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Introduction

Use this guide to replace a noisy or burned-out fan.

Video Overview

  1. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Lower Case: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

    • When replacing the small screws, align them perpendicular to the slight curvature of the case (they don't go straight down).

    How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

    gunes314 - Reply

    You can save a lot of weight if lets say your installing a solid state drive or putting in a second hard drive but if you know that you use the CD/DVD disc drive a lot then you might just want to leave the drive alone.

    Marshall WahlstromHelgren -

    Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

    Robert Wacker - Reply

    Hello, where can I buy the screws I need in case I lose one of them?

    taylornya - Reply

    I have one stripped screw... How opening without drill it?! Any suggestions please?

    rodrigosady - Reply

    I also stripped a couple screws. I wasn’t able to open it up without drilling. After drilling the heads and removing the cover it was easy to hacksaw the tip and unscrew with a standard driver.

    Michael Wilkens -

    My top tip - make sure you buy good quality Phillips screwdrivers and a magnetic holder. Cheap screwdrivers won’t get the screws undone safely. Without a magnetic holder you have no chance of getting the tiny crews in and out safely.

    jeremyyoung - Reply

    A good Phillips 00 is your friend here. Also, when reinserting the screws, gently start anticlockwise and you wil feel a click at the start of the thread. This tells you you’re in the right place and less likely to cross-thread through force in the wrong place.

    Iain Boyd - Reply

    I feel like these are 000 screws. Amazon sales describe them as such and my 000 screwdriver fits better

    cam2000deluxe -

    Before ordering a new Trackpad remove the existing battery and try clicking the Trackpad. If it clicks OK with the battery out the source of problem is likely a swollen battery, which should to be replaced even if it still works to some degree. From the side of the battery you will likely see the soft part of the battery bulging beyond the hard case.

    Patrick Langvardt - Reply

    That’s absolutely correct as I can testify. With the battery removed I also adjusted the T6 set screw that adjusts the sensitivity of the trackpad click, evidently someone had cranked mine down tighter than the factory setting.

    Gary Register -

    Le quatrième paragraphe dans les instructions en français n’est pas correct : ce ne sont pas les 2 petites vis, mais les 7 petites vis qui sont inclinées. Et les 3 grandes sont bien verticales.

    Degeorges - Reply

    Bonjour ! Merci de votre observation. J’ai corrigé la traduction. iFixit étant un wiki, n’hésitez pas à modifiez si vous remarquez une erreur :) Encore merci de votre attention et à bientôt !

    Claire Miesch -

    Tip: if you have a magnetic screw mat or similar, lay the macbook over the mat to make sure it catches any screws that may decide to fall of and hide under your table

    Moritz - Reply

  2. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

    • Remove the lower case.

  3. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Battery Connection: step 3, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Battery Connection: step 3, image 2 of 2
    • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

    Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

    manodh - Reply

    yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on

    khull -

    Prying the battery connector off does not take much force. I did exactly what the guide suggested (walked it off back and forth) with the spudger without any problems. Just be very gentle, much like with anything inside laptops, they are very fragile and need to be worked with carefully. A+ instructions, battery replacement was a success.

    aekinaka - Reply

    Be patient on disconnecting this one. It worked for me step by step, little by little.

    Phil Wagner - Reply

    I used the nails of thumb and pointer finger simultaneously - worked pretty fine

    Reinhard Kaune - Reply

  4. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

    I put some tape between the connector and socket while working on the drive.

    Stephen Smith - Reply

    That's a good tip

    Anrothan -

    Great tip, I did that too

    Ahmed Mahran -

    One other note: The screw heads fit flush with the curvature of the case -- which means that they aren't exactly horizontal. In other words, they aren't perpendicular to the table that the computer is resting on. Don't try to force them straight in vertically, because you'll risk cross-threading them. (nearly ruined one screw hole myself!)

    lelandjordon - Reply

    On my MacBook Pro, the connector seems to be an integral part of the battery.

    Jerry South - Reply

    I suspect it’s just like the special screwdriver required for seatbelts on cars – to discourage regular consumers from attempting repairs. Of course, this only encourages consumers to use the wrong tool to attempt to repairs

    colleenthompson - Reply

  5. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Fan: step 5, image 1 of 3 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Fan: step 5, image 2 of 3 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement, Fan: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Use the edge of a spudger to gently pry the fan connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

    • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

    I successfully soldered the fan connector back on for a friend. I used a small soldering iron (maybe 6-10 watts) and ground the tip down to a very fine point. Also used a magnifying light and very fine rosin core solder. I took my time and lined everything up and was careful not to heat any other junction unnecessarily.

    Scott Stanley - Reply

    Yup. Be careful on this one. I was trying to gently pry up and popped it off the socket. Computer working fine after replacing magsafe board, but no fan for cooling…

    Thomas Carr - Reply

    This one is really delicate, as pointed out.  Be careful if using the pointed end of a spudger NOT to dig down and under ….there’s a layer of plastic-y insulation that can be torn.  I accidentally gored it with the pointy end of a spudger and it was slightly ripped.  Fortunately, I was able to press it down and there was no problem when the cable was reinserted.

