Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken trackpad.

Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:
  • 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

It would be nice to remind fixers which length screws go back in which holes, in case they get mixed up...

Mike - Reply

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

In the introduction you should link fixers to this excellent doc: https://www.ifixit.com/Misc/HD_Software_...

It is really critical, super easy, and free(!) to clone your existing drive onto the new one you will install. I ran into one error, but SuperDuper! support replied immediately on how to fix it...Thanks ifixit and SuperDuper! (I ponied up the $28 for the software anyway, I was so impressed!)

Mike - Reply

Remove the following tri-point screws securing the battery to the upper case:
  • Remove the following tri-point screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • One 5.5 mm tri-point screw.

    • One 13.5 mm tri-point screw.

Where can I buy 5.5 mm tri-wing screw and 13.5 mm tri-wing screw ?

gansodesoya - Reply

I have the same question? Where can you buy new screws. Apple put in these rediculous tri-screws.... The short one went in crooked and jammed. I couldn't get the long one back in at all, not sure why, but it's not catching a single thread.

My 2nd question is, what the alternative if you can't get the screws back in (e.g. some kind of tape). With only one screw only half way in and jammed, the battery doesn't seem to be moving around, so I think I'm ok, at least for now.

Mike Mullally -

similar issue here, I'd like to buy these bolts new. and it would be even better to buy new ones but with a philips head, not a triwing head. please let us know. thanks.

Manuel Torres -

Still no answers on this?

jasperr4 - Reply

You can get the tri-wings from ifixit directly - Tri-point Y1 Screwdriver

or get the whole kit (like I did - it's excellent) - Classic Pro Tech Toolkit

Damian Haslam - Reply

i have a triwing y1 and it doesn't work with my battery it seems to be too big, the triwings sold on ifixit are the same when it is written y1 ?

Grazia Fiore -

The Y1-Three wing screwdriver from iFixit is too big!

Maik Lischke -

Just dropping saw someone with same name. :)

mdtorresjr - Reply

Mine does not have triwing screws.... They have 5 points but none of my torx stuff works? What is it? I have one of your sets of 20 or so pieces and nothing works.....

Chris Babcock - Reply

pentalobe. its an apple specific driver to keep you out. The bottoms of the airs use this as well. You can fid one on eBay

ryan rochford -

sure enough mine has the 5 star torx as well.. this drove me crazy today.....i had to buy a set of 5 stars from amazon....i thought i was losing my mind trying to make the tri wing fit....i finally opened my wife's 2010 macbook pro to find tri wings....then i knew. steve jobs was messing with me from the grave....lol

MICHAEL FENNEL -

Used a knife and a rubber band to unscrew these.

dovydas54 - Reply

Pentalobe driver for newer Mac laptops worked, not the tri tip.

joeltbean - Reply

These screws do absolutely NOT have the TRI-WING® recess. I find, the LHSTIX 3ULR MicroStix size 3ULR-0 driver fits perfectly.

unsubstantiated - Reply

You're right and there was some inconsistent terminology in the guide. It should be fixed now. The term "tri-wing" doesn't apply here but I believe generic "tri-point" Y0 or Y1 drivers correspond to the Microstix driver you mention.

Jeff Suovanen -

A minor improvement, but it would be nice to remind fixers which screw length goes on which side (longer screw on _ side?)

Mike - Reply

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

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
Lift the battery out of the upper case.
  • Lift the battery out of the upper case.

Did everything correctly, but now the battery doesn't charge. Do I have to do something in particular to make it work now that's installed? Thanks

Olivier - Reply

I am answering a 2 year old post but this is for those who may have the same or similar issue in the future.

When I was putting the battery connector back on that it didn't sit flat against the board before I put pressure on the top of the connecter to press it back into its socket. I then took time to examine the battery connector socket and saw it consisted of long thin vertical pins. I deduced that if the battery connector was not aligned correctly to the pins on the motherboard then it may be very easy to bend one or more of the pins in a way that they wouldn't mate up with the opposing female part on the connector. That sure would cause a battery charging issue. If you feel too much resistance when pressing the connector back into the socket then stop and make sure it is all aligned correctly. I know, not easy with the size, the black connector and black socket. A spudger can be used on the battery side of the connector to raise it to a level position prior to applying pressure to the top of it.

Joseph King -

Everything was so easy but that is not the highlight of it all; the replacement parts are cheaper than buying it from a local store here in Taiwan or in The Philippines.

mdtorresjr - Reply

Olivier, to answer your question, please read the 1st comment in the Guide section at the top. :)

aspeegle - Reply

I have the same problem as Oliver. Replaced the battery, it Works, but don't charge. I don't see any comment on this page that answer his question.

torbernhardsen -

I too encountered the same problem. After resetting the SMC (http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295), it resolved the problem.

2CentsNoneTheRicher - Reply

Replaced the battery without trouble. But now I turn on the computer and get a white screen. Any idea what I am missing?

