Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken display on your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody.

Image 1/1: Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.
  • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

scott523 - Reply

The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

iphonetechtips -

A true Phillips head screw's slots are rounded at their inner corners, to allow the screwdriver to "cam out" (pop out) of the screw head before you apply too much torque and strip the threads in the part that you're torqueing the screw into. However, the screws used in the Macbook don't have those rounded inner corners, so they're not Phillips. Instead, they may be a Japanese standard known as JIS B 1012, or a Frearson (also known as a Reed & Prince), but that's a less common design. Maybe technically these non-Phillips screws should be used with a screwdriver that was specifically designed for them, but they can be properly removed and reinstalled using a truly precision-made Phillips #00 (some people find a #000 sometimes works even better) whose tip comes to a sharp point--not the lousy fake "precision" screwdrivers that are sold in too many places. See my next comment for more.

johnsawyercjs -

Many screwdriver manufacturers get away with marketing fake "precision" screwdrivers because, in the words of the Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sc...: "Most heads come in a range of sizes, typically distinguished by a number, such as "Phillips #00" or "Torx T5." These sizes do not necessarily describe a particular dimension of the drive shape, but are often arbitrary designations in the same sense as a "Size 8" dress."

In other words, the quality of many "precision" screwdrivers is poor. In my experience, one of the biggest problems with many fake "precision" Phillips screwdrivers is that the four blades at the tip are often too wide, and their width may even vary on the same screwdriver (they're not supposed to). So just because a screwdriver is marketed as a "precision screwdriver", it may not be, and many that are labeled as #00, or even #000, will not work for a Macbook's screws. See my next comment for still more.

johnsawyercjs -

One of the best manufacturers of precision screwdrivers is Wiha (http://www.wihatools.com/tech-tools/prec... cost more, but they're worth it. Or buy screwdrivers from iFixit, who seem to be selling JIS screwdrivers.

Another article with some good info on screw and screwdriver types:

http://www.instructables.com/id/When-a-P...

Also keep in mind that some screws are tougher to remove and reinstall because they have a thread-locking compound on them, which is usually blue.

johnsawyercjs -

Phillips #00 is the correct screwdriver for the lower case. Maybe the one you have is worn or badly made.

David Fear -

Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

wertaerte - Reply

Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

twisk - Reply

thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

xitxit2 -

i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

plins718 - Reply

Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

mastover - Reply

I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

adlerpe -

That's exactly what I do for all my repairs! It's the best way to keep track of all of the parts ' original location and to make sure that you don't miss any parts during reassembly.

joyitsjennie -

Great idea and one I use often

Thomas Overstreet -

Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing it here.

Laura Sharkey -

The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone: http://www.visibone.com/colorblind/

Eric Sorenson - Reply

Squares, Circles, Triangles (you get the idea) would work as well to distinguish the different screws.

danzeitlin -

I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

jonathanmorgan - Reply

I thought it took a 000 as well. However, I tried both and realized the 00 works best.

john - Reply

Hi i was wondering if you can add 16gb to this model? or is 8 the maximum?

Igor - Reply

The Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13" does support 16 GB RAM, but it is very picky about the type of RAM. OWC sells a 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB). I think it's got to be 1066 (aka 1067) MHz RAM. A lot of 8 GB modules on the market now are faster than 1066 MHz, and reports I've read say people start getting kernel panics if they use the wrong RAM.

Some info here:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/ma...

"1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM"

"*Originally, both the official and actual maximum RAM was 8 GB. However, as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, if running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, updated with the latest EFI, and equipped with proper specification memory modules, this model can support up to 16 GB of RAM."

Our Mid 2010 already had "the latest EFI" (i.e. Boot ROM version in System Profiler), so the reference to updating it may not be relevant.

Winston -

I used a 00 that fit but the screws were very tight so I used a tiny paintbrush with some wd40 on it and put it around the edges of the screws. Worked like a charm

valentinedhdh - Reply

I had the same problem. The #00 screwdriver worked for some of the screws but some others were too tight and I had to use a #000. Maybe it was because the cover had slightly bent because the battery inside had basically doubled its width, but I still found that the #000 was a much better fit for these screws. Even the ones that came out with the #00 came out much easier with the #000. I would suggest updating this guide to suggest using a #000.

tarriojuan - Reply

Had no idea they were so expensive.

Franklin - Reply

Phillips #00 is the right tool for all the steps (Except the 4 HD T6 screws). Maybe there is dirt in the notch.

Luis Soto - Reply

There is any chance to use the Toshiba MQ01ABD 1 TB 2.5" Internal Hard Drive MQ01ABD100 , it has7200 rpm , shuold it work?

