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Apple’s New Way to Check for Liquid Damage on Macs

Apple's New Way to Check for Liquid Damage on Macs

In spite of the iPhone, Apple Watch, and some AirPods models being water-resistant, Apple’s limited warranty does not cover damage caused by liquids. As a result, Apple uses different methods to detect if a device has been exposed to liquid. With the latest Macs, Apple has added a way to detect liquids in USB-C ports.

The newest Mac computers can now tell if liquid has entered through the USB-C ports. Mac computers running macOS Sonoma 14.1 include a program called “liquid detection.” As the name shows, this program checks the USB-C ports for liquid detection.

This program quietly runs in the background. It collects information about if any liquid was found in each USB-C port. iPhones and iPads have a similar program to alert users right away if liquid is detected in the charging port. That helps prevent damage from continuing to charge.

On Macs, the program doesn’t actually warn the user. Instead, it collects data for Apple technicians. The liquid detection info helps the technicians know if the Mac qualified for a free repair since liquids aren’t covered by Apple’s warranty.

Some Mac laptops and keyboards also have “Liquid Contact Indicators.” These signs inside change color when they touch liquid. Finding liquid in the USB-C ports with the new program is just one more method to verify if a Mac was exposed to water or other fluids.

It’s not yet clear which exact Mac models include this new liquid detection in the USB-C ports. It may require special hardware only in the new M3 Macs running the latest macOS version. This new feature ensures Apple can properly determine if liquid damage caused any issues.

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