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How much does it cost to repair a MacBook at the Apple Store?

There is no simple answer to how much it will exactly cost to repair an Apple MacBook. There are many generations and variations of the MacBook, creating a range of repairs from as inexpensive as $300 to as expensive as $1,500.

Introduction

To make your MacBook repair less intimating, we’ll go through different repair services whether you have a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or the MacBook. Each repair center is different, so we will discuss the repairs that we will perform at our repair facility for your Mac.

Which MacBook do you have?

The term MacBook is thrown around quite loosely when most of us describe our laptops. Just as most of us describe our iPhone as our cell phone, the term MacBook is most commonly used to simply describe that you have an Apple laptop, when in fact there are three different MacBook styles.

The MacBook Pro is the professional laptop that is used by most and is the most common MacBook we’ll encounter at our repair stores. The best way to identify that you have a Pro is that it’ll typically say it right on your screen. It won’t say MacBook, it’ll say MacBook Pro.

A MacBook Air is most commonly found in the education world, as most schools deploy the MacBook Air. It was designed to be a thinner, less powerful, and more economical to the MacBook Pro. The Air would be the ultimate travel companion because it has better battery life, thinner and available in two smaller sizes the 13″ and 11″. Similarly, you can tell if you have a MacBook Air because it’ll say MacBook Air on the screen, not MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Finally, the MacBook. Yup, it’s not called a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air, but just the MacBook. Confusing right?

Identifying the year of your MacBook

Starting in the middle of 2012, Apple began selling most of the MacBook Pro lineups of units with the retina display. This retina display was a departure from the traditional TFT LCD displays that most laptops used at that time, and as a result these new high end displays drastically increased the repair price for the display.

  • MacBook Pro Late 2012 and newer = Starting $400 and goes up.
  • MacBook Pro Mid 2012 and older= Average $200 and goes down for most units.

For the MacBook Air models, screen prices are pretty consistent as Apple in the MacBook Air 13″ model utilized the same display from 2010 through 2017. As a result, you’ll find a little more reasonable repair options for your broken MacBook Air screen.

MacBook Air 13 2010 through 2017 = Average $249

The new generation of MacBook Air released in 2018 introduced another new display resolution and format.. The pricing varies on these models, but since it has been a few years now, and the screen hasn’t change all that much in specs since 2018, pricing for displays is starting to normalize.

MacBook Air 2018 through 2020 M1 = Average $400 – 500.

The MacBook 12 Retina was released in 2012 and was a refresh of the traditional MacBook model that was discontinued in 2010. As given by the name, this MacBook also has the high-end retina display, thus creating a higher repair cost average for a display on these MacBooks.

MacBook Retina 12 2015 – Current = Starting at $450 and goes up.

Can you replace the battery on my MacBook?

Determining the price of a MacBook battery replacement does start with your MacBooks model year. Contrary to what you may have read on most tech websites that sip the Apple Juice hard and bow down to all things Apple, all MacBook batteries are replaceable. Whether or not you can do it yourself depends on the year of your MacBook. Most MacBooks Pros built before the middle of 2012 were fairly easy to replace.

MacBook Pros built prior to the middle of 2012 were secured with a few screws. MacBook Pros built after 2012 were secured with an industrial-grade aerospace adhesive that requires heat, solvents, and lots of courage to remove.

  • MacBook Pro Late 2012 and newer, batteries start at $189
  • MacBook Pro Mid 2012 and older, batteries average around $119
MacBook Battery Repair

Regardless of the year, most MacBook Air batteries are much simpler to replace, and as a result, are much more repair friendly. No industrial adhesive, only five Torx screws hold in most MacBook Air batteries.

  • MacBook Air 13 2010 through 2017, batteries start around $119.
  • MacBook Air 2018 through the 2021 M1, batteries are around $179 – $199.

What does the included Apple One-Year warranty cover exactly?

Great question, we wrote an entire article about it. Jump to the portion of what is exactly covered by Apple’s one-year warranty.

The one-year warranty doesn’t apply to non-Apple hardware or software, even if it comes packaged or you purchase it with Apple hardware.  TLDR: The warranty does not include coverage for software issues, accidental damage, or damage due to misuse.

Will Apple repair my MacBook?

Yes, Apple currently services MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Airs at their retail stores across the country. Depending on where you are located, most repairs are not completed in the store and are sent off to facilities in Texas, California, or New York.

