Getting the Most out of your Laptop Screen: Tips for Cleaning and Configuring your MacBook Pro Screen

Getting the Most out of your Laptop Screen: Tips for Cleaning and Configuring your MacBook Pro Screen
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Cleaning: Liquids, Cloths, and Proper Technique

When it comes to cleaning, iKlear is the only cleaner used by Apple Care for cleaning Apple products. That said, Apple’s own MacBook Pro care guidelines recommend using plain water and a lint free cloth. Compared to water, the iKlear kit is rather pricey so you may want to stick with water unless you have some unusually stubborn smudges to clean. Even then, you can use a solution of 1 part water to ¼ part white vinegar (the type used in cooking) to remove tougher finger prints or greasy stains without damaging your MacBook Pro screen.

The second part of the cleaning equation is the cloth. While there is universal agreement that the cloth should be lint free there is one minor consideration to keep in mind. Microfiber cloths are economical, widely available, and used for cleaning delicate surfaces like camera lenses. However, not all microfiber is created equal. When selecting a microfiber cloth to clean your MacBook Pro screen you should look for a non-rugged cloth. This means that the cloth has no ridges or tough patterns on which to trap grit or rough particles – two things you wouldn’t want to drag along your monitor.

Finally, remember to apply water or your cleaning solution directly to the cloth and not to your MacBook Pro’s screen as droplets may spill inside the case. Gently pass the cloth over the screen without applying to much pressure. If any smudges remain, remember to keep passing the cloth over that area rather than applying force.

Configuring: Getting the Right Color Profile

Despite all MacBook Pros having great screens, Apple does source the screens from a number of manufacturers. This means that while they can all look great you’ll notice that the same image may look different on different MacBook Pros. This is where a color profile comes in.

A color profile is simply a file that tells Mac OS X how to adjust your screen’s settings so that it looks as good as it possibly can. Professionals which rely on the accuracy of their MacBook Pro screens will often have special tools and software to calibrate their screens. For our purposes a much more sensible approach is to search for an existing color profile for our MacBook Pro and place it in the ~/Library/Colorsync/Profiles folder. Once there we can easily load the color profile from the Color tab in the Displays menu of the System Preferences. A great source for color profiles is the MacRumors forum.

Lasting Care

One final topic which often comes up about MacBook Pro screens is what can I do to make it last longer? The good news is the more recent generations of MacBook Pros feature LED powered screens which means that unlike the older displays (which relied on CCFLs) they will never go dim. This means that with no extra care beyond cleaning and a great color profile the screen will always be as bright as it was on the day you first pressed the power button.