MacBook Pro 'Dustgate': Purple Lines and Display Distortions Reported

MacBook Pro Display Issues

In recent times, some MacBook Pro users have encountered an unsettling issue with their laptops, manifesting as distorted displays with purple lines. 

Referred to as "Dustgate" by display experts, this problem is affecting several older MacBook Pro models sold between 2018 and 2020. 

Despite its prevalence, Apple has remained silent on the matter, leaving users grappling with potential solutions.

Unveiling Dustgate:

MacBook Pro models A1989, A2251, A2289, A2338, and A2141 have become victims of Dustgate, with A2141 being the most severely impacted. 

Even newer models launched between 2016 and 2020 are susceptible to this display anomaly. The issue arises when these MacBook Pros are opened at certain angles, triggering the sudden appearance of purple lines on the display.

Understanding Dustgate
Source: iCorrect
The root cause of Dustgate lies in the vulnerability of the screen flex cable connecting the display to the laptop body. 

Dust and dirt infiltrate through a gap at the hinge between the display and the keyboard, accumulating over time. 

With each opening and closing of the screen lid, the debris damages the delicate cable, resulting in the display distortions reported by users.

The Impact and User Experience:

Users have taken to platforms like Reddit and Apple Discussions forums to share their experiences with Dustgate.

The problem has become so widespread that repairers, interviewed by Forbes, reveal they encounter several MacBook Pro units affected by Dustgate every week. 

The resulting purple lines and display distortions have prompted users to seek solutions and share their frustrations within the Apple community.

Repair Challenges and Cost:

Repairing Dustgate damage poses a significant challenge. iCorrect, a repair expert, notes that fixing the issue is both difficult and costly. 

The screen flex cables are intricately attached to the back of the display, requiring repairers to delicately remove the screen from the back panel to access and replace the damaged cable.

Repair Challenges and Cost

This process must be executed with precision to avoid breaking the thin display panels.

Opting for Apple's repair services is an alternative, but it comes at a considerable cost. Apple tends to replace the entire display unit, amounting to an approximate cost of $625 in the United States. 

The financial burden associated with fixing Dustgate has left users seeking preventative measures and alternative solutions.

Tips to Prevent Dustgate Issues:

To mitigate the risk of Dustgate, users are advised to adopt proactive measures. Regularly cleaning the laptop and ensuring that no dust accumulates around the hinge area can help prevent the infiltration of debris that leads to cable damage. 

This simple practice may contribute to the longevity of MacBook Pro displays and reduce the likelihood of encountering Dustgate-related issues.

Newer MacBook Pro Models: Should Users Worry?

According to repair experts, Apple has taken steps to address the Dustgate issue in newer MacBook Pro models released since 2021.

Macbook Pro

Improved protection for the flex cable has been implemented, effectively mitigating the risk of cable damage from dust infiltration. 

Users of the latest MacBook Pro models can find reassurance in the fact that the company has quietly rectified the problem in its more recent releases.

Dustgate vs. Flexgate:

While both Dustgate and Flexgate are related to issues with the screen flex cable, they differ in their manifestations. 

Flexgate affected MacBook Pro 13" models released between 2016 and 2018, where the cable connecting the display and the controller board below the Touch Bar wore off, resulting in faulty light effects on the screen. 

Apple acknowledged Flexgate and offered free repairs to affected users. In the case of Dustgate, the cable damage occurs due to dust infiltration around the hinge area, leading to purple lines and display distortions.


As users grapple with the challenges posed by Dustgate, there is a growing expectation for Apple to acknowledge and address the issue. 

Drawing parallels to the company's response to Flexgate, users hope for a similar commitment to customer support. 

With the ongoing discussions on online forums and social media, the pressure on Apple to provide a resolution to affected users is escalating.

In the dynamic landscape of technology, unforeseen issues like Dustgate serve as a reminder of the importance of ongoing product improvement and customer communication. 

As MacBook Pro users await Apple's response, the tech community is watching closely to see how the company navigates this display challenge and whether it will stand by its commitment to delivering quality products and customer satisfaction.