Image 1/2: Rotate the bottom cover counter-clockwise until the white dot painted on the bottom cover is aligned with the ring inscribed on the outer case. Image 2/2: You do not need to apply much downward pressure while turning.
  • Place your thumbs in the depressions cut into the bottom cover.

  • Rotate the bottom cover counter-clockwise until the white dot painted on the bottom cover is aligned with the ring inscribed on the outer case.

    • You do not need to apply much downward pressure while turning.

This took a lot of force on my Mac mini. A lot.

nh3 - Reply

I agree. It took a crap ton of force from my thumbs to twist the bottom off.

sleeve -

I accidentally broke the little things that hold the cover to the case. Is there a cheap replacement to the cover? Those clips are held onto it very weakly.

Jacob Halton - Reply

Don't just use your thumbs... Use your whole palm to twist it, with maybe a thumb in one of the recesses, applying slight downward pressure.

markbart - Reply

I think it depends, I have seen some that are very difficult to open and some super easy. But I see them everyday. I wish there was a tool that fit in the holes.

Justin Weathersbee - Reply

When seating the bottom RAM chip you may have to apply a little extra side force to get it to seat properly. I put in the new RAM and just got a beeping sound upon starting. I then put the old RAM back in and got the same result.

Here is the solution I found on the Apple discussion board.

"Take a small flat head screwdriver and after you put the memory in slot 0, put the screwdriver between the top of the mac mini and the memory then turn the screwdriver a little to exert pressure on the memory into the slot. Do it on both sides of the memory."

This worked for me.

littlemas2 - Reply

I remember this when I was changing my memory ... I realized (after opening) that more you push, more force it take to open the cover. As you push down you force the cover "to rub" the casing and possibly other things inside. If you "lightly" hold the cover it comes right off ... Remember: less is more! :-)

Have fun!

Radek - Reply

We found it hard to use the thumbs but if you put the casing on a carpet and one person is holding the case while the other is using his palm of one hand to turn the cover it comes off quite smoothly and without much downward pressure.

Alexander - Reply

Image 1/1: Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.
  • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

  • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

sandyfacebook - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

On my mini, the fan has a 3rd screw on the bottom right of its housing just out of sight on the step 3 photo. I believe it was in the hole later referred to as the 26 mm T6 Torx standoff in step 14.

benjamin - Reply

Remove a third screw at the opposite end of the fan near the DRAM

Craig Foster - Reply

Not necessary to remove that screw at that point to get the fan out. It is only a post at that point.

Remove it in step 14.

Craig Reilly -

I needed a T7 for this, and had to remove all three screws before I could take the fan out.

mackrell - Reply

The fan has in fact, 3 screws that need to be removed before you can lift it out.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

That screw is a post at that point. I removed it at step 14.

Craig Reilly -

The 3rd screw needed a T5, for me.

Martin Cleaver - Reply

All of mine have 3-T6 screws.

Kadah Coba - Reply

I can't, for the life of me, get the left screw out of the cowling. Had to pull both out together. Now having a very hard time getting the cowling back in to replace the fan.

Elvin Lucic - Reply

Image 1/1: Removing the standoff screw is not necessary to remove the fan. You need only raise the fan enough to lift it off the standoff screw.
  • Lift the ear of the fan nearest the RAM up off the standoff secured to the outer case.

  • Removing the standoff screw is not necessary to remove the fan. You need only raise the fan enough to lift it off the standoff screw.

Contrary to the instructions, I had to remove the fan screw

radonr - Reply

Same for me, couldn't get it to move without feeling it was going to break so I just removed the screw.

warrencox -

Ditto re: standoff screw

turkeyneck -

Mid 2011. I too had to remove the standoff screw. It seems to be a T5.

lsbf - Reply

You will have to remove this screw in step 14, so why not now ;)

mpalma - Reply

For me it was no prob to remove the fan just pulling carefully upwards.

Timpetou - Reply

Mid 2011 Server, I had to remove the fan screw

garzov - Reply

Mid 2011. The "yellow screw" from step 14 is captive in the fan and has to be removed in step 4.

eric - Reply

Also it is much easier getting the fan correctly aligned on the stand of rubbery bit if you have the screw removed.

aron - Reply

Image 1/1: Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.
  • Lift the fan out of the mini for enough clearance to access its connector.

  • Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Remove the fan.

You actually don't need to disconnect the fan. You can just let it hang on the side while working. I accidentally killed my connector trying to pry it loose. It's being held together now by some tape, after spending hours trying to reconnect it and figuring out pin outs.

Nick Michielsen - Reply

Did it just as Nick suggested, hang the assembly to the side.

David Chan -

Agreed. It is much better to leave the fan connected. The only thing you actually need to disconnect is the hard drive.

ablack3 -

Be careful to LIFT UP on the fan connector cable. Using a spudger tool helps here. I mistakenly thought that the connector would slide off the logic board and tried to remove the connector this way. I ended up lifting the connector off of the logic board, thus ruining my logic board and requiring a $350 logic board replacement at the genius bar. The second time I did a HD/SSD replacement, everything worked fine.

wattmagner - Reply

Yeah, I did the same thing by following someone elses "shortcut". Now I am going to shell out 289 for quad core i5 board, and a new fan BTW. . . . . . Oh well never a dull moment :) and it gets an upgrade as well!

rob Stewart -

That's probably the must tricky part of the replacement. I did the same thing, i just pull on my cables and the connector stays on the board. Tried many times to switch cables into but any order i try is not the good one.

