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Introduction

Use this guide to upgrade or replace the solid-state drive in a MacBook Air 13” Mid 2012. This MacBook Air uses a proprietary storage drive connector, and is therefore not compatible with common M.2 and mSATA drives without the use of an adapter.

Before you perform this repair, if at all possible, back up your existing SSD. Then, either familiarize yourself with internet recovery or create a bootable external drive so you’ll be ready to install macOS onto your new drive and migrate your data to the new SSD.

Finally, we strongly recommend installing macOS 10.13 High Sierra (or a later macOS) before replacing the original SSD from your MacBook Air. Most new SSDs require updated storage drivers not found in versions of macOS prior to High Sierra.


    • Before proceeding, power down your MacBook. Close the display and lay it on a soft surface, top-side down.

    • Use a P5 Pentalobe driver to remove ten screws securing the lower case, of the following lengths:

    • Two 9 mm screws

    • Eight 2.6 mm screws

    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

    Do i need to order tools separately to replace the battery i just ordered?

    anne uhlir - Reply

    im looking for a Logic Board for a

    Apple - MacBook Air® - 13.3" Display - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB Flash Storage (Latest Model) - Silver Model: MQD32LL/A

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jamie Comstock - Reply

    P5 pentalobe screwdrivers are too big! The correct size for these screws are p4 pentalobe. P5 pentalobe was just able, with difficulty, to turn some of the screws. If the screws were at all tight, my p5 was unable to get them out, and started to strip the screws. A p4 screwdriver fit better and removed the screws with ease. (I was using high quality Wiha brand screwdrivers.)

    William Skinner - Reply

    I had same experience (with MacBook Air 13-inch Mid-2012) … had to get P4, which worked swimmingly

    eric -

    Very simple installation. The screwdriver heads were exactly what we’re needed, one head for the outside case screws, the other for the screws holding the battery in place. The computer started right up. Now to see how the battery holds up, but I have a good feeling about this!

    Dennis Eaton - Reply

    My P5 and the T5 worked perfectly with my early 2015 Air 13”! And it is super fast! Thank you iFixit!

    Pennny Beach - Reply

    The supplied kit and instructions worked perfectly!

    Nikolay Andreev - Reply

    Comments that the P5 pentalobe are too large are absolutely spot-on. There is no way the P5 pentalobe bit I have will work with the MacBook Air without destroying the screws. Hard target search for P4 pentalobe bit in progress…..

    joemoog - Reply

    Bonjour j’aimerais changer mon SSD de 128 Go pour en mettre un de 512 Go. Je ne sais pas ce qu’il faut prendre car il faut qu’il soit compatible avec le macbook air A1466. J’aurais vu un Samsung Evo 970 500 Go mais si je ne me trompe pas, il faut un adaptateur.

    Merci pour votre aide.

    chicco33 - Reply

    oui, vous aurez besoin d’un adaptateur, pour completez le changement.

    Dan -

    The tool kit should include tweezers for re-inserting the battery connector.

    Andre Clement - Reply

    P5 pentalobe worked perfectly for me. Instructions were spot-on. Antenna connections were a bit fiddly to refit but got them in ok.

    michaelquinnell - Reply

    Maybe the problem some are experiencing is that the designations are confusing (blame Apple rather than iFixit). the P2 is also known as PL1. The P5 is also known as PL4. The P6 is also known as PL5. So it is possible to mistake the P6 (PL5) for the P5 (PL4), meaning it (P6-PL5) will be too big, while the P5 (PL4) will be just right. Sort of a 3 Bears explanation, but it is very confusing.

    Thomas Lewis - Reply

    To add to this. In searching for the P5 screwdriver to buy in UK, as far as I can tell, it is also known as

    Pentalobe 1.2(mm)

    also

    P4 = 0.8

    P6 = 1.5

    Just unscrewed the back case of MacBook Air 13” mid 2011, with no problems using Pentalobe 1.2

    nijafe -

    I have not replaced a display on the A1369 but have done many A1466 which is a newer 13” model. They seem really similar and its not clear why one needs to remove the logic board to remove the display. The antenna cables on the A1466 dont have to rest under the logic board but can be tucked in the hinge crevice. Cant this same thing be done with the A1369?

