MacBook USB-C Ports Now Equipped with Liquid Detection Feature: Dive into What's Next

Apple's MacBook USB-C port will soon be able to detect liquids. On 3 November, IT expert media outlet 9to5Mac stated that a system daemon capable of detecting liquid exposure had been identified in macOS Sonoma 14.1

Preeti Anand
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MacBook USB C Ports

Apple's MacBook USB-C port will soon be able to detect liquids. On 3 November, IT expert media outlet 9to5Mac stated that a system daemon capable of detecting liquid exposure had been identified in macOS Sonoma 14.1.


The Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) found in Apple products

Most Apple products include a Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI). It is found inside charging ports and SIM slots, where liquids can infiltrate and be visually spotted. It reacts when the LCI comes into touch with water or a liquid containing water. When it comes into contact with a liquid, the indicator changes from white to red. If changes in humidity and temperature are within the product's environmental criteria, the LCI does not react.

The most recent MacBooks also include an LCI to detect liquid contact. It is housed within the charging port, vulnerable to liquid penetration.


The liquid-detecting feature is already available on iPhones

In addition to the LCI, the device can detect liquids. When moisture is seen in the Lightning port, Apple has begun to display a warning message to customers since iOS 10 in 2016. It protects the gadget by instructing users to remove the charging wire immediately. This function is also available on iPads and Apple Watches.

Smartphones are the most common places to find liquid-detecting features. Although most smartphones nowadays are waterproof, they can easily malfunction if moisture stays in the charging port, necessitating a liquid-detecting mechanism.


The majority of laptops do not support liquid detection. Most laptops, unlike smartphones, are not waterproof.

On the other hand, Apple intends to add a liquid-detecting capability to MacBooks, similar to smartphones. 'Liquid detection,' a new system daemon in macOS, detects liquids and collects data. It runs in the background on the Mac.

Why is this being added to the MacBook?


Adding a new liquid-detecting feature to the USB-C port is thought to be in response to Apple's repair warranty policy. Apple does not cover liquid-damaged Macs under its one-year limited warranty or AppleCare Plus. Water damage repairs are entirely the responsibility of the user.

The LCI, on the other hand, is slightly imprecise on its own. 2010 Apple was involved in a lawsuit regarding an iPhone water damage warranty issue. The problem developed when Apple declined free repairs due to the LCI's colour change. Despite not dropping their iPhones in water, many claimed the LCI colour changed. Due to the unreliability of this indicator, Apple eventually lost the lawsuit.

Apple intends to use the USB-C connector to double-check for liquid exposure. It is still being determined whether it will alert people with iPhones or iPads. Apple has not made any particular statements on the new feature, and numerous foreign media outlets, like IT expert media Tom's Guide, think that it may be a data collection tool only.


The liquid detecting feature could be enabled in humid areas or during the rainy season. According to Tom's Guide, the likelihood of an error message appearing is low because MacBooks, unlike iPhones or Apple Watches, are not generally exposed to the elements. It is still being determined which devices will support this. It's still being determined whether it'll work on all MacBooks running the latest macOS Sonoma or those with the latest M3 processor.

The M3 chip is used in the new MacBook Pro.

Apple recently held an event in October to announce its new MacBook Pro lineup. The most recent M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips were used. The MacBook Pro has a 20% brighter Liquid Retina XDR display than its predecessor, a built-in 1080p camera, a 6-speaker sound system, and other features. Another distinguishing feature is that it can maintain the same battery performance for up to 22 hours.