Ultimate Guide on How to fix water damaged laptop: Step-by-Step Instructions

Table of Contents


Water damage is one of the most common types of accidents that can render a laptop unusable. It is a widespread issue that often requires immediate attention and the right course of action to fix properly. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix a water-damaged laptop, explaining its importance and offering alternative solutions to help you keep your laptop in optimum condition.

Overview of Water Damaged Laptops

Understanding the Source of the Water Damage

Water damage can occur due to various reasons, such as spills from beverages, rain, or even humidity build-up. Identifying the source of water damage is essential in determining the appropriate strategy for handling it and preventing future incidents.

Types of Water Damage

Water damage can be broadly classified into two types – liquid contact (direct contact with water) and humidity damage (prolonged exposure to high humidity levels). Both types of damage can have a detrimental impact on components within the laptop if left unchecked.

Impacts of Water Damage on the Laptop

Water damage can drastically reduce your laptop’s performance and even render it completely inoperable. It can lead to corrosion of internal components, short-circuiting, and permanent damage to vital parts such as the motherboard, keyboard, and screen if not addressed promptly.

Disassembling the Laptop

Switching off the Laptop

It is crucial to switch off the laptop immediately after it comes into contact with water to minimize damage. Turning off the laptop stops the flow of electricity within the device, reducing the risk of short-circuits and further damage to components.

Detaching the Battery

After turning off the laptop, removing the battery should be your next step. This prevents any residual electricity from flowing through the device, further safeguarding the internal components from damage.

Removing All External Devices

Next, disconnect all external devices, such as USB drives, headphones, and charging cables. This ensures that the drying process remains effective and reduces the risk of these peripherals suffering damage as well.

Disassembling the Laptop

Disassembling the laptop allows you to closely examine the extent of water damage and enables easier cleaning and drying of the components. You may need to consult your laptop manual or search online for guides specific to your device if you are unsure how to proceed.

Drying the Laptop

Wiping the Laptop with a Dry Cloth

Begin by wiping the laptop and any visibly wet components with a dry, lint-free cloth. Using a microfiber cloth is ideal as it is gentle on the device and highly absorbent.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner

Consider using a vacuum cleaner, with a nozzle attachment, to suck water out of the laptop as effectively as possible. This can be particularly helpful in removing water from hard-to-reach or delicate areas.

Using Desiccants

Desiccants such as silica gel packets can be placed near the laptop to absorb moisture from its components. Ensure that the desiccants do not come into direct contact with the device to avoid causing further damage.

Leaving the Laptop to Dry for a While

After following the previous steps, leave the disassembled laptop in a dry, well-ventilated area for an extended period (at least 48 hours) to ensure that all moisture evaporates.

Cleaning the Components

Cleaning the Keyboard

For keyboards affected by water damage, clean them using isopropyl alcohol and a soft-bristled brush. Be gentle while brushing the keys to avoid causing damage to the key switches.

Cleaning the Screen

Use a microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water or a specialized screen cleaning solution to clean the laptop screen. Wipe the screen gently, avoiding excessive pressure that could result in damage.

Cleaning the Motherboard

If the motherboard has suffered water damage, clean it using isopropyl alcohol and a soft-bristled brush. Ensure that the alcohol has fully evaporated before reassembling the laptop.

Assembling the Laptop

Reassembling the Laptop

After cleaning and ensuring all components are thoroughly dry, proceed to reassemble the laptop according to the disassembly guide you utilized. Take caution to handle components gently and do not force connections if they do not fit easily.

Plugging the Battery

Once the laptop is fully reassembled, insert the battery back into its compartment, ensuring that it is correctly aligned and securely connected.

Turning on the Laptop

After double-checking that everything is connected and back in place, turn on the laptop to confirm if the water damage has been resolved.

Testing the Laptop

Checking the Responsiveness of the Components

Test all components, such as the keyboard, trackpad, speakers, and ports, to ensure that they are functioning correctly following the procedure.

Checking if the Issue has been Fixed

Keep an eye out for any persistent water damage signs and monitor the laptop’s performance closely to determine if the problem has been successfully resolved.

Running Some Tests to Ensure That Everything is Working Correctly

Consider running diagnostic tests specific to your laptop model to ensure that all components operate optimally and no residual damage remains.


In conclusion, fixing a water-damaged laptop involves several essential steps, such as disassembling the device, drying and cleaning the affected components, reassembling the laptop, and performing thorough testing. While these steps can potentially save your device, it is crucial to prioritize prevention and avoid exposing your laptop to water in the future. Remember that professional assistance may be necessary for severe cases of water damage or when these do-it-yourself steps do not deliver effective results.


How long should a water-damaged laptop be left to dry?

It is recommended to leave a water-damaged laptop to dry for at least 48 hours, ensuring that all moisture has evaporated before attempting to turn it on.

What are desiccants and how do they help with water-damaged laptops?

Desiccants are substances that absorb moisture, such as silica gel packets. They help remove moisture from the laptop’s internal components, reducing the risk of corrosion and short-circuiting.

Can a laptop be saved if it is fully submerged in water?

While there is no guaranteed method of saving a laptop fully submerged in water, following the steps outlined in this article can potentially help to minimize the damage.

Does turning off the laptop immediately after water exposure guarantee no damage?

Turning off the laptop immediately after water exposure significantly reduces the risk of damage, but it does not guarantee that the laptop will remain functional.

Can rice be used as a desiccant for a water-damaged laptop?

Rice can be used as a desiccant, but specialized desiccants such as silica gel packets are more effective in removing moisture.

Does the type of liquid affect the damage caused to a laptop?

Yes, the type of liquid can influence the damage caused to a laptop. Liquids with high levels of impurities, such as saltwater or sugary beverages, can cause more extensive damage than pure water.

Is it possible to replace just the damaged components of a water-damaged laptop?

Yes, it is possible to replace damaged components selectively; however, this can be time-consuming and potentially expensive, particularly for specialized or hard-to-find parts.