The avoid this, now, when i want to pull out my fan, i just use a plate screwdriver and lift up the connector. That's work perfectly.

ayottepl - Reply

I've just pulled out the connector that's soldered to the logic board because I used a pry tool. Be careful at this point to just pull gently on the four cables that go to the fan.

No Name - Reply

The CAUTION in step 13, "Make sure to pry up from beneath the wires and not underneath the socket," applies to this step as well, for removal of the fan wires.

lsbf - Reply

I screwed it too... Not reading carefully enough, I accidentally removed the whole socket from the board. This happened with the IR connector too. When re-assembling the parts, the socket wouldn't stick to the board, now I know why. I don't want to buy a new logic board, because I can't afford one, so I'm trying to find someone to solder it. Seems hard to find someone able to repair logic boards these days. Hope I'll be successful, otherwise this is an expensive upgrade to my mac...

Floffrob - Reply

Don't remove it with your fingers, use a tool for that. And underneath the wires!

sebcthiebaud - Reply

Followed all the instructions, everything went well, but now my mini fan won't turn off. It starts as soon as I boot up. I've tried every fan control software out there, and nothing works; the fan just constantly runs. I was very careful when I disconnected/reconnected the fan cable, and it looks fine. What else can I do?

Ben Dunkle - Reply

The problem is most likely a disconnected or damaged temperature sensor, I had this problem when reassembling a 2007 Mac mini. It can't read the temperature, so assumes the worst and sets the fan to maximum.

patrick27leiser -

I broke the fan wires from the connector plug. Impossible to repair. I have ordered a new fan. Is there a correct orientation to plugging in the new connector?

ronhixson - Reply

For heavens sake please DON'T remove the fan. It's really really hard to reconnect it properly. And besides that you don't have to remove the Logic Board for just changing the HDD.

Greg Kollmann - Reply

Does anyone know how to solve the full RPM fan issue? My computer guy couldn't solve with fan control software

J beneventi - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

in Step 6 — Cowling ; " Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink", does it mean that it is the same T6 Torx screw for the cowling and the heat sink ?

In fact at the end, I mess this T6 Torx screw !

cegondaireun - Reply

Uhh I can't get this to go back in? Not sure what is going on...

David Inman - Reply

Note that when you are replacing this cowling you are putting the screw back into what looks like another screw that holds the heat sink to the logic board. Disconcerting but correct.

thrint - Reply

Note That the arc of the cowling does not butt to the edge of the chassis. But slides in below it. Once the two screws on the heat sink are aligned with the cowling holes, it's good to go.

imtimrob - Reply

Image 1/1: Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.
  • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

  • Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.

Look very closely at how this is set. Take a photo. Because when I put mine back together it took 45 minutes just to get the fan and this cowling to fit in place next to each other.

sandyfacebook - Reply

The cowling has a notch close to the midpoint of the flange that goes under the outer case, which slides onto a standoff screw attached to the logic board. I used a Sharpie marker to put one "alignment mark" on the inner edge of the outer case. I put another alignment mark from the midpoint of the cowling notch out onto the visible part of the cowling. This made it much easer to reassemble, especially since my standoff post provided a tight fit, which, when I did this the first time, felt like "it doesn't fit . . . again?" It also helped to insert the end of the cowling closest to the heat sink first, which acted as a "fulcrum" for the cowling to "click" onto the standoff post.

carrick - Reply

Image 1/1: Two 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws
  • Remove the following screws securing the antenna plate to the mini:

    • Two 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws

    • Two 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screws (either screwdriver will work)

  • When putting back together:

  • It can be difficult to get the hard drive seated correctly such that the antenna plate fits in place correctly. If the screw holes don't line up with those on the hard drive, make sure that the two pins that are in the back of the hard drive are properly seated in the holes at the back of the case, above the housing for the second hard drive.

  • The antenna attaches directly to the hard drive (red markers), therefore attaching the antenna can move the hard drive around and loosen the connection of the hard drive cable to the logic board.

When reassembling this aerial plate, it may take a very strong force to align the side lips with the screw bays. The circular edge on the body is meant to slot into the plate by less than 1mm. I followed the rule of thumb, which is, if it takes an unusual force, stop and think it out to avoid a disaster! Then, I hit on using a paper clip to get around this problem. Make a paper clip L-shaped to loop through a hole close to the edge of the plate, where the slotting is not deep enough. Gently lifting the paper clip, slide and push the aerial plate in place. This worked like a charm without using a strong force.

al dente - Reply

Worked like a charm, saved my day!!!

David -

My only real problem in the whole process was putting back the antenna plate. Couldn't get both side screws to align. Ended up leaving one out but might try the paper clip trick now

andrewarwas - Reply

I had a similar experience, but when I realized the two 5.0mm T8 Torx screws were 2 of a set of 3 that also served to hold the cover on, I wasn't comfortable with only securing the cover with 2.

