange program. Called today and unfortunately they refused.

    1. I felt the same way. Unfortunately, Apple phone support couldn't tell me when my MacBook Pro was originally purchased (I recently bought it on eBay). Apple gave me an appointment with Gravis, but I will no longer keep it because an inquiry with another service provider in Berlin resulted in the purchase date March 2015.

      I tried another "solution" and was very successful: removing the anti-reflective coating! This is described in some YouTubes, where Listerine (yes, that's a mouthwash) is used, but it seems to take quite a long time.
      I courageously went into my hobby workshop and took a "magic drug" to remove resin residues on cutting edges (router, saw blades, ...). What can I say, in less than five (!) minutes the screen was clean and (nicely) reflective!

      First of all, I'm thrilled, but I still got a foil to stick on in case the mirroring bothers me too much.

      The “Magic” (CMT Orange Tools Formula 2050) is expensive (around 30 euros), but for me it was the solution!

      1. Hello Robert! Thanks for your tip. You have to figure it out first - and have the courage to spray it on the display! : D But if it worked so well for you, it might be a better alternative to cleaning with mouthwash for hours ...

  8. Hallo,
    my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
    Error description “Display anti-reflective coating” was fixed on 6.8.18/XNUMX/XNUMX
    repaired at an Apple Authorized Reseller
    = “Display replaced”.
    Now the “Staingate” starts again on the upper display.
    Does Apple still not have that under control?

    with kind regards

    1. Hi monika! So far, I haven't had a MacBook Pro, but if it happens to you again, I would ask them what this is about. It looks like they installed a display from the defective batch. That can hardly make sense of the exchange ...

    2. With my Macbook 2015, it started again 1 1/2 years after the replacement. Apple either definitely does not have this under control, or the defective batches are used as warranty replacement parts in order not to be left with the costs. The Apple partner says Apple will replace the display a maximum of 2x, according to an internal note. So my device will start to look unsightly again in 1-2 years - but by then it's already 6 years old - still very annoying.

  9. The display replacement still worked for me. Bought December 2015.
    After calling Apple, I got an appointment in the Apple Store. There they checked the serial number and approved the repair. Thanks for the tip! The repair would otherwise have cost around € 460.

  10. Thanks for the article ... have the same problem with my Macbook Early 2015 .. luckily it won't be 4 years old until November. Have an appointment at the Apple Store in Munich next Wednesday, I'm curious to see if it will be repaired.

  11. Hallo,

    how strong or how big do the spots on the display have to be?
    Got a Mac Book Pro 13 early 2015 and there are a lot of small spots on the display.

    1. Hello Till! Probably nobody here can tell you that. I would recommend that you contact Apple Support and describe the case. Maybe they will swap it - no matter how big the spots are.

  12. Hi all,
    I also happened to read about the “systematic problem” here and always thought I had taken care of the display poorly.
    Calling Apple with a transfer to a “supervisor”:
    Macbook Pro Retina 15 ″ Mid 2015, date of purchase 03.06.2015/19.10.2019/XNUMX, notification XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX
    Answer: There is no exception regarding exchange, the voluntary 4 year period is 4 months past and the goodwill is rejected!
    Thank you very much Apple, I have brought you >> 10.000 € over the last few years and I am deeply disappointed in you!

    Many thanks to the forum!

    I can only advise all those affected to contact Apple as soon as possible and report the case, the exact date will be decided here.

  13. Was in the Apple Store in Dresden. The 4-year period expired 3 weeks ago, but the display of my MBP Early 2015 is being exchanged as a goodwill gesture.

    TOP !!

    1. You probably had a good day there.
      I was in Dresden in August and the 4-year period was exceeded by 4 weeks because I recognized the problem with the display too late and didn't take it seriously at first. Declined!
      I'm totally mad at Apple because we invested a lot of money in this poor company with iMac, MacBook, iPad, Apple TV, 2x iPhone.

  14. Hey sir appleot. It's a pity that you published a text in 2019 (again?) whose main message is based on information from 2017, without explicitly pointing out that it contains outdated statements. As some readers have previously reported, the “Staingate” repair extension program is limited to 4 years from the date of purchase of the device. Ie devices from model years 2013 and 2014 are definitely no longer covered. Even for devices with a first release date in 2015, you will no longer be able to obtain a flat-rate reimbursement of repair costs from Apple without presenting proof of purchase that shows that it was purchased no more than 4 years ago. Exceptions in cases of particular hardship or in the case of a good day from the Apple employee entrusted with the respective case, we may of course leave it open. :)

    1. Hello Andy! Thank you for your hint. I didn't even realize that the MacRumors article was from 2017 ... but I'll add this and your other hints at the top of the article so that new readers with older Macs don't have high hopes. I wish you a happy New Year and thank you again for your throw in!

  15. Hello Sir Apfelot,

    Current information on the Steingate topic: The exchange program seems to continue to exist. On my MacBook Pro 13 ″ Early 2015 (purchase date 11.2016/4), the display was exchanged in October as a goodwill gesture (XNUMX year period!). New display and back within a week - TOP!
    Apple Shop Berlin Kurfürstendamm & Apple Support Center were involved.

    sound dreamer

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.