MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2011 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
Image #1

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

Image #1

Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

  • For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), disconnecting the battery connector is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not disconnect the battery connector, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • 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.

Image #1

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 Left Fan  ¶ 

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

    • Two 3.5 mm T6 Torx screws.

    • One 4.2 mm T6 Torx screw.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left fan connector from 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.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the left fan out of the upper case.

Image #1

Edit Step 8 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the right fan connector 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.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 3.4 mm (3.1 mm) T6 Torx screws securing the right fan to the logic board.

  • Lift the right fan out of its opening in the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pull the camera cable out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Don't lift upward on the camera cable as you disconnect it. Pulling upward on the cable may damage both the cable and the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the optical drive connector out of its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive/IR sensor cable from its socket on the logic board by lifting up from beneath its connector.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the subwoofer/right speaker connector out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Pry up from beneath the wires.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 1.5 mm ( 1.2 mm ) Phillips screws securing the keyboard/trackpad cable cover to the logic board.

  • Lift the cover off the logic board and set it aside.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the trackpad connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • 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 18  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery indicator connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • 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.

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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

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

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

Image #1

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Remove the following nine screws:

    • Seven 3.4 mm ( 3.1 mm) T6 Torx screws on the logic board

    • Two 8 mm T6 Torx screws on the DC-In board

Image #1

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Carefully lift the logic board assembly from its left side and work it out of the upper case, minding the optical drive cable and the I/O ports that may get caught during removal.

  • If necessary, use the flat end of a spudger to separate the microphone from the upper case.

  • Pull the I/O port side of the logic board away from the side of the upper case and remove the logic board assembly.

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Edit Step 23 Battery  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.5 mm ( 7.2 mm )Tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the battery warning label off the upper case between the battery and the optical drive to reveal an additional Tri-wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.5 mm ( 7.2 mm ) Tri-wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Do not remove the label from the battery.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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

Image #1

Edit Step 26 Trackpad  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to peel up the edge of the large piece of black tape covering the trackpad cable.

  • Peel the tape up and fold it back out of the way of the trackpad cable. Leaving it in place on the upper case will make it easier to reapply it during reassembly.

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Open your MacBook Pro about 90 degrees and set it on its side on a table.

  • Remove the four silver 1.3 mm Phillips #00 screws from the trackpad spring brackets.

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • While keeping a hold on the trackpad ribbon cable with one hand to keep it from tearing or creasing, ease the trackpad out of the upper case.

  • Move the trackpad back and to the right.

Image #1

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Once the trackpad is free of the upper case, guide the ribbon cable through the slot cut in the upper case.

Image #1

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • When reinstalling the trackpad, loosely replace the four Phillips screws and check the alignment of the trackpad on the keyboard side of the upper case.

  • Once you have centered the trackpad in the upper case, tighten the Phillips screws all the way.

  • Use the large tri-wing screw at the bottom of the trackpad to adjust the click stroke.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2011 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 26 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

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 · 39 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

nails work pretty well as well...

Sibe Jan Kramer, · Reply

At first sight I was confused when I read the description at this step, 'cause it seemed that disconnecting the battery connector was optional, in order to eliminate static discharge. While it's a helpful advice in other circumstances (as mentioned as an example changing hard drives), when changing the battery it is not an option - you have to disconnect the battery connector.

It would have been better to mention the optional disconnecting recommendation in a side-note.

Other than that, an excellent guide!

Damienn, · Reply

the fact that this step is optional can not be stressed enough. i tried disconnecting the battery and in the process it short circuited which now leaves me with an even more expensive problem than i had before when i just wanted to change hard drives (at least the new hard drive works fine..)

the hard drive changing worked though.

nina, · Reply

Excellent guide, it was as easy as a breeze to replace my battery. I can't believe I nearly followed Apple in their saying that this part was not user replaceable. Great job for this description, and many thanks. iFixIt is THE reference for Mac owners.

Patrick.

Patrick Demaret, · Reply

So - I have a weird comment about this. I wanted to make sure that I was getting the right model - so I opened up my laptop and then thought "well, why not just remove the battery while i'm in here, it's shot anyway". Though, I forgot about the stupid screws (Apple really did us over on that one!). Though I disconnected the battery connector and didn't bother to re-connect it when I was finished and just put the cover back on.

Here's the weird part - when I went to turn my laptop back on...MY BATTERY WAS RECOGNIZED...AND WORKING! I was under the impression that the connector "connects" the battery's charge to the laptop, but this just doesn't make sense! Plus, now my very dead battery is in "normal" condition according to the system report. I haven't worked for apple, but have about 5 years of IT experience and am baffled by this! I'm starting to think i've experience a miracle! Has this happened to anyone else?

Shelly, · Reply

Of course, this is not the right fan but the left in the picture.

maccentric, · Reply

Need a better picture of the zif connector. You lift the lock from the side farthest from the flat cable, and it lifts toward the cable. When reinserting be sure to get the cable all the way or you may have only half the keyboard working.

Jim, · Reply

I could use some advice on reinserting the ZIF cable firmly in its socket. I can get it started, but getting it far enough in to make contact is difficult, given its flexibility. Any tips on manipulating it?

CJ Attias, · Reply

I used a piece of sticky tape that I attached to the ZIF cable, then pulled firmly on the tape (attached to the cable) to get the ZIF cable to seat properly. The tape held to the cable, the ZIF cable seated properly, and the keyboard worked.

robertemcgee,

The metallic flap controlled by the plastic handle looks like it could easily break... a safer route is to grab the shielded cable after rotating the metal flap out of socket and gently pry it out of the socket by applying force parallel to the logic board. It will probably take a few minutes but you could save yourself some gray hairs.

This is the hardest step IMO

brbulic, · Reply

Indeed this s the hardest step.its not clear from the instruction that there are two elements to this component. The connector and also a metal retaining clip that needs to be rotated off the connector first.

mail, · Reply

I had a little difficulty pulling the motherboard before the battery. I'm not sure why you would want to do it in the order listed here, but doing steps 23 and 24 first helped the board come out easier.

maccentric, · Reply

Mine did not have this tape.

maccentric, · Reply

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