Is AppleCare Worth It for Macs: MacBook Warranty 101 (2023)

What to Know:

  • Paying additional money to insure your Mac can cost a lot, but so can repairs. 
  • We will compare the cost and coverage of AppleCare Plus to the price ranges for out-of-pocket repairs.
  • Get clarity on what limited Apple warranty covers to determine if purchasing extra insurance makes sense.

Adding AppleCare Plus is not always in the budget when you're already spending thousands of dollars on a new or refurbished Mac. But it should be. In this article, I will go over Apple Limited Warranty, AppleCare Plus cost and coverage, and out-of-pocket Mac repair costs. I will also share my recent experience fixing my out-of-warranty MacBook Pro for a third of what the device originally cost.

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Is AppleCare Worth It for Macs?

When you purchase a new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Studio, you have the option to pay a little extra for AppleCare Plus. This is not the same as regular AppleCare. Every Apple device you buy comes with Apple Limited Warranty, also known as AppleCare, so many people assume that this will cover all repair costs. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

What Does the Free Limited Apple Warranty Cover?

Initial AppleCare lasts 90 days after the purchase of your device, including Complimentary Support, which is a helpline for setup and hardware and software issues. Limited Apple Warranty lasts for the first year since purchase. While Apple Limited Warranty and AppleCare are useful if you get a faulty Mac, they only cover manufacturing issues. That means that if your MacBook was built or assembled incorrectly or something else happens that is proven to be Apple's fault, then it will be fixed for free.

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If you experience user-caused issues, such as an accidental drop, installing problematic software, water damage, theft, or loss, then repairs or replacement won't be covered. Also, if a manufacturer issue occurs after a year has passed, it will also not be covered. Depending on the extent of damage, the repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. For more Apple product tips and tricks, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

How Much Can MacBook Pro Warranty Save You?

When my 14-inch 2021 MacBook Pro suddenly developed lines on the display overnight, the repair cost $1,036 without warranty. According to the Apple Support cost estimation calculator, replacing a cracked or damaged display would have only cost $99 plus tax with AppleCare Plus. Most repairs cost $99, although some accidental damage can cost you $299, which is still a lot less than $1,030. Seeing as I could have saved almost $1,000 by having AppleCare Plus, I certainly believe that AppleCare is worth it for your Mac, iPhone, and other Apple devices.

Since you can only get AppleCare Plus within 60 days of buying your new device, it is always a good idea to get it from the get-go. In some cases, it is possible to cancel AppleCare+ and get a full or partial refund.

AppleCare Plus ranges from costing $34.99/year for a Mac mini to $149.99/year for the MacBook Pro 16‑inch. You can also pay for a three-year period, which can be significantly cheaper with the more expensive Mac models.

So is AppleCare+ worth it? Yes! If you are expecting to use your device for three years, paying a few cents per day to protect it against unexpected $1,030+ repairs is definitely worth it. Even the repair tech at the Apple Authorized Service Provider said so! Of course, it isn't financially possible for everyone who purchases a Mac, but I highly recommend saving up for it. It may be a cliche, but it truly is better to be safe than sorry! Next, read: Is iPhone Insurance Worth It?


  • How much is AppleCare? AppleCare Plus for Macs ranges from $34.99/year to $399/3 years. Other Apple products can also be insured; check out the official AppleCare Plus pricing for all devices here.
  • Does AppleCare cover theft and loss? Regular AppleCare Plus doesn’t cover theft and loss, but some products, such as iPhones, have additional theft and loss coverage available.
  • Does AppleCare cover water damage? AppleCare Limited Warranty doesn't cover water damage, but AppleCare Plus does. It costs $299 to cover accidental damage, which can include water damage. This isn't necessarily unlimited, so you'll have to contact Apple to clarify what happens if you damage your device with water multiple times.
  • Can you buy AppleCare afterward? Yes! You can buy AppleCare Plus up to 60 days after purchasing your device. While officially not possible, sometimes, they may let you purchase it even later, but this is not guaranteed.
  • Do I have AppleCare? Maybe! To find out if you have AppleCare, go to, enter your serial number, and find out!
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.