Claire Hoelmer - Reply

I put the battery in ok, then placed it on charge and tried to start it. It didn't like this at all, letting out evenly spaced unfamiliar beeps. I felt sure i had done something terrible. I held down the start button and turned it off. Half an hour later I turned it back on, upon which it sprung back to life, much to my relief. The battery needed to be charged before starting it seems.

Guy Wishart - Reply

Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the trackpad connector up from its socket on the logic board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the trackpad connector up from its socket on the logic board.

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Open your MacBook Pro and set it on a table as shown.
  • Open your MacBook Pro and set it on a table as shown.

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While holding the edge of the trackpad closest to the logic board with one hand, remove the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws highlighted in red.
  • While holding the edge of the trackpad closest to the logic board with one hand, remove the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws highlighted in red.

I ordered some tools from iFixit for replacement of the trackpad but the Phillips #00 Screwdriver named above is still too big for the (tiny) screws of the trackpad. Shouldn't that be a Philips #000?

sleutelman - Reply

I have a macbook pro 15 inch unibody from 2010-2011, do you think it would work to use that trackpad as an replacement for my 13 inch 2012-2013

Filip - Reply

A word of caution if you are replacing your trackpad due to a bulging battery. This guide assumes that the original mounting tabs are not damaged and it does not look like the iFixit trackpad replacement kit comes with new tabs. My MBP had a bulging battery, which pushed up on the bottom of my trackpad, deforming one of these tabs. Now that I have removed the battery, the trackpad still works, but it is not flush with the case and the physical clicks are not as responsive as I would like. Does iFixit sell just the replacement tabs?

Matt Marchese - Reply

Same here luckily the trackpad still works but the taps have deformed. Anyone find a place to pick up just those tabs? Edit: found them MacBook Pro Unibody (Mid 2009 through Mid 2012) Trackpad Mounting Screws

iAndrewC -

Be careful with this step. The very tiny screws are very hard to remove with a #00 screwdriver. I tried with mine and I mashed the srews heads, it was then very very hard to remove it. Better to use a #000 screwdriver. If the heads are mashed like me, I suggest you use a 0.1 flat screwdriver, it worked well in my case.

Jonathan - Reply

I couldn't even begin to use the #000 as the edges were not deep or narrow enough for the condition of the screws from factory install. The .1 flat screwdriver worked like a charm though and didn't mess up the screws further at all. I was getting nervous that I'd need to get another screwdriver beyond what's in the iFixit toolkit, but this worked as a better solution.

Thom Merrick -

If necessary, carefully dislodge the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by pushing it away from the brackets attached to the upper case. Carefully push the trackpad connector and cable down through the slot cut into the upper case. It may be necessary to use a spudger to help get the trackpad connector past the edge of the logic board.
  • If necessary, carefully dislodge the edge of the trackpad closest to the keyboard from its recess in the upper case by pushing it away from the brackets attached to the upper case.

  • Carefully push the trackpad connector and cable down through the slot cut into the upper case.

  • It may be necessary to use a spudger to help get the trackpad connector past the edge of the logic board.

  • Once the cable has been completely pulled through its slot in the upper case, pull the trackpad away from the outer edge of the upper case and remove it from the machine.

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When installing your new trackpad, routing the cable through the upper case and past the logic board may be difficult. It is helpful to use the tip of a spudger to guide the connector past the logic board while pushing the cable through its slot in the upper case with your other hand.
  • When installing your new trackpad, routing the cable through the upper case and past the logic board may be difficult. It is helpful to use the tip of a spudger to guide the connector past the logic board while pushing the cable through its slot in the upper case with your other hand.

This article seems to be about REPLACING a trackpad. Why does the summary claim that no parts are needed?

Sam Pittman - Reply

If your replacement trackpad comes with the cable separated and loose, the connection to the trackpad needs to have a tab pressed down which keeps the connection snug. It won't work without it. It's a tab on the trackpad part of the connection. Tab might be the wrong word; the connection has to be in all the way, then clamp it closed with the tab... oops! LOL

Mark - Reply

Next, reinstall the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws along the inner edge of the trackpad. Tighten the screws all the way, then back them out about 1/4 turn.
  • Next, reinstall the four 1.2 mm Phillips screws along the inner edge of the trackpad.

  • Tighten the screws all the way, then back them out about 1/4 turn.

  • Check the alignment of the trackpad on the keyboard side of the upper case. Once you have centered the trackpad in the upper case, tighten the four Phillips screws all the way.

trackpad still doesn't click. I've tried two separate parts.. but what makes it pop back up after depressing the pad? It just lays there. I've taken it apart four times to adjust the tork screw... nothing. HELP!

