MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Upper Case Replacement

Replace the upper case in your Mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody.

Replacing the upper case requires the removal of nearly every component in your MacBook Pro. You will also need to transfer your old trackpad over to your new upper case.

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

  • Remove the lower case.

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Edit Step 3 Battery Connection  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

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Edit Step 5 Fan  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of a spudger to gently pry the fan connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

  • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the logic board:

    • One 7.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • Two 5.3 mm T6 Torx screws

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of its recess in the logic board, minding its cable that may get caught.

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Edit Step 8 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the right speaker/subwoofer cable out from under the retaining finger molded into the upper case.

  • Pull the right speaker/subwoofer cable upward to lift the connector out of its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable from the logic board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board. Pulling the cable upward may damage the logic board or the cable itself.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the following four cables:

    • AirPort/Bluetooth cable

    • Optical drive cable

    • Hard drive cable

    • Trackpad cable

  • To disconnect the cables, use the flat end of a spudger to pry their connectors up from the sockets on the logic board.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use 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.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • If present, remove the small strip of black tape covering the keyboard backlight cable socket.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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

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

  • Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery indicator connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer.

  • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove the following nine screws:

    • Five 3.6 mm T6 Torx screws

    • Two 4.3 mm T6 Torx screws

    • Two 7.2 mm T6 Torx screws

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws:

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips screw

    • One 5.5 mm Phillips screw

  • Remove the display data cable retainer from the upper case.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to gently peel the microphone off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Minding the many connectors near its edges, lift the logic board from the end nearest the optical drive.

  • Without flexing the board, maneuver it out of the upper case, minding the flexible connection to the DC-In board that may get caught in the upper case.

  • Remove the logic board.

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Edit Step 20 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws:

    • One 5.6 mm Tri-wing screw

    • One 13 mm Tri-wing screw

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the battery warning label off the upper case between the battery and the optical drive.

  • Do not remove the label from the battery.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Use the attached plastic pull tab to help remove the battery from the upper case.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

  • These screws will remain captive to the hard drive bracket.

  • Remove the hard drive bracket.

  • The hard drive bracket may be firmly seated against the upper case.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Use the attached pull tab to lift the hard drive out of the upper case.

  • Pull the hard drive cable away from the body of the hard drive.

  • Remove the hard drive.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 9.7 mm Phillips screws

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel up the thin IR sensor/sleep LED ribbon cable from the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Pull the front hard drive bracket containing the IR sensor/sleep LED away from the front edge of the upper case.

  • Remove the hard drive cable.

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Carefully move the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable out of the way as you peel the camera cable off the adhesive securing it to the subwoofer and the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

  • De-route the camera cable out from under the retaining finger molded into the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the four antenna connectors boxed in red in the first picture.

  • To do so, use the tip of a spudger to pry their connectors up from the sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

  • De-route each of the cables from their channels in the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Remove the following five screws:

    • Two 10.3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 3.1 mm Phillips screws

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Pull the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly and the Subwoofer upward near the center of the side of the optical drive until they clear each other.

  • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board assembly.

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 2.7 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Lift the optical drive from the edge nearest the display and remove it from the upper case.

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Peel the right speaker cable off the upper case.

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Use a plastic opening tool or another thin prying object to carefully pry the right speaker up from the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

  • Start prying up from the edge of the right speaker nearest the display. Starting from the other side may damage one of the antennas.

  • Pry up along the edge of the right speaker until it is separated from the upper case.

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Edit Step 36  ¶ 

  • Pull the right speaker out from under the optical drive opening.

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • Remove two of the three 6 mm T8 Torx screws securing the right side of the display to the upper case.

  • We purposely have you leave one screw attaching the display to the upper case to aid in future steps.

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Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • Remove the small piece of foam tape covering the left display hinge screws.

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Edit Step 39  ¶ 

  • Remove two of the three 6 mm T8 Torx screws securing the left side of the display to the upper case.

  • We purposely have you leave one screw attaching the display to the upper case to aid in future steps.

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Edit Step 40  ¶ 

  • Open your MacBook Pro so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

  • Place your opened MacBook Pro on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • Remove the last remaining T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Edit Step 42  ¶ 

  • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

  • Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

  • Upper case remains.

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Edit Step 43 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws highlighted in red.

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Edit Step 44  ¶ 

  • Carefully dislodge the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by pushing it away from the brackets attached to the upper case.

  • De-route the trackpad cable through its slot cut into the upper case.

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Edit Step 45  ¶ 

  • Pull the trackpad away from the outer edge of the upper case.

  • Remove the trackpad and set it aside.

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Edit Step 46  ¶ 

  • In the following steps, you will be working on your new upper case.

  • Use a T6 Torx screwdriver to loosely install the 1.1 mm set screw included with your new upper case into its tapped hole near the middle of the trackpad opening on your new upper case.

  • Only tighten it about one turn for now.

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Edit Step 47  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert the cable from your old trackpad through its slot cut into your new upper case.

  • Use one hand to hold the trackpad cable in place as you insert the two retaining tabs on the outer edge of the trackpad under the lip on the upper case.