Luis - Reply

If you are running OS X 10.11.2 or newer, battery provided by iFixIt will not work. I've already tried 2 batteries from iFixIt and neither worked. iFixIt needs to come clean on this unfortunate situation. I've already put 8 hours into this futile effort when it should have taken me 45 minutes.

gkofga - Reply

What was your solution? I'm using 10.11.3 OS X. I may need a battery replacement very soon too.

John Doe -

Image 1/1:
  • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

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Image 1/1: Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.
  • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

why is step 3 necessary?

gansodesoya - Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Just to disconnect any power source to avoid damages by short-circuits.

MrKane - Reply

Quote from gansodesoya:

why is step 3 necessary?

Removes the possibility of any current flow. This is especially important if you are trying to mitigate the damage to the circuitry due to a spill on a keyboard.

amiller770 - Reply

I'm thinking of ordering the spudger. I was thinking of order the heavy duty spudger... or should I just order the normal. Will either of the spudgers work for this DIY?

shockaaa - Reply

Once you have a set of spudgers, you will wonder how you ever went without them. :-)

Brian -

$@$@. Don't use an non-isolated screwdriver for this. I just shorted-out my battery :(

Lukas Besch - Reply

You are absolutely right, never use a screwdriver on the logic board or any connector! Delicate use of fingernails or a credit card will get you through most situations if you lack a spudger.

Logan Bean -

How do you get that battery connector back on? Do you just press it in back in place after you're done?

Horace Chung - Reply

yes. I usually plug it in before I screw it down so I can lift the battery a bit and have enough slack to be able to go straight down on the connector, otherwise it comes in on a bit of an angle, which can't be good (though not necessarily bad).

maccentric -

Would it not be advisable to drain the battery completely before attempting to repair, if you want to be sure you don't get a spark when removing the battery connector?

Berlugana

bduault - Reply

Disconnecting the battery connector is not that different from simply unplugging a battery from an older model MacBook with a removable battery. You're not trying to protect yourself from a "spark", but the internal circuitry when taking the MacBook apart.

amiller770 -

I neglected step 3 and now my computer won't turn on. Could I have shorted out my logic board?

Plamen - Reply

I had the same problem , my macbook doesn't switch on working

marioluiggi -

A very easy and fast update indeed! Using this guide and the tools indicated on top I replaced the two RAM cards (2GB each) with two 8GB RAM cards from OWC for a total of 16GB RAM in my MBP Middle 2010 Core 2 Duo (Officially not supported according to Apple).

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Make sure you select RAM with these specs: 16GB DDR3 PC8500 1066MHz Kit (8GBx2)

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Apps open much faster and I can run a virtual machine at a decent speed.

Luis Soto - Reply

Removing the battery is not required, but in some instances can make installing ram much easier. If you plan on upgrading from 4GB (2X 2GB) to 8GB (2X 4GB) Removing the battery would be better. There are two levels of ram. If you are replacing both levels, then remove the battery. If you are just replacing the top, dont bother. Removing the battery for very long or even at all (depending on the CMOS battery age and health) could possibly reset settings, the clock, saved wifi passwords, and more.

Everett Whiteman - Reply

Image 1/3: Be very careful to pry under the connector as shown, and not under the socket itself. Otherwise you may accidentally separate the socket from the logic board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer/right speaker cable connector up off its socket on the logic board.

    • Be very careful to pry under the connector as shown, and not under the socket itself. Otherwise you may accidentally separate the socket from the logic board.

You must first separate the little foam pad to see better how to pry the cable

connector up. You must be

careful not to root up also its socket

stuck on the logic board

ramonananos - Reply

My subwoofer/right speaker connection seemed to be soldered on the main board. Of course, I pried this off..realizing right after that there was no reconnecting it (&^$%^@!). There's really no reason to even disconnect this wire on the MacBook pro 13 mid-2009

Glad this is my "project" Mac

srlincoln - Reply

Please Be Carefully With This Step, Because I Had To Resolder It Back To The Logic Board. But There Is A Black Foam Piece Over The Cable You Have To Pry Up, Lift The Foam Piece And Then Try To CAREFULLY Pry Cable Connector

BWilliams842 - Reply

A better description would have been worth a lot....

I accidently pried off the socket aswell... gonna have to go to the computer/robotics lab at my college to resolder it -.-

Juliane Aschenbrenner - Reply

I didn't have to do step 4 for my mid-2010 13" mbp.

jonk2015 - Reply

CAUTION!! Note is required here! First off step is truly unnecessary! Secondly, just don't do it!