Gail - Reply

My trackpad was driving me up the wall, bouncing all over the place. Ifixit Trackpad comes with extra screws, hinge and adjuster. You won't believe how tiny these screws are! If one falls in the carpet-it's GONE! Bless you Ifixit! To center when re-installing adjust by sliding a thin piece of paper (scotch tape?), under bottom of trackpad, let Trackpad rest on it's own weight and then tighten one top and bottom screw a little bit, and eyeball it, just the tiniest crack of daylight on each side. I strongly suggest the highest quality magnetic screwdriver you can find. The little torx screw disc is an adjuster. If too tight, trackpad won't 'click.' On a Mac, click is not really essential as long as tap and slide are working right. Needs a small amount of clearance. When properly installed you can 'feel' the click if it's right. Probably won't need to mess with it at all. Now my trackpad works like it should, I am a happy camper!

ovenwally - Reply

I replaced the trackpad with a new one: the arrow moves but was not possible to click. I putted back the old trackpad and it works with. The solution: the eleventh picture shown a gray Torx type screw to the left of the connector where there is the recess in the back of the mouse. This screw is used to increase or decrease the depth of clicks. in my case it was too screwed and it was as if I held continually pressed the truckpad: therefore, it was enough to loosen it. At this point I ask myself since in the old truckpad I had problems with the physical click, I probably would have been enough to adjust the screw.

caronte88 - Reply

ifitit is once again amazing. My trackpad just stopped working on my four year old machine. Bought a new trackpad from iFitit, followed the guide and now I have a functional laptop again. One thing to note. 1.2mm is small very, very small. The screws for the trackpad *will* get lost if they fall of the table. Make sure that doesn't happen.

Jerry - Reply

I was having trackpad issue on my 2010 machine, did the replacement from ifixit which arrived broken (bummer) but they replaced it no problems. It worked great for just under a year but now I'm having the same issues again of poor finger tacking, jumping, and lack of sensitivity. I've tried cleaning the whole unit, rebooting in safe mode, refreshing code, and anything else the web has provided. I'm starting to wonder if it's something else on my machine or if the trackpads just don't hold up well enough. Overall I'm super frustrated to have a newer pad crap out this early.

eastern117 - Reply

I don't have a magnetic head driver so I had a terrible time trying to get the screws in. I found getting the screw on the table Phillips side up, I pushed my finger tip into the head til it stuck and placed the screw into the thread that way. The screw stayed in long enough for me to tighten with the driver ! Oh, what a relief! I only lost one screw; thank god for replacement screws! Order your trackpad with screws! They fall and get lost easy! Now I'm happy! :)

Mark - Reply

Next time rub the tip of the screwdriver against a magnet about 10-20 times in the SAME direction (A fridge magnet works)

Karan Kakkar -

For some reason the black material under the tabs were enough to stop the track pad from being able to click. I removed that material and now have a track pad that clicks.

blrmisc - Reply

Conclusion

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

112 other people completed this guide.

11 Comments

It went very well for me. The pram was reset when I rebooted -- the clock needed to be reset and the wifi passwords were forgotten. But the trackpad works great! Thank you!

Marshall - Reply

Bought a new trackpad, installed it, fiddled with centering it, loosened the click adjuster screw and it would hardly click if I pressed real hard, just like the old trackpad. Problem solved by putting two 1/32" thick sticky pads under battery where the battery sits on the macbook frame near the lower bottom edge. The battery was new and not swollen but is was still too thick. Didn't need the new trackpad but now I have a spare.

Arne - Reply

The removal and installation went exactly as described, and the new trackpad worked correctly the first time. The toughest part - truly, not all that difficult - was manipulating the four screws that hold the trackpad in place. I don't think I've seen such small threaded fasteners since I went to a watch museum!

dbrick - Reply

is it possible that if i screw the bolts too tight, it can result in the track pad not responding? I install a brand new one after the battery was swollen and cracked the original track pad but the new one isn't working either.

Sabian Toussaint - Reply

Is there any way that I can only get the ribbon cable for the trackpad?

Adrian Lara - Reply

Would a swollen battery cause the track pad to seemingly pop out of the top of my 2010 MBP? Right side of trackpad is lifted the worst, top is slightly raised. The four corners and left side are seemingly flush with the rest of the computer. Trackpad works fine, other than no click...still has perfect movement.

Jessica Fulcher - Reply

That is indeed a common symptom of a swollen battery, you can pop the rear case off of your laptop and peek at the battery, and even take it out for a moment, if it looks swollen, you should probably replace it.

Sam Lionheart -

Thanks so much for the suggestion Sam! Checking it out today.

Jessica Fulcher -

Great breakdown of replacing trackpad. Mine stopped clicking. At first thought it was my battery, but when I opened my laptop, I realized my battery was not swollen. Decid d to replace the track pad to see if it was faulty. Followed your instructions and got it done in 10 minutes and my trackpad working perfectly. No issue at all with the install. Glad I chose to do it instead of giving it to Apple for a week and playing so much money that really only cost me the price of the replacement. Thank you so much.

thirddyfrk - Reply

worked perfectly!! thanks!

keithk900 - Reply

worked! instructions great. iFixit parts were great. love this site. you definitely need correct screwdrivers they will give you years of repairs.

speedy4979 - Reply

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