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Released in May 2020, the 13" MacBook Pro features quad-core Intel 8th generation Core i5 and i7 processors, and Intel Iris Plus 645 integrated graphics. (Model A2289/EMC3456 with two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

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TAB error or other display/connection problem?

I was trying to find answers for colored vertical lines that pop in and out of the display and eventually came across answers on iFixit that seems to indicate my issue is TAB related. I just wanted more information about TAB errors since I wanted to confirm that it’s the same issue that I’m currently experiencing!

The display randomly seems to return to normal when the laptop is on a flat surface and when the lid is not in motion. Is this indicative of TAB errors? Like some other posters have mentioned, pressure on the display does seem to multiply these lines, however after letting the display rest for a while it seems to go back to normal (no visible lines).

The lines seem to always pop up on the login screen but seem to disappear on the desktop page (which has the same image as the login). I’ve tried performing the hardware diagnostics and nvram reset but nothing seems to pop up as odd.

Lastly, is it likely that Apple would be able to replace the display since it’s still under warranty and there were no incidents involving falls/drops/pressure/water with the device?

Pics added in edit, screen is a little dirty but I think it’ll be clear to see.

Normal (No lines are visible whatsoever):

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When pressure is applied via finger:

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The screen returns to normal when on a flat surface and gets 3-5 lines when in motion at a specific small area.

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How about posting some pics or vids so we can see what you are facing Adding images to an existing question


@danj Apologies, maybe the pictures might help clarify the issue.


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Chosen Solution

Well … It could be a TAB error

Unlike the older 2015 MacBook Pro’s which routed the display cable through a hollow hinge, the 2016 and newer MacBook Pro’s use a split design moving the T-CON logic from within the lid to the main case area. This then requires the column and row lines to pass between the lid and the upper case as you can see here

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Photo credit: @just1ed

So what likely happened is you banged the clutch cover which protects the cables. a few of the lines got damaged. A TAB error tends to be one color as one of the columns of a given color is effected. Here you appear to have seven to eight connections effected which I’m thinking the ribbons got damaged.

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@danj So from what I'm understanding this seems to be even worse than a TAB error since the cables can't be replaced (whereas a display replacement would have been able to fix TAB errors). That's quite unfortunate... Do you think it's possible to get a replacement device under the warranty since the device has never left my desk since it was bought?


@albatrossen - It doesn't make a difference as you can't fix the LCD or replace the cables they are all part of the display assembly. So replacing the display fixes either issue.

Given how new the system is I would try to get if fixed under warranty.

Did you get AppleCare+ service contract. If you didn't I would first see about getting signed up before attempting to get it fixed if the warranty period still has a bit of time so in either case the display is fixed for free.


@danj Thank you so much for your help! I'm still well within the limited warranty period so would that alone be able to cover issues like this? Also it possible to get AppleCare+ after visiting the store and getting the issue checked out? I'm not too familiar with the whole Apple repair process unfortunately. I'll have to schedule an appointment very soon to get everything fixed it seems!


@albatrossen - We have a bit of a chicken and egg problem!

If they are unwilling to fix it under warranty then you are dependent on the AppeCare+ support,

But, the system needs to be in good working order before they will give you the AppleCare+ coverage. Once they see the defect then your cooked!

Which is why I would first try to get it covered so you have it as an option if needed.


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Hi @albatrossen I have the same problem, did you get it fixed under warranty? Thanks so much for posting!

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Sorry Jo,

If you have a 2020 MacBook Pro system its not likely to be covered under warranty given its age. Depending on your countries laws you might have a two year window. Even still physical damage to the system wouldn't be covered.

If you bought the AppleCare+ service contract when you bought your system it might be covered under it or at least at a reduced cost.


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jerry will be eternally grateful.
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