Can laptop be fixed after water damage?


We often get asked ‘Can laptop be fixed after water damage?’ Yes as long as you turn if off, remove the battery and keep it in a bag of rice for a day or two, most laptops can be fixed.

Laptop is a portable computer whichF means it is smaller in size as compared to a desktop computer with monitor and connected devices such as mouse, keyboard etc. Laptop has many features which are not found in a desktop computer including built-in web cameras, microphones and wifi devices etc., A laptop is very handy and can be carried anywhere. Laptop can be damaged by external elements such as heat, cold, moisture and other environmental factors which may lead to malfunctioning of laptop or it can also get unusable.

But you will find that laptop is not a complex piece of equipment which makes repairing easy and cheap process because these components are replaceable and there is no need for any major repair. If your laptop has been exposed to water or has been dropped in liquid then you should try to save it as soon as possible because the longer the exposure time, the more complicated it becomes to fix up.

In the past decade or so, there have been a number of reported cases where laptop computers have fizzled and died due to water damage. However, do not be alarmed because in most cases a laptop can be saved after it has been exposed to liquid. If the computer has recently been dropped in liquid you need to take action immediately because many times accidents happen and when they do it’s best to know what needs to happen next.

Now let’s say for example that your computer was sitting on your bedside table and you got up one morning only to realize that your pet had spilled his bowl of water on top of your laptop. Well, lucky for you it just so happens that this is a common mistake and there are things you can do to prevent severe damage to your laptop.


What to do after a water damage?

In this situation, the first thing you need to do is shut off your computer immediately. As soon as water touches electronics it starts to cause corrosion which will lead to permanent damage. However, if you disconnect the power source from the laptop right away, then only the internal components that were soaked by water will be damaged instead of everything else.

  1. While removing battery from its place first make sure it is turned off completely otherwise extra voltage will charge the circuits and damage them further; remember that you will also damage the components if you turn it on without replacing battery.
  2. Water is a very corrosive element; even a small drop of water may cause serious problems and make your laptop unusable.
  3. If you want to fix up your laptop then first make sure that it is completely dry and there shouldn’t be any sign of wetness anywhere, otherwise it can get further damaged and affect sound or video quality. You can use canned air for drying out the water drops from keyboard and other areas.
  4. After this process is done place all the components back in their place and try turning your laptop on to see if it works like before or not. If there are some signs of corrosion then try using cotton with rubbing alcohol (important: do not put electronics in alcohol; use it only for metals, like the edges of a battery or chips and capacitors on circuit boards).
  5. Now dry out your laptop with compressed air again and also use cotton with rubbing alcohol on all affected areas. If you want to be sure that water didn’t get inside then open up all the compartments and look through them carefully.
  6. If after using this method your laptop still doesn’t work then most likely either motherboard or hard drive was damaged because of water and thus needs to be replaced. In case there is no sound coming from speakers when you turn your laptop on than check the connections of both audio cable and speaker itself (the connector between two). If nothing appears to be broken or disconnected than most probably sound card is defective so you will need to replace it.
  7. Once that’s done it’s a good idea to open up the screen and remove all parts which have been touched by liquid including any memory cards or USB devices that might have been plugged into your computer before you turned it off. All these items need to be allowed to dry out for at least 48 hours.
  8. If possible, take the laptop apart entirely and place it on several towels with the parts spread evenly around so they can dry faster. Leave no gap between any parts because water will start seeping through them if given enough time or soak anything else that’s close by like your carpet or furniture.
  9. While waiting for everything to dry you should use a cloth to gently wipe off all visible liquid from every piece of hardware since even tiny amounts can cause more damage later. It’s also smart to find any manuals which came with your computer (if applicable) and follow any procedures recommended by the manufacturer.
  10. Once all components are completely dried out you should reassemble everything and test the laptop to make sure it’s still working. If it is then you can breathe a sigh of relief and treat your machine to a fresh coat of anti-rust paint like you should have done in the first place.

If none of these methods helped you can always get in touch with our laptop repair technician and ask them if they could fix it or not.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...