MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 Trackpad Replacement

Replace the Trackpad in your MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011.

Use this guide to replace the trackpad.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Before proceeding, power down your machine. Close the display 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 ten 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • 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

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 6 Trackpad  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Trackpad  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • 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.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T5 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #000 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

The Apple tech repair guide for this model of Macbook Air states that the flexures use Phillips #000 screws, but I didn't have good luck using #000 drivers on them. A high quality precision Phillips #00 driver worked a little better, but I'm wondering if this is actually a JIS cross point phillips #00 or #000 screwdriver? The screws look more like JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) instead of Phillips, anyone try a JIS with better luck on these?

iphonetechtips, · Reply

Yes..I did, and it worked much better... I actually almost stripped out a screw using regular phillips head, rather than the JIS one...

breezyjr, · Reply

Great guide, all worked as described. Thanks!

Yes, the screws don't seem to quite match expectations; I used three different #00/#000 drivers before I got a good fit.

Step 7: Could use just a bit more detailed explanation and/or picture. The retainer is on the "back" edge of the connector (facing off the long edge of the trackpad, opposite of Step 6), and takes a mix of delicate firmness to raise. Practice on your replacement (if available).

Step 8: My replacement trackpad came with the trackpad bracket attached, so no need to remove the 6 (orange-circled) screws attaching bracket to trackpad, which can be removed and installed with the bracket attached.

Step 10, reinstalling: Getting the set-screw correctly adjusted was a bit hit-n-miss. My assumption was in far enough to just stop movement, then back off a turn or so. That ended up too loose. YMMV.

Guy Noir, · Reply

I have just finished, there was a scary moment when I managed to somehow cause the retainer clip for keyboard ribbon to fall off the new track pad while I was fitting the cable. I put it together anyway but - of course the keyboard did not work!!! I then took it apart and somehow with the use of an illuminated magnifier, I managed to push the retainer clip back on to the prongs and it works!!

Michael S

Michael Standley, · Reply

Hi,

friend mine did replacement of complete top case with keyboard and trackpad. Seller claimed it is ok but we face one problem. when I touch case (palm rest) trackpad stops responding. Both cases were from A1369 model but on mine was black plastic foil over part of keyboard whiel on other not. So I am not sure there could be some other differences that could cause this.

Would anybody has any suggestion.

Thanks

Frank

frantisek, · Reply

Guide is spot on. I only ran into some difficulty on Step 8. (More details below) Was eventually able to replace trackpad with replacement purchased from here. No more phantom clicks! Although examining the old trackpad and the click "button" makes me wonder if I could have fixed the old one by tweaking the set screw... Regardless, MBA now fully functional again! Wasn't easy but this guide made it not hard to do!

David Lam, · Reply

These pentalobe screw sizes can't possibly be right - not even close. Should they perhaps be 0,8 mm and 1,2 mm?

Rulle Boer, · Reply

The screw sizes refer to the length of the shaft, not the diameter of the head or socket. P5 is the standard pentalobe size for all these screws, regardless of length.

I agree that the notation is a little confusing. I think it's because, with standard sized hardware like for your house, you have shaft diameter (say 1/8" or 3mm) and shaft length (say 3" or 7.5cm). So we're programmed to think of small numbers like that as diameter. But in this case, they're length.

budpegasus, · Reply

Pulling the fan cable out was terrifying but you actually just pull on the cable itself. No way to get any leverage at the connector to dislodge it. Did come out easily but like I said, scared me!

allison, · Reply

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

This was a T10 on my Mid 2011.

Joe, · Reply

Sorry, seems more like a T6

Joe,

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

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