Introduction

Use this guide to replace the heat sink.

Be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste before reinstalling your heat sink.

  • 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

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

anne uhlir - Reply

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 ensure that everything is de-energized and won't turn on while you're working, it is recommended that you disconnect the 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.
  • To ensure that everything is de-energized and won't turn on while you're working, it is recommended that you disconnect the 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.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the I/O board cable connector up out of its socket on the I/O board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the I/O board cable connector up out of its socket on the I/O board.

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Carefully peel the I/O board cable from the adhesive securing it to the top of the fan.
  • Carefully peel the I/O board cable from the adhesive securing it to the top of the fan.

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The following connector has an especially deep socket. Use care when disconnecting it. While gently pulling the I/O board cable upward near its connection to the logic board, use the flat end of a spudger to pry up on alternating sides of the connector to help "walk" it out of its socket.
  • The following connector has an especially deep socket. Use care when disconnecting it.

  • While gently pulling the I/O board cable upward near its connection to the logic board, use the flat end of a spudger to pry up on alternating sides of the connector to help "walk" it out of its socket.

  • Remove the I/O board cable.

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Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.

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

I did not find it necessary to loosed the retainer flap, unplug the ribbon cable from it's socket, or remove the fan. After removing the fan screws in Step 9, the fan was loose enough that it can be slightly moved to the side. I felt that loosening the retaining flap and removing the fan adds unnecessary potential to damage something. To the contrary, if you bump the fan while it's plugged in, you might damage the ribbon cable.

Michael Kruger - Reply

Peel the rubber gasket off the adhesive on the top of the fan.
  • Peel the rubber gasket off the adhesive on the top of the fan.

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Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:
  • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • One 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw

    • One 2.7 mm T5 Torx screw

    • One 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw with a short head

I found it easier to do step 11 before this one.

maccentric - Reply

Lift the fan from the I/O board side and pull it free from the upper case. Removing the fan will also disconnect the fan ribbon cable. Be careful not to snag it.
  • Lift the fan from the I/O board side and pull it free from the upper case.

  • Removing the fan will also disconnect the fan ribbon cable. Be careful not to snag it.

It is a lot easier to insert the flat ribbon in its socket before placing the fan back in place. BUT DO NOT YET FLIP BACK the retaining flap, until you have seated and screwed the fan. This way in case you pull on the fan by mistake, the flat ribbon is free to come out, otherwise you may tear it.

Rany - Reply

I did not find it necessary to remove the fan or unplug the ribbon cable from it's socket. After removing the fan screws, the fan was loose enough that it can be slightly moved to the side. I felt that loosening the retaining flap and removing the fan adds unnecessary potential to damage something. To the contrary, if you bump the fan while it's plugged in, you might damage the ribbon cable.

Michael Kruger - Reply

Disconnect the I/O board by pulling its power cable away from its socket on the logic board.
  • Disconnect the I/O board by pulling its power cable away from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the right edge of the Air.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the I/O board. Pry up from beneath the wires.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the I/O board.

  • Pry up from beneath the wires.

Steps 12 through 16 are not really necessary; you can easily de-route the necessary cables without removing the I/O board. Likewise with reassembly.

maccentric - Reply

Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the microphone ribbon cable ZIF socket. Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the microphone ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Make sure you are flipping up the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

When following these steps in the reverse order to reassemble the machine, I found it much easier to insert the ribbon cable before inserting the I/O board into it's place and installing the screw (Step 14). This adds potential for any sudden movement to damage the ribbon cable, so gentle care must be exercised.

Michael Kruger - Reply

Remove the single 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw securing the I/O board to the upper case.
  • Remove the single 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw securing the I/O board to the upper case.

When following these steps in the reverse order to reassemble the machine, I found it much easier to insert the ribbon cable before inserting the I/O board into it's place and installing the screw (Step 14). This adds potential for any sudden movement to damage the ribbon cable, so gentle care must be exercised.

Michael Kruger - Reply

Gently de-route the camera cable from its notch on the I/O board and push it out of the way with the tip of a spudger. Gently de-route the camera cable from its notch on the I/O board and push it out of the way with the tip of a spudger.
  • Gently de-route the camera cable from its notch on the I/O board and push it out of the way with the tip of a spudger.

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Lift the I/O board from the logic board side and pull it free from the upper case.
  • Lift the I/O board from the logic board side and pull it free from the upper case.

  • Removing the I/O board will also disconnect the microphone ribbon cable. Be careful not to snag it.

I didn't actually need to remove the IO board, it's enough to remove the screw to let it loose. Therefore also step 12 and 13 are useless.

Emilio - Reply

THANK YOU. Was able to push the camera cable under the io board without removing it.

samdaman91 -

Remove the two 4.9 mm T8 Torx screws securing the antenna cable retainer on the left display hinge to the upper case.
  • Remove the two 4.9 mm T8 Torx screws securing the antenna cable retainer on the left display hinge to the upper case.

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Push the antenna cable retainer out of the way and remove the single 3 mm T5 Torx screw securing the end of the heat sink to the upper case.
  • Push the antenna cable retainer out of the way and remove the single 3 mm T5 Torx screw securing the end of the heat sink to the upper case.

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Remove the four 2.5 mm T5 Torx screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.
  • Remove the four 2.5 mm T5 Torx screws securing the heat sink to the logic board.

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  • If the heat sink seems to be stuck to the logic board after removing all five screws, use a spudger to carefully separate the heat sink from the faces of the CPU and GPU.

  • Remove the heat sink from the logic board.

  • When reinstalling the heat sink, be sure to apply a new layer of thermal paste. If you have never applied thermal paste before, we have a guide that makes it easy.

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When reassembling your device, attach the gasket to the heat sink as shown. The tail of the gasket should fit into the notch in the heat sink, it should not end up underneath the heat sink tab that will rest on the logic board.
  • When reassembling your device, attach the gasket to the heat sink as shown.

  • The tail of the gasket should fit into the notch in the heat sink, it should not end up underneath the heat sink tab that will rest on the logic board.

  • Be sure the small post molded into the rubber gasket mates with the hole cut into the upper right corner of the logic board.

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Conclusion

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

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2 Comments

Hello everyone, if you are removing heatsink only to change thermal paste - the main problem is 5th screw near i/o board, to get him you just need to disconnect antenna cable, it covers this screw. You can see its connectors on pic 20 , left side. so you don't need to remove fans, cables, i/o board to get heatsink. The biggest problem for me was to plug in again 2 antenna connectors after job was done. they are tiny that's why so difficult to plug in. but this way reduces risk to damage anything.

Removing 2 antenna connectors has less chance that anything goes wrong vs i/o cable, fan cable, i/o board etc

Michael - Reply

Wow, thank you. I just did this and steps 4-17 can be ignored unless you really want to clean that fan out. Carefully disconnecting the 2 antenna wires in pic 20 as stated and giving them slack allows access to screw 5 of the heatsink in Step 18. Well engineered.

Jason -

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