Flexgate has finally been fixed once and for all. Yes, you read that right. Finally, there is an ultimate professional fix that will allow you to get rid of the Flexgate issue on your MacBook pro for good.
Although the MacBook Pro is a brilliant device with top hardware and software integration, the 2016 and 2017 models came with a flawed flex cable design, making it vulnerable to damage. This resulted in horrendous display problems with the backlighting, causing unrest among the Apple community.
If you’ve been experiencing the same issue, and you’re stressed out and wondering what you should do about it, you have landed on the right page. We have listed everything related to Flexgate along with the most ultimate solution that will allow you to resolve the problem for good.
The results are promising, and I can guarantee that as a family member of mine has applied the fix to. The MacBook is now running perfectly well with no signs of the issue. So stick with us till the end, and you’ll know everything relating to how you can combat the Flexgate issue.
What Is the Flexgate Issue
Flexgate is fundamentally a term unofficially used to display backlight-related issues on the MacBook Pro models. Such an issue may be caused by a damaged and broken display flex cable. The role of the flex cable is to link the display to the T-CON board, which is basically the controller logic board.
This part of your MacBook Pro is very subtle and delicate and is prone to damage, resulting in issues such as Flexgate. The design flaws on the MacBook Pro have made it more susceptible to damage and fractures over time due to repeated opening and closing of the laptop’s lid.
This issue affects only certain models of the MacBook Pro, and you’ll get to know them in a while.
What Causes the Flexgate Issue
Apple gave the MacBook Pro line of devices a huge redesign back in 2016. Everything was going well until 2015 when Apple inserted the logic board or display controller at the bottom of the display inside the hinge cover. The display controller was a part of the lid.
This way, the wire always remained inside the hinge cover and was never prone to wear and tear. Without being moved and troubled, the wire was never susceptible to damage.
However, from 2016 and onwards, apple separated the board from the display panel. Currently, the board sits beneath the touch bar inside the main chassis. The flex cable that links the board to the display has been wrapped around the hinge, making it vulnerable to fractures. The cable has a spring-ed ribbon design and is pretty delicate.
Each time you open the lid of the MacBook Pro, the cable is pulled, while closing the lid relaxes it. After months and years of use, the flex cable wears out, making it susceptible to fractures and other damage.
The flex or ribbon houses multiple cables, but the backlight cable is the most vulnerable ones, and damage results in all sorts of backlight issues. Let us divide the damage into multiple progressive stages:
- The cable is still intact, but a few connection lines are damaged or have worn out. This may produce a stage light effect.
- Another scenario is when the cable is fractured (not completely) but remains connected in a loose state. Opening the lid can stretch the cable, resulting in breakage of the connection. In such a case, the display will go all blank when the lid is opened beyond halfway.
- The final stage of damage is when the cable fractures completely. This will lead to total backlight failure resulting in a black display.
- The graphics-related flex cable may sometimes break in place of the backlight cable. This will result in graphic glitches, including negative colours and tints of certain colours all over the entire screen.
Will My Laptop Be Affected by Flexgate?
This design flaw was not present in the 2015 model of the MacBook Pro, back when the logic board or display controller was inserted at the bottom of the display inside the hinge cover. However, the flaws appeared in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models, including the 13 inch and 15 inches models.
This began when Apple introduced the flex cable to their MacBook Pro line. As reported till now, the Flexgate issue is more likely to appear on the Touch bar models. In the recent years, Apple added silicone protection to help solve the issue; however, users have still reported the appearance of problems after long-term use.
The following models are affected:
- A1706 – MacBook Pro (2016-17, 13-inch, Touchbar model)
- A1707 – MacBook Pro (2016-17, 15-inch, Touchbar model)
- A1708 – MacBook Pro (2016-17, 13-inch, non-Touchbar model)
Apple made a few changes in the 2018 and 2019 models to evade the Flexgate issue. However, users with the 2018 and 2019 MacBook Pro models also suffer from the same issues. Although the occurrence of this issue on these models is much less, it is still vulnerable to damage.
Can I Send My Laptop for The Apple Backlight Repair Program?
Back in May 2019, Apple initiated a free display replacement program. This was to fix the Flexgate issue users were experiencing while at the same time, they acknowledged a hardware design flaw in their devices.
However, the replacement program was only set valid for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 model, even though the problem impacts both the 13 inch and 15 inch variants of the 2016 and 2017 models.
It is very simple to verify whether your MacBook Pro is eligible for the backlight repair program by apple. All you have to do is launch the Apple menu and select About This Mac. You can now check all the details of your MacBook Pro to find out if your device is eligible or not. If eligible, make sure you back up all your data before you try contacting Apple to avail of the free repair service.
The following models of the MacBook Pro are eligible for the Apple backlight repair program:
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
You may be wondering what to do if your MacBook Pro is not eligible for the repair program. Although Apple has been efficient in identifying which MacBook Pro models are affected, there is still a high possibility other models might be affected as well.
Apple has made it a priority to provide service to the 2016 and 2017 models of the MacBook Pro. However, we have also received reports about the Flexgate issue on even the 2018 and 2019 models. The models launched before 2016 are free of this problem as they are built differently without making the flex cable vulnerable.
If your MacBook Pro is not eligible for the Apple repair program, you must contact a MacBook Repair Centre to have your MacBook Pro fixed. Or you may even search for a MacBook Pro Flexgate repair professional to have it fixed near you.
What To Do If Your MacBook Isn’t Listed in Apple’s Repair Program
The repair community has worked a lot on figuring out ways to fix the Flexgate issue. If your MacBook Pro is not eligible for the Apple repair program, you must contact a MacBook Repair Centre to have your MacBook Pro fixed. Or you may even search for a MacBook Pro Flexgate repair professional to have it fixed near you.
