Abstract The contribution summarises results of the surface pre-treatment of Al Mg3 (EN-AW-5754) for bonding applications. Mainly the sheet samples were irradiated with a pulsed solid-state laser in different atmospheres. Afterwards the pre-treated surfaces were analysed by quantitative topographic measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The effect of surface pre-treatment on the strength of adhesively bonded specimens was evaluated by tensile lap-shear strength tests. The results were compared with conventional pre-treatment methods, such as anodic oxidation and others.