As part of Apple's response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company has closed all Apple Stores outside of Greater China until March 27. That's the right thing to do in order to help prevent the spread of this disease, but it also makes it harder to get your Apple product serviced. If you iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch ever needed repairs, you used to take it to your nearest Apple Store. Now what?
You're not stuck waiting for your local Apple Store to reopen and then fighting with everyone else for a service appointment. Here are some steps you can take to get your broken Apple gear fixed while the Apple Stores are closed.
Find a nearby authorized repair center
Your nearest Apple Store may be closed, but there's a good chance that some other computer repair store that is officially authorized to fix Apple gear (with official Apple parts) is open.
Start by going to locate.apple.com and selecting Service & Support. The site will walk you through a series of choices—selecting the product that needs fixing and what's wrong with it—and then will show you the locations of local authorized repair centers that can do the work.
Call or chat with Apple support
A surprising number of problems can be fixed without replacing hardware. If you have a shattered screen or a broken Lightning connector, of course that needs a hardware fix. But some issues can be worked through over the phone or in a chat session.
Start by going to support.apple.com/repair and choose Start a repair request. You'll choose which product you need help with and a general category of problem, and Apple will provide you with a phone number to call or can start an online support chat with you. If they determine that your device needs physical repair, they'll set you up with a repair appointment or provide instructions to ship in your device for repair.
Ship your device in for repair
You can't go to an Apple Store to get your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch fixed right now, but you can ship it to Apple and they'll ship it back when the repairs are done.
Begin with a call or chat support session as above. Once the repair tech determines that your device needs repair, they'll arrange for shipping.
If your device is already being repaired, how can you get it back?
Apple's FAQ about its retail store closures says that "If your device is ready for pick up or is awaiting parts, a Team Member will contact you with details." You'll be able to pick up a device that is ready for pickup at the Apple Store through 5 p.m. on March 16, but after that, we don't know exactly how Apple will return devices. It might arrange specific times for users to go to closed Apple Stores to pick up devices, or it might ship them back to you. Apple will be in touch to let you know what's up, and you can always check the status of your repairs at getsupport.apple.com.