MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Display Assembly Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Replace the display assembly in your MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012.

Did your display assembly have an unfortunate encounter with a hard surface? Use this guide to replace it.

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.

14 Edit Step 5 AirPort/Camera Cable  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

14 Edit Step 5 AirPort/Camera Cable  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the three AirPort antenna cables straight up off of their sockets on the AirPort board.

5 Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Be sure to push parallel to the board, pushing first on one side, then the other to "walk" the connector out of its socket.

5 Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the camera cable connector out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Be sure to push parallel to the board, pushing first on one side, then the other to "walk" the connector out of its socket.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Slide the spudger underneath the length of the cover, releasing the adhesive.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger underneath the rubber heat sink cover on the right fan.

  • Slide the spudger underneath the length of the cover, releasing the adhesive.

  • Lift the cover and flip it back so that you can access the cables underneath.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The cables are adhered to the fan, so peel them up carefully to avoid damaging them.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use your fingers to pull the AirPort/Camera cables up off the fan.

    • The cables are adhered to the fan, so peel them up carefully to avoid damaging them.

  • Carefully de-route the cables from the plastic cable guide.

1 Edit Step 9 Display Assembly  ¶ 

Image 1/2:

1 Edit Step 9 Display Assembly  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry off the two rubber hinge covers, one from each end of the device.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the two aluminum hinge brackets from the MacBook Pro.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 3.1 mm T5 Torx screws securing the aluminum hinge covers to the upper case.

  • Remove the two aluminum hinge brackets from the MacBook Pro.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer.

  • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

1 Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image 1/1: We purposely have you leave one screw attaching the display to the upper case to aid in future steps.

1 Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove four out of the six 5.3 mm T8 Torx screws securing the display to the upper case.

  • We purposely have you leave one screw attaching the display to the upper case to aid in future steps.

  • When reassembling, make sure that the screws go through the two grounding loops on the webcam/airport cable.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/1: While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the lower (closer to the table) display bracket.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Open the MacBook Pro approximately 110 degrees, and place it sideways on the table, as shown.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the lower (closer to the table) display bracket.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image 1/1: While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the upper display bracket.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the remaining T8 Torx screw from the upper display bracket.

11 Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Gently push forward on the bottom half of the device to detach it from the display assembly.

11 Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Grip both halves of the device, one in each hand.

  • Gently push forward on the bottom half of the device to detach it from the display assembly.

  • Carefully set each component aside, making sure to set down the lower half keyboard-side down.

Conclusion

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

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

Write a story

63 Comments

Did you try pulling them back with pliers? Are the hinges stuck?

garegin - Reply

I found that this was a really easy project. even easier than replacing my iphone 5 screen. however the replacement screen I purchased from a third party did not have the wires for the webcam connected. they had been severed off. Also the antenna and connectors were not included either so I had to take them from the old broken screen. this was at first frustrating but then I thought about how often I use a webcam and quickly carried on with the project because I really don't need a webcam (and now the NSA can't see me hehe). also the plastic covering for the antenna which is talked about in the retina display teardown as easy to remove was in fact far more difficult for me to remove than anything. I ended up nearly breaking the plastic covering in half trying to remove it.

Overall, this was an easy and painless 2/10 difficulty to perform and had the cords for the webcam been present it would not have made it any more difficult. Piece of cake.

blaykeolson - Reply

Very easy thank you,

Most difficult for me was step 15 (to put back the new screen) and step 5 (put back the little things) but very easy actually !

Nicolas Maloeuvre - Reply

i would like to thank you for the guide-very easy

Soul - Reply

Can I use this guide for a 2015 Retina 15"? I have located the correct screen assembly (which does not fit 2014 as I know).

asle - Reply

Who rates these difficulty levels?

mayer - Reply

Hello! Thanks for the wonderful guide, it made the substitution super-easy.

However, the display doesn't work. A little bit of history: I changed the display assembly because it didn't turn on anymore, and I was using the MBPr in clamshell mode. I refused the repair from apple, bought an original part and replaced it. The new one, however, does not work anymore. Plus, the clock was totally out of phase when I turned the mac on, had to resync. I also resetted PRAM an SMC (10 boings the first and one led color change the second). No change.

Please, anybody has a clue? I'm discouraged...

planetprogx - Reply

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 -

are the 3 cables identify ?

darryll - Reply

will this procedure remove my warranty? I have applecare for another 2 years, Laptop was dropped on the side, there is a very small dent on the side of I/O.

Oleg Babko - Reply

Yes, this voids your warranty.

max damage -

If I am facing the MacBook like I'm surfing or typing, this I/O board is referring to which side of the MacBook? Left or right side? How about replacing the other side of I/O board? The other side I/O port are part of LogicBoard? If I want to replace it, need to replace the whole LogicBoard? TQ.

Delta - Reply

These are notoriously difficult to remove. I actually damaged 2/3 of the connector pins during the process. Thankfully i was still able to fit them in place. This step should not be underestimated.

