How do I keep my Apple Watch from scratching up my MacBook Pro?

That means there are some skills we have to relearn. One bad habit I've gotten into, and some of you have, judging from my email, is letting my wrists touch the palm rest area on my MacBook.

C.R. writes:

I'm worried that the clasp on my Apple Watch is going to start scratching up the area to the left of my Retina MacBook Pro's trackpad. I've seen palm rest covers for sale that should fit my model. Are they safe?

It was more than a decade ago that I got my first PowerBook G4. Apple made those using titanium, and they scratched if you looked at them funny. I wore a watch and noticed after a couple of weeks that its metal strap had absolutely wreaked hell on my brand new PowerBook.

Off went the watch. I got my first cell phone shortly thereafter. It had a clock on it so I didn't think much more about wearing another watch, until the Apple Watch came out. So as a Retina MacBook Pro user myself, this question piqued my curiosity.

Turns out that Apple says unequivocally not to use either palm rest covers or keyboard covers with that particular model.

Leaving any material on the top case (keyboard and palm rest area) could result in damage to the display when you close it. This includes palm rest or keyboard covers, as well as any adhesive-backed keycap additions.

If you're using a MacBook Air or an older non-Retina MacBook Pro, vendors make such protective gear that should be safe to use for those models. But if you're using a Retina MacBook Pro, I'd recommend following Apple's instructions and avoid them. I haven't seen any such accessories for the new MacBook, but I suspect it falls into the same category as the Retina MacBook Pro.

If you're worried that your Apple Watch band is going to scratch up your MacBook Pro, you might want to reconsider your keyboard technique. Ideally your wrists should be straight and slightly elevated from the surface of the laptop, which will keep the clasp on your Apple Watch from scratching up your MacBook.

Another alternative to consider, at least if you're using the laptop in a stationary position most of the time, is to opt for an external keyboard. That's how I work most of the time when I'm not on the road or drinking coffee at Starbucks.

Peter Cohen