Can you salvage Apple MacBook Pro completely soaked / submerged in water ?

 This is an experience sharing when my house was flooded about 1 meter high above the knee level - and the macbook pro 2011 laptop was recklessly placed laying on the floor. Until suddenly there was something important I've forgot to keep on the safe place during the flood because there were so many things to take care of i.e. the pets, Television, refrigerators, etc and it turns out - the MacBook completely soaked / submerged in the water for about 30 minutes or so. 

By the time it was taken from underwater the laptop completely soaking wet with water running out of the inside of the internal component especially the motherboard. In addition the MagSafe power charger adapter was also submerged together and it was very frustrating. I thought that could be the end of the my apple MacBook pro laptop and I have to spend some money to get another laptop computer to use.

Can the macbook pro 2011 be saved after submerged / soaked in the water for quite sometimes?

This is the interesting part that I would like to share just in case some people might experience similar unprecedented event in life. The answer to this is yes but not all - while you can save all the rest i.e. motherboard, screen, touchpad, charging port, magsafe charger but not the battery. I will elaborate part by parts how to salvage the MacBook pro.

First of all never ever turn on the MacBook pro not once but never do it - especially plugging in the MagSafe charger direct to the power source. The worst thing that can happen is the MagSafe electronic components might explode due to short circuit by the present of water inside. Secondly the charger port on your MacBook pro could also damage and most importantly the motherboard as a tiny drop of water may short circuit the tiny tiny electronic components. Another one is harddisk or SSD as well as the DVD drives because they are easily penetrate by water.

So the parts we that will have potential damage from water short circuit

1. Magsafe charger
2. Charger port
3. Monitor (screen)
4. DVD drive
5. Harddisk / SSD drive
6. Battery
7. Internal speaker unit
8. Touchpad
9. Keyboard
10. Motherboard electronic components
11. Cable connectors

As we all know Apple MacBook products are not cheap - even the magsafe power charger may cost you a hefty of pocket money so it's better to be safe then to make a hasty decision by turning it on before getting it to complete dry. The worst is if the motherboard is faulty then you have no choice but to get a new laptop because a replacement may cost half the original price of the brand new macbook pro or even more in some places.

Out of all the components listed above - only the battery have 99% chances will be faulty. As the water enter the battery casing it actually short circuit the positive negative connection and result in either the battery or the circuit damage. To open a MacBook battery is almost impossible which means if you pried it open there is no way to assemble back because the glue are so tight and the casing itself is very fragile. By the time it is opened up the casing may have already broken on every edges.

What are the tools you need to salvage your MacBook pro from water spill / soaked / submerged in water?

For MacBook Pro early 2011 you will need special screwdrivers and other tools as follows.

1. Compressed air duster / Air compressor
2. Hair dryer
3. Special screwdrivers to open the casing and motherboard
4. Flat screwdrivers to pry open the MagSafe power adapter

MagSafe Power Adapter

Can water penetrate into the MagSafe MacBook Pro power adapter? Despite of the compact looking and heavily sealed with adhesive the MagSafe power adapter can easily access by water if submerged. 

To pry open this adapter it takes a lot of efforts and careful consideration. Beware the power supply may still store some temporary charges in its capacitors and it can hurt you if you are not careful. Therefore make sure wearing safety gloves before proceed. You can find some tutorial how to pry open the MacBook Pro power adapter on YouTube. As for my case I was using brute force by knocking on the adhesive lines with sharp flat head screwdriver and hammer - and of course it was done carefully to avoid piercing the electronic components inside.

Once it is open then use the compressed air duster to blowout any droplets of water - this is the most effective method to get rid of the water quickly because the hair dryer alone will slowdown the process as you can't get into tight spaces. After remove the water then use the hair dryer to dry it up. Once it is dry assemble back the casing and you may glue back the along the adhesive line. As for me I prefer to use electrical tape by making multiple wraps across to keep it tight. That will make it easier for me to service again if anything wrong with the MagSafe in the future.

