Introduction

Use this guide to remove or replace the heat sink, or replace the thermal paste in your Mac Mini Late 2014.

Don't forget to apply a new layer of thermal compound before reassembling your Mac Mini. Follow our thermal paste guide for instructions on cleaning and preparing the thermal surfaces and applying a new layer of thermal compound.

This guide was made with a Fusion Drive Mac Mini, and may have more connectors and components than your model. Don't be alarmed if you're missing a hard drive or SSD connector!

The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.
  • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.

  • Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.

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Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini.
  • Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini.

I used some wooden toothpicks instead of the opening tool. This worked flawless for me.

mhomscheidt - Reply

Lift and remove the bottom cover. Lift and remove the bottom cover.
  • Lift and remove the bottom cover.

I taped the "Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool" to the flat part of the antenna plate before sealing everything up again. I mean, where else am I supposed to store it without forgetting where it is? I'm pretty sure it won't cause any problems there.

Richard - Reply

Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:
  • Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:

    • Three 4.1 mm screws

    • Three 1.9 mm screws

Had a T7 security screw driver [and didn't want to wait to have the T6 version shipped to me], so I gave it a whirl. I lined up the driver with the screw socket, pressed down a bit to make sure the driver would get enough grip, and slowly [but forcefully] rotated the driver and got these screws out. BE CAUTIOUS not to strip the screws. May not work for everyone.

KevCoStudios - Reply

As TR6 screwdrivers were sold out all over Germany and I wanted to exchange the HDD THIS friday, I took a VERY fine dental milling tip (0,8 mm head diameter) for my proxxon and milled away the little dots in the center of the the TR6 screws. After that I could open the case with a regular T6 screwdriver. All went fine, MM is closed again + working like a charm with it's new SSD. NOTE: For this task I used my loupe glasses (3x) ;)

Martin Gerner - Reply

On the whole screw thing. I just used a tiny dremel drill bit and drilled out the security pin. I hate those screws. I don't see the point in locking the them with those. they should have left the screws alone.

That Mac Guy - Reply

That worked for me, thanks for the trick!

Arroba -

great trick!

James Almeida -

I used the T7 very carefully. No problems.

randywardak - Reply

I just had success using standard pliers to remove the longer screw posts, and then I used standard needle nose pliers to press down and grip the tiny screws. Please note that this method may/will cause scrapping of the aluminium cover.

Barrythetech - Reply

Northern Tools sells a set of 13 Torx Security Keys for $28.99 that has the TR6 size.

Gary Craig - Reply

Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac Mini by an antenna cable. With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.
  • Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac Mini by an antenna cable.

  • With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.

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Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.
  • Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.

    • Be careful not to lose the washer when removing the screw.

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Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card. Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.

Is this really necessary? The antenna is no where near the SSD drive....

mike - Reply

Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case. Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.
  • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.

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Remove the antenna plate from the Mac Mini.
  • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac Mini.

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Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.
  • Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.

  • Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.

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The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved. Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely. Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.
  • The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved.

    • Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely.

  • Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.

  • Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.

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Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board. Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

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Remove the fan from the Mac Mini.
  • Remove the fan from the Mac Mini.

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Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.
  • Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.

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Remove the SATA cable connector bracket. Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.
  • Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.

This procedure works to add a SATA hard drive/SSD to a PCIe SSD-only Mac Mini using iFixit's Mac Mini Dual Drive Kit. The one thing that's missing from the kit is SATA cable connector bracket (and screw). This is not the end of the world: the cable is a snug fit in the logic board socket, so the bracket is only a safety measure.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board. Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board.

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Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket. Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket.

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Remove the two 2.6 mm T6 screws securing the PCIe SSD cable bracket.
  • Remove the two 2.6 mm T6 screws securing the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

Steps 18-20 only apply if you are removing a fusion drive. Otherwise skip to step 21 during removal.

Stephen Reaser - Reply

Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket. Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.
  • Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

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Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket. Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.
  • Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.

Is the PCIe connector present and usable on the mid-range Mac mini? I don't need the ~$300 fusion drive but would like the comfort of knowing that I can add an extra SSD in the future.

Michael Johnson - Reply

No, only present in Mac Minis configured with a fusion drive.

rasmus - Reply

Not true. I am looking @ the inside of a mac mini _not_ configured with a fusion drive, and the connector is present.

Samuel Bostick - Reply

Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.
  • Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.

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  • To remove the logic board, the two cylindrical rods of the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red. Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may destroy the logic board.

  • Insert the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure the rods make contact with the case under the logic board before proceeding.

Instead of the removal tool it is also possible to use two metal pins with 2,5mm diameter.