UNSC Jon 117 -

DO NOT BRUTE FORCE the reinstallation of the plate. In my case, the top lip of the antenna plate has a notch which aligns with the edge of the opening was preventing the perfect fit. All I did in my case was use the spudger to pry open the notch a little more to give me a little bit extra space so that edge of the aluminum enclosure fits into that notch on the top of the antenna plate. Hope that helps. :)

chicosy - Reply

I did this too. Worked like a charm.

ablack3 -

Thanks for the tip: I did the same thing and it worked like a charm

Zitoune7 -

I was installing an SSD in my mini and when I got to this step, an issue came up. The two 6.6mm screws on the antenna plate screw into one side of, and secure, the hard drive. The problem was the SSD was thinner than the original hard drive, so when I tried to reassemble, the hard drive sat too low for the screws to reach it.

Here's how I got around the problem. I loosely attached the antenna plate to the hard drive, leaving plenty of wiggle room between the plate and the drive. I also left the two stand off screws on the logic board off to give me more wiggle room there.

With the SSD attached to the antenna plate, I carefully connected and stowed the Bluetooth cable. Using the antenna plate as a handle, I was able to guide the SSD into the hard drive mount. Once in place, I tightened the 6.6mm screws more, which raised the SSD to the proper level.

After insuring that the screws all lined up, I installed and tightened the logic board, then the other antenna plate screws.

yourgenius - Reply

I was able to achieve the same result with an slim SSD disk by simply turning the computer around with the access hole down so that gravity would pull the SSD towards the antenna plate.

Mikael -

I attached the SSD to the antenna plate FIRST. Then I connected the RF and the HD connectors during the antenna plate installation.

robertreid -

The "engineering tolerances" are definitely tight for the AirPort antenna plate. I would recommend trying to replace it as soon as it's removed for the first time, in order to work out the (precise) alignment of it.

Nothing I tried (including the suggestions here) seemed to help me during reassembly. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the holes for the two 5.0mm T8 screws to line up. Eventually, I had to resort to CAREFULLY and SLIGHTLY re-bending the curved edge of the antenna plate.

UNSC Jon 117 - Reply

REATTACHING grate - al dente's trick helped me.

The tiny perforations on the grate rest ON TOP of the lip of the case, while the remainder of the grate slides UNDER the lip. It is very hard to see - I used a magnifying glass.

To get it into place, create a tiny hook on the end of a paperclip. Moving along the edge of the grate, lift a perforation with the hook to help it slip into place. Keep moving along the edge until entire grate is shifted into place.

Chris 1000 - Reply

I had several 2-terminal connectors that went to what appeared to be temperature sensors on several components including the hard disk and optical drive. I accidentally pulled the wires out of one of these connectors. Lucky for me, they came out clean and I was able to just re-insert them into the connector

Kyle Jurick - Reply

On a Mini bought Jan 2014, Red screws were T-9 and orange were 2mm Hex, T-8 didn't work in either one. T-9 didn't work in orange.

michael - Reply

As everyone else has noted during re-assembly, seating the antenna plate is tricky. For me, what ended up working was to attach the hard drive screws first. After this, with just a little wiggling of the plate, the 2 5mm screw holes lined up perfectly.

jonathansturges - Reply

Aligning the drive holes with the ones on the antenna grate was easy – just take the pointy end of the spudger. Also, for getting the circular part of the grate set correctly, I had to bend down the outermost part a tiny little bit and then used curved tweezers to lift the grate once it was near its final position to get it slide in the last millimeter. Frustrating at first, but it worked after a few tries.

Julian - Reply

Has anyone had any trouble getting the two 5.0mm screws back in place? I can't seem to get them in, as they just keep on turning. I thought the thread may have been damaged but I then removed the plate and could screw them in position okay. It seems the depth of the plate is causing the screws to not go down far enough. I've had to leave these off at the moment (obviously not great as this means the bottom cover is loose. Any ideas?

alan - Reply

I had the same problem but only on one of the two screws. Then I realized there's a little tiny "o-ring" underneath which is acting like a nut. I lost one of them in the process of upgrading. If I could find out where to buy a new one I would!

lyleberman -

The antenna plate seems to give most people problems. Somewhere along the line I found reference to "a wiggle here and a wiggle there" and that seemed to work. Shy away from the brute force - it's the surest way to damage something.

Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher - Reply

If 5.0 mm T8 holes don't line up with those on the body, you should hook the antenna up a bit.

manwe - Reply

Despite all the efforts, I couldn't manage to insert both side screws for the antenna plate. I ended up only using a single one (the one nearest to the HD connector), hoping it will hold the weight of the SSD.

ngt - Reply

Same issue with that antenna plate - take a look at it from the side and you will see the incredibly tight gap which the lip of the case needs to slot into. I assumed it simply butted up against the case, but no.

I used a big paper clip as suggested here, putting in one screw and then lifting through the perforations while applying a little pressure to the plate. Turned out there was one point misaligned and after a few tries it popped back in.

Andrew - Reply

The thickness of your hard drive or SSD plays a part here, I think. With a thicker SSD (Crucial M4) in the upper slot I found the antenna plate very hard to re-install. After replacing this with a Samsung Evo 850 it was much easier, I think because the lower drive has more room to breathe. With the thinner SSD I didn't have to remove the power supply, either – a major plus.

Charles Butcher - Reply

For those having trouble reinstalling the Aerial Plate, it is probably a matter of alignment. The recessed edge of the plate slides all the way up under the lip edge of the case. I used my iFixit bent tweezers spread and inserted through a couple holes to lightly pull up on the grate while pushing on the flat edge. No hard force was required. It just snapped right in. You'll know when it is home because it will be a snug fit to the edge of the case inside the arc of the opening.

imtimrob - Reply

I would also add that during the reassembly process, make sure the drive stays firmly seated in the grommets. There's a tendency for it to come out or partially out. I kept nudging on it to make sure it was fully seated. Then the antenna screws line up nicely. Some of the problems I read about getting the screws in I suspect arise form the hard drive not being fully seated.

