MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Trackpad Replacement

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MacBook Pro 15" trackpad replacement.

Has your MacBook Pro lost its magic touch? Bring it back with a new trackpad.

Sections
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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

  • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

  • Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

  • If the latch is depressed it will lock the battery in place.

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Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 5.4 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 14 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

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Edit Step 6 Mid Wall  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 5 screws securing the mid wall to the upper case:

    • Three 10.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 3.7 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the mid wall out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 8 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Remove the following six screws securing both the right fan and the left fan to the logic board:

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Two 3.2 mm Phillips screws.

  • Use a spudger to pry both the right fan and left fan connectors straight up and out of their sockets 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 9  ¶ 

  • Lift both fans out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the optical drive connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • If necessary, peel off the foam bumper covering the subwoofer connector.

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the subwoofer connector straight up off the logic board.

  • Be very careful. This connector is delicate, and can be easily broken off the logic board.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry the trackpad connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Using the tip of a spudger, flip up the IR/sleep LED ribbon cable retaining flap.

  • Pull the IR/sleep LED ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the battery indicator light connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Using the tip of a spudger, flip up the keyboard ribbon cable retaining flap.

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

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Using the tip of a spudger, flip up the express card cage ribbon cable retaining flap.

  • Pull the express card cage ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, pry the microphone cable connector straight up off the logic board.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • 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 connector straight away from its socket.

  • When disconnecting the display data cable, do not pull on the black tab secured to the cable lock. We recommend wiggling the cable while applying tension to slowly "walk" the connector out of its socket.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Locate the keyboard backlight ribbon cable (near the left fan space).

  • Using the tip of a spudger, flip up the keyboard backlight ribbon cable retaining flap.

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

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Remove seven 3.2 mm Phillips screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

  • Do not remove the logic board yet! There are connectors attached to the underside of the logic board that must first be disconnected.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Remove two 7 mm Phillips screws securing the DC-in board to the upper case.

  • Note: This step is not completely necessary, but it will make it easier to disconnect the cable that is connected to the DC-in board.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove two 3.5 mm Phillips screws securing the bottom case clip to the upper case.

  • Lift the bottom case clip out of the upper case.

  • Some MacBook Pro Unibodies do not have a bottom case clip and do not require this step.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the logic board assembly from the left side and work it out of the upper case, minding the port side that may get caught during removal.

  • Do not entirely remove the logic board yet!

  • Ensure that the logic board is free from all connections to the upper case (except the battery connector) before proceeding.

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • Lift the logic board enough to grab the battery connector and pull it straight away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Lift the logic board assembly out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 27 Trackpad  ¶ 

  • Deroute the camera data cable from its channel on the optical drive.

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case:

    • Two 2.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 3.5 mm Phillips screw.

  • Lift the optical drive out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the subwoofer and right speaker to the upper case:

    • Two 3.2 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 2.6 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 5.0 mm Phillips screw.

  • Lift the subwoofer and right speaker assembly out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger underneath the trackpad ribbon cable and gently peel it up from the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Open your MacBook Pro and set it on a table as shown.

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • While holding the edge of the trackpad closest to the logic board with one hand, remove the six 1.3 mm Phillips screws securing the two brackets to the trackpad.

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • While holding the trackpad in place with your left hand, fold the top of the trackpad ribbon cable down with your right hand so that it fits through its slot in the upper case.

  • Feed the ribbon cable through the slot as you push the portion of the trackpad closest to the keyboard out of the upper case.

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • With the cable free, remove the trackpad from the upper case.

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • To replace the trackpad brackets, you must first remove the black covers that hold them to the upper case.

  • Remove the four 2.7 mm Phillips screws from the two trackpad bracket covers.

  • The small metal brackets may fall off once the covers are removed. When replacing them it is easiest to set them in place with a pair of tweezers.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

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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 · 39 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

aguib, · Reply

Quote from aguib:

The A1286 has no Access Door.!!

I actually can see no sign of the battery!...

I assume you have the newer model, with the built-in battery. It's still removable with tools, but these are the wrong instructions for that model.

lgc90, · Reply

when will there be a guide for the other unibody macbook pro. that does not have an access door?

irishking, · Reply

Is there a manual to show, how disasembly the display, i mean, after step 5, to check the display between lcd and aluminiun back case?

Max

Max, · Reply

On other guides you state the height of the HD that can be supported, e.g. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Insta... , I have read ( but have not confirmed ) that the uni-body MacBook Pro can be fitted with the 750GB and 1TB 12mm drive from Western Digital.

Can you confirm this?

Many thanks in advance.

ahothabeth, · Reply

Quote from SHerwood Ball:

My display and aluminum casing has separated.

I don't know if it just snaps back together or does it need to be glued.

I dropped mine on the carpeted stairs and the display still works.

I'm hoping I can just snap it back together and that no plastic pieces or teeth of the snapping

portion have been broken........

SHerwood Ball, · Reply

When you say "left fan" is this "left when looking at the logic board after turning the computer over and looking it up opening it up" or "left when sitting at the computer keyboard and typing on it"?

thvv, · Reply

We always use left and right in reference to the computer when you're using it.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

About midway along each edge is a snap. To release each snap, gently slide the flat edge of a Spudger under the lower case, then lift the lower case away.

jonathansturges, · Reply

Pry under the side where the wires connect.

colleenthompson, · Reply

There's a little shiny piece of plastic holding this item in place to keep it from sliding out of it's slot. It's glued on and if you don't take it off first, you'll likely bend the connector so that it won't work anymore. Ruined a motherboard because this step was missing.

maccentric, · Reply

What this guy said - REMOVE the shiny plastic block first. Also the "straight away" means sliding outwards TOWARDS THE OPTICAL BAY - *NOT* upwards.

Damien, · Reply

On reassembly, check carefully that none of the fiddly little cables are trapped under the logic board. I had to back up and liberate the subwoofer connector. It takes some careful jiggling to get the sockets seated in the port holes.

colleenthompson, · Reply

The two screws closest to the optical drive have smaller heads. (May not be critical.)

Marty Swartz, · Reply

My clip is oriented 180 degrees (flipped) from this picture.

colleenthompson, · Reply

The bottom case clip is screwed to a black plastic bracket that's glued onto the upper case. My replacement upper case did not come with this bracket. I had to carefully pry it off the old upper case, taking care not to break it, and glue it to the new upper case before replacing the logic board.

colleenthompson, · Reply

I have a 2.66ghz 15inch Unibody Macbook Pro (A1286) and this step was not necessary.

Andrew Mostajo, · Reply

Quote from Andrew Mostajo:

I have a 2.66ghz 15inch Unibody Macbook Pro (A1286) and this step (24) was not necessary.

Andrew Mostajo, · Reply

Apropos to the last tip in this step, the replacement unibody I purchased omitted the receiving end of this clip, but it was in my original. As it only captures (but does not secure) a small metal tab on the bottom cover, I skipped transferring it.

Brett Deriso, · Reply

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