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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Put Stickers on Your MacBook

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MacBooks are cool as they come. But, many users like to decorate and personalize them to make them even cooler. This often includes applying stickers—and there’s a debate whether it’s a good idea to do so or not.

In this article, we’ll look at the repercussions of applying stickers to your MacBook, possible alternatives to stickers, and how to remove stickers if you’ve already applied them. Let’s get started.

Is Putting Stickers Directly on My MacBook a Good Idea?

Directly applying stickers to your MacBook isn’t the best idea for two reasons:

  • Adhesive residue: The greasy glue left on your MacBook’s aluminum surface when you remove the sticker looks terrible and is hard to remove. This is worst after a sticker has been on your MacBook for a long time.
  • Sticker silhouettes: Even if there’s no residue, there’s a chance that the sticker’s design will be imprinted on the Mac as the surface around it fades.

Stickers are attractive when they’re applied, but repulsive when you remove them. These two effects of stickers can devalue your MacBook and, even worse, damage it when you remove them. This often happens by scratching the surface while cleaning the sticker residue.

Here’s how a typical laptop looks after you removing stickers:

This is scary, but the bigger problem of the two is sticker silhouette. You might be able to clean off greasy residue, but faded silhouettes are permanent.

It’s best not to apply stickers on MacBooks directly to prevent devaluing them.

Related: Things to Do Before Selling Your Mac

How to Avoid Residue When Putting Stickers on a MacBook

Even though stickers leave residue or silhouettes behind, there is a safe way to do it. To enjoy stickers on your MacBook without damaging it, here’s what you can do:

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1. Apple Stickers to a Snap-on Case

Snap-on cases are plastic covers for your MacBook’s lid and base. You can put them on your laptop and decorate them all you want. Then, when you’re not feeling it, you can take the cover off to enjoy your Mac’s original look. Alternatively, you can buy cases that are alredy decorated, like this one by TwoL.

2. Apply Lamination or a Protector First

You can apply a protector first, like this one by Homy, and then apply stickers. Many users laminate their MacBook’s lid and base, and apply stickers on them. This way, when they take off the thin sheet, all the stickers go with it, without directly affecting the MacBook’s surface.

However, snap-on cases are better than lamination, as they don’t stick to the surface and are simply clamped onto the MacBook’s body. You can also put them back on if you want to reapply the stickers to your laptop’s look.

3. Use High-Quality Stickers

You might not like the feel of protectors or cases and want to apply stickers directly to your MacBook. In this case, you can use high-quality stickers that don’t use a lot of adhesive for sticking, like the ones from Redbubble. These are less likely to leave sticky residue when you remove them.

Related: Popular Sites for the Best MacBook Decals & Stickers

How to Remove Stickers From Your MacBook

Stickers for Laptops

If you’ve already applied stickers directly to your MacBook and you want to remove them, you can follow these steps to do so:

  1. Use a hair dryer to gently heat the sticker you want to remove. Be careful not to let your MacBook get too hot in the process, which could damage the internal components.
  2. Peel it off with your fingers carefully, to avoid scratching the surface. If you’re struggling, find a flat plastic tool that is unlikely to scratch your MacBook, like a guitar pick.
  3. Treat the gluey residue with WD-40 or any isopropyl alcohol solution.
  4. Leave for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Rub the area with microfiber cloth to clean off the residue.

This process might not clean the silhouettes or the decolorized areas. Unfortunately, those are permanent.

Related: How to Clean Out Dust From Your MacBook or iMac

Decorate Your MacBook Safely

Decorating your MacBook lead to devaluation or damage. Before applying stickers, consider at least laminating it so that you can remove the stickers later before reselling it. And, by the way, stickers aren’t the only form of laptop decoration—you can do a lot more by adding some accessories to the setup.


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