    Carolyn Ryan - Reply

    For less than $16 I ordered a new fan from amazon. Fans eventually start making noise. If they fail, your system could expire from heat. Consider simply replacing your fan since this model is now about five years old. Here’s link:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FWP...

    airshack - Reply

    I used a guitar pick and gently wiggled underneath to lift it up and out of the socket. no damage! woo hoo! on to step 7!

    jcundy2 - Reply

    I simply skipped this step and left fan wire connected to logic board. Just unscrew screws from Step 6, put fan on the logic board and remove whole stuff togheter.

    paczor - Reply

    Thanks, I did that too,,

    a lot easier

    Ahmed Mahran -

    Yes, tricky. Insert the spudger just like in the photo. You won’t be able to dig it out out from any other side. Also, notice which side of the connector faces down into the socket: it is the side without the four shiny gold areas (again, just like in the photo).

    rmccord23 - Reply

    I used a really thin, plastic spudger gently inserting from each side on mid-2012 and then very gently twisting the spudger. It worked fine without tearing or damaging anything. When reinstalling the connector, do not forget to twist it 180 degrees so that the open side of the connector is facing down to insert properly for seating.

    Gary Renick - Reply

  6. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the logic board:

    • One 7.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • Two 5.3 mm T6 Torx screws

    These are T5 screws

    dbell316 - Reply

    I think so too, (maybe on a certain batch?) tried a T6 and its too big

    billytalentlovexo -

    I wasn’t able to open mine up. The heads looked like little triangles instead of hex torqx things. Is there a chart with the head shape of all the bits you can buy? I want to just get the one.

    Christopher Roode - Reply

    They might be tri point

    Daniele Carminati -

    they were T6 for me

    lamajr - Reply

    T5 for me, my MBP was manufactured in 2015.

    colleenthompson - Reply

    When seating the fan, be aware that the cutout on the fan for the wire harness may not match up with the cutout on the board itself. Line the wires up to the board and then seat the fan in an incremental manner - gently pushing at each connecting hole. Then put the screws in without tightening at first. Once all of the screws are seated, then sequentially snug them up. Finally, push down gently on the fan and snug up each screw without over tightening. I found that the fan seats a tad further and I wanted to avoid future rattles. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THOUGH.

    Gary Renick - Reply

  7. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 Fan Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the fan out of its recess in the logic board, minding its cable that may get caught.

    Note that, as per the photo, the fan goes in label side DOWN. Took me a few minutes to figure that out!

    colleenthompson - Reply

    Before reinstalling the new fan and for novices like me, do not forget to have a can of compressed on hand to clear out years of dust, fine fibers, and maybe even a cat hair from the fins blowing outward. Do not shake the bottle and hold it upright, and use small squirts of air.

    Gary Renick - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order. (Always a good idea to first blow the dust out, wipe the inside cover, etc.)

129 other people completed this guide.

11 Comments

Hi I did this and now my Mac won't turn on. When connecting the power supply the green light is on but absolutely nothing firing up. No fan no screen nada! HELP!

Mitesh - Reply

Reopen the MacBook Pro and disconnect the battery cable, after 30 secs reconnect it.

This solution worked for me.

Nichi Ottolino -

This is a simple and easy repair if you follow the directions in the guide. The spudger is a good tool to have in your tool kit. Buy one if you don't have it.

Don Dine - Reply

I broke the plastic fan socket of the logic board, is my computer ruined?

Steinar Hilmarsson - Reply

No, But it will need to be repaired by an competent repair person. I charge $100 for this repair.

Troy Weakland -

Many thanks for this very detailed and simple step by step guide! Just repaired my friends machine (dirt was stuck in the fan), runs now smooth again!

Maximilian Willert - Reply

I don’t recommend buying this cooler fan. I bought it and I felt cheated. I think is really bad bad quality. I’ve received two of them and I had to install my old one which is not cooling well. The first one did not work well, briefly, its sound was not nice!. (grinding noise). And the second one only worked during two months without noise. So don’t waste your time in these such products :/

What was more pathetic that the seller asked me to create a video to demonstrate that it was not working.

ofuica - Reply

I replaced the fan and the computer runs like new. Fixe was on an MacBookPro9,2 13” 2.5 GhZ. The processor is an Ivy Bridge. This is a powerhouse of a computer.. Good instructions and good replacement parts.

dani.richard - Reply

In Step6, next to the fan there is a small round shining film. What is that?

Nirmal Kumar - Reply

Nirmal, the round shiny black thing to the upper right of the fan in Step 6 is a speaker.

jeff7 -

Phew. Mission success! Thought I should share I had a totally successful operation, given the worries over removing the cable. I replaced my grinding, whining fan with a brand new ‘Maglev’ fan that looks like an identical mode to the original - and it’s running quietly again!

Alex - Reply

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