MacBook Pro charger port

The MagSafe charger port is one of the crucial part that you need to be taken care of - make sure no water presents in any part of the component because this is the first circuit the power enter the laptop before distributing to the battery and then to the rest of the parts i.e. Motherboards, Monitor, Harddisk / SSD, DVD, Touchpad, Keyboard, etc. So if anything faulty on the charger port you have to replace it.

To test whether the charger port still functional - you can pluggin the MagSafe power adapter and see the green light and the MacBook Pro able to run later on. But don't do it yet until all is completely dried.

Cable connectors

Cable connectors to the Keyboard, Monitor, Speaker, Touchpad, DVD Drive, Harddisk / SSD Drive, charger ports are among the most important to get it dry. The design the Apple product to use such connectors making it prone to retaining water. And that's why you need to open all the connetors and blow it with compressed air duster and then finish it with hair dryer.

Motherboard electronic components

After the cable connectors the motherboard electronic components are equally important and make sure no water present in anyhere including top and bottom side.


Secondly the keyboard - once again use the compressed canned air duster to blow out any water from the edges of each of the keyboard keys. Then use the hair dryer again to finish up the job. You may need to retest the keyboard later once you are able to turn on the MacBook Pro because sometimes water may be inside as some of the key still malfunctions.

Harddisk / SSD

Open the MacBook pro back casing - and then disattach the cable from the Harddisk / SSD. If you are using the conventional harddisk it maybe difficult to get it clean as you need to open it up and to put it back in not as simple just screw back it. You will need to use certain torque level in order for the harddisk to function normally again. However if you are using SSD it would be much easier to pry open the SSD casing and use the compressed air duster to blow off the water from the circuit board. Usually the SSD casing is just binded by clips it's just that quite a number of clips that hold it tight.

DVD Drive

To get out the DVD drive you need to open the speaker unit of the MacBook Pro. Once the speaker is out then there is DVD drive screw underneath the speaker unit. The Apple MacBook Pro DVD drive has a plastic cover seal - just pull it open and use compressed air to remove the water from internal area of the DVD unit.

Speaker Unit

Use the compressed canned air duster to remove droplets of water from the speaker unit and this should be easier than any parts.


Most people will overlook on the touchpad because it looks very simple - but this is the one you shouldn't undersestimate because a minor wet on the touchpad could cause erratic mouse pointer when running the MacBook later. The touch pad may automatically move or navigate by itself without you touching anything. So make sure it is completely dry using compressed air duster and hair dryer.


The most likely component of the MacBook you will not be able to save is the battery unit. Either the electronic component or the batteries itself will be faulty when contacted with water. Not worth to pry it open because the casing is so fragile that and adhesive seal so tight that when it is opened all will be broken. Therefore this is 99% you will need a replacement if the battery is necessary to your need. Otherwise you can still use the MacBook Pro directly via the MagSafe charger like i do.

The Monitor screen

This is one of the component that will be touch for you to try - there is almost impossible to open up the back of the screen. And later when you turn on the MacBook the water droplets will be noticeable - however even so don't do anything just let it be it will dry slowly overtime and you have to live with the droplets of water inside.

Turn on the MacBook 

Once all completely dry reassemble everything back in place - and then keep it for 30 minutes before turning on. Try to turn on the MacBook Pro without using direct power from the Magsafe adapter if it fails the battery most likely faulty. Then move to second step - plug in the MagSafe cable and you will see green indicates there is current flow. Then press the power button to turn on - if it turns on that mean everything is good other than the battery.

Once the Operating Sytem completely loaded - watchout for erratic mouse pointer movement. If there is that means the touchpad not yet dry completely so take note of that to perform second round of drying later. And open a notepad and press each of the keyboard key to ensure all are working - if any of it failing or malfunction then take note of it as well to do another round of drying. 

Hopefully everything is back to normal except the battery.

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