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I was cleaning my Macbook Air at the weekend and think I might have damaged the screen. A vertical bar of inverted colours appeared on the left-hand side (the right was fine initially) but then both sides of the screen displayed as shown in the image.

Vertical bar of inverted colours on Macbook Air screen

After about an hour of doing nothing, the bar on the left-hand side returned to normal but the right-hand side bar has been there since.

I’ve tried:

  • Pressing around the screen (does nothing)
  • Cleaning it again (gently and with no cleaning fluid)
  • Connecting it to an external monitor (output is fine which suggests the GPU is fine)

Any ideas what has happened? It’s a 6-year-old machine but I’ve never had any issues with it until the weekend.

Does the screen need to be replaced?

  • quick test - take a full screenshot, then look at it shrunk into just the normal part of the screen. Does it all then look OK? If it does, then you have a hardware fault - screen or GPU. If it displays the same discolouration, you have a software fault. [I am assuming hardware, but this is a simple 10s test just to make sure.] – Tetsujin Jan 22 at 20:42
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Personally, I would tell you that the screen was broken. However, the bar on the left-hand side turn to normal, which confuses me.

Still, if the problem persists, consider getting the computer fixed.

I'm no tech genius here, though. I've just seen plenty of screens this way (usually smaller strips), and they never really fix themselves.

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    Agreed, If this happens all the time, during boot, and whatever application is running, then it is the screen, the internal video cable or the GPU. Time to take it in for repair. – Steve Chambers Jan 22 at 13:29
  • Agreed. Looks like a GPU issue. Logic board needs to be replaced. – howdytom Jan 22 at 15:26

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