How to fix your water-damaged iPhone, iPad, AirPods, or Mac 2020

    Do you fear that your Apple device may have met a watery grave? You might be able to save it.

    As more and more phones and devices acquire better and better water resistance ratings, liquid damage is becoming less of an issue. That being said, water can still often find its way into places it shouldn’t be, causing malfunctions or a complete stoppage in function.

    If your iPhone, iPad, AirPods, or Mac has been met with moisture and now it’s on the blink, try these fixes to hopefully save your device from an untimely demise.

    Water-resistant vs. Waterproof

    Let’s get this out of the way first, since these terms are often used interchangeably by manufacturers. There is no universal standard for “waterproofing” — that is to say that nothing can truly be considered waterproof since no manufacturer can absolutely guarantee that. Therefore, everything that can withstand a bit of moisture is water-resistant.

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    Water-resistant products are given “Ingress Protection” or IP ratings, which help consumers determine their level of water resistance. The rating consists of two digits, the first from 1 to 7 and the second digit from 1 to 9. The first number is intrusion protection, which really refers to dust. The second is moisture protection.

    Rather than go through all them, the IP ratings we need to concern ourselves within the case of Apple products are IP67 and IPX7, the water resistance rating given to the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X, and the Apple Watch “Series 0” and Series 1, respectively. The Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are good to 50 meters deep but were not given an official IP rating. IP67 and IPX7 mean that the device is totally protected against dust that would harm the internals, and it can survive after being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

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    Apple has given none of its other products an IP rating, so it’s safe to say that your iPad, AirPods, Mac, and older iPhone are all susceptible to water damage.

    ‘Swim-proof’ vs. ‘splash-proof’

    The Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are “swim-proof,” which means they can handle submersion for quite a while and can handle the pressure of swimming strokes, which can force water into devices much faster than simple submersion can. The first-gen Apple Watch and Series 1 are merely splash-proof, despite their IPX7 ratings.

    While Apple does not mention water or liquid damage in its standard one-year Apple Watch warranty, it does guarantee your Apple Watch Series 2 or 3 when used under Apple’s guidelines. This means shallow water activities, but not anything with “high-velocity water” or “submersion below shallow depth.” So while the Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are guaranteed to 50 meters deep under ISO standards, Apple isn’t so keen on your doing that outside of controlled testing.

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