  • Pull the trackpad cable as you seat the trackpad into its void in your new upper case.

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Edit Step 48  ¶ 

  • Insert a 1.2 mm Phillips screw into each of the outer holes drilled into the trackpad (two screws total).

  • You'll install the rest in a bit.

  • Tighten the screws, then back them out about a quarter turn to aid in aligning your trackpad during the next few steps.

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Edit Step 49  ¶ 

  • While continually trying to click your trackpad, gently tighten the T6 Torx set screw until the clicks return to their factory "feel."

  • You can tell when the screw is tightened just right by the noise it makes when the trackpad clicks. If the set screw is too loose, the trackpad will have excessive play before it clicks. If it is too tight, the trackpad will click too easily and won't make the characteristic loud mouse clicking noise.

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Edit Step 50  ¶ 

  • Next, flip your upper case over so the keyboard side is facing up.

  • Align the trackpad so it is centered in its hole cut into the upper case.

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Edit Step 51  ¶ 

  • Tighten the outer two screws along the inner edge of the trackpad and check the alignment of it on the outer side of the upper case.

  • If its alignment looks good, install the rest of the Phillips screws along the inner edge of the trackpad.

  • Before reassembling your machine, verify that the set screw is still installed in a position so the mouse will click correctly.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 29 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 40 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Does void the warranty?

jfondeur, · Reply

No, it does not void the warranty. More specifically: http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/display...

oakdragon12, · Reply

How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

gunes314, · Reply

Also wondering how much weight I'd save by just removing. My drive is broken for ages, but I have not needed it in ages. The HD was already replaced by a cheap SSD (second best thing after upgrading to 8GB), so I'd appreciate losing some weight. I mean, the computer. Although I could lose some too... erm... well, anyway, I guess the lack of the DVD would not interfere with anything, right? Opinions?

Carlos Duarte do Nascimento, · Reply

I'm thinking you'd probably be OK losing the DVD drive without a problem. Just make sure the optical drive cable is secured or you might hear it rattling in there from time-to-time.

John Adam Wickliffe, · Reply

Hey guys,

this website is amazing. I read it to guide me on fixing my mac book pro, but on the video, the girl gives a wrong information.. She says that is not possible replace just the keyboard... But I managed to replace only my keyboard. It is boring because I have to remove approximately 70 screws but it is possible. Thanks a lot! You guys helped me save about US$300 thats because in Brazil some technicians would charge me with that amount!

I posted some pictures on your facebook page..

renatumb, · Reply

Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

Robert Wacker, · Reply

Great tutorial. I found that using a Phillips #0 in lieu of the #00 worked much better.

kschmesk, · Reply

Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

manodh, · Reply

yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on

khull,

This step is not really required. Apple does not recommend it.

Steven Layton, · Reply

Rather than be careful of the corners of the connector i would say don't use the spudger anywhere near the corners. While the corner looks like the obvious place to begin to pry it up from, it will break. Levering from the sides as the instructions suggest works well.

ausmkv, · Reply

These are T5 screws

dbell316, · Reply

The camera cable head has bump at both sides. Just use two spudgers to pry it out.

townbull, · Reply

2 of the 7 listed 4mm screws attaching the logic board are actually 4.5 or 5 mm.... unfortunately. I didn't notice that until I was reassembling. so I don't know which positions they came from.

starf1970, · Reply

2 of the 7 (the two red ones on the right side in the image) seem really hard to remove. Is there something I'm missing, or do I just need to try harder?

rubenwiersma, · Reply

The second picture shows exactly how things are assembled, so looking at the picture tells you if you done any mistake or not. The first picture is very good for an overview the second to show the details.

MacWiniac, · Reply

You can actually replace the keyboard alone fairly easily! I don't know why everyone says you have to replace the whole top case, because if you've got the guts to go this far, you might as well just peel back the illuminator cover and get to work pulling all those tiny screws in the keyboard... Just be careful when peeling up the black adhesive keyboard cover, because you will need to replace it. I used the edge of the ifixit Sesame tool (very thin flat metal opening tool) to carefully slip under any bits of adhesive, and had the keyboard exposed in no time. Also be careful because the clear plastic sheet is actually the keyboard illuminator. Once under all that, it's a mere 50 or so tiny screws, 2 screws in the power button backing, and you've got the keyboard out. Use a magnetized #000 phillips, it will make life much easier than anything else.

Logan Bean, · Reply

Absolutely right. I just replaced a keyboard the same way without much problem but i just want to add that those tiny screws need extra care as the heads can get damaged very easily. If damaged, they become very difficult to remove.

Masood,

I did just that on my mid-2010 MacBook Pro about a month ago and sadly will have to do it to my wife's Early-2011 one next week. I was cleaning all the crap off her keyboard and apparently nuked the K and 0 keys on her keyboard. Probably my ply challenge was aligning the keyboard illuminator. It's still not aligned properly on mine so some keys are better lit than others, but otherwise it was a relatively easy fix and far cheaper than replacing the entire upper case.

John Adam Wickliffe,

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