Introduction

Accessing the RAM in this computer is straightforward and requires minimal disassembly.

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.

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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).

.

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

Image 1/1: These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.
  • Release the tabs on each side of the chip by simultaneously pushing each tab away from the RAM.

  • These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.

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Image 1/1: Repeat this process if a second RAM chip is installed.
  • After the RAM chip has popped up, pull it straight out of its socket.

  • Repeat this process if a second RAM chip is installed.

Do this step slowly! Depending on the age of the components, both ram and the system board, removing and inserting RAM can actually break threads on the board that read and write info to the ram sticks. It should be very easy to remove the ram. If it seems hard to remove, stop and make sure you have followed all the steps correctly!

Everett Whiteman - Reply

Conclusion

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

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13 Comments

I think something went wrong with mine at step 3.. after connecting back with new RAM.. Mac stopped working with battery... its working only on external power plug.. I rechecked it, googled it for SMC etc.. still no luck.. I did notice a small spark while removing for first time.. nothing after that.. even the LED indicator on the side with dots as battery indicaot is not working.. can someone help me please.. I'd say Step 3 is risky if it does these kind of things..

yasaswy nagavolu - Reply

Hi, just wondering is it fine to put 4gb 10600 instead of the 8500 ?

Lorax - Reply

I just installed 10600 into my mothers 13" today. It seems to be working great for her!

Dustin -

Upgraded from 2 GB to 8 GB using the guide. Purchased ram chips from Fixit, works great. Macbook recognized the new 8 GB. Thanks IFixit.

okibob

okibob - Reply

Alright so I did this step by step and removed one ram because my Mac. Wasn't turning on and beeping, after removing the top ram it did turn on but now my keyboard is not working and my trackpad is lagging

valentinedhdh - Reply

is it possible to add 2 8gig sticks for 16 gigs of ram?

johncvergara - Reply

Purchased 2 each of 4GB RAM Chip from ifixit. Installed both on 13 inch mid 2009 Macbook Pro using ifixit guide. But when I check "About This Mac" it shows that there is only 4GB of RAM. How can I fix it? The ifixit part number for the 2 RAM I purchased: IF111-036-1. Cost me $49.95 each.

llevell89 - Reply

Overall, the procedure went well. I used a 00 screwdriver for all the screws and I didn't have any problem. When I reassembled the rear cover, only one screw on the left side wouldn't go in easy (the other ones did) but it went in with a little pressure. I used a spunger to get the battery cable off. I rocked the cable head back and forth from the sides without forcing it and it came off. The first RAM chip came out fine. I had a bit of a problem getting the second one out. I had to use the spunger again for the bottom chip and positioned it under the chip and lightly rocked it from one side to another and it finally popped out. Don't use any force when doing anything! I actually had some problems getting the new RAM out of the packaging. I suggest that you do that BEFORE you start. Finally, getting the top RAM in had me a bit bewildered for a second. However, I took my time and got it in where it belonged. I put back the back cover and only put in two screws to test it. Success! Macbook 2009 mid model FYI

Yuri - Reply

Way cool, one more upgrade for my baby. Thanks iFixit :-)

fixitskiaddict1 - Reply

I purchased the recommended RAM chips from iFixit and followed this guide to boost my Mid-2009 MBP from 4 GB to 8 GB. I had to try 3 times to get the RAM to seat properly-- the first two times I received the dreaded beeping sound when I powered up. On the third try she booted up and recognized the memory. I am very pleased.

jmerritt - Reply

I have a 2009 mid macbook pro 13''. It says I can replace the 2GB that it has with x2 4 GB DDR3 pc3 8500s. I switched the ram sticks over properly and started my macbook back up but it only gets to 75% loading at the startup screen and turns off and restarts again. I don't know what is going on.

Adam Little - Reply

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

I have to say that the experience was not that difficult thanks to this tutorial. My macbook pro 2009 now works like 2016! Upgraded to 256 SSD and 8GB ram. Awesome !

Azfar Naim - Reply

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