Mac mini Model A1283 Top Housing Replacement

Remove the top housing to access your mini's internals.

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Edit Step 1 Top Housing  ¶ 

  • You can skip this step if you bought your putty knife from iFixit. Putty knives purchased from iFixit come with pre-ground edges.

  • You'll need a putty knife in order to open the case. A 1.5 inch thin putty knife will work well, but you'll want to grind the edge down. Rub the putty knife's short edge back and forth on a sheet of all purpose rough grit sandpaper (100 grit will work fine) until it attains a beveled edge.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert a putty knife into the crevice in between the top cover and bottom housing. Start on the left side first. Push the blade down until you meet firm resistance (roughly 3/8 of an inch).

  • Gently enlarge the existing crevice by rotating the putty knife downward and away from the mini.

  • This is easier if you use two putty knives. Insert the first putty knife at the point on the left side where the gap is largest, press the handle of the knife downward and away from the mini.

  • Then insert the second knife next to it and push that knife down and out.

  • Take the first knife out of the mini and put it back in on the other side of the second knife, push down and out.

  • Repeat this process all the way around the mini.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Repeat the prying motion until a portion of the bottom housing has been nudged upward.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Repeat the same prying procedure on the right side.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The top cover should now be marginally separated from the bottom housing. Use your fingers to completely separate the two, starting with the I/O side of the mini.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Mac mini Model A1283 device page.

Required Tools

1.5" Thin Putty Knife

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Would you please post photo of the resulting mac mini case (both metal and plastic part) after these steps? I would like to know if there is any scratches by applying these technique. Thanks.

jonesuki, · Reply

Quote from jonesuki:

Would you please post photo of the resulting mac mini case (both metal and plastic part) after these steps? I would like to know if there is any scratches by applying these technique. Thanks.

Use businesscards between case & putty knife if you don't want any scratches. Worked for me.

info5825, · Reply

I tried using business cards with the putty knife, but in the initial stages there just isn't enough room in the slit to get them in there with the putty knife. I was also really worried about scratching the case, but just went really slowly with the putty knife and mine came out scratch free. :)

jeffkao, · Reply

To avoid scratches from wayward putty knife behaviour, masking tape along the thin perimeter edge of the aluminum case can be your friend. :-)

Alternatively, Good/High quality, *Clear* packing tape (parcel tape) is friendly, too. In my experience, the better quality tapes don't leave a residue when you peel it off of the aluminum case. For easier application to the thin lip of the case, cut a length of tape, then split it down the middle.

My anecdotal tips:

1. Working with old or dried-out masking tape is a maddening exercise. If the tape tears or breaks as you peel it off the roll, it's time for a new roll.

2. If, when you hear the word "tape", your knee-jerk reaction is to grab "duct tape", then Stop! Put down the duct tape. Take a deep breath and walk away from the roll. Using Jack Bauer measures to leverage your Mac Mini with duct tape a putty knife is sure to leave a sticky mess after you've negotiated, or in Jack's case, "softened-up" the housing.

Chloe O'Brian: Jack, um, I know it's not your style -- please don't use the duct tape.

Peter, · Reply

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