    Sean Love - Reply

    Did mine today - but new battery wasnt charging. Went back in and noticed the battery connector cable was not quite 100% “seated. It was sticking out by less than a millimetre! - you need to give it quite a firm push in to get it seated properly. Otherwise - all ok .

    John Brennand - Reply

    Just installed on a MacBookAir6,2 (13-inch, Early 2014).

    Was very easy.

    New iFixit battery looks great so far:

    Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 4922 -> 7333

    Jonathan Cross - Reply

    can you tell me which size of screwdrivers you’ve used to crack it up, please? I have the same model and size,

    hawk_lpc -

    Screw P5 Pentalobe 1.2

    Mario Verlent - Reply

    Install went flawlessly. Only challange was reattaching blue tooth antennas. Those sockets are so tiny.

    Joel Sebastian - Reply

    Installation was a little challenging at first because the instructions on this site did not perfectly match my model (late 2013 to early 2015).

    Found this video on YouTube which described the procedure perfectly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lue6lVWh...

    Also the Ifixit kit I received was well put together with everything I needed and more. The calibration went perfectly and I am very pleased. Will buy again!!

    Donald Niamath - Reply

    Gently pulled out connector of old battery, then pressed and held the power switch for 1 minute. Unscrewed and removed the old battery. Pressed and held power switch for 1 minute again. I know from previous work that this helps drain charge from spontaneous recharging as the dielectric recovers. Gently “fine tuned” leads from new battery to connector till connector stuck out at right angle to the edge of battery. Held the battery by the edges and let the connector slide into the socket. Set the battery down and put the screws in all the way. Then checked that the connector was completely seated before tightening the screws. The laptop come on immediately and showed 98% charge and registered normal (checked in “About this Mac”. Very happy to this point. Now for calibration.

    Amir Zaidi - Reply

    Thank you very much for the guilde. My MBA2011 had reborn !

    Billy Wong - Reply

    Allow for electrostatics, otherwise you may cook components on the logicboard /motherboard (like I did with one of these!)

    See great advice: Electrostatic Discharge

    Fletcher Cole - Reply

    … und wenn du eines von diesen wirklich kleinen Schräubchen vermisst: bevor du den Boden aufkehrst oder mit einem starken Magneten absuchst, schau mal am seitlichen (magnetischen) Ladekabelanschluss nach … ?

    ... and if you miss one of these really small screws: before you sweep the floor or search it with a strong magnet, take a look at the (magnetic) charging cable connection on the side … ?

    Blatt - Reply

  1. 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.

    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

    To add - the slim 1cm tab “nub” is on the centre of the back cover & fits into a hole in the battery frame. I ran my fingers around the whole of the cover to eventually here it click out.

    nijafe -

    When closing this back up make sure that the antenna cable is tucked away neatly

    Gabriel - Reply

    So this is a legit back cover for MacBook Air?

    ASHANTI SMITH - Reply

    What about disconnecting the battery?

    Luke Grimes - Reply

    I bought the part and tools from iFixit and followed the directions. The mechanical part went smoothly - maybe 10 minutes to disassemble/replace/reassemble.

    Getting Catalina (the current MacOS) to install was not working until I used Cmd-Opt-R (as noted in the OWC paper sheet that came in the box) which brought up the proper installer - I believe from a pre-prepared bootable SD card but it’s hard to say. From there the install succeeded taking ~1.5 hours.

    Beware that (a) the install requires a working internet connection for verification and updates, and (b) the system must have been running at least macOs 10.13 (High Sierra) before the install in order to have an EFI BIOS that recognizes the SSD.

    Lance Berc - Reply

    As noted by others, be a bit careful removing the lower case. There is an oblong black plastic locator very near the center of the lower case. Unless you gently pry the bottom cover pretty much straight up, you will break the ends off of the locater.

    BobY - Reply

  2. 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.
    • 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

    My plastic tab pulled off the connector. I worked the connection apart using two spurgers, slowly backing it out side to side.

    Ric Thistlethwaite - Reply

    I don’t see my socket on logic board, how can I fix it

    QUYNH PHAM - Reply

  3. Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.
    • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.

    Should this screw be really difficult to remove?

    Kitty - Reply

    It should give a little resistance but not a lot that it doesn’t come out.

