Introduction

Use this guide to replace the upper case, including the keyboard, of your MacBook Air 11" Early 2015.

  • 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.

When you say:

Remove the following ten screws:

Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Do the 8mm & 2.5mm dimensions refer to the LENGTH of those screws, or the size of the pentalobe? That is, are there other sizes of pentalobe drivers like there are for hex, phillips and torx? When only one dimension is provided, it is usually the socket/driver size, not the screw length, maybe since the length cannot be seen when the screw is installed.

Can I suggest that you clarify your instructions so folks are confident they are only in need of _one_ pentalobe driver?

Nerdily yours,

Larry (whose iPhone 4S can now get through a day without 6 recharges thanks to ifixit.com ;-)

larryleveen - Reply

The 8mm and 2.5mm are the length of the screws. One pentalobe P5 screwdriver suffices for all the screws (P5 is implicitly the size of the pentalobe screw heads).

Michael Welham -

I sourced all the parts from ifixit, plus a magnetic project mat which I found to be very useful for organising the teardown and reassembly.

Allen - Reply

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

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Image 1/2: 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. Image 2/2: Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally bend back and make contact with its socket.
  • 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.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left and right I/O board cable connectors up off their respective sockets on the I/O board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Lift and remove the I/O board cable.

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Image 1/2: We recommend you gently "walk" the connector out of its socket. Image 2/2: We recommend you gently "walk" the connector out of 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.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Peel the iSight camera cable up off the adhesive securing it to the fan.

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Image 1/2: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/2: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself.
  • 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.

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Image 1/1: Two 5.5 mm T5 Torx screws
  • 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.

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Image 1/3: Carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove the fan from the Air. Image 2/3: Carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove the fan from the Air. Image 3/3: Carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove the fan from the Air.
  • 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.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card, and move them out of the way.

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Image 1/1: Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws
  • Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 6 mm T5 Torx screw

    • Two 2.6 mm T5 Torx screws

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Image 1/1: Lift the battery from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.
  • When handling the battery, avoid squeezing or touching the six exposed lithium polymer cells.

  • Lift the battery from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the front edge of the Air. Image 2/2: Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the front edge of the Air.
  • Disconnect the I/O board by pulling the power cable away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the front edge of the Air.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to de-route the antenna cables from their notches in the logic board.

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Image 1/3: While holding the lock away from the socket, gently pull the display data cable out of its socket. Image 2/3: Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board. Image 3/3: Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.
  • Gently push the tip of a spudger under the black plastic flap stuck to the display data cable lock to make the lock pop upward and away from the socket.

  • While holding the lock away from the socket, gently pull the display data cable out of its socket.

  • Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.

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Image 1/3: De-route the  cable from its notch in the logic board. Image 2/3: De-route the  cable from its notch in the logic board. Image 3/3: De-route the  cable from its notch in the logic board.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry under the speaker cable connector, lifting it straight up from its socket.

  • De-route the cable from its notch in the logic board.

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Image 1/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/3: Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air. Image 3/3: Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air.
  • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

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

  • Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air.

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Image 1/3: Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/3: Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket. Image 3/3: Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard backlight ribbon cable ZIF socket.

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

  • Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the AirPort/Bluetooth card to the logic board.

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Image 1/3: To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do '''not''' excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card. Image 2/3: To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do '''not''' excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card. Image 3/3: To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do '''not''' excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card.
  • Slightly lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth board and pull it out of its socket on the logic board.

  • To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do not excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

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Image 1/1: In some models these are  3.1 mm T5 Torx screws.
  • Remove the three 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

  • In some models these are 3.1 mm T5 Torx screws.

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Image 1/3: When replacing the logic board, insert the board's rubber edge under the port-side rubber gasket, then lower the board into place. Image 2/3: When replacing the logic board, insert the board's rubber edge under the port-side rubber gasket, then lower the board into place. Image 3/3: When replacing the logic board, insert the board's rubber edge under the port-side rubber gasket, then lower the board into place.
  • Gently lift the logic board assembly from the heat sink end and pull it away from the port side of the case to remove it from the Air.

    • When replacing the logic board, insert the board's rubber edge under the port-side rubber gasket, then lower the board into place.

There's a screw that's connecting the logic board to the casing that has to be removed before sliding the logic board out. I found that out the hard way.

Andrea Carter - Reply

Image 1/3: Remove the gasket from the corner nearest display cable connector. Image 2/3: Remove the gasket from the corner nearest display cable connector. Image 3/3: Remove the gasket from the corner nearest display cable connector.
  • Remove the small rubber gasket from the corner of the upper case nearest the the I/O board.

