MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 Trackpad Replacement

Replace the Trackpad in your MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011.

Use this guide to replace the trackpad.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Before proceeding, power down your machine. Close the display and lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 9 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.6 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

  • The special screwdriver needed to remove the eight 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the Air to disconnect the battery from the logic board.

  • Do not lift upward on the connector as you disconnect it.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • Three 6.3 mm T5 Torx screws

    • Two 2.4 mm T5 Torx screws

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • When handling the battery, avoid squeezing or touching the four exposed lithium polymer cells.

  • Lift the battery from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.

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Edit Step 6 Trackpad  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap (on the side opposite the cable), not the socket itself.

  • Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the rear edge of the Air.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • While carefully lifting the keyboard ribbon cable with one hand, use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the keyboard ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the following twelve screws:

    • Six 1.6 mm Phillips screws securing the trackpad to the upper case.

    • Six 1.6 mm Phillips screws securing the trackpad brackets to the trackpad.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the right and left trackpad brackets from the upper case.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the 1.4 mm T5 Torx set screw from its tapped hole near the front edge of the upper case.

  • During reassembly, do not over-tighten the set screw, as the button will cease to click at a certain point. Adjust the set screw until the movable side of the trackpad has minimal play.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to carefully lift the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by lifting it away from the brackets attached to the upper case.

  • Remove the trackpad from the upper case.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T5 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

The Apple tech repair guide for this model of Macbook Air states that the flexures use Phillips #000 screws, but I didn't have good luck using #000 drivers on them. A high quality precision Phillips #00 driver worked a little better, but I'm wondering if this is actually a JIS cross point phillips #00 or #000 screwdriver? The screws look more like JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) instead of Phillips, anyone try a JIS with better luck on these?

iphonetechtips, · Reply

Yes..I did, and it worked much better... I actually almost stripped out a screw using regular phillips head, rather than the JIS one...

breezyjr, · Reply

Great guide, all worked as described. Thanks!

Yes, the screws don't seem to quite match expectations; I used three different #00/#000 drivers before I got a good fit.

Step 7: Could use just a bit more detailed explanation and/or picture. The retainer is on the "back" edge of the connector (facing off the long edge of the trackpad, opposite of Step 6), and takes a mix of delicate firmness to raise. Practice on your replacement (if available).

Step 8: My replacement trackpad came with the trackpad bracket attached, so no need to remove the 6 (orange-circled) screws attaching bracket to trackpad, which can be removed and installed with the bracket attached.

Step 10, reinstalling: Getting the set-screw correctly adjusted was a bit hit-n-miss. My assumption was in far enough to just stop movement, then back off a turn or so. That ended up too loose. YMMV.

Guy Noir, · Reply

I have just finished, there was a scary moment when I managed to somehow cause the retainer clip for keyboard ribbon to fall off the new track pad while I was fitting the cable. I put it together anyway but - of course the keyboard did not work!!! I then took it apart and somehow with the use of an illuminated magnifier, I managed to push the retainer clip back on to the prongs and it works!!

Michael S

Michael Standley, · Reply

I stripped one of the six 1.6mm screws securing the trackpad to the upper case. Where could I get a replacement and what are the exact dimensions (I assume that 1.6mm is the length not the head size). Not sure whether this is the right place to post this, but I would be very thankful for some help.

Karl, · Reply

The 00 philips driver is not working for these 6 screws...very frustrated....

Adam, · Reply

The 00 phillips screw driver does not do the job for step 8!!!!!!!!! FRUSTRATING!

anonymous 1446, · Reply

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