I have the Mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro. Sadly, the Keyboard Keys have caused some scratches in the screen, which is annoying as hell. (Yes, I know, I should use the white buffer sheet that came with it)

Is there a way to fix these scratches? Or so I need a really expensive replacement screen cover? Scratch :(

  • Either option will be expensive, but… is the scratch in the “cover” or is the actual LCD damaged? (I.e. the dots). How did you manage to damage the screen? did you sit on it? Nov 4, 2010 at 14:35
  • It's on the cover, the actual LCD is fine, and you don't have to sit on it, it looks like transporting it in a bag is already enough :) Nov 4, 2010 at 14:37
  • It looks like a deep scratch on the picture, but it's actually just because it changes colors between green and purple depending on the viewing angle. Nov 4, 2010 at 14:38
  • is this a glass screen or the flexible anti-glare screen? Nov 4, 2010 at 22:47
  • @calavera I think it's glass, to my knowledge anti-glare isn't even available on the 13". Nov 4, 2010 at 22:56

5 Answers 5


I'm surprised no else one has said it yet:

This is a nearly brand-new MacBook Pro still covered by warranty.

There is absolutely no reason that your keyboard keys should damage the display like that. This is a design flaw that has existed in their laptops at least as far back as the PowerBook G4. The keys should not touch the screen when the lid is closed under any circumstances, but they invariably do.

I have to clean my screen every few days to get rid of the keyboard imprints, but luckily have taken no damage to the screen (probably only because I use the awesome Moshi keyboard cover, which also saved my MBP from a hot tea disaster).

Take it to Apple and make them fix it under warranty!

  • well I did mention that :) Nov 6, 2010 at 4:26
  • @Martin: my bad, I didn't notice that in the last part of your answer. I think this is all he should worry about though, there should be no reason Apple can come up with that would justify his screen being scratched by the keys... Nov 6, 2010 at 4:29
  • I was just j/k :) But I agree, unless there’s a specific reason why not going to Apple, then that should be the course of action. Nov 6, 2010 at 5:46
  • Hmm. I have had no such problems like this - I have the MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2008 Unibody edition) and previously a MacBook (White) (Mid-2007) and no problems of such sort appeared.
    – JFW
    May 10, 2011 at 15:51
  • 1
    "This is a design flaw that has existed in their laptops at least as far back as the PowerBook G4." AMEN. There is no excuse for this defect. Those PowerBooks actually destroyed their own LCDs over time, causing green hot pixels wherever the keys crushed the screen.
    – Oscar
    Oct 13, 2012 at 1:27

If it’s only the glass and you don’t want apple to do it for you (and charge you accordingly) you can do it yourself. Get one of these (make sure it’s the right model for your macbook) and start unscrewing stuff :)

Remember that Apple does not sell these parts and therefore these are “copies” of it. According to every vendor “they are the same, they look the same, you won’t notice the difference”. But… they are vendors. I don’t have experience with these things.

This Google Query may bring other results. It’s not impossible (I have opened a Macbook Pro Unibody) but it requires patience and the right tools. Check iFixIt for pictures of stripped Macbooks and possibly guides on how to “open them”. More specifically, check this area, where it explains how to change the front display glass.

Bear in mind that doing any of this will break your warranty. Unless you pay Apple to do it (and charge you accordingly).

I’d first go to an Apple Store and “ask” what are the options, they may be “cool” and give you a hand.

  • Replacing glass on a unibody clamshell is not easy - even the 10th time you do it. The potential to break more items is high. You will either be a hero or have learned how much skill technicians posses to work on macs.
    – bmike
    Aug 21, 2011 at 17:40

This might sound crazy, but I've fixed nasty scratches in CDs and DVDs with plain toothpaste. Not minty-gel-crystal-whitening-all-in-one toothpaste, just plain, humble, white chalk, flouride toothpaste (some do still exist in the major chain stores). Just a small amount buffed in with a cotton wash cloth did the trick. Maybe that would work here?

  • my very unscientific and emotional reaction: OOOOOOOOUCH. Nov 4, 2010 at 15:15
  • I didn't say it was perfect, and there are products out there specifically designed to fix small scratches, but toothpaste would be easier to clean off than other chemicals if it didn't work. Nov 4, 2010 at 16:47
  • I'm not saying it won't work (i have no idea), just that it freaks me out even thinking about using anything even slightly abrasive on my macbook screen :) Nov 4, 2010 at 19:57
  • I wouldn't try to polish the glass as any stress add pressing could start a stress crack from this imperfection. Something like wax or a product intended to make windshield glass more transparent might be better at reducing the diffraction than attempting to polish things. Most apple glass is hardened and some have surface coatings - try your polish on a scrap screen first. Light cosmetic damage like that is usually less then $350 to fix by Apple. ( slightly more for 15 and 17" models )
    – bmike
    Aug 21, 2011 at 17:38
  • TRY IT ON A SCRAP CD FIRST! Just to make sure you didn't end up with abrasive toothpaste!
    – Alexander
    Jul 29, 2013 at 20:48

I had a scratch on my 27" Mac monitor. It is a glass screen and unfortunately the scratch was right in the middle and very distracting.

I too was very leery about putting toothpaste on my precious screen, but after googling around I was not getting any better answers so I decided to give it a try.

I took a little bit of toothpaste. It was not the "simple" kind of toothpaste mentioned above but one of the ones with all the other stuff added. I suspect the kind of toothpaste does not matter.

I used a piece of white computer paper to rub the toothpaste on the scratch. One YouTube video that I saw said paper worked better than tissue so I went with that. And the verdict? It works! If I look very closely I can still see the scratch but it is way better now.

It took me about of 5-10 minutes of rubbing. I went pretty slow because I was paranoid that I was going to screw up my screen, but there do not seem to be any ill effects.

I strongly recommend you give this a try. Note that this will only work with glass screens.

  • 4
    I would not recommend any sort of pressure directly on the LCD panel which is exactly the situation here in this question. Polishing the glass cover is doable on a glossy over panel like on the newer aluminum iMacs or displays, but much more fraught with "doing more harm than good" on bare LCD panels.
    – bmike
    Oct 1, 2012 at 15:49

This happened to me on two other notebooks. Fixing this is a pain and it's costly. Tried buffing, but it was not exactly successful. Replacing the screen was traumatic for me and expensive. I suppose that's why it was traumatic...

Although this might be considered a shameless plug, I created a product to prevent this stuff. Just launched it on IndieGoGo: igg.me/at/scudo

It's made from authentic Ultrasuede and called Scudo. The SRP is only $15, and just $10 during the campaign. This is about the only kind of thing that will prevent this from happening.

I hope this helps in the future. I really empathize with the angst.

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