  • Remove the gasket from the corner nearest display cable connector.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • If necessary, use tweezers to remove any tape covering the microphone cable ZIF connector.

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Image 1/3: Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, '''not''' the socket itself. Image 2/3: With a pair of tweezers, pull the microphone ribbon cable straight out of its socket. Image 3/3: With a pair of tweezers, pull the microphone ribbon cable straight out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the microphone cable ZIF socket.

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

  • With a pair of tweezers, pull the microphone ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Image 1/3: De-route the cable from its notch in the logic board. Image 2/3: De-route the cable from its notch in the logic board. Image 3/3: De-route the cable from its notch in the logic board.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry under the speaker cable near the connector, lifting it straight up from its socket.

  • De-route the cable from its notch in the logic board.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw securing the I/O board to the upper case.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Carefully lift the I/O board by its power cable and pull it away from the edge of the case.

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Image 1/3: In some models there are seven cable loops. Image 2/3: Gently pull the cable loops slightly out of the channel cut into the upper case one at a time. Image 3/3: Use your spudger to open up the plastic loops as you de-route the antenna cables through them.
  • Peel up the six cable loops securing the antenna cables to the upper case.

    • In some models there are seven cable loops.

  • Gently pull the cable loops slightly out of the channel cut into the upper case one at a time.

  • Use your spudger to open up the plastic loops as you de-route the antenna cables through them.

  • Repeat this for each retaining loop until the antenna cables are free from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the inner 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw securing each display hinge to the upper case (two screws total).

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Image 1/1: While holding the Air steady, remove the remaining 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.
  • Open the display until it is perpendicular to the upper case and place it on a table as shown.

  • While holding the Air steady, remove the remaining 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Image 1/1: Remove the last 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.
  • Before removing the last display screw, be sure to hold the display and upper case steady with your other hand. Failure to do so may allow the components to fall onto the table, causing potentially expensive damage.

  • Remove the last 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Once the two display hinges have cleared the upper case, remove the display. Image 2/2: Once the two display hinges have cleared the upper case, remove the display.
  • Push the upper case slightly toward the display assembly, then rotate it away from the front of the display assembly.

  • Once the two display hinges have cleared the upper case, remove the display.

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Image 1/2: Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself. Image 2/2: Remove the right speaker from the upper case.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the right speaker off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

  • Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself.

  • Remove the right speaker from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself. Image 2/2: Remove the left speaker from the upper case.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

  • Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself.

  • Remove the left speaker from the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Remove the microphone from the upper case. Image 2/2: Upper case remains.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone away from the side of the upper case.

  • Remove the microphone from the upper case.

  • Upper case remains.

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Image 1/3: Push/lift the keyboard ribbon cable off of the upper case with one hand. Image 2/3: With the other hand, use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the ZIF connector. Image 3/3: Once the retaining flap has been flipped up, carefully pull the ribbon cable straight out of its socket.
  • The ZIF connector for the keyboard ribbon cable is hidden under the cable itself.

  • Push/lift the keyboard ribbon cable off of the upper case with one hand.

  • With the other hand, use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the ZIF connector.

  • Once the retaining flap has been flipped up, carefully pull the ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

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Image 1/2: The cable is held in place with adhesive. Work carefully, and be sure to not let the spudger slip and damage any components. Image 2/2: The cable is held in place with adhesive. Work carefully, and be sure to not let the spudger slip and damage any components.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the trackpad ribbon cable from the underside of the keyboard.

  • The cable is held in place with adhesive. Work carefully, and be sure to not let the spudger slip and damage any components.

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Image 1/1: Check your replacement upper case—if it doesn't have this wide T5 screw, remove it to transfer into the replacement.
  • Remove the six 1.5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the trackpad to the upper case.

  • Check your replacement upper case—if it doesn't have this wide T5 screw, remove it to transfer into the replacement.

    • This is an adjustment screw to set the distance of the click of the trackpad—on reassembly, test the click and adjust this screw until it feels right.

Also you will need to remove the T5 screw at the bottom of the trackpad, closest to the edge. It's located right underneath the hill shape in the aluminum. Without it the trackpad will not physically click.

Orioles4L - Reply

I needed the #000 bit instead of #00.

wanderchic - Reply

I also needed #000.

alyssaberns -

#000 is a necessity to remove those six screws - #00 is just too thick to fit.

Michael Sweetser -

Image 1/3: Remove the trackpad from the upper case. Image 2/3: Remove the trackpad from the upper case. Image 3/3: Remove the trackpad from the upper case.
  • Holding the upper case up off the table with one hand, gently push the trackpad up through the upper case.

  • Remove the trackpad from the upper case.

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Image 1/1:
  • The upper case remains.

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Conclusion

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

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