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Staingate is a known issue with certain series of Apple MacBook Pro, including the mid-2012 to mid-2015 models with Retina display, where the anti-reflective coating on their screens appeared to be wearing off. The issue seems to be specific only to the MacBook Pro models in question – neither earlier nor later models appear to have it.


This issue usually manifests as stains on the screen of the MacBook Pro, which are not removable by regular wiping of the screen by dry or moist cloth. Upon closer inspection, the stain appears to be caused by the anti-reflective coating peeling off. The anti-reflective coating appears to be wearing off under a variety of circumstances, including the pressure of the keys and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of third-party cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths.[1] Once the problem starts, the peeling spreads to other areas of the screen with time. As a result of the anti-reflective coating peeling off, the screen has significantly more glare in the areas where the coating is not present anymore.

Discovery and community reaction[edit]

The issue was reported by multiple users as early as April 2014,[2] and was picked up by tech and business publications around March 2015.[3][4][5][6] The issue has left the affected users frustrated[7][8] and led to discussion of the problem on the social web, including in a Hacker News thread,[9] a Facebook group,[10] and on Twitter under the hashtag #staingate.[11] In March 2020 it has become known that the MacBook Air with Retina displays can exhibit similar anti-reflective coating issues, although it remains unclear whether the affected MacBook Air machines are eligible for the Apple screen replacement program.[12]

Response by Apple[edit]

Apple has made no direct public statements regarding the issue. However, in October 2015 several tech media outlets reported that Apple launched a "quality program" under which the entire screen panel of the affected laptop could be replaced free of charge. The program reportedly applied to affected units manufactured in 2013, 2014, or 2015 for up to four years after the machine's original purchase date. In November 2017, it became known that Apple would be extending the screen replacement program.[13][14]


  1. ^ "Staingate – Apple Issues (Beta)". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  2. ^ "My Retina Display has stain damage, HELP!… - Apple Community". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  3. ^ Chowdhry, Amit. "Defects In Apple MacBook Pro With Retina Display Laptops Leads To 'Staingate'". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  4. ^ Macro, Ashleigh. "Apple reportedly kicks off Staingate replacement programme for Retina MacBook owners". Macworld UK. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  5. ^ Rossignol, Joe. "Retina MacBook Pro Users Complain of Anti-Reflective Display Coating Wearing Off". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  6. ^ Eadicicco, Lisa. "Some MacBook Pro owners are complaining about a strange issue that's leaving their laptop screens stained". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  7. ^ Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian. "MacBook users outraged over 'Staingate' display damage". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  8. ^ "Apple customers outraged over 'staingate' fault". IT PRO. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  9. ^ "Macbook screen coating issues | Hacker News". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  10. ^ "MacBook Retina STAINS ON DISPLAY / damaged AR coating". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  11. ^ "#staingate hashtag on Twitter". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  12. ^ "Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  13. ^ Rossignol, Joe. "Apple Extends Free Repairs of Anti-Reflective Coating on Select MacBook and MacBook Pro Models". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  14. ^ "Apple extends free repair program for 2013-2015 MacBook Pro". Cult of Mac. 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2020-02-16.