Robert Meppelink - Reply

Image 1/2: Carefully pull the antenna plate away from the circular rim of the outer case. Image 2/2: Do not remove the antenna plate yet. It is still attached to the AirPort/ Bluetooth board.
  • Slightly lift the antenna plate from the end closest to the RAM.

  • Carefully pull the antenna plate away from the circular rim of the outer case.

  • Do not remove the antenna plate yet. It is still attached to the AirPort/ Bluetooth board.

Here's where it started going south on me because the two T8 screws aren't really attached to anything because my hard drive is on the top of the case where the DVD drive used to be.

jpmist - Reply

The top curved part of the antenna plate has a thin lip on the bottom edge, but is very flexible. During reassembly when sliding the antenna plate back into position, if the 4 holes do not exactly line up, then try bending that lip downward a bit and the antenna plate should then line up perfectly.

Eric Demopoulos - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up from its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 17 only needed to change hard drive …

radioman - Reply

You were right.

kurtsaban -

yep worked for me too

kate henderson -

Worked for me too.

ablack3 -

Step 10 is different for late mini Mac 2012

The antennaplug is different (round)

Josse - Reply

I skipped steps 10 and 11 but had to do the rest to get the drive out. My system had a second drive so that may be why the logic board had to be removed to have enough room to get the drive out past the DIMM sockets.

Craig Foster - Reply

On the Late 2012 model the antenna connector is hidden under the case, so unlike as indicated in step 10 you can not see the connector and definitely not remove it until the Logic Board has been eased out an inch. Note how the cable makes a loop under the case as it is removed. Remember to reconnect the same way with the loop and connected before the logic board is pushed in all the way.

Indy - Reply

The antenna connector is underneath a black flap. I just lifted the flap slightly with a spudger and used my fingers to disconnect.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

...in the latest delivery of the mac mini they had changed something. The antenna plug is hidden under a plastic cover and some tape on it.

You have to push up the cover and remove the tape...not really difficult, it was formed so you can put up easilly.

Tom - Reply

If your machine came with a 7mm drive and you are replacing with a 7mm drive you do not need to move the logic board. I installed an Intel 335 240GB drive which is a 9.5mm drive and to get that drive in I did need to bump the logic board out to clear the memory slot brackets. I did not need to remote any other wires or connections as the logic board only needs to move maybe an 1/8" to get the drive to clear the memory bracket.

klaubscher326 - Reply

When removing the wifi antenna make sure you use a plastic spudger and lever up underneath the wire. I used a metal screwdriver and levered up from the side opposite the wire and ripped the pico-ITX connector right off the board! Fortunately I only use my mini via Ethernet, but now I have no choice!

Kevin Broadey - Reply

Did you actually break it? It pops out easily and can actually be plugged back in easily too with tweezers or small needle nose pliers. I did the same thing with no permanent damage.

Steen Rancher

January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher -

I skipped this step with no problems.

manwe - Reply

I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

sandyfacebook - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

There's no real need to disconnect the antenna. You can just lay the grill gently on its side and leave it connected.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

That is true if you do not need to remove the logic board (i.e. you are only replacing the drive in the original slot position).

anonymous 3693 -

You can leave the antenna plate attached and remove the logic board if you're careful while removing the motherboard.

Dan Wilson - Reply

You might find the two silver screws (along the edge of the grill) will not attach. That's because the hard drive was installed a millimeter or two in the wrong place (or maybe the new hard drive has screw holes offset, in the wrong place). This happened to me. Rather than take it apart (again), I'll just secure the two screws that go into the tabs. No question this will keep things secure enough (just a question if I'll suffer noise or rattle). Extra screws are fun :-)

Scott Prive - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

sandyfacebook - Reply

At this point I could remove the hard drive by gently pulling it. There is no need to remove the motherboard!

Zitoune7 - Reply

Same here. I just place two of my torx head screwdrive tips in the holes on the drive and levered it out. Really easy and, well, created my own 12 step program. ;)

Les Manthe - Reply

+1: Don't remove the motherboard, and don't buy the tool to do it. When it's time to slide out the logic board, just push gently on the inside of the metal air guide fins on the intake. This will "eject the motherboard out the necessary 1/2 inch. Be mindful of the length of wires going from under the RAM out to the front of the case, as you don't want to pull hard or disconnect these..

Scott Prive - Reply

I decided that there was a greater risk of breaking something by not removing the logic board than by removing it. The old hard drive comes out easily enough, but the new one would just not quite go in for me. Lining the screws on the outside of the new hard drive with the rubber grommets is so much easier with the logic board out. I used masking tape with pencil marks on the case and on the drive in order to line up the screws and the grommets with the case right side up. IMHO, by the time the antenna is off, removing the logic board is relatively easy.

Robert Meppelink - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the IR sensor connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

You can remove the hard drive by lifting out after step 9, it's not necessary to disconnect the wireless, nor remove the system board.

