Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken AirPort/Bluetooth card to get back your wireless.

  • 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 P5 Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.6 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

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

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

Draai de schroefjes voorzichtig los en leg ze op een stabiele plek neer en let erop dat de schroefje een verschillende lengte hebben.

bwgvanderveer - Reply

I thought I could replace my 256 Gb SSD with 512? regards

ola m - Reply

Do you have good Test Point Voltages? It appears there are silver colored Test points on the I/O Board. I am working on a water spill and trying to troubleshoot if both the I/O board and the Logic need replaced.

andrew - Reply

It's probably not necessary but may be a little safer to completely discharge the old battery before replacing it.

Larry Smith - Reply

tell a model that was not inferior to the speed of the one in the laptop.

Thank you

ilyabuhov - Reply

Image 1/1: Remove the lower case and set it aside.
  • 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.

There is a nub on the inside of the case which is attached to the battery. When you try to pull it open, it appears to be attached to the plastic casing of the battery, which sometimes splits. I gently unhooked the nub from the battery before removing the case fully. This seems to happen if the battery has suffered some drop damage (plastic parts broken around screws and parts of plastic frame split). Just an FYI in case your lower case doesn't pull away easily.

Jeannie Crowley - Reply

Image 1/2: 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. Image 2/2: Be sure to pull the connector horizontally toward the battery, and not straight up from the Air, or you may damage the socket on the logic board.
  • As a precaution against accidental discharge or shock, disconnect the battery connector 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.

  • Be sure to pull the connector horizontally toward the battery, and not straight up from the Air, or you may damage the socket on the logic board.

The clear plastic tab is missing on mine. Whoever worked on my laptop before me seems to have ripped it off. Now what?

mjmorawski - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

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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 1/2: To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do not excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card. Image 2/2: Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth card from the Air.
  • Slightly lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card 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.

  • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth card from the Air.

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Conclusion

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

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Andrew Optimus Goldberg

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6 Comments

Is it possible to replace 2012 wireless card to newer ac card?

Manoj Biswas - Reply

^I have this same question

delgado1kevin - Reply

Hello I just ordered a early 2013 Wifi/Bluetooth Macbook Air card that I will use to replace my current mid 2012 MacAir wifi/Bluetooth. I will keep everyone posted here. The card should arrive next week.

filipemiranda - Reply

Did the 2013 AC airport card work on your 2012 macbook air?

Fritz Gamboa -

Yes it is. I got mine from WWW.QUICKERTEK.COM and it works perfectly. I can now use my Apple Watch to unlock my Mid 2012 MacBook Air 13"

Colin O'Neal - Reply

I used this procedure and found it to be easy and the card worked well. It is worth noting that when you change the Airport card you change the MAC address for your machine. Some licensing schemes use this to activate software and those activations will be lost unless they can be deactivated before you do the card replacement. A couple of examples are iLok (used with Avid digital audio workstation (DAW) software), plugins for many DAWs, GraphPad Prism statistical software, and no doubt many others. Trying to address this to the extent possible before replacing the card would be probably be best. Sometimes tech support can help after the fact, and sometimes not.

Kemp Cease - Reply

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