Introduction

Use this guide to replace the trackpad.

  • Before proceeding, close your computer and lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 9 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.6 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

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

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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.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

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Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the Air to disconnect the battery from the logic board.
  • Grab the clear plastic pull tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the Air to disconnect the battery from the logic board.

  • Do not lift upward on the connector as you disconnect it.

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Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:
  • Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • Three 6.3 mm T5 Torx screws

    • Two 2.4 mm T5 Torx screws

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When handling the battery, avoid squeezing or touching the four exposed lithium polymer cells.
  • When handling the battery, avoid squeezing or touching the four 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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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 (on the side opposite the cable), not the socket itself.
  • 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 (on the side opposite the cable), not the socket itself.

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

Thanks for this fantastic guide!!! Got an old Macbook Air working again. Only difficult spot was the ZIF cables. Man, I hate ZIF cables....

lyleberman - Reply

I found it easyer to first connect the cables to the touchpad during reassabling. I could handel the tiny connectors better. After connecting the cabels I could easiely install the touchpad it self.

Stefan Kania - Reply

While carefully lifting the keyboard ribbon cable with one hand, use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF socket. Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • While carefully lifting the keyboard ribbon cable with one hand, use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF socket.

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

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

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Remove the following twelve screws:
  • Remove the following twelve screws:

    • Six 1.6 mm Phillips screws securing the trackpad to the upper case.

    • Six 1.6 mm Phillips screws securing the trackpad brackets to the trackpad.

    • A Phillips #000 should be sufficient, but a JIS #000 may also work as well.

I stripped one of the six 1.6mm screws securing the trackpad to the upper case. Where could I get a replacement and what are the exact dimensions (I assume that 1.6mm is the length not the head size). Not sure whether this is the right place to post this, but I would be very thankful for some help.

Karl - Reply

The 00 philips driver is not working for these 6 screws...very frustrated....

Adam - Reply

The 00 phillips screw driver does not do the job for step 8!!!!!!!!! FRUSTRATING!

anonymous 1446 - Reply

Anyone figured the right screwdriver?

er09gi4v - Reply

Worst part was the philips screws on the brackets, step 8. One screw wouldn't unscrew for the longest time. I stripped it so bad, that I finally got it undone with a Torx 5 that I wedged into the stripped screw hole! Fortunately the replacement trackpad came with it's own brackets and screws anyway, so I didn't need to re-use the messed up screw.

In the end, success...phew!

fauxryan - Reply

Beware that when you remove these screws the trackpad will have dropped down and resting on the screen. Maybe a precaution would be to place a thin cloth between the trackpad and screen.

Joe - Reply

Agreed on the error in the guide. J00 seems to be the best fit.

H4nd5omeR0b - Reply

I stripped one of the 12 screws. Of course one of the ones attached to the unibody frame not the trackpad. I thought I could weasel the trackpad out without taking the right bracket off but no dice. I had to bend the bracket and turn it around to get the trackpad out.

After I got the trackpad out I took out the replacement (purchased from here) and lo and behold it had the two brackets attached! So great, I'm good on screw count! But crap, now I REALLY need to get that stripped screw back out.

Thankfully I was able to dig it out with a tiny flat head bit from the 54 bit driver kit.

I even reattached the two brackets to the old trackpad and put it back in the ESD bag. I wonder if I can send it back to iFixIt to be refurbished. Don't want to toss it and have it wind up in a landfill unnecessarily!

David Lam - Reply

The Phillips 00 I bought from iFixit definitely doesn't work. Gonna try their 000.

jorach - Reply

Remove the right and left trackpad brackets  from the upper case.
  • Remove the right and left trackpad brackets from the upper case.

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Remove the 1.4 mm T5 Torx set screw from its tapped hole near the front edge of the upper case.
  • Remove the 1.4 mm T5 Torx set screw from its tapped hole near the front edge of the upper case.

  • During reassembly, do not over-tighten the set screw, as the button will cease to click at a certain point. Adjust the set screw until the movable side of the trackpad has minimal play.

This was a T10 on my Mid 2011.

Joe - Reply

Sorry, seems more like a T6

Joe -

This was a T6 on mine as well. Sadly I figured that out after threading the screw with the T5 included in the iFixit kit, so now my trackpad won't click at all.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Buy a T6 screwdriver if the T5 in the kit is just a bit too small for the screw in step 10.

Jon -

I thought the purpose of this set screw was to adjust the height of the pad relative to the rest of the deck. By feeling underneath as I adjusted this screw, I was able to get the join between the pad and the deck seamlessly level,

bbc2 - Reply

Hi, I just want to ask what it means that it will stop clicking eventually, I had my macbook air trackpad replaced after some water fell on it and now around 9 months later the trackpad click gets stuck and it's driving me crazy, I went back to the service center myself and the technician actually admitted that he overtightened the screws but since the parts warranty is only 90 days he has to charge me again. So my question actually is can overtightening it cause permanent damage? Is there anything I can do? There's no apple store here (Cyprus) but the service center is one of the official service and registered distributor for Mac products and specifically for the more professional clientele.

crossmission1984 - Reply

can anyone tell me where to get a replacement for the set screw mentioned in step 10? mine has gone missing. all i need is the screw, i don't want to replace the whole trackpad.

sean - Reply

I, too, have a question about the set screw. I replaced a MacBook Air 2011 keyboard because of water damage and that process involves also taking out the trackpad and putting it back in. After reassembly, I now get phantom clicks (the "click" sound happens as expected, but the Air frequently thinks I'm clicking when I'm not). Could this be a result of over/under tightening the set screw, or is it more likely the trackpad also needs replacement?

Hank - Reply

The set screw on my macbook barely turns 1/8 of a rotation before it hits a blockage. I do not want to try to turn harder for fear of stripping the screen and/or the threads in the case. I assumed that the screw should be able to be completely unscrewed from the case, correct? Any idea what's causing the blockage?

johnkowtko - Reply

Use the flat edge of a spudger to carefully lift the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by lifting it away from the brackets attached to the upper case. Remove the trackpad from the upper case.
  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to carefully lift the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by lifting it away from the brackets attached to the upper case.

  • Remove the trackpad from the upper case.

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Conclusion

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

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3 Comments

The screws are not Philips 00. They are smaller than Philips 000. I am looking for a screwdriver in that size.

I have the iFixit toolkit, and the PH000 tip simply did not fit into the head. The J000 tip could remove a couple screws, but started to strip the head of two others before I stopped. The tip almost stripped the two I removed on reinsertion.

The replacement trackpad comes with a set of these screws.

mikedesimone - Reply

No pictures : impossible to use

Pierre GENNEVOIS - Reply

Hey Pierre! There was an Amazon service outage that affected the images on this page. Take another look, you should be able to follow this guide now! =)

Sam Lionheart -

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