MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Heat Sink Replacement

Remove the heat sink to replace thermal paste or damaged cooling fins on your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010.

Remove the heat sink to apply better thermal paste.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge.

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

Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry up the 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.

  • 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.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 7 mm T6 Torx screw

    • Two 5.4 mm T6 Torx screws

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

    • One 8.6 mm Phillips

    • One 5.6 mm Phillips

  • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer and right speaker connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pull the camera cable connector toward the optical drive to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • This socket is metal and easily bent. Be sure to align the connector with its socket on the logic board before mating the two pieces.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive, hard drive, and trackpad cable connectors up off the logic board.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Peel the small strip of black tape off the keyboard backlight ribbon cable socket.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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

  • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery indicator cable connector up off the logic board.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone off the adhesive attaching it to the upper case.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws:

    • Two 7 mm T6 Torx screws from the DC-In board

    • Five 3.3 mm T6 Torx screws

    • Two 4 mm T6 Torx screws

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Removing the battery before lifting out the logic board is not strictly required, but makes removing the logic board easier and safer. If you leave your battery in, be especially careful not to bend the logic board against the battery's case near its bar code.

  • Remove the following Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • One 5.5 mm Tri-Wing screw

    • One 13.5 mm Tri-Wing screw

  • Lift the battery out of the upper case.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Lift the logic board from its left edge and raise it until the ports clear the side of the upper case.

  • Pull the logic board away from the side of the upper case and remove it, minding the DC-In board that may get caught.

Edit Step 20 Heat Sink  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20 Heat Sink  ¶ 

  • Remove the four 8.5 mm Phillips screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

  • A spring is held under each of these screws.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Gently lift the heat sink off the logic board.

  • When you mount the heat sink back onto the logic board, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste. We have a guide that makes replacing the thermal paste easy.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Arctic Silver Thermal Paste

$8.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I enjoyed the process and the fixit guides are great. But I had one potentially fatal issue with the heat sink replacement guide (to apply thermal paste ). The guide says to "Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket" when it should say "gently pull it to the right in order to dislodge it from the socket, never pull upwards". I pulled it upwards because I did not realize that it was a "sideways" socket, and almost broke the socket and had a blank screen on startup (gently righting the bent socket with a tweezers fixed it).

Pablo Klein , · Reply

It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

scott523, · Reply

The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

iphonetechtips,

Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

wertaerte, · Reply

Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

twisk, · Reply

thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

xitxit2,

i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

plins718, · Reply

Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

mastover, · Reply

I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

adlerpe,

That's exactly what I do for all my repairs! It's the best way to keep track of all of the parts ' original location and to make sure that you don't miss any parts during reassembly.

joyitsjennie,

Great idea and one I use often

Thomas Overstreet,

The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone: http://www.visibone.com/colorblind/

Eric Sorenson, · Reply

Squares, Circles, Triangles (you get the idea) would work as well to distinguish the different screws.

danzeitlin,

I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

jonathanmorgan, · Reply

I thought it took a 000 as well. However, I tried both and realized the 00 works best.

john, · Reply

Hi i was wondering if you can add 16gb to this model? or is 8 the maximum?

Igor, · Reply

The Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13" does support 16 GB RAM, but it is very picky about the type of RAM. OWC sells a 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB). I think it's got to be 1066 (aka 1067) MHz RAM. A lot of 8 GB modules on the market now are faster than 1066 MHz, and reports I've read say people start getting kernel panics if they use the wrong RAM.

Some info here:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/ma...

"1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM"

"*Originally, both the official and actual maximum RAM was 8 GB. However, as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, if running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, updated with the latest EFI, and equipped with proper specification memory modules, this model can support up to 16 GB of RAM."

Our Mid 2010 already had "the latest EFI" (i.e. Boot ROM version in System Profiler), so the reference to updating it may not be relevant.

