MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Early 2013 AirPort Board Replacement

Replace the AirPort Board in your MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Early 2013.

Having connectivity issues? Use this guide to replace the AirPort board.

14 Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Eight 3.0 mm

14 Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following pentalobe screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro:

    • Eight 3.0 mm

    • Two 2.3 mm

7 Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Set the lower case aside.

7 Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Lifting from the edge nearest the clutch cover, lift the lower case off the MacBook Pro.

  • Set the lower case aside.

3 Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

3 Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

  • Peel back the warning label covering the battery connector.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Bend the battery cables back and out of the way, ensuring that the battery connector doesn't accidentally make contact with the logic board.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Using the flat end of a spudger, gently pry the battery connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Bend the battery cables back and out of the way, ensuring that the battery connector doesn't accidentally make contact with the logic board.

Edit Step 5 AirPort Board  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 5 AirPort Board  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to detach the three antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort board.

1 Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Grasp the edges of the board and slide it out from its connector.

1 Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the AirPort board to the logic board.

  • Grasp the edges of the board and slide it out from its connector.

  • Lift and remove the AirPort board.

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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25 Comments

To remove the back panel there are two different pentalobe screws 2.3mm and 3mm however on the tools list there is only one screwdriver. Will I be able to remove both screws with the same screwdriver?

lantzero - Reply

In my case it worked. Don't know if it was a 2,3 or 3 mm screwdriver

Christian Mohr -

The 2.0 and 2.3 mm measurements are screw lengths, the screw heads are the same sized P5 pentalobe heads. We include the screw lengths so you don't put the wrong screws in the wrong places and end up with screw heads poking out of your device. Hope that clears up some confusion =)

Sam Lionheart -

Yes the same screwdriver will remove both screws, the difference in screws I believe is the length and width but the head is the same.

michaelmohajer -

will this unit work with the Mid 2012 Macbook Pro Retina's as well?

drscottgreenwell - Reply

Same question...anyone know? Damaged my 2012 board and if possible would like to upgrade to this unit

cloughenough -

This works for rMBP 2012 late

iyeori -

Woohoo, much easier than I thought... Just got confused with the bottom case screw driver but after figure out it was P5 then everything went smooth.... One thing I wanted to upgrade was the wifi to ac and got one on ebay!

didierma - Reply

If you have 54 Bit Driver kit, please use Star 5 driver to remove screw for rMBP 2012 Late

iyeori - Reply

Where can I find the driver for the MacBook Pro Retina Display 15'4 i7 on your website iFixit please.

Epifanio - Reply

It took about 40 minutes due to an extreme measure of caution but I did it! The only real difficulty was reattaching the screen to the base (yes you have to pry the hinges open) and re-connecting the camera wires. After a few tries the camera wires finally came together. I'm hating Apple for all it's frailty and magical screws but I love ifixit!

floyd - Reply

Simple guide, but it solved my problem. Was wondering why the top two screws weren't going all the way down. Hadn't realized they were 0.7mm shorter.

Emilio Mejia - Reply

I have BootCamp running Win7 on my MBPwRetina15" 2013'Late. I run Visual Studio to build and run my Company's Application which is very CPU & NVidia (specific) intensive. So much so that during a build & run of app I was averaging about 85~95+Celcius!!! And every so often would reach 100Celcius!!! I could not take it anymore so I decided to delve into and re-apply Thermal Paste on the CPU/GPU. I ended up going with CooLaboratory Liquid Pro instead of the traditonal AS5. The original Thermal Paste was pure garbage,,, part of the CPU seemed like it was missing TP. I was scared to do this but it turned out easier than I had imagined. I am currently building the same application and can already observe that the temps average about 75~85 and once in a while will reach 90Celcius. So I am seeing about a 10~15 degree drop in Temps and that makes me very happy!

Alvaro Suarez - Reply

Nice to hear that, i was looking for that kind of information. I have a MBPwRetina 15 Mid 2012 and looking to obtain the best performance!

Jose David Valle -

Does anyone noticed that the bottom cover and the bottom case is actually linked with the black plastic near the battery?! After the first time you open the cover, it will be impossible to put it back to the original place. Does the critical?! Thanks a lot for informing

jamiegan835 - Reply

I was able to simply push and click those clips back into place before I did the screwing.

Tim Peat -

I truly believe this is placebo and the 10*C difference is because in the process the dust was removed from the fan/heat sink rather then the thermal "magic" paste.

This is a "PC" habit.

On the other hand, all the cases and protections out there have a bad effect on cooling (not sleeves or pouches) because the whole aluminum body helps dissipate heat.

I've never had any problems with any mac regarding heat (they do get hot, but it is OK).

Whenever you feel heat from electronic device means the heat radiates away from it.. which means the cooling is doing a good job :).

kriss13 - Reply

Hey,

Writing about dust and dirt, do you know any cleaning products for the interior of the mac. i mean how do you clean your laptop, pc, etc..

Regards

Jose David Valle -

This is untrue. Over time thermal paste will dry up and crack and not provide good coverage between the device and the cooler. The paste massively improves the thermal transfer between the chip and the heatsink. If you do not believe in the magic paste then you should wipe it all off and apply just a little bit or none at all and then compare temperatures. You will see the paste is responsible for a big reduction in temperature.

Andrew Fox -

I was able to remove all screws but lower case is not comming off easly. Is it glued to somthing?

Thanks for help.

c4rlosv8 - Reply

There are two clips in the centre which simply unclip with a little force.

Tim Peat -

For rMBP 2012 Late, you don't need to remove this sticker.

iyeori - Reply

Have laptop charging issues after this. When fully charged and i plug in magsafe it starts with green, then turns red and stays red (like if it was charging). Status bar says NOT charging. If i use battery a little bit (down to 69%) magsafe does the same (green then stay red). Status bar says battery 69% NOT charging. and it seems to be true. Any suggestions?

g000phy - Reply

Double check the connection from the battery to the logic board and the logic board socket itself... Might have damaged by disconnect/reconnect.

max damage -

Is the Airport module a PCIe or Mini PCIe? Can it be replaced by a half length mPCIE model like in most PC laptops?

Ssamydla - Reply