Possible display damage: Apple warns of camera covers for current MacBooks

They may only be 0.1 millimeters thick. Otherwise, a cover when closing a MacBook can damage the display. An Apple repair technician has confirmed a significant increase in such cases as more and more people work from home.

Apple indicates a possible problem for users who hide the camera on the display of their MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro to protect their privacy. Such a cover, according to a support article released earlier this month, could damage the display when the Apple notebook is closed.

MacBook Air 2020 (Image: Apple)The Cupertino-based company apparently saw itself warned by the increasing use of MacBooks in the home Office prompted. Apple does not explicitly advise against using a camera cover.

“If you close your Mac notebook while a camera cover is in place, you may damage the display because the distance between the display and the keyboard is designed to have very small tolerances,” Apple said in the help article. “Covering the built-in camera could also affect the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and true tone from working.”

Damage can therefore be triggered by covers that are thicker than 0.1 millimeters, which corresponds to the thickness of a flat printer paper. In addition, according to Apple, users should not use covers that could leave adhesive residue. Covers that are thicker than 0.1 millimeters should be removed by users before they close their Apple computers.

The support document coincides with statements made by an Apple repair technician that ZDNet USA interviewed. “What we have been told is that the use of camera covers has increased dramatically since people work and study more from home. It makes sense as people use more and more video, and it can feel intrusive, so the ability to slide a cover over the camera offers some privacy, even in the middle of meetings where you might not be able to disconnect would like to. But as a result, the number of screen breaks increases. And it’s a fairly pronounced error pattern that leaves a bright white line in the middle of the screen so we know why that happened, even if people dodge when asked how the damage was done. ”

In addition, Apple has reduced the tolerances in the manufacture of its notebooks. The new 16-inch MacBook has an extremely narrow frame. It was practically non-existent. “Anything that gets between the display and the case can damage the display in its second.”

The technician also provided examples of damage caused by camera covers. A user accidentally jammed a coin between the display and keyboard when closing his MacBook. You left a circular imprint on the display. Others would have taped the camera permanently with plastic. “It never went off and it was cheaper for him to buy a webcam than to repair the display,” says the technician.

He also confirmed that AppleCare + will cover such damage, at least in the United States. “Without that, replacing the display is a very expensive repair, especially with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.”

Apple recommends keeping an eye on the green indicator light, which lights up when the camera is active, instead of a camera cover. The iPhone manufacturer also emphasizes that the camera is designed so that it cannot be switched on without the green light being on.

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