Zinger z - Reply

I did not remove the IR sensor. I attempted to and it was very difficult, (I felt like I was going to snap or damage the logic board). I would advise skipping this part since it's not necessary to removal of the hard drive, and it seems like a number of people have damaged their logic board while trying to disconnect the IR sensor. Skip.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

That third screw on the lower right hand side should be removed in the beginning when you remove the fan.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

You can skip this step with no problems.

manwe - Reply

Agree with all the previous: this step is not necessary to remove the second drive (the one closer to the bottom of the case. The connector is VERY delicate.

TerribleHacker - Reply

That is true! I just used the tip of a screw driver in the screw holes on the drive to help slide the drive out. The hard part is putting the new drive back in position, due to the 2 screws at the back have to fit into the 2 holes in the rubber at the back of the bay. I finally stood the mini on end, so the drive would fall down into position. Then I stuck a suction cup on the drive to then pull the drive towards me to get the screws and the holes in the rubber to line up.

Wayne Renshaw - Reply

This was my first time taking apart my Mac mini. I wanted to upgrade my hard drive and RAM. However, when I came to this step I pulled the motherboard out a little bit to hard (after tugging on it gently a few times, but it wasn't coming out) and the wires came out. So I was wondering is this fixable? Thank you.

Robert - Reply

I managed to lift the IR connector and the base it connects to... I tried to put it back without breaking the pins but failed. Fortunately, the IR sensor is the least useful part of this device for me, so no loss.

art - Reply

I tried to reconnect this IR plug, but managed to crush all the pins on the logic board. I was gentle the entire time, but I simply could not see how the two fit together, and I still don't. I broke off all the dangling pins and removed them and will now leave the IR connector dangle. These instructions should provide a better visualization for this step. And by the way, I had to remove this connector because I was replacing both drives of a Fusion logical volume.

Dave Kitabjian - Reply

Image 1/1: One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either screwdriver will work)
  • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either screwdriver will work)

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

The 26 mm T6 Torx standoff is actually part of the the third fan screw which was removed earlier in order to get the fan out.

Craig Foster - Reply

If you skipped step 13, skip this one as well.

manwe - Reply

Screws were in different spots on my model

alex - Reply

Note: On my model, this was not a "pull up" cable that needs a spudger, it was a regular "slide" in connector.

alex - Reply

  • 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 it makes contact with the top side of outer case below the logic board before proceeding.

  • 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 I/O board is visibly separated from the outer case.

  • Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.

You may not find it necessary to push out the logic board in order to slide in (or out) the hard drive. It helps to have the extra room to maneuver, but it can be done without.

FinnCrisp888 - Reply

I had read all the comments thet said the HDD can be taken out at step 12, besides I'm in France, so I hadn't bought the special tool. when I realised I had to remove the logic board after all, I managed without the tool but I'm not doing it again. I inserted 2 screwdrivers in the holes and tried to move them both simultaneously. It worked but instead of sliding out slowly, the I/O board came out all the way with a noise! The clips from step 16 had unclipped by themselves, causing the noise. For a second I thought I had broken everything. I really don't recomment doing this without the tool.

Elica - Reply

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

Martin Born - Reply

I didn't have the opportunity to get the removal tool before starting my tear-down but when I got to the Removal Tool stage I used a pair of small allen keys, just big enough to fit through the holes in the logic board. You can feel them engage into the holes below the logic board. Easy, steady pressure on both does the job well. I think the main thing through the whole disassembly process is SLOW and Gentle.

January 11, 2015

Steen Rancher - Reply

If you are this far into a tear-down it's a good idea to pop the logic board and replace the battery - a 3Volt #2032. It's on the under side of the board below the antenna and HDD. May save having to come back this way again...

Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher - Reply

This step may require more force than expected. I was very careful and pulled the remove tool out too early. You have to put a bit of will into it and push it at least 0.5cm (= 0.2 in), less won't do the trick.

Wenzel Massag - Reply

If you have no such tool, just skip this step. You can pull HDD anyway.

manwe - Reply

For this, I discovered that no special tool was needed. I simply pushed the logic board towards the back of the case where the ports are, slid out easy peasy.

alex - Reply

Also, be sure to withdraw the special tool (or any substitute) before prying out the logic board more than just a bit. In my case, the tool restricted the board's movement, and it took me a while to understand why I wasn't getting anywhere.

Gunnar Linn - Reply

I used two 2.5 mm drill bits, turned upside down. They worked like a dream. It took me a little while to realize that they needed to be lifted slightly from the underlying case in order for the board to slide out.

aron - Reply

I put two small screwdrivers in these holes and pulled and had my son push on the far side of the logic board. It took two of us to get it to move.

sandyfacebook - Reply

With a Mac Mini 2012 model, you DO NOT need the logic-board removal tool. I wish I had read these comments before I spent the ten dollars on the tool (I'm not criticizing ifixit here, but I wasted my money).

Scott Prive - Reply

You could always create your own logic-board removal by re-bending what's known as a "landscaping staple". It's just stiff steel wire.

Scott Prive - Reply

Image 1/1: Only pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case until the edge of the I/O board is about .5" away from the edge of the aluminum outer case.
  • Simultaneously push the two plastic clips on the far left and right sides of the I/O board toward the middle of the I/O board and pull the I/O board away from the outer case.

  • Only pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case until the edge of the I/O board is about .5" away from the edge of the aluminum outer case.

steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

radioman - Reply

Really, not necessary.

manwe - Reply

Confirmed not necessary at all!

