Skip to main content

Introduction

Use this guide to replace a faulty trackpad in a Late 2020 MacBook Air (M1).

    • Before starting this procedure, you should disable your Mac's Auto Boot feature. Auto Boot powers on your Mac when you open the lid, and may be accidentally triggered during disassembly. Use this guide to disable Auto Boot.

    • If your MacBook is running Big Sur v11.1 or later, disabling Auto Boot may not work. You can proceed normally, but make sure to disconnect the battery as soon as you're inside.

    • Completely power off and unplug your MacBook before you start. Close the display and flip the entire laptop upside-down.

    • Use a P5 driver to remove the following screws:

    • Two 7.9 mm screws

    • Two 7.3 mm screws

    • Six 2.6 mm screws

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your MacBook.

  1. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the lower case: step 2, image 1 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the lower case: step 2, image 2 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the lower case: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop off the lower case.

    • Remove the lower case.

    • To reinstall the lower case:

    • Set it in place and press firmly to engage the two hidden clips underneath. You should feel and hear them snap into place.

  2. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 3, image 1 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 3, image 2 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry up and unlatch the metal locking arm on the battery connector.

    • Make sure the metal arm is completely free of the locking tab before lifting the battery connector. The metal locking arm should easily unlatch.

    • Lift straight up on the metal locking arm to pull the battery connector out of its socket on the logic board.

    • During reassembly, press the battery connector straight down into its socket, making sure it sits flush within the socket.

  3. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad cable cover: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Use a T3 Torx driver to remove the two 1.4 mm screws securing the trackpad cable cover.

    • If your T3 bit feels a bit too loose, you may need to use a T4.

  4. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the trackpad cable cover.

  5. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the trackpad cable: step 6, image 1 of 2 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the trackpad cable: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the trackpad cable connector up and out of its socket.

  6. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Carefully peel the trackpad cable off of the battery.

    • The trackpad cable is secured to the battery with some light adhesive.

  7. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the trackpad cable: step 8, image 1 of 2 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Disconnect the trackpad cable: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Use a pair of tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable connector.

  8. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Use the pointed end of a spudger to lift up the small locking flap on the trackpad cable's ZIF connector.

  9. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 2 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • Slide the cable out of its connector.

    • If possible, grip the cable by the tape, not by the cable itself.

  10. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad screws: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the nine screws securing the trackpad:

    • Eight fully-coated 3.1 mm screws

    • One partially-coated 3.1 mm screw

  11. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad: step 12, image 1 of 2 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad: step 12, image 2 of 2
    • While keeping the laptop screen-side down, carefully open the laptop. The trackpad will stay sitting on the display.

    • As you lift, make sure the trackpad cable threads through the opening on the case.

  12. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 13, image 2 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement: step 13, image 3 of 3
    • As you remove the trackpad assembly, be careful not to lose the five small metal washers resting on the screw posts. (They will fly off and get lost with very little provocation.)

    • Remove the trackpad.

    • Take extra care to not scratch the display.

  13. MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad cable: step 14, image 1 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad cable: step 14, image 2 of 3 MacBook Air 13" Late 2020 Trackpad Replacement, Remove the trackpad cable: step 14, image 3 of 3
    • If your replacement trackpad comes with a trackpad cable preinstalled, this step isn't necessary.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the small locking flap on the trackpad's ZIF connector.

    • Slide the trackpad cable straight out of the ZIF connector.

Conclusion

Compare your new replacement part to the original part—you may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Answers community for troubleshooting help.

6 other people completed this guide.

Carsten Frauenheim

Member since: 03/10/2020

74,705 Reputation

330 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

146 Members

15,574 Guides authored

7 Comments

Hi! So I successfully replaced my trackpad (the center screw got stripped so I had to use the superglue technique and threw it away), and the trackpad works perfectly well but without haptics. My replacement didn’t come with a new cable so used the old one after cleaning of the end (it had some blackening on the portion connected to the trackpad). Is my trackpad a bad unit or should I try replacing the cable first?

Tanmaya Mishra - Reply

Hi! Considering the blackening on the old cable, I’d recommend thoroughly cleaning its contacts with high concentration (90%+) isopropyl alcohol and a Q-tip. Let it dry before reinstalling it. If that cleaning doesn’t help, replace the old cable before considering your replacement trackpad a bad unit. Good luck on your repair!

Carsten Frauenheim -

Hi Carsten! I tried cleaning it but didn’t work. Picked up a new cable from here, and now works flawlessly. Highly recommend anyone reading this to just buy a replacement cable too when you do the repair to rule out a faulty part. Thanks!

Tanmaya Mishra -

Hi, I replaced trackpad following the guide and trackpad seems to work but very slow and lagging. and when I log in, mac is showing message waiting for bluetooth trackpad to be discovered. Could this be cable issue?

ifixsmartphone - Reply

Hi team,

I follow this guide to replace my trackpad and now strangely my “a” and “d” keys no longer work on my keyboard. Any thoughts on how this could have happened?

Cheers

Zac Lew - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 19

Past 7 Days: 211

Past 30 Days: 928

All Time: 9,836