I have a MacBook and the other day i spilled a little bit of water on to it, nothing big or anything i soaked it up with the towel. The next day it would not turn on but eventually i managed to turn it on. However, the wifi started displaying stating that it had no hardware installed. I tried the shift+ctrl+option+power button restart and it started working again. However, after 20/30 mins it stopped working and it continuesly said wifi off and it would not let me turn it on. I spoke to an apple worker and they said it is a hardware problem, they did a diagnostic on it. Everything else works perfectly, i just wanted to know if this could be due to the water spillage (so i can prepare myself for a big bill) or is it just a general hardware problem (also have looked into the settings and it says Thunderbolt 1 inactive). If anyone could help i would appreciate it so much. Thanks

  • I managed to "resurrect" a mac that had water spilled into it by drying it out after taking out components etc But the one that had had beer split in it did not ressurrect... even after cleaning everything...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 27, 2019 at 8:18

3 Answers 3


In a word, yes.

If I may 'esplain. While it is possible that a board level repair shop might be able to resurrect the system to full functioning. Cleaning, drying and the like.

You didn't specify the model year of your MBAir but in this case I am not sure it matters as MBAirs are famous for being small and light and generally not upgradable. I believe (not sure but pretty sure) that the WiFi radio is likely integrated into the system board and not replaceable. Or not easily replaceable unless you find someone to do board level repair and have them replace the damaged components.

If a new Mac is not currently affordable you might find a USB WiFI adapter that is Mac compatible and that would give you WiFi at the expense of having a USB stick sticking out of your MBAir all the time.

  • The Mac is technically brand new, I bought it 4 months ago for my uni studies and ive been told they last quiet a while as long as you look after them, which i clearly havent. I was worried that might have been the answer. Thank you for answering and explaining Jan 27, 2019 at 2:38

The problems are almost certainly related to the water spill, and not just some other concurrent problems. Even a light spill can cause 'fatal' damage, and even if the Mac works initially, it may fail in some way a short time after.

You may want to check if you have insurance that covers this. Household contents policies can cover accidental damage. Some credit cards also offer insurance on recent purchases.


I feel for you! I knocked a glass of water onto my beloved 11" MacBook Air years ago and completely ruined it. My solution, ultimately, was to get a data recovery company to extract an image of my data off of the SSD and (eventually) get a new laptop.

Steve's suggestion of using a USB wi-fi dongle is a great one! Some of the new ones are very small, so I don't think you'll feel your laptop is too bulky:


I haven't tried this one, but it claims Mac compatibility.

  • Its the worst feeling 🙄, i dont think spending £950 on a new laptop again is an option for me 😂. I will have a look into it, thank you. Jan 27, 2019 at 2:40
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