Paolo - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

Be careful when replacing the HD/SSD in this step. If you are not careful, you can mess up the rubber shock absorbers by misaligning the posts. If that happens, you will have a hard time getting the screws to line up when putting the perforated grille back on (wifi antenna grill).

wattmagner - Reply

I have macMini (late 2012) and buy a Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB to replace original 500GB Apple HDD. Your guide is OK, but in step 17 I have a big problem. HDD in my Mini was securing with two screws. So first I need to remove logic board and unplug the power connector. Then remove two screws from HDD side.

Roman Pucko - Reply

Can anyone confirm that those "2 screw" holding HDD to plastic frame in step 17 are "T8 torx"?

slodkijanek -

I can confirm as well. I pried off the large connector off the main board to get to those screws. They t8 and were screwed on very tightly in my case.

Johannes Deml -

My MacMini (bought late 2013), had the HDD installed in the upper bay, so a complete teardown was required in order to change the driver.

However, if you are planning just to add a second driver, there is no need for the doubler kit (only a new lower flex drive).

Antonis Spanakis - Reply

If you are having a !&&* of a time trying to re-position the upper HDD - or just putting it back in - try putting the screws from the antenna grill back into the two upwards facing holes in the drive and using them as 'handles'. The drive has 2 small screws on the forward edge that need to line up with 2 holes in the outer case and as the drive flops around at first it is really hard to hold & maneuver it at the same time.

January 14, 2015

Steen Rancher - Reply

You can pull the HDD out without sliding the board at steps 15 and 16. Quite tricky, but you can.

manwe - Reply

I had the same problem as Roman, I just figured I would add that those "two screws" are T8 screws and that there is a cable on the right side which you should be careful about while removing and reinserting the said screws.

philippott - Reply

In my model, this didn't just slide out. It was attached to a caddy that required removal of the power supply (see other guides for how to do this) which was a nightmare to get back in the same spot.

alex - Reply

I just did this upgrade and my HDD was secured with screws on both sides of the caddy. I actually think the caddy is really only designed to hold a single drive, kind of in the middle position, i.e., it's not the upper, or 2nd drive, position. In any case, this requires removal of the logic board, power supply, and caddy, entirely, in order to remove the existing drive. Tedious, but I didn't have any problems on reassembly.

Keith Rogers - Reply

I could not remove my hard drive for anything. That's because these late 2012 Mac mini directions do not cover all late 2012 Mac minis. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

sandyfacebook - Reply

Image 1/2: During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly. Image 2/2: During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly.
  • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

  • During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly.

During reassembly, after putting the "lower" drive back, test fit the AirPort antenna to make sure the two holes in the antenna plate line up with the two holes in the drive. If not, check that the power harness from the power supply is routed correctly. If the power harness is next to the power supply, go back and re-route it properly.

UNSC Jon 117 - Reply

Before I started this ifixit I read a lot of people talking about the antenna not going on properly and problems with the hard drive. I found that the problem is the two grommets inside the front of the casing. These grommets are where the two screws on the existing or upper most (when the case is inverted) hard drive should go into.

I was placing the hard drive flat against the second hard drive I'd added which ment the two screws weren't in the grommets and we instead pushing on the outer casing. This meant the hard drive was in the wrong position and if I had continued with the rest of the reassembly the antenna definitely couldn't have fit correctly. I spotted this and made sure the hard drive was in the grommets, leaving enough room for the power cables to sit between the two hard drives.

With the hard drive sitting correctly you should find everything goes back together very easily. If you get to the end and nothing seems to fit this is probably the reason why!

Martyn - Reply

I bought my mini in late June 2013. My hard drive was not mounted as indicated, it was in the lower slot. I had to insert the grommets into the upper holes. You need to use a non metal flat edge to get them in, my fingers had no leverage when reaching into the aluminum shell. I also waited until I had removed everything from the case before inserting them to minimize the risk of harming an internal component.

rob545 - Reply

This is one case where having the actual reassembly instructions would be helpful. When I put my drive back in the upper position, I thought it was in the right place, even tried to move it and it seemed like it was locked into the holes, but it wasn't, so I had the issue with the antenna plate not going back on. It was so close. It seemed like it should work, but nope.

So, after disassembling again, I played with it some and the best, most surefire way to get it to line up is to hold the unibody upside down when inserting the drive. It has to be essentially at the top to catch the holes. Thin drives make it even more of a problem.

Once I did this, it fit in great and stayed in with no need to hold down, and there was now another 1/8" between the motherboard and the drive, which doesn't seem like much, but in this tight case, its everything. The antenna plate then went in perfectly, all 4 screws were in with no issues at all and the connectors for the two drives stayed on with no issue.

Sherifftruman - Reply

This makes ALL the difference in the entire world! Thank you!

mawkee -

Eureka! Thank you!

John Baker -

Like others, I found with my November 2013 purchased Mac Mini, Apple had installed the internal hard disk in the bottom location (bottom when working on the unit upside down as detailed in this guide).

I found that it was best to remove that drive, and install the SSD in the bottom location, but use

* 2 of the rubber grommets and screws (that came with the ifixit kit) on the front edge of the drive

* that let me use 2 of the screws from the original mac mini on the back top HDD as they are larger screws than came with the kit

That way the HDD didn't rattle in the top location.

