My M1 MacBook Air Stinks – It’s Not What You Think



In this video we talk about my new M1 MacBook Air and why it stinks. No, I mean it actually smells like mold or a very strong chemical smell. Let me explain.

After getting two new M1 MacBook Airs both had a terrible mildew smell when I opened the box. I was able to narrow down the almost toxic smell to the USB-C cable shipping with the brand new unit. The smell was so bad that it made the computer and package smell for quite some time after opening the box. Does your new MacBook Air (M1) smell too? I wanted to make a video to see if anybody else is having this same issue or did I just have incredibly bad luck by getting two in a row with the same smell.

I did find a great usb-c cable to use as a replacement:

UNI USB-C Cable – https://amzn.to/3f7Ao29

But, when you buy such an expensive piece of equipment I think you should get a cable you don’t need to replace right away.

Note: If you order anything using an affiliate link the channel could receive a small commission on the sale. .

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28 Comments

  1. I have just opened my new M1 MacBook Air. The Macbook and the cable have extremely strong bad chemical smell. I left them in a room. One hour later, the whole room began stinking really bad.Then, I went to YouTube and searched for "Macbook Air stinks." And that's how I found your video. I bought this Macbook Air direct from the Apple website.

  2. My employer just shipped me a new M1 this week and same exact situation: the cord smells so badly that it's stunk up the closet where I keep the computer when I'm not using it. I am particularly sensitive to mildew and mold smells, so I will definitely be buying the alternate cord you recommend and this stinky cord is going outside in my storage shed.

  3. Just bought one a few days ago. Opened the box and it stunk like mold. Eyes watering, tickley throat, and kind of horrified this could be coming from Apple! I brought it back today. They gave me a replacement which I opened in the store – the laptop itself was fine – but the cord! The Apple guy said that was normal and I said okay and left. At least the laptop was fine. I went home and cleaned the cable, went to another room to set up and a few hours later, plugged in. Yuck!!!! Have you asked Apple for a different cord? Why should we have to buy one.
    This is the last thing Apple should want. I can’t belive I have to go back to the store.

  4. MacBook Air – Smells like acetates/acetone to me. Strong and toxic… and the cord has a greasy feel.

  5. I got a new m1 macbook pro and it smelled funky and i just Search it up and I found this video.
    And now that I smell the cable I know what you mean it smells bad

  6. Just received my brand new MacBook Air M1 direct from Apples online store last Friday and the cable stinks! Worse part is I just noticed a really small ding in the top side and I have barely used the thing so far. Maybe gonna return it. 😡

  7. This title is misleading; it's not about the MacBook being smelly, it's about a cable being smelly.

  8. I had this smell with other cables such as HDMI cables, it smells kind of food spices, is this the smell u guys are referring to?

  9. My Macbook Air M1 cable doesn’t smell at all really. Meanwhile, I’m loving the smell of the laptop itself!

  10. Yo that's bad. You were like, it stinks. I was like, so what it smells like gross plastic? Nah, you said, it smelled like MOLD. Im so sorry you had to experience that. I've only bought a new MacBook two or three times in my life but I remember always loving the way they smell fresh out the box. Kinda like the new car smell. its form the materials & manufacturing process. If I bought a new computer and it smelled like mold, no cap, I would return it. That to me is easily enough of a reason.

  11. Thought it was just me. Bought an M1 MacBook Air from Best Buy this week and the box reeked. Found the source to be the same others; the cable. Causes an immediate headache. Hoping to reach out to Apple for a solution. Lots of items from Asia seem to be smelling more and more like this. I had a foam wedge pillow that smelled the same way. Would make me gag. Had to return it despite airing it out for days.

  12. I bought a brand new MB-Air M1 yesterday and was very excited until I opened the box. A penetrating mildew smell came towards me. The first thought that came to my mind: this box must have been stored in a moldy warehouse. But no, the smell came directly from in the box.

    I am not sure if it is really mold or if it is a chemical whose smell is similar to that of mold. The USBC Charging cable smells the worst but it is also the MB-Air M1 which smells too. If I come closer to the keyboard I can smell it.

    I am more than disappointed with this apple product. I have apple products since 2010: the white macbook early 2010, 2 macbook pros one from 2016 and one from 2018 , iphone 6 s and 6 s plus. I have never had this awful smell that gives me a headache. This cannot be healthy!

