Many MacBook Pro owners are complaining that their high-end laptops are making a weird “popping” noise — and Apple isn’t saying why.
Earlier this month, reports started circulating about the problem. Owners of the new MacBook Pro, released in 2016, say they’re hearing a strange noise coming from their devices intermittently.
The issue appears to be primarily affecting 15-inch MacBook Pros, though there have been reports of it happening to the 13-inch MacBook Pro too. It’s also not clear exactly how many people are affected, though the issue seems to relatively widespread.
There are numerous support forum threads from disgruntled customers online, and after I wrote about the problem two weeks ago nearly half a dozen people emailed me to say their laptops were also affected.
Apple, meanwhile, is staying silent. When I first reached out to the company’s comms team, a spokesperson said they’d get back to me. After I followed up earlier this week, they said that they’ve got “nothing to add.”
In the absence of public comment from Apple, affected users have been left guessing at the possible cause. Some are pointing to heat or thermal expansion of components as a potential reason, noting that it happens when their laptops are under stress.
One affected owner said in an email they thought it “didn’t seem like anything major to me,” but they had “bought a separate hard drive to back everything up [in case] something bad happens. If it gets worse I’ll certainly have no choice but to contact them, for whatever good it might do.”
Another said it “randomly” happens “everyday” and is “super annoying.”
A third MacBook Pro owner said it happens “multiple times a day. Notably when i open the laptop — usually after about 30ish seconds, but not every time. And then every 20-100 minutes after that.” It’s about as loud “as a trackpad click.”
Users also say they’re getting mixed messages from Apple’s customer services team. A poster in an Apple support forum thread wrote that when they took their device to Apple’s Genius Bar customer service team, a dent on the bottom of their MacBook Pro was blamed, and they had to pay $130 to get it fixed. (Others say their devices are popping even when there’s no dent present.)
But a poster on Twitter said after they took their MacBook Pro back to Apple, the company replaced it with one that didn’t make any weird noises. Another wrote on a support forum they were “working with AppleCare and Engineering now” to try and pin down the problem.
There are loads of videos online capturing the noise, like this one:
For now, there’s no hard evidence that the popping sound is evidence of a deeper problem — but it’s easy to see why it might be alarming to someone who has spent upwards of $2,399 (or £2,349) for their shiny new 15-inch MacBook Pro.
If in doubt, it might be wise to talk to Apple Support just in case.
Is your MacBook Pro playing up? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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