Winston,

I used a 00 that fit but the screws were very tight so I used a tiny paintbrush with some wd40 on it and put it around the edges of the screws. Worked like a charm

valentinedhdh, · Reply

I had the same problem. The #00 screwdriver worked for some of the screws but some others were too tight and I had to use a #000. Maybe it was because the cover had slightly bent because the battery inside had basically doubled its width, but I still found that the #000 was a much better fit for these screws. Even the ones that came out with the #00 came out much easier with the #000. I would suggest updating this guide to suggest using a #000.

tarriojuan, · Reply

Had no idea they were so expensive.

Franklin, · Reply

why is step 3 necessary?

gansodesoya, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

MrKane, · Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Removes the possibility of any current flow. This is especially important if you are trying to mitigate the damage to the circuitry due to a spill on a keyboard.

amiller770, · Reply

I'm thinking of ordering the spudger. I was thinking of order the heavy duty spudger... or should I just order the normal. Will either of the spudgers work for this DIY?

shockaaa, · Reply

Once you have a set of spudgers, you will wonder how you ever went without them. :-)

Brian,

$@$@. Don't use an non-isolated screwdriver for this. I just shorted-out my battery :(

Lukas Besch, · Reply

You are absolutely right, never use a screwdriver on the logic board or any connector! Delicate use of fingernails or a credit card will get you through most situations if you lack a spudger.

Logan Bean,

How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

Horace Chung, · Reply

yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

maccentric,

Would it not be advisable to drain the battery completely before attempting to repair, if you want to be sure you don't get a spark when removing the battery connector?

Berlugana

bduault, · Reply

Disconnecting the battery connector is not that different from simply unplugging a battery from an older model MacBook with a removable battery. You're not trying to protect yourself from a "spark", but the internal circuitry when taking the MacBook apart.

amiller770,

I neglected step 3 and now my computer won't turn on. Could I have shorted out my logic board?

Plamen, · Reply

I had the same problem , my macbook doesn't switch on working

marioluiggi,

Bummer, I broke the connector at the solder points. Be careful!

Hector, · Reply

Any tips on how to solder it back on? I made the same mistake.

Juan Sebastian,

Hi Hector, how did you put it back?

I broke mine too and carefully glued it back in but now the fan isn't working... But I don't know if it's because of this or because it does not need to switch on as I also changed my hard drive from HD to SSHD Hybrid.

Thanks

Antoine B,

On my system the pad on top of the connector was shifted making the bracket difficult to rotate into the up position. The bracket looks like a handle so my first instinct was to pull it straight up. Big mistake. I ended up popping the brass guard off the connector on the logic board. The instructions could benefit from an arrow indicating the direction to pull and rotation of the bracket.

highnoontoday, · Reply

The same thing happened to me. What did you do when you reassembled? thx Alan

Alan Schwartz,

Sometimes spulger is not the best tool to slide the cable out. If it is difficult to slide, try two toothpicks to pull the cable from two sides simultaneosly.

Leo Nikitin, · Reply

the zif cable is especially difficult to get back in fully. Seems I might need to make my own tool with fine tweezers that are rubber dipped (or something similar). Have had no luck otherwise and worry I am doing damage.

Mateo, · Reply

Be very careful while taking this black tape off. I accidentally broke the chip off the motherboard and so my keyboard is not backlit any more.

Asim Akath, · Reply

Easy to take out Zif cable but can't seem to get it back in again.

linuxuser101, · Reply

Be especially careful as my hole socket detached from the board. It would have helped to vertically press the socket to the board with the tip of a spudger. Thus partially blocking the strap, you can first peel the free end, then change position and peel the rest. Slide the ribbon cable perfectly horizontally.

Rainer, · Reply

I had the same issue of trying to get the ZIF cable back in but found that if I used a piece of scotch tape, it worked. I followed this guide. https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/4401...

spearson, · Reply

A reassembly trick that works for me is to use some 3/4" blue painters tape to stick to the very back (lower end) of the ribbon cable so I can pull it up and back before locking the cam. Trying to get a good grip without cutting, or crimping the ribbon means no tweezers or pliers can be used.

machead3, · Reply

on the Australian/Asia version speaker cable is located underneath the logic board.

linuxuser101, · Reply

Be careful while taking the board out, as the heatsink usually is caught by the optic drive.

Leo Nikitin, · Reply

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