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Model A1419 / Late 2012 / 2.9 & 3.2 GHz Core i5 or 3.4 GHz Core i7 Processor, ID iMac13,2

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Display Falls Off After Repair - New Adhesive Not Sticking Properly

I've opened up a late 2012 iMac to replace the stock HDD with a Samsung Evo SSD. The computer was up and running and I restored everything etc. But after removing the old adhesive and putting on the new double sided adhesive tape from iFixit, the screen feel off, not one but 2x (I used new adhesive each time and removed most of the old adhesive as well).

Is there any trick to get the display to bond with the iMac frame/desktop itself? I'm getting worried about the display cracking and it's generally frustrating to keep spending money rebuying new adhesive. I used the included suction cups the 2nd time around, hoping that the pressure of those would help the screen and frame bond firmly & securely… but had no luck with that method obviously.

Thanks very much in advance for any tips and suggestions!

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I'll get a roller and use the alcohol to clean all the old adhesive off. But when you say leave the screen in the up position I assume you mean just tilt it up via the hinge? I also don't have a heat gun, but I wil get one for future projects.

Thanks for your response.


Fully horizontal flat on its back.

This allows the capillary bonding to finish between the adhesive and the metal and glass surfaces. The heat of the heat gun (mild) speeds it up the pressure from the roller makes sure the surfaces are fully engaged with each other.


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I always use the cut strips and I don’t have displays falling off! I don’t recommend using Tesa tape which is great stuff but! Is not designed to be removable in the same way. The iMac tapes are designed so the pizza cutter is able to break the adhesion.

So why are you have a problem??

How you clean the surfaces is the key here! Rubbing alcohol or cheap isopropyl alcohol have impurities which leave a film on the surface which interferes with the adhesion!

I always use reagent quality isopropyl alcohol 85% or better after I’ve used another solvent to remove the adhesive.

I use Goof Off Or other Citrus oil based Cleaner after scrapping the tape off using a Plastic Razor Blade but only on the metal case side. I use a micro cloth strip wrapped over the blade which has been wetted with the Goof Off. Which is based on a natural solvent from orange peel called d-limonene. I then go over the surfaces again with the same approach a fresh cloth strip using the isopropyl alcohol.

In addition I apply a bit pressure and mild heat to the edge after setting the glass. I also use a rubber roller to help press the display into the tape I also leave the screen in the up position (on its back) for the night so the weight of the screen is pressing down.

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FYI - I've damaged the display when someone had used Tesa tape please don't do it!


My trick to getting the old stuff off is to start pulling it up at one end and then just peal it off like tape. I very rarely have to use any adhesive remover. When I do I use GooGone.


@mayer - Yes, I do the same! Pulling slowly also helps not to leave residue.


@danj This advice is so valuable that it really ought to be in the official instructions and in any new video iFixit makes about resealing iMacs. Thank you so much.


I can't speak for Matthew, but I used the instructions provided by Dan, and it's been well over a month and my iMac's screen is fine. The difference may be that I used Goof Off and then reagent-quality isopropyl alcohol to carefully remove any residue from the previous adhesive. After it dried, I applied the new adhesive, and then after I re-attached the screen, I warmed the screen edges with a blow dryer and then used a rubber roller to press the edges of the screen onto the case. And, as per Dan, I left the screen to dry *horizontally* for more than a day, with the weight of the screen itself helping to cure the seal. I don't know why Matthew is having trouble, but likely it's the little things like what Dan described that make the difference.


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Be super careful if you are using plastic razor blades - if you go too hard on the back of the screen (the black sections on the edge where residue will be left) you can cause scoring of the tint. I also used the wrong cleaner in this area too - I used alcohol screen wipes which (with too much rubbing by me) caused some very light tint removal in a couple of places. Just use the goo gone as per above take your time with a cotton swab and the sticky stuff will come off. Re the tint damage (it’s hardly visible) but I’m thinking a black marker may fix this, anyone any suggestions? Does mean will have to redo the whole thing again but practice makes....

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@Adam Atkinson - I don't use anything to scrape the glass, just my finger wrapped with a lint free cloth dampened with Goof Off/GooGone. If the tape is still left I use my finger nail to lift the edge (not the black tape!!)


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This has happened to me after purchasing the 2017 27" kit which iFixit sent with the 2015 adhesive strips, which are different. They said this would be fine, but the screen fell off about a month after replacing and completely shattered. I have contacted iFixit about this but may also reach out to some repair youtubers because I dont feel like this is acceptable - I've lost a device because they sent the wrong strips.

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There is no difference between the 2015 & 2017 strips as far as their adhesion! The only difference is a slot cut for the microphone pickup hidden behind the panel.

Just like painting you need to prepare the surface properly. grease and oil will interfere with the tapes ability to adhere, and depending on the temp of the hardware and air the cold will also mess things up.

Following the steps I outlined above you shouldn't have had any problems!


It's a bit late for that, the device is bricked - the screen falling broke the motherboard - the cost of repair from Apple is more than a brand new M1 iMac.

In regards to adhesion - I used 99.9% isopropyl alcohol and cleaned it as instructed. After taking the device to Apple they were unaware that the strips were aftermarket and put on by me. They did notice how the lower part appeared to look odd (the part I cut for the microphone) but they thought this just ripped off as the screen fell.

If the strips were fine, why do iFixit advise on the guide not to use the wrong strips for the wrong device? They specifically provide different strips for the different devices. If it made no difference, A. Why would they provide different ones and B. Why would they not just tell you to cut them.


@alex_rhodes - To mess you up! Not really!

The reason is very simple! Apple altered the way they placed the microphone so using the old tape blocked the needed gap for the microphone hole. As such they made a new part number for the newer designed tape (cut differently).

Now the only risk is tapes age as like your potato chips! There is an expiration date as the oil in the potato chips can go rancid after a few months.

Here, the volatiles that make the tape sticky can dry out. So it's important the tapes are in a vacuum sealed bag and kept in a cool environment. This is true for any tape.


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ok..all plastics strips are not good enough on their own eventually, or so we have found. Some steps to make it more resistant.

If you havent added a working sensor to your new ssd, make sure you install macs fan control to reduce the heat as all machines use the chassis to dissapate the heat which obviously warms the glue to the point of not working.

use Gorilla epoxy glue (a dab in top corners) to additionally keep the screen glued in plus the sticky tapes - epoxy can reach over 90deg c without losing adhesion. Epoxy if small dabs can still be cut with the plastic wheel cutter

job done…good luck and enjoy no more broken screens.

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Matthew Reis will be eternally grateful.
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