    Jonathan - Reply

  4. To avoid damaging its socket, do not lift the end of the SSD excessively. Slightly lift up the end of the SSD and pull it straight out of its socket on the logic board.
    • To avoid damaging its socket, do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.

    • Slightly lift up the end of the SSD and pull it straight out of its socket on the logic board.

    • When reinstalling the SSD, be sure it is properly seated before reinstalling its retaining screw.

    I’ve heard tales of an adapter that will make this computer work with a stand SSD drive.

    Doesn’t seem like there’s enough space to make it work, but if this is possible I’d love to learn more.

    Alberto Einsteino - Reply

    Yes, you can put a normal SATA SSD in, with an adapter. I just installed a WD Blue 1TB. This page explains all the details: https://macandegg.com/upkeep/macbook-air...

    peternorthup - Reply

Conclusion

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

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17 Comments

I understand this is probably a noob question, but can somebody explain what is preventing anybody from swapping a 128GB SSD for a 256GB?

Eugene General Ed - Reply

Eugene - nothing, I just followed this guide to upgrade from 256GB to 512GB. It's just that MBA 2012 SSDs are pretty hard to come by. I had to lurk on eBay for quite some time.

Julian - Reply

How do I get the operating system on to SSD?

perarve - Reply

You should be able to transfer the os installer into an 8+ gb thumb drive via DiskMakerX. You do need a working mac with something that works with the mac app store installed and enough space to download the os from the app store. Afterwards, just boot up your mac with the alt key, and install.

diskmakerx.com

Eugene General Ed - Reply

Are you certain it's a P5 pentalobe driver? We found the P5 doesn't fit, and have always used a Wiha 267IPR / 4IPR x 40

Mac Justice - Reply

Many may not know that the SSD for this model (apparently Macbooks from 2011 to 2013) can be upgraded with a commercial off the shelf M.2 form factor SSD and an additional adapter (from proprietary Macbook connector to M.2/NGFF). The M.2 Standard allows different logical device interfaces, but since the Macbook is limited to SATA access, this must be supported by the SSD (in contrast to PCI Express). I successfully upgraded my Macbook using this SSD http://www.amazon.de/Samsung-MZ-N5E500BW... with this adapter http://www.amazon.de/Adapter-Macbook-MD2... . Just wanted to share this with the community, even TRIM support can now be activated since OS X Yosemite for non-Apple SSDs using trimforce in Mac OS terminal.

Hubsi - Reply

Thank you. You have the most useful information on this site.

love.james.r -

Great info,

I have a Macbook Air 11 inches - Mid 2012. I read somewhere that only 128GB and 256GB SSD can be installed with an adapter. I’d like to install the 512GB model. Can you please confirm that it can be done?

Thanks

Fabio Pulito -

someone knows if this SSD is compatible with the macbook pro retina 15” 2012/ early 2013? Thank you.

fporcelli2010 - Reply

MD760LL/A ModelA1466 (EMC 2632) with SanDisk SSD (SDNEP 655-1838C)… The Mother Board failed and I would like to recover the data off of the drive prior to selling it out for parts. Does anyone know of an adaptor that works for this model of SSD?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Glen Becker - Reply

You can find adapters on Amazon for $20 or less. Put in your model and “SSD adapter”.

M S -

I would like to check which brand of SSD m.2 suitable for Macbook Air 2012? do have a list of it?

beside Samsung 850 evo, how about Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 Type 2280SS SSD?

myron oh - Reply

Bought a SSD OWC and dead again!

abdullahalnazzawi - Reply

how to know right ssd compatible with Air mid 2012 SN C02K86X0DRVC?

Arturo Marinho - Reply

Are there any post-installation steps that need to be taken? I replaced the drive in my MBA following this guide and it’s never really worked correctly since. For example, every time I reboot, it gives me a popup that my system was restarted due to an error.

mikebougie - Reply

Hi,

I bought a used logic board and now my SSD is not recognized by the system. I am not able to boot from internal SSD. Just from an external drive with Sierra on it. I tried to upgrade the system to High Sierra, but this did not work. Ended with EFI error.

Is there a way to update the SSD Driver on my “new” used logic board?

Thanks in advance

Martin - Reply

What’s the format of HD needed? I understand a special adaptor is needed for apple?

ben - Reply

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