Introduction

Things heating up inside your MacBook Pro with Retina Display? Could be trouble with the heat sink. Use this guide to show you how to remove the heat sink in the Mid 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Remove the following P5 pentalobe screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro:
  • Remove the following P5 pentalobe screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro:

    • Eight 3.0 mm

    • Two 2.3 mm

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 -

Woa! Thanks dude! And you follow some guides here for the thermal paste? My mac 15’’ early 2013 heats up a lot but I’m a bit worried about touching anything

Bert0ld0 -

Good to list the bit needed to open the case: P6

brian2burnett - Reply

Much easier than expected. Sounds like several people had trouble with the backlight. It is possible that they damaged something by not first making sure to power down the computer completely with the “Shut Down” command. This should be step 1 before removing the back cover screws. Also as noted all the back cover screws are Apple Pentelope #5 bit, but 2 of the screws are shorter than the others. This bit is is hard to find in most stores. Buy it on line along with the Tork #5 and #8. 11/21/2017

Walt Goede - Reply

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

  • Set the lower case aside.

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 :).

crus - 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 -

Peel back the warning label covering the battery connector.
  • Peel back the warning label covering the battery connector.

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 -

Why is this step necessary?

67b5ebab - Reply

67b5ebab Good question !

Why is this necessary ?

bigb19791979 - Reply

This step is necessary to prevent any discharging, arcing, friction/static charges from damaging any of the extremely delicate and intricate parts of this (or most any) electrical system. In practice, you should even be wearing an anti-static band or be working on an anti-static bench even with the battery disconnected so your body doesn't create any unintentional charges.

One of the first things you should learn in electronics repair and and electrical in general is to cut the power source whenever possible before performing any work. Some systems have schedulers/triggers set that will wake the system up (even when closed) to perform updates and other maintenance tasks as to not eat up CPU and RAM during 'peak hours'. The last thing you need is to have your $2,000 laptop turn on while pulling an SSD (which, correct me if wrong, isn't a plug-and-play based device) which could do some serious corruption and/or damage; when all you had to do was peel a sticker and plug.

Hope that helps!!

~the more you know~

Colin Devenney - Reply

I did not peel back the sticker. It is probably there to help unplug the battery. You can apply a gentle constant pull while you use spudger to lift the battery connector out of the socket as per the next step. It made this very easy.

Achilles - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
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.
  • 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.

I ordered the whole kit, but seeing how much tedious effort it was to take out so many parts so they wouldn't be damaged by the solvent, I skipped from here to step 34 and only used the supplied cards (credit-card sized) with patience and persistence to free the battery sections from the backing. Success! Then I used a q-tip to apply the solvent to remove the remnants of the adhesive from the aluminum case. My battery was very swollen, so it was like removing little pillows. I think the swelling may have helped to give me additional access with the cards to free it. Success! My MBP is back up and running, and now the trackpad clicks again and it sits flat on a table!

Joel Replogle - Reply

So no need basically to unscrew all the mