Use this guide to replace a damaged heat sink or to reapply its thermal paste.

Be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste before reinstalling your heat sink.

    • Shut down and close your computer. Lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

    • Remove the following ten screws:

      • Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

      • Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • The special screwdriver needed to remove the 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

  1. Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.
    • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

    • In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally bend back and make contact with its socket.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully push on each side of the iSight camera cable connector to loosen it out of its socket on the logic board.

    • We recommend you gently "walk" the connector out of its socket.

    • Peel the iSight camera cable up off the adhesive securing it to the fan.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.

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

    • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

      • Two 5.5 mm T5 Torx screws

      • One 4.6 mm T5 Torx screw

        • In some models this is a 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw.

    • Lift, but do not remove the fan out of its recess in the upper case.

    • Carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove the fan from the Air.

    • Remove the four 2.5 mm T5 Torx screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

    • If the heat sink seems to be stuck to the logic board after removing all four screws, use a spudger to carefully separate the heat sink from the face of the CPU.

    • Remove the heat sink from the logic board.

    • When reinstalling the heat sink, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste. If you have never applied thermal paste before, we have a guide that makes it easy.


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

One other person completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

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you should seriously note the danger of the cpu screw holders. apple for some reason decided to attach the fricken screw receivers/standoffs via surface mount. they dont have a bottom cap either. use a screw slightly too long or turn too far and pop(screw pushes against motherboard and pops the holder off)... one corner is unable to be screwed in. ask me how i learned cant see how this design decision helps anything but apples wallet. the other side of the board has components smds as well so its not like a really short through hole was undo-able.

John W - Reply

There is step missing between 3 and 4. There is another ribbon cable over fan that is still there in step 3 but gone in step 4.

Bogdaniec Ze Zbyszka - Reply

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