The flex cable was responsible for the Flexgate issue as it was discovered. That would mean a longer flex cable would solve this issue. However, Apple didn’t install a longer flex cable on the MacBook Pro until 2019. Therefore, if your device isn’t listed in Apple’s repair program, you can’t go buy a 2019 MacBook Pro to fix the problem, can you?
A brilliant professional solution will resolve the Flexgate issue on your MacBook Pro once and for all, and we’re about to reveal it to you.
What Is the Best Solution for The Flexgate Issue?
The Flexgate issue can be repaired, and Apple has launched a free repair service for affected purchasers. Although you cannot repair the flex cable as it has been integrated into the screen, you can fix the display. The best solution in such a case is to replace the entire display with a new one.
Recently, experts have been working on fixing the Flexgate issue without having to change the entire display. A great way to do this is by extending the backlight flex cable. This can be done by micro-soldering a tiny piece of a replacement cable onto the flex cable.
As far as we have heard, the results have been pretty good as the extra length to the wire puts off the strain from the flex cable, making it less vulnerable to damage. This repair can be highly specialized and should be performed by the best experts.
By applying this method to solve your Flexgate issue, you’ll be able to save a lot of money, as changing a display can be pretty expensive (could cost up to $500). This is exactly the change introduced by Apple in 2018 and 2019, where they have increased the length of the flex cable to reduce strain on the wires. This solution beats all the temporary fixes out there and will help you permanently get rid of the problem.
Therefore, if you have been experiencing trouble with the Flexgate issue and you want to repair it once and for all, this is the best fix you can apply. Now let us discuss the entire procedure of how the whole repair process works.
The Entire Procedure
- The entire screen is removed from the MacBook Pro.
- The affected flex cable is then located. The cable is cut off the top where a tear is present.
- The traces of the cable are then tinned, making them solder ready for a new cable to increase the overall length.
- The cable is folded onto itself using a strong adhesive and is now ready to fit back in.
- The notch of the Wi-Fi antenna is cut off to reduce the strain on the cable.
- Everything is put back into place, and the customers return back all happy.
The entire procedure might seem pretty simple; however, you must have the procedure performed by a trusted repair company as minor damage to your MacBook Pro could cause greater issues. This is the ultimate fix for the Flexgate issue and will completely help you eliminate the problem.
Taking A Closer Look at The Flexgate Issue
The length of the flex cable is the main culprit in causing the Flexgate issue and is entirely responsible for the whole drama that has caused an uproar among MacBook Pro users. As the cable is pretty short, tension is applied while opening and closing the laptop’s lid. This excessive strain causes the cable’s wear and tear, resulting in backlight problems.
Now that it is clear what causes the issue and what should be done about it let’s proceed to how the problem is practically fixed. Once the replacement cable has been soldered onto the original flex cable, you’ll be able to see the length of the cable extended by a few millimeters. The new cable looks completely similar to the flex cable and also functions exactly the same.
Performing this procedure allows the length of the cable to be extended. Therefore, opening and closing of the laptop lid will not exert too much strain on the cable, keeping it safe from damage. This will help prevent backlight issues resulting in Flexgate.
Once the replacement cable is in place, the flex cable is placed back into its area. The tip of the Wi-Fi antenna is cut to reduce strain on the wire. Now readers might be wondering if this would affect the network connection.
Well, not at all. Only the plastic portion of the Wi-Fi antenna is cut. This means your network connection will remain same as before and will not be damaged or affected in any way. Applying this fix will save you lots of money, and you’ll be able to use your MacBook Pro just like normal.
Cost and Turnaround Time of Flexgate Repair
Repair of the Flexgate issue with the above solution will cost you around $200. Moreover, the turnaround time could range from 2 days to 3 days, depending on how busy the period is.
Backlash Faced by Apple Over Flexgate
Apple faced serious backlash over the Flexgate issue, and the case was presented to the court. It did not turn out well for Apple, and apple even had to remove community posts by users complaining about this issue. As up to 18 million MacBooks are sold each year, many users from all over the globe experienced this issue.
In May 2020, a class action lawsuit was filed against Apple for deliberately bringing a change to the 2016 MacBook Pro, making it vulnerable to damage. Allegedly, a flex cable display defect that affected mostly the 2016 and 2017 models of both 13 inch and 15 inch MacBook Pro devices was held responsible for issues in displays faced by users. The issue, commonly known as the Flexgate issue, was addressed to the judge.
The accuser claimed that Apple was knowingly marketing a defective product with a warranty plan covering only a fraction of the repair cost and also introduced a repair program with huge flaws failing to fix the damaged laptops. However, the judge that was supervising the case dismissed the case claiming Apple did not have to disclose it as it was not a safety issue and that the defect appeared after the period of warranty had expired.
Although the lawsuit has been dismissed, the judge has allowed the issue to be amended. The accusers will have to provide an argument that proves the Flexgate issue was a safety hazard. Moreover, they’ll also have to display evidence to prove that Apple “knew with certainty that the alleged defect would occur.”
Wrapping It Up
As it is evident, Apple has sold millions of MacBooks with a major design flaw that caused unrest amongst users. The malfunctioning of the backlighting completely destroyed the trust users had put into Apple products. Luckily, there is an ultimate solution that will completely fix your problem for good.
This article aims to create awareness amongst MacBook pro users and provide them guidance on how they can fix this problem in the best way possible. If you have been a victim of Apple’s negligence on the MacBook Pro models, the best solution you can go for is micro-soldering.
You may also change the display as Apple did in their repair program, but that will just cost you extra money and will not resolve the issue completely as the fault lies in the flex cable.
Hopefully, this article will have been helpful to you, and we wish you all the best in combating the Flexgate problem.