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This is not a problem at booting up. For a couple months now I'll be using my laptop when suddenly the screen dims to about 50% of normal. According to the brightness indicator the brightness is all the way up; I can make it dimmer, but not as bright as normal. The dimming isn't super even either, there are small areas of the screen that seem darker/brighter. In the past the problem easily goes away if I close the lid and reopen it... but now it's happening a lot and sometimes going completely black. Is this an easy/cheap fix? I'm traveling and can't do it myself. Is it worth bringing to the Mac store?

Thanks!

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...suddenly the screen dims to about 50% of normal... In the past the problem easily goes away if I close the lid and reopen it.

Your back light is failing and it is a known and common problem with the LVDS cable connector known as "flexgate" (micro rant: I hate that every issue nowadays gets "-gate" added to the end a la Watergate) This issue also manifests as the display going completely black when opened past a certain point.

Basically, as you open and close the lid, the strain on the cable causes it to wear and ultimately fail. Unfortunately, you can't just replace the cable. Since the entire display assembly is sealed, you will need to replace the whole item and it is quite expensive - $650+ USD.

If it's not addressed, the issue will continue to get worse until the display stays black permanently.

I would still take it into Apple and see if they'll help you out, but this is unlikely to be resolved without incurring some expense.

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  • Thank you for the prompt and clear response. :)
    – 123947129
    Feb 19, 2019 at 22:10
  • I agree on the diagnosis, but disagree on the only solution you mention. First, sealed assembly can usually be unsealed, although it can be very difficult. (See for instance Master Liu's videos on YouTube.). Secondly, it is possible to strip the cable and do cable on cable welding. See my answer below for informative videos.
    – OuzoPower
    Jan 21 at 14:33
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As already mentioned by Allan, it is a flexgate issue.

Although I am not totally sure for the MacBook Air 2015, you likely don't need to replace the whole assembly as cable repair by cable on cable welding by a skilled technician may fix the problem.

The repair cost will of course depend on the country and the company doing it, but is usually around 2/3 (or even less) of thus of a screen replacement.

Watch these videos about similar problem for the 15'' MacBook Pro A1707:

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