All quotes by Apple include this expedited shipping to and from the retail stores. You can learn more about the repair service here.

As expected, servicing your MacBook at Apple is typically going to cost you significantly more than any other third-party repair center. There are certain exceptions where repairing your mac at Apple makes more financial sense.

If you have had your MacBook liquid damaged, then Apple usually will be less expensive. If you have multiple issues with your MacBook, Apple is probably your best bet.

Apple Self-Serve Repair Program

Apple is finally rolling out self-service repair, the DIY repair parts program they promised in November 2021. Over the next year, the program will extend to M1 MacBooks and from there to Europe, with other products and markets on the horizon.

Additional Reading: What Are Apple’s New Self-Repair Kits All About?

How much will Apple charge to repair my MacBook?

Apple offers a tiered pricing system for repairs at its service centers. They range from a tier 1 through tier 4 repair service program. You can see the chart to the right for example pricing. As a result, there is a minimum and a maximum price with the services. There is a sweet spot where Apple is the best value.

Apple’s tier repair structure ranges from $280 up to $1,475 depending on which MacBook you’re servicing. If you’ve completely fried your super high end $4,000 MacBook Pro 15″ Touch bar, you should take it to Apple because changes are the $1,475 will be the best price out there.

If you are looking for a screen replacement on your entry-level MacBook Air 13″ from 2017, that has a few other dents but works fine, then you’ll want to run away from Apple because they’ll charge you $799 plus sale tax. We’ll explain down below how this tiering system works, and why something small, like a dent, that otherwise doesn’t impact any function can cost you hundreds, if not a thousand dollars more for a repair depending on your MacBook.

Why do dents and other issues matter to Apple?

If you have a perfectly working MacBook with only a cracked screen, but say you have a small dent in your bottom case, they will insist that you replace the entire unit with the Tier 4 repair service and not just repair the cracked screen. This is not always the case, but who likes surprises?

Understanding Apple’s Pricing Tiers

Apple has a very confusing pricing structure for MacBook repairs. They have six different classifications of pricing, and you can easily jump between any one of these tiers with just the smallest detail. The difference could be significant as well. Going from an Flat Rate 1 of $310 on your MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Touch Bar, all the way up to $1,475 if they deem it a Tier 4.

The first two Flat Rates are for a component just failed, and not related to physical damage. If there is physical damage, these would be otherwise considered Tier 1 – 4.

Flat Rate 1:

  • Flat Rate 1 is for simple repairs or replacement of any of the following parts listed in the table below with a functional failure not related to customer-induced damage.

Flat Rate 2:

  • Flat Rate 2 is for repairs or replacement of any of the following parts with a functional failure, not related to customer-induced damaged

Tier 1:

  • Tier 1 is select for repair or replacement of any of the following parts:

Tier 2:

  • Tier 2 is select for repair or replacement of only (1) of the following parts:

Tier 3:

  • Tier 3 is selected for repair or replacement of more than (1) one of the following parts:

Tier 4:

  • Tier 4 is selected for repair or replacement of any of the following parts, plus any Tier 1 – 3 parts:
Flat Rate 1Flat Rate 2Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4
Power AdapterSSDRIO / LIO / MPMDisplayDisplayLogicboard
Right or Left I/O PortsMotherboardEnclosureTop Case / KeyboardTop Case / KeyboardSolid-State Drive (SSD)
Flex CablesDisplayBottom Case
SpeakersFlex Cables
FansSpeaker
MicrophoneFan
Wireless CardMicrophone
TrackpadWireless Card
RAMTrackpad
HDDRemovable Memory
Optical DriveHDD
Bottom CaseOptical Drive
Top CaseTouch ID
Top Case / Keyboard / Bottom CaseAudio Board
Touch ID
Audio Board

Confused?

Yah, we are too. There is a better way to get your MacBook repaired in a fast, friendly, and affordable way.

At Gophermods, all repair quotes are free. All of our Minneapolis repair stores offer services for mac repair. If you’re not certain what is wrong with your MacBook, our diagnostics are only $29. If you decide to proceed with any repairs, we apply your diagnostic fee to your total cost.

If you bring us your fully customized MacBook Pro and we don’t think we can help, we’ll point you in the right direction and tell you whether or not if Apple is your best option or if replacing the unit might be a more worthwhile alternative too.