I also

* Installed the SSD in the bottom location with the original apple cable

* Installed the spinning 1TB drive into the top location (which made it easier for the top wifi screws to screw into

* But I had to reshape the cable (that came with the ifixit kit) quite a bit to get it to line up with the connector on the logic board.

brian - Reply

During reassembly I had the reported problems of getting the original drive in the right spot. You should note that there is a gap on the left side. My drive slid in (twice) so it was right up against where the connectors are on the left side. Slide it right so there is a gap.

mikeubell - Reply

Found it easier to place the SSD in the "lower" position (closer to the bottom of the Mini, but upper while working on the disassembly/reassembly) by resting the Mini on its front side. Easier to move the pegs into the grommets installed in the case. Easier to see if they're not lined up at all.

malcolmgin - Reply

I'm refitting a mid 2011 mini. Reinstalling the drive easy with a few tricks:

*Step 11.5: add registration marks to the thin plastic drive cover.

**Use a fine point blue sharpie (or similar).

**Add two lines a couple inches apart, extending back from the metal housing lip onto the drive shroud.

**Add two short lines by tracing the curve of the housing across the first two lines.

**Use the marks to line everything up when reassembling.

*Reinstall with the mini standing on it's front end

**The drive slots in high in the case. There is a substantial gap between it and a 9.5mm second drive. This makes it hard to line up with the mac flat on the table.

*You can absolutely feel the drive's pegs engage into the rubber mounts.

*When seated properly:

**The drive slants slightly down from the front to the back of the housing.

**There is a sizable gap (~2mm) between the visible long edge of the drive and the flange on the plastic frame that sits behind it.

**The motherboard will seat ~1mm from the drive.

anonymous 1829 - Reply

Follow the advise of malcolmgin. During reassembly place the Mini on its front, and let the HDD or SSD (doesn't matter at all) slip into the two "rubber holes". This way everything is easier to see and to direct.

Timpetou - Reply

Putting the old drive into its proper place and fitting the antenna plate correctly are the two most difficult actions if you follow the instructions. An easier way is to remove the two tabs (bolts) at the rear end of the old drive (since they just cause trouble) and affix the drive to the antenna plate. THEN attach the antenna cable to its receptacle (very difficult) and insert the plate with drive attached into the computer. When the whole assembly is in place and bolted in place, it is easy to connect the drive cable to the motherboard. By this method, the drive has no chance of snagging.

michi - Reply

I agree with Doug. It worked perfectly.

michi - Reply

I replaced the two black rubber grommets with two white silicone ones. The white grommets were easier to see, and (whew!), they didn't catch and deform like the black ones did. I also used the "gravity technique" mentioned above, along with putting two T8 screws temporarily into the side holes of the hard drive closest to the logic board to use as "positioning handles" and guides to place into the "far end" white grommets. Being able to align much easier, along with controlling the hard drive, made for a much smoother replacement from my first adventure.

carrick - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 6.2 mm T8 Torx screws from the side of the hard drive.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Hard drive remains.
  • Carefully peel the hard drive cover off the hard drive.

  • Hard drive remains.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

How does one remove the apple fusion drive? The 2nd hard drive connector is in placer on the mother board

Jerry Kornfield - Reply

To remount the SSD drive I used a gaffa tape (that stuff musicians are using to fix cables), did cut a piece of some centimeters and folded it, so that a open piece with the glue can be sticked onto harddrive. Gaffa tapes usually are around 4 to 5 cm wide so it is easy to maneuver the SSD with the two screws easily into the holes in front of the case. After things are in place and before remounting antenna I removed that tape from the harddrive.

Maybe this helps others.

robsmiler - Reply

The hard drive tape cover is there to protect the hard drive's exposed circuit board (remember this, the picture doesn't show it). You probably do not need it if your hard drive is totally shielded in a box, as many SSD devices are. That said, it's VERY easy to remove and replace the tape using the spudger (keeps your finger oil off the glue).

Scott Prive - Reply

Conclusion

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

233 other people completed this guide.

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26 Comments

Just a note, the OS X Install Guide is for 10.5 Snow Leopard. Maybe also include a install guide for 10.6 Lion?

Sherman - Reply

That's right, steps 10-11 and 13-16 are not necessary.

It suffices to rotate the antenna plate out of the way without detaching its cable.

And after disconnecting the hard drive you can wiggle it out of the enclosure

without dealing with the logic board. Muc less hassle, and much less intimidating.

machobbes - Reply

This is great advice! It worked fine for me, thanks!

Ken Van Hoeylandt -

This also worked for me. Follow machobbes advice - whole process took about 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

The one difficulty I had was getting the new SSD (or HDD) to lock back into the fixings inside of the casing. Best solution if you are having this problem is to turn the Mini upside down, ensuring that the antenna cable isn't stretched too far, and aided by the wonderful powers of gravity, get the new HDD unit fixed into place properly.

Adam Bull -

Very useful guide. Keep up the good work ! I have replaced the hard drive on my Mac Mini mid-2011 with a Vertex 3 SSD, and to my surprise I did not have to mess with the logic board (step 13 onwards) to slide-in the new drive. So it took me less than 20 minutes to do the whole thing. After that, recovering the whole system from Time Machine was a breeze.

Fabio - Reply

I should have read the comments first. I thought it should be possible to take out the drive without removing the whole board.

Bolla - Reply

If you have a Mac Mini with two hard drives, you need to add a few steps from the dual hard drive kit...