Edward Turkovich - Reply

Image 1/1: There is a small piece of hard plastic stuck to the logic board that stops the camera cable from falling out of its socket. Be sure to peel this off first or you could damage the connectors.
  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

    • There is a small piece of hard plastic stuck to the logic board that stops the camera cable from falling out of its socket. Be sure to peel this off first or you could damage the connectors.

  • Make sure to pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board and toward the optical drive, not straight up from its socket.

Be careful to the piece of plastic that prevents camera cable failing out its socket! Do not force connector! Look at plastic before attempting to remove connector Plastic is partially covered by cdrom flat connector at right of camera cable connector

Silvio - Reply

that's not only the camera but the wifi and bluetooth too. Be extremely careful!

Jose Luis Blas - Reply

So I unfortunately did not find this guide when I was replacing my keyboard. I did at first force this connection, didn't know I could peel that black plastic piece off, then was able to smoothly get it in. Now my Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/web cam isn't working. I'm looking at the connection now and it looks undamaged. How do I know for certain I damaged the cord and/or socket

Vic - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

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Image 1/2: Two 8 mm Phillips screws.
  • Remove the following screws securing the camera data cable and right speaker to the upper case:

    • Two 8 mm Phillips screws.

    • One 4mm Phillips screw.

  • One of the 8 mm Phillips screws will likely remain captive in the camera cable ground loop.

  • Slide the camera cable bracket out from under the subwoofer and remove it from the computer.

For my mid-2010 mbp, removing the 4mm screw is not enough as the camera cable bracket is under the black cover. I need to unscrew another screw (see the dark cover in step 6). However, the speaker (dark circle in step 6) is a strong magnet and the little screw flew onto it and crack the speaker slightly. You need to be very careful of this. The sound wasn't as clear when I turn on loud volume after that.

jonk2015 - Reply

Image 1/3: Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.
  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

  • Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.

  • Make sure to pull the connector straight away and not straight up from its socket.

Well, my display ended up looking like this after the repair:

http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h366...

As you can see, there was a light/dark banded pattern along the bottom of the screen, corresponding to the LCD's backlight. In my case it was also accompanied by a constant high pitched whistling noise. I swear to anything that's holy, it was not coming from the fan or the speaker, but rather the motherboard itself.

Anyway, both these problems went away when I disconnected and reconnected the connector at this stage. I'm saying this on the off chance it helps someone else.

Jonty Levine - Reply

I did what you said, disconnect and reconnect the display data cable but the problem didn't go away. Any idea how to fix this?

jonk2015 -

I also encountered the issue at the bottom of the screen. I can't get mine to go away. I can make it vary a bit or at least the whole display to vary by fluctuating the connection, but it just won't go away. I'm open to any other suggestions.

I might have manhandled the bottom of my screen a bit. I didn't realize how to get the plastic u-shaped cover off, and I fudged around with it for a while before reading somewhere that it just slides down. I thought I had read that it snapped on, so I had been a little flustered on why it wouldn't snap off.

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions I'd be all ears.

Tim -

Image 1/2: One 7 mm Phillips screw.
  • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

    • One 7 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw.

  • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

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Image 1/2:
  • Remove the two outer 6.5 mm Torx screws securing each of the two display brackets to the upper case (4 screws total).

This says t use a 6.5 mm Torx driver. In the required tools list it only mentions a 6 mm Torx driver. Where can we find a 6.5 mm Torx Driver?

Matthew Shaw - Reply

Image 1/1: Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.
  • Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

  • Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining 6.5 mm Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Image 1/1: Remove the last remaining 6 mm  T6 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.
  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • Remove the last remaining 6 mm T6 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Image 1/2: Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.
  • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

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Image 1/1:
  • Lift the display up and away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

Re-assembly hint: Laying the base, keyboard down, on a table top with the hinge side over the edge about 1/2" toward you is a more stable position for re-assembly than trying to do this up on its edge. This has the added benefit of being able to reinsert the torn screws vertically.

Pete H - Reply

May be in the wrong place but then please direct me. At this step, can I just take off the upper half (meaning the screen, LCD, and top housing shell in one) and simply replace it with another upper half of the same edition???

cmackay13stmarys - Reply

Conclusion

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

32 other people completed this guide.

2 Comments

Can I use a 2011 Display with a 2009 (mid) MacBook pro?

Simon - Reply

Hello there,

Awesome guide, real clear and precise! Easy to go through if you got the right tools. Had to drill one of the torx screws that secured the screen though (head was destroyed).

I do have a technical question. Do you know the vendor code of the screen? how can I check it? I've scanned a lot of forums, could not find any ref, and there's no tag on mine (tricksters).

Many thanks!

Hadri

Hadrien Bailly - Reply

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