MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Fan Replacement

Replace a noisy fan on your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010.

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

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

Image 1/3: It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

Edit Step 4 Fan  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to pry up the fan connector 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.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/1: One 7 mm T6 Torx screw

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 7 mm T6 Torx screw

    • Two 5.4 mm T6 Torx screws

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

Conclusion

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

Now that you've finished, share your repair story with others.

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46 Comments

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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 -

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 -

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

Bummer, I broke the connector at the solder points. Be careful!

Hector - Reply

Any tips on how to solder it back on? I made the same mistake.

Juan Sebastian -

Hi Hector, how did you put it back?

I broke mine too and carefully glued it back in but now the fan isn't working... But I don't know if it's because of this or because it does not need to switch on as I also changed my hard drive from HD to SSHD Hybrid.

Thanks

Antoine B -

I did a terrible mistake when I try to remove the fan connector socket form the logic board I accidentally pop out the connector from the board.. I am not expert in soldering so big problem for me. What should I do?

Nielven Araullo - Reply