Mathieu Brassard - Reply

What would be the process to install the OS if you don't have an external DVD drive?

Is there a way to clone the current HD into the new SSD with a USB -> SATA adapter?

Uzi Kilon - Reply

The only hard part was reconnecting the antenna. It is a small connection in a fairly tight space. So, if you can avoid disconnecting it, I would recommend it.

bmangus - Reply

As others have said, it is possible to remove the HDD without moving the logic board. And the antenna board can also just be rotated out of the way.

However, I found it impossible to reseat the new drive (a Crucial m4 SSD) into the correct location without moving the logic board out a little anyway. I just couldn't get the bumper screws lined up in the top slot. This is on a mini i5 with a single HD (now SSD). In the end I got it done, but this step was much more difficult than I expected. Perhaps it is easier when there are dual drives?

I also initially caused the SSD connector to disconnect from the logic board when tightening the Antenna screws back up (step 8). So take care and do this slowly and check everything is aligned!

M4tt - Reply

I had a difficult time lining up the two holes as well due to gravity.

So I took a piece of tape, secured it to the top (bottom) of the drive near the case, and pulled on the tape to lift the drive into place and into the two drive holes.

Worked great and I had less pieces to remove and reconnect.

Jeff -

Turn the Mac Mini upside down so that the drive can be seated more easily (with the help of gravity) and it should lock into place. Worked for me after a little fiddling.

Adam Bull -

Do i need T8 with security bit or the simple T8 will work ?

Hammad Abbas - Reply

Just replaced my disk and it was much easier than this guide:

1, 2 open the cover

3 it's three screws, not 2

4 to 9 all ok, specially step 5 where the cable is to pull *up* vertically not horizontally

10, 11 unnecessary, just pull the antena to the side

12 ok take the disk connector out

13-16 not needed

17 the disc, even a 9.5mm high, fits in and out without disassembling anything else

18 unnecessary, just unglue the sides of the disk and jump to 20 to unplug the cable and cover all together

19 are the screws that balance the disk inside the cage, don't forget them (I did and had to remove the new disk again, proving myself that it fits)

davipt - Reply

Thank you, you are right! Did it the same way and it worked quite well.

Andreas -

Be very careful with that IR connector, it will tear right off the board. Hold down the outside while prying out the inner part. Also, make note of where the rubber grommets are as you remove the fan, so you can replace them. The instructions do not make note of them.

websites140 - Reply

STOP and READ the COMMENTS

section ...before proceeding further. Some good TIPS and WARNINGS in there can keep you from damaging some very sensitive parts accidentally like some of us already have. Look carefully as you go - some of the parts have been changed slightly.

But hey, what's the worst that can happen??? ; )

Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher - Reply

I've managed to complete the steps successfully. I have plugged in my MacMini for the first time the the green power light is not turning on. Can anyone assist?

LeeAnn Archie - Reply

To swap the HDD, only steps 1-9, 12, 17-20 is needed. As you re-insert the HDD, leave a spudger under the edge to prop it up against the grille - much easier to screw it back to the grille. (My mac mini has no HDD bracket)

Lawrence Lau - Reply

I swapped out the disk in an i5 mini yesterday. I had previously done one in a 2011 model i7 server and it gave me such fits with aligning the screws in the grommets and getting the antenna plate back in place, I was hesitant to ever try swapping one again. This one took all of ten minutes. The drive went right into place and the antenna plate went in and its screw holes and the hard disk screw holes lined up with the plate with scarcely any effort. The most difficult part was actually getting the black plastic cover off the original disk to swap on to the new one. Boy with it working out that well I may get brave enough to try installing a second disk in the box.

Randy - Reply

Excellent guide. I am an amateur and I was 99.9% sure I am going to mess up my Mini - but nope - I succeeded. Well written. 10/10

Suit Monkey - Reply

perfect guide, thanks Walter. took about 45 minutes and skipped 10, 11 & 13 to 16

Glenn - Reply

Just replaced the disk in my 2011 MacMini and I want to recommend, like others already have, to READ THE COMMENTS before starting the job! You save a TON of time, it took me way less than expected. You don't need to unplug any cable or remove the motherboard, etc.

Also, great tip about reinserting the antenna plate using a pape clip, that was the most difficult part!

Paolo - Reply

Putting the drive back in and the aligning the holes to the antenna grill is next to impossible. Yet all the videos on this process act like it's nothing reassembling it all back together. No way !

stevechang64 - Reply

Does it accommodate 15mm high drives or only the 7 or 9.5 mm drives?

Julian Satran - Reply

I just did this to my mid-2011 Mac Mini - I'm very novice at this kind of thing, so I just wanted to say 'thanks' to original poster and the helpful comments. It's true, you do not need to remove the mother board and can skip all those steps. And you don't need to disconnect the antenna connector (step 10) - just put it off to the side. I put in a Samsung 850 EVO SSD drive and it was quite thinner than the original - so very easy to stuff in there.

Also: there's no need to worry if you have a wireless bluetooth keyboard. Even with a totally new, blank, unformatted SSD, the Mini will still recognize and work with your keyboard. I created a 'usb installer' of Sierra, held down OPTION on first boot and it worked like a charm (it will prompt you to format the drive first - but it's very easy!).

Overall, it was WAY EASIER than I thought it would be! And worth it - programs launch much quicker now.

mfjull - Reply

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