Apple Launches New Backlight Service Program for 2016 13-Inch MacBook Pro Display to Address ‘Flexgate’ Issues

Alongside the launch of new MacBook Pro models, Apple today introduced a new Backlight Service Program for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

According to Apple, a "very small percentage" of 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro displays can exhibit vertical bright areas along the bottom of the screen or a backlight that malfunctions entirely.


Apple will repair affected devices, which includes machines sold between October 2016 and February 2018, for free. Eligible models are listed below:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)


No other MacBook Pro models are included in the repair program at this time.

There have been ongoing complaints from MacBook Pro owners about uneven backlighting, though reports have covered machines beyond the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro. There has been speculation that the problem is caused by a delicate and easy-to-break flex cable.

Apple says that those with affected machines should find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or contact Apple Support to arrange a mail-in repair.

The Backlight Service Program will be available to MacBook Pro owners for four years after the first retail sale of the unit, or two years from May 21, 2019, whichever is longer. According to internal Apple repair documents, displays with a confirmed backlight issue are eligible for LCD replacement at no charge, including displays that have accidental damage.

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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 issue.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)

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