Do MacBooks Need Screen Protectors?

MacBooks are renowned for their sleek design and robust build quality, often raising questions about the necessity of additional protective measures such as screen protectors. Considering the considerable investment in high-end MacBook models, it’s valid to question whether these devices need extra protection to prevent costly repairs.

Understanding MacBook Screen Durability

Built-In Protection Features

Apple designs MacBook screens with durability in mind, incorporating an anti-glare, damage-resistant coating. This specialized layer not only helps reduce screen glare but also protects against everyday scratches and wear, making additional screen protectors largely unnecessary.

Apple’s Stance on Screen Protectors

Interestingly, Apple advises against the use of screen protectors on MacBooks. The company suggests that adding a screen protector can interfere with the designed closure of the MacBook and potentially damage the screen, especially the anti-reflective coating that is crucial for display quality.

There are a few exceptions, like this product from Belkin (Amazon Commissions Earned), which is a reusable type of screen protector.

Risks Associated with Using Screen Protectors on MacBooks

Potential for Damage

Installing a screen protector can lead to several issues:

  • Damage to Anti-Reflective Coating: The adhesive used in screen protectors can pull off the anti-reflective coating on the screen, leading to increased glare and a patchy, uneven appearance.
  • Interference with Closing Mechanism: Thick screen protectors can prevent the MacBook from closing fully, putting undue pressure on the hinges and leading to potential damage.

Reduced Display Quality

MacBooks are known for their vivid, high-resolution displays. Applying a screen protector can diminish the visual clarity and color accuracy due to the extra layer over the screen, which can scatter and diffuse the light emitted by the display.

Difficulty in Removal

Removing a screen protector, especially a low-quality one, can be challenging and risky. The strong adhesives used can damage the screen, especially the delicate anti-reflective coating. In worse cases, it may even lead to cracking of the screen during the removal process.

Best Practices for MacBook Screen Care

Regular Cleaning

Maintain your MacBook’s screen by regularly cleaning it with recommended products like a microfiber cloth and 70% isopropyl alcohol. This helps keep the screen clear of fingerprints and dust without risking damage.

Protective Sleeves for Transportation

When moving your MacBook, use a high-quality protective sleeve. These sleeves cushion the device against shocks and scratches, providing an additional layer of protection without the risks associated with screen protectors.

Proactive Damage Prevention

Be mindful of the environment around your MacBook. Keep liquids and unstable objects at a safe distance, manage cable placement to avoid tripping hazards, and ensure that your work area is free of potential risks to your device.


While screen protectors may seem like a prudent precaution, especially given the cost of MacBooks, Apple’s design and build guidelines suggest that they are not necessary and may even be detrimental. The best approach to maintaining your MacBook’s screen is regular cleaning, using protective carrying cases, and managing your environment to reduce risk. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the pristine condition of your MacBook’s display without the need for additional screen coverings.

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