Yuuki Galaxy - Reply

A T8 screw driver worked best for me on the 4 hard drive screws.

rparks89 - Reply

Yes - You need a T8 there rather than T9.

amrgardner -

T9 was a perfect fit for me.

dloftis -

T8 screws in my HDD

aiino - Reply

You don’t need a tool for this step, just turn the Mac Mini around 180º and push the vent for the fan with your thumbs. The board will push straight out. That’s what I did.

Daniel De Ciantis - Reply

Carefully pull the tool toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case. Cease prying when the removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case. Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.
  • Carefully pull the tool toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case.

  • Cease prying when the removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case.

  • Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.

I had some trouble getting mine started here. If your logic board seems stuck, try pushing the removal tool on both sides near the bottom (vs the top like the photos show) with your index fingers, holding the case with your ring and pinky fingers so that your hands are completely free of the back of the computer (the side with the ports). This worked for me. Otherwise, this guide made the process smooth!

moorejeffery - Reply

The removal tool fits into sockets below the board, just 'lean' the tool over and the logic board will ease out. When refitting the logic board make sure the tabs around the I/O shield slip inside the shell and press home firmly. If the fixing screw does not thread into it's hole, the board is not fully home.

Malcolm Norwood - Reply

Make sure you do *not* have your thumbs on the black plastic I/O shield while attempting this step!

Stephen Reaser - Reply

I was able to push the logic board out, with a little bit of stress and patience, without the specified tool. Rather I used two paper clips, larger than average, and being very gentle to get the initial nudge. I then finished it off using only my fingers, as the paper clips were not strong enough and would have bended. Doable, but probably easier with the tool.

mt - Reply

I used 2 mini flathead screwdrivers with the same thickness as the holes with the heads aligned straight up and down. They will fit into little sockets attached to the case below the board. The side with the power cord came out much easier than the side with the headphone jack, so I removed the tools after a small gap was created and pushed semi-hard on the logic board with a broken spudger (a screwdriver would have worked, too) right in the elbow curve shown to the left of the screw in step 14, and the whole thing slid right out.

unixmonkey1 - Reply

I saw a video where a guy just used a coat hanger to make his own tool. Good to know in case you've already started taking it apart and haven't already purchased the tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgEBPlz4...

James Almeida - Reply

May be its me, but I had a right issue with this, I then noticed the screw I loosened in step 10 was bending over. I removed the screw completely, logic board came out, and the metal pillar on the underneath of the board where said screw went in was bent. When I put it all back together afterwards after changing the drive, that long screw was bend, on straightening everything up, the pillar snapped off the logic board. Everything tightened up and its booted up fine. It might just me not following the instructions properly though

steve - Reply

For me the screw loosened in step 10 came out with the fan. it "should" be a captive screw meaning it doesn't stay in when the fan comes out

Bill Pennock - Reply

I had 2 complete sets of allen wrenches, one metric and one standard and found one each that fit the holes perfectly. With those I was able to find the "pry spots" that are on the base of the case very easily and a slight nudge moved the board. really worked EXCELLENTLY

Bill Pennock - Reply

Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board. Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.

When reassembling, I made the mistake of pushing the logic board all the way in before trying to reattach the DC-In cable connector. It is much easier to reattach the connector with the logic board pushed in just short of final seating.

Saqib Qazi - Reply

Very usefull comment!!!

Jean-Marie Sengelen -

Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac Mini, minding any cables that may get caught. Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac Mini, minding any cables that may get caught.
  • Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac Mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

When sliding the logic board assembly back in later, mind the tabs, especially those at each end.

Richard - Reply

Remove the following screws securing the heat sink to the logic board: Four 8.6 mm T9 Torx screws
  • Remove the following screws securing the heat sink to the logic board:

    • Four 8.6 mm T9 Torx screws

    • One 2.9 mm T6 Torx screw

  • Keep track of the springs held beneath each of the T9 heat sink screws.

    • During reassembly, tighten these screws evenly to ensure the heat sink stays flat against the CPU.

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Remove the heat sink from the logic board. If the heat sink appears to be stuck to the logic board after removing all screws, it may be helpful to use a spudger to separate the two components. Don't reassemble your Mac Mini without applying a new layer of thermal paste.We have a thermal paste guide to show you how.
  • Remove the heat sink from the logic board.

  • If the heat sink appears to be stuck to the logic board after removing all screws, it may be helpful to use a spudger to separate the two components.

  • Don't reassemble your Mac Mini without applying a new layer of thermal paste.We have a thermal paste guide to show you how.

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Conclusion

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

Sam Lionheart

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