What Is a Stripe on a MacBook Screen after I Dropped It?

By James Wright

A MacBook is delicate, and the screen can be damaged if it is dropped..
i Brian Kersey/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A laptop is a powerful yet delicate piece of technology. Because of its size, it is easy to move around and carry with you, but it is also easy to damage, especially since a large portion of the laptop itself is the screen. If you dropped your MacBook, you may see some form of distortion on the screen, such as different colored stripes. There can be multiple causes for this distortion. Whatever the specific cause, the repair may be costly.


If you drop your MacBook and the screen is damaged, any number of visual distortions can result. Colored, vertical and horizontal stripes across the screen are common, but it may also look like ink has been spilled inside, or large portions of the screen may be covered in colored splotches.


There are two main causes for visual distortions on your MacBook's screen. The first cause is internal damage to the screen itself. Even if you can't see any damage on the outside, internal damage is very likely. The second cause may be that the fall jolted some wiring loose on the inside. The screen may be fine, but the connections to the screen may have been unlocked. This can be better than having to replace the entire screen, but repair costs can still be high, and disassembling your MacBook yourself can void your warranty.


To determine whether the problem is loose connectors or whether screen itself is damaged, hook up your MacBook to an external display (you may need to purchase a special cable for this). If the visual distortions are present on the second display as well, the problem lies with the connections. If the display is fine on the second monitor, it means your MacBook's screen has been damaged and will need to be replaced.


Screen replacements can be pricey, especially if you go through Apple. Even if you're covered by warranty, dropping the laptop may have voided it. You can spend less at an independent repair shop, but the repair may still be expensive, and the local shop may not immediately have the parts you need. On the plus side, they may be able to do the repairs faster. If mobility isn't important, you can use an external monitor; if you need a laptop's mobility, prepare for a dent in your bank account.