Alvin Chua - Reply

I damaged 1/3 of these litte guys, how did you get them back together?!

is there a way to replace the antenna?

Fabian Schweinfurth - Reply

unless you have really tiny fingers, a tweezer helps, just be careful not to damage the wires or the board as your holding each cable in place. Oh and take your time - this is like the most frustrating step in the process, imo.

Arn Custodio - Reply

The order of the cables doesn't seem to matter when re-attaching. It also might be helpful to unscrew and eject the airport card. Having it free can give you a better angle.

joey - Reply

Definitely the hardest step (when putting it back together). The three pins were on progressively longer plugs, so I put the shortest one on the left and so on. This helps with getting the right angle. I used my fingers and the spudger to guide them back in. It took me easily 10-15 minutes to do this. The pattern that worked eventually was to first adjust the angle of the pin head so that it's x/y/z axes would line up perfectly with the connection if you are able to bring it together just so. If you're off on any of these while you try to bring it together, you won't be able to just click it down at the end. Good luck!

Thomas Kunjappu - Reply

After reading so many reviews on ifixit and other sites regarding the difficulty of replacing my MacBook Pro retina screen assembly, I was a bit nervous. Using this walk through made it super easy. Thank you so much for taking the time to create it!

cabcpa - Reply

Removing these 3 tiny cables is completely unnecessary. I removed my fan last week to clean and it slips by these cables. For some dumb reason i wanted to follow this "correct" procedure and now one of the gold connections detached from the wire like it was nothing. Seriously, dont do this. I used a spunger and was very delicate putting it back on... And look what happened. SKIP!

travismlive - Reply

travismlive is right, you do not need to remove these cables or the airport card. Just remove the I/O board cable, undo the screws, and detach the antenna cables from the fan where they are glued with a spudger. Unlock the ZIF-socket and the you can wriggle the fan out. Probably saved my airport card, thanks travismlive!

Jasper - Reply

I only successfully reattached 1 of the 3 AirPort cables, I just taped the other two. But the AirPort seems to work fine. Do these also have anything to do with Bluetooth though? I do seem to have trouble with Bluetooth after this operation. In any case, it was worth it... I replaced the screen with a new Apple screen for less than 1/2 the Apple Store wanted! Thanks!

Douglas Johnston - Reply

Would soldering them back in place be better than taping? I certainly don't want spare solder on my motherboard, so I figure that'd be a last resort only if I lose AirPort connectivity.

Douglas Johnston - Reply

I've broken camera connection socket, is it repairable?

Sergey - Reply

Same for me too just take the socket from your broken screen and cut it off and solder it onto the new screen. It was really hard because it's so small but I did it.

bhayes9614 -

This is much easier if you do step 7 first so you can pull lightly on the cable and take the tension off the connection caused by the stiff cable.

mayer - Reply

If you are removing the right fan it is not necessary to unplug the camera cable. You can slip the fan out underneath the cable.

noahtfu - Reply

Hi! Camera flex cable is from MBP Retina Mid 2012 & Early 2013. Not Late 2013 :) Edit it please.

kramerigor - Reply

I lost one of these rubbers. Is it OK if I dont buy a replacement? What happens if I dont?

haloerika - Reply

Are the grounding loops on the webcam/airport under or on top of the upper case hinge?

tonylbvre - Reply

The hinge on my replacement display is not open 110 degrees. It's completely closed. How do I open it to screw in the torx screws that connect the display to keyboard?

i12i5 - Reply

I had the same problem. Did you finds a solution for pulling back the hinges on the replacement screen to 110 degrees?

Steve Dawson -

Pliers work! You can twist one hinge at a time with pliers. They should move surprisingly easily. (Fingers clearly aren't quite strong enough)

Steve Dawson -

Use your screwdriver instead of pliers! :D

jfigueroagerena -

How can I remove the long and thin black plastic cover that seats in the bottom of the screen so I can tight the screw that seats in other end of the hinge?

gkmaia - Reply

i replaced the lcd and now my backlight does not work on the new screen. I tried putting back the old screen and the backlight doesn't work on that one either. I forgot to disconnect the battery when changing the screen and i accidentally pressed the power button while the computer had no screen. Im pretty sure i damaged the backlight fuse but i cant seem to figure out where its at. If anyone could help that would be great.

george - Reply

Hello George,

Did you manage to solve the problem, because I also tested a good lcd to my mbp and when I put back the lcd to the original laptop it dosn't work anymore...

Dan -

Hello Georges, same here my backlight stop working?

Pierre Paquet - Reply

did you reset the pram after the installation?

faocisco -

All went well, but the new screen now has a slightly greater distance from the body when the MacBook Pro is closed. I don't have any explanation for that, since the distance can't be influenced. A large distance would mean that the hinges are too close to the body, because they are screwed to the bottom of the body. Any ideas?

orkus - Reply

The little flange that holds the wires and fastens onto the hinge screws should go on top of the hinge and not below? Just a thought.

max damage -