Introduction

Replacing a defective fan will keep your laptop running cool.

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 -

<i>The 10 screws that hold that bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesn't fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough.</I>

I purchased the IFixIt 54 bit Driver Kit and their Phillips #00 are <b>NOT</b> the appropriate size for the bottom screws on this MacBook Pro. This manual needs to have the tools changed to Phillips #000 Screwdriver. Until then I shall not click the "Give the author +30 points" button. Apart from that, the rest of the manual is very good. It would also be an idea to make a comment about making sure the battery connector is in the correct position when plugging the battery back in. One poster commented that their battery will not charge anymore. My guess is a pin(s) was/were bent due to the connection not being in the vertical orientation when being pressed back together. :-)

THANK YOU for writing and generously supplying this guide for our use. It is much appreciated. +30 point coming when the Phillips #000 size is changed or added.

Joseph King - Reply

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

Add Comment

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).

.

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

.

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

It is beneficial to remove the battery at this stage.

Knox Karima - Reply

This step almost finished me, and I did extensive damage to the battery plug. Fortunately, I later replaced the battery, and the replacement came with a new plug! :) Newbies need to know - 1. The battery plug is like a thin lip on a thicker lip, so you need to pry BETWEEN 2 thin lips to get it off, else you are trying to yank out the socket. 2. Mine was initially VERY tight, and trying to get it out broke the plastic on all sides of plug, even though I was as careful as possible. Luckily, this didn't hurt functionality and I later replaced the battery. AFTER disconnecting once, it was never so tight again,

Jeff Diamond - Reply

Image 1/3: It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector. Image 2/3: 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. Image 3/3: 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.
  • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector out of its seat, and straight up off 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.

The fan plug snapped off right away without applying much pressure so the best angle of attack isn't exactly where the diagram shows. Anyone know how to reattach this piece?

Also worth noting I have the right screwdrivers and the screws inside this thing are really soft.

Rpo - Reply

I broke the socket too.. Any one know how to fix this??

laika117 -

Mine broke off too :(

john - Reply

I broke mine off too. No one knows if it can be reattached? Glue? Tape? Anything?

philip shiang ho - Reply

Mine broke, too. None of the repair shops in my area do soldering, so I may be SOL. I spilled water on my laptop and a bunch of keys shorted out. I read online from numerous sources that replacing the keyboard yourself isn't hard, so I figured i'd try it. I am majorly disappointed. Suggestion for iFixit: upload a video of someone disconnecting the fan cable connector. Clearly Apple didn't design it to be easy to remove, and your description is inadequate, given how many people have broken theirs.

emmaxfeldman - Reply

I just soldered it back on. . . I tried to clean the pads with braid first, but it didn't do much so I don't think that's necessary. I first supper-glued it in place with the pins on the pads and then I put a tiny dab of solder on each pin/pad. Plugged in the fan and i works!

Ron Hudson - Reply

Just the answer I was looking for Ron! Awesome work buddy!

lucasjmenzie -

Image 1/1: One 6.5 mm Phillips.
  • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • One 6.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 5.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips.

I found it mostly unnecessary to remove the fan and therefore all of the fan screws in this step. Only the two on the left hand side of the fan actually need to be removed. I also found it extremely helpful, after pulling logic boards several times, to remove the speaker screws at this time. The heat sink and the speaker interfere with each other when you are later trying to remove and then install the logic board. The longer screw goes on end of the speaker assembly that is closest to the fan, and the shorter one goes on the end closest to the dvd slot.

stevesontheroad - Reply

This article is about replacing the fan. Therefore you have to unplug and remove the old one.

John Morley -

If you are removing the logic board for any other reason than replacing it, or if your replacement logic board came with a fan installed, DO NOT REMOVE THE FAN. It is not necessary for the removal of the logic board. For removal with the fan attached, only remove the two screws on the left hand side of the fan, and leave the cable attached. I see here that too many people have broken the fan cable, and it is too easy to do.

stevesontheroad - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Add Comment

Conclusion

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

81 other people completed this guide.

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

126 Members

5,876 Guides authored

4 Comments

I upgraded my macbook pro 13" mid 2009:

replaced optical drive with 250GB SSD.

replaced 2x2GB RAM with 2x4GB.

replaced old battery..

Things work, except the fan never slows down and makes a lot of noise.

The fan start at full speed as soon as I click the power button, even before the screen lights up.

Please help.

Also the bluetooth and camera stopped working :(

avidgr8 - Reply

When I reapplied thermal paste to my heat sink ~18 month ago, I had issues reconnecting the camera cable (see Step 10 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Heat Sink Replacement). All of the symptoms you described were exactly those I saw when my camera cable was not properly reconnected. Perhaps you should check here.

NicoleCLDay -

If you didn't get a thermal sensor for your ssd your Mac fan will run at full speed 24/7 until you get the sensor

Jake / -

Please help me, two screws that hold the FAN do not want to leave, as if their heads were damaged (it fits with the Phillips screwdriver, but does not turn), it has never been opened before, what do I do now?

Jonas Herminio - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 13

Past 7 Days: 101

Past 30 Days: 386

All Time: 76,592