Recently bought a 13" MacBook Pro on Apple Store. I just discovered a "stuck pixel" which shines red when it's supposed to be black.

I can't find any pixel policy on the web page. Do they have such policy? Does anyone have any experience from trying to return / change the product?

(Bought it in Sweden if it matters.)


Your Macbook comes with a worldwide one year limited warranty.

Apple [...] warrants this Apple-branded hardware product against defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for a period of ONE (1) YEAR from the date of retail purchase by the original end-user purchaser (“Warranty Period”). If a hardware defect arises and a valid claim is received within the Warranty Period, at its option, Apple will either...

  1. repair the hardware defect at no charge, using new or refurbished replacement parts, or
  2. exchange the product with a product that is new or which has been manufactured from new or serviceable used parts and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product, or
  3. refund the purchase price of the product.

See to your preferred Apple-Certified-Reseller with your Macbook and state your claim. You should be proposed a fix at not cost if the defect is due to bad material or workmanship under normal use.

  • While that would be the case with almost any other fault, Apple do have a faulty pixel policy. Like JW01 mentioned above, it's a minimum of four bright pixels to warrant a replacement, but more often that not Apple will replace it anyway for customer satisfaction reasons. Unfortunately I cannot link to the pixel policy, that would put me in big trouble with Apple. – Dan Barrett Feb 24 '12 at 23:19
  • Pixels are a touchy subject since in the millions and millions of transistors - each display of a 15 inch size will have tens if not hundreds of faulty transistors. Most screens have few observable pixels stuck since more than one transistor needs to fail in a certain configuration to cause a pixel to fire or not fire permanently. Get educated if you ask for a swap since the one you receive could be worse off than the one you have - so it really depends on the roll of the dice and what issues (and more importantly where) your current LCD panel has issues. – bmike Feb 25 '12 at 0:25

What I can tell you from personal experience in working at the Genius Bar is that there is actually a minimum number of pixels that have to have issues in order for them to replace the display. If memory serves, it's 3 or 4 for a 13" machine. However, if you're within 30-90 days of purchase, they will probably make an exception, especially if you mention that it's only 30-90 days old.

Alternatively, if you want to avoid going through Apple you can try running the Flurry screen saver overnight. Make sure you bump up all the settings on it. Any Genius you talk to that has been to Genius Training will try this first, probably overnight or more. Give it a shot.


From this OS X Daily article, the official dead/stuck pixel policy (from 2010) is:

Apple’s Dead & Stuck Pixel Policy

Here’s the breakdown from the leaked Genius chart:

  • iPod nano, iPod touch, and iPhone screens: repair or replace after 1 or more dead pixels
  • iPad: repair or replace after 3 or more dead pixels
  • MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″ models: replace after 4 or more bright pixels, 6 or more dark pixels
  • MacBook Pro 17″, displays up to 20″: replace after 5 or more bright pixels, 7 or more dark pixels
  • iMac 24″ and iMac 27″, Apple Cinema Displays from 22″ to 30″: replace after 9 or more bright pixels, 11 or more dark pixels

However, the article also suggests that real world treatment can be very different:

Apple’s Official Dead Pixel Policy vs Real World Experience

While the official guidelines for handling dead pixels seem strict, I suspect there is a larger policy at the Apple Store for ensuring customer satisfaction. Speaking from direct experience, Apple can be far more generous than this support document suggests. Case in point; I purchased a MacBook Pro 13″ earlier in the year and discovered a single dead pixel glowing bright red smack in the center of the screen, you couldn’t miss it. I took the Mac back to the Apple Store and an Apple Genius swapped the machine out immediately, saying he wanted to be sure I was happy with my purchase. The new MacBook Pro’s screen was flawless, and yes, I was happy.

My advice to anyone who is dissatisfied with either a dead or stuck pixel is to talk to Apple, at the end of the day customer service seems to always win out over official policy.

Your best bet is to bring in your machine to be checked out - it's quite likely that the Apple Genius that you're working with will do his/her best to make you a happy customer.

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