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What to do if you've spilled water on your laptop

Water spilled on laptop keyboard

It's a nightmare scenario: You're typing on your laptop when you reach for a glass of water or your morning cup of coffee and—gasp—it tips over, soaking your screen and keyboard. Don't worry, if liquid spills on your laptop you can still save your device—but only if you act fast. We'll walk you through what to do to prevent a small spill from turning into a big problem.

At Asurion, we help millions of people fix their tech. Whether you have a locked iPad® or a phone that keeps crashing, our experts can help.

Here's our guide on what to do if you splash or spill water—or any type of liquid—on your laptop.

Turn off your laptop

If water spilled on your laptop keyboard or screen, it's important to turn off your device immediately. First unplug your laptop, then press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds or longer until it shuts down completely.

Don't wait to turn off your laptop, since leaving it on while it's wet could cause a short circuit or other serious damage. Also, be careful—if you or your clothes are wet, don't unplug your laptop directly from the wall, as you could electrocute yourself. Instead, locate the switch or circuit breaker for the outlet you plugged your device into, then turn it off there.

Remove the battery

After you've turned off your laptop, try to remove the battery. Here's how:

  1. Turn over your laptop so the bottom is facing up and find the battery latch.
  2. Slide the latch switch to the opposite side and hold it open until the battery releases.
  3. If the battery is wet, it's likely damaged and no longer safe to use. You should replace it immediately.

Some laptop models require you to unscrew the backplate to access the battery. If this is the case with yours, call an expert for help.

Remove all plugged-in devices

Next, unplug any USB drives, dongles, or accessories such as a mouse or charger from your laptop.

Dry and drain your laptop

If you spilled liquid on your laptop, it's important to dry it as quickly and carefully as possible. First, take a microfiber cloth to dab any excess liquid from your device, making sure to dry the keyboard, vents, trackpad, and USB ports. Then follow these simple steps to drain your laptop:

  1. Turn your laptop upside down, place it on a towel or a microfiber cloth, and let the water drain out.
  2. Allow at least 24 hours for your computer to fully air dry for best results.
  3. Do not place your device in rice. You'll create more problems if the rice gets stuck in and around the components of your laptop.
  4. Do not use a hairdryer or leave it out in the sun. Too much heat could damage your machine.

Let a pro clean and check your laptop

Before you turn your laptop back on, it's a good idea to have a professional clean it and check for water damage—an Asurion Expert at your uBreakiFix® by Asurion or Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ store can do that for you. And if your device isn't functioning properly, they can help you decide whether to repair or replace it.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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