    The USBC charging cable feels cheap too. I stored it outside and hope the smell from it and from the MB-Air will offgas over time. But I think Apple should know that so I plan to contact the Apple support tomorrow.

    My hope is low that returning this one and getting a new one will solve this problem. I fear Apple uses components that might be cheaper but offgas a lot.

    Greetings from Germany.

  13. Yeah I've had this problem. I only just got it today except it was only the cable that smells bad. I've had this happen with my Google pixel 2 xl cable before. Idk, seems strange but mine wasn't so strong that it was unbearable. It was just the cable. Not the MacBook air

  14. I purchased the new 24inch iMac and the smell was so bad, it triggered a really bad migraine and full blown asthma attack.

  15. Same smell coming form m1 MacBook Air's thunderbolt port and from the display hinge and around the keyboard.

  16. I'm having that toxic smell coming from the vents from my keyboard in my macbook pro (2012 version). What could be causing that ?

  17. dude please help me it smells so bad to me I went to apple they only fixed “ the heating problem “ Me and My Family bought it so expensive and it’s so hard to use when it smells so horrible what do I do man

  18. Yes! We had the exact same situation today! Our USB-C charging cable even had black/grey marks on it so we knew it was mould. The smell is awful and I remember the smell of my 2010 iMac being so new/fresh. What a disappointment. 

    But! Called Apple Care straight away to complain, mainly because we actually purchased Apple Care and thought this is exactly why we got it, but I'd advise calling even if you didn't. The first person we spoke to tried to tell us just to "air it out for a couple of days", luckily my wife has a very strong aversion to the negative health effects of mould and stood her ground asking for a realistic solution, so they transferred us to Australian Support who immediately and apologetically arranged a replacement machine and a courier to collect the smelly one.

    Good luck to anyone else who has this problem, stand your ground and send it back (it can't be healthy to be around mouldy gear!), there's a lot of examples to be found online with a quick Google search.

  19. I have exactly the same problem. It makes me sick. The cable and my Macbook Air M1 (around the keyboard and hinge) smells horrible even after 4 month now. I had macbooks since the power pc times and never had a macbook smelled that persistent horrible. Seriously wtf.

  20. i bought mine yesterday and same problem. i put the cable away but even the computer still has a great amount of smell on it. its heavy and its extremely disappointing and annoying. i am pretty worried as i already have a lungs condition.

  21. M1 Mac Mini – black power cable has strong mold/chemical smell as well. Felt it immediately, and haven't even attempted to use it (left it in the box). It is good that first release of M1 Mac Mini comes with a standard power connector, so that cable is easily replaceable. Now waiting for the ordered iMac 24 (M1) to arrive… that would be a shame if it will be the same issue. I'm quite sensitive for such toxic smells (would be a no go for me). Thanks for sharing your experience Craig! I'm really curious why all those famous reviewers on Youtube are not touching this topic?

  22. mine too, it is macbook air m1 , it smells like li ion battery is damaged, it works fine, but the closer i get my nose to the keyboard the stronger the smell it is intolerable

  23. Me too. I just received my new MB-Air M1 1TB today. All nicely packed and originally sealed. When I opened it, I was overcome by a penetrating musty smell. This although I was in the garden , so outdoors. The smell is deep in the original box, in the USBC charging cable and in the notebook itself.
    I am suffering from allergies and promptly had an asthma attack. I bought my MacBook from a licensed Swiss Apple dealer.
    I had already noticed lung problems starting last year, just a few days after buying and using a new iMac 27". And whenever I worked with it. However, I thought it was a strange coincidence and would have felt paranoid to associate the two things.
    Today I am no longer sure that a connection can be excluded.
    Tomorrow I will contact Apple directly and the authorised dealer.

  24. Same… My mailbag now smells, my note book now smells and even my headphones now smell. I thought for sure it was my new Macbook Air but you could be right its the cable.

  25. Definitely have had this mildew smell with several Apple products. Presently have a problem with the MacBook Air and two iPhones that smell like exhaust fumes when turned on. The only thing all the devices had in common is thet all have been run off the iPhone(s) as a hotspot (for very extended periods). It smells toxic, makes my eyes water, makes me cough, but only when turned on. It is near tolerable when working outdoors with a good breeze or under conditions in which there is high humidity outside. The specialist recommended by Apple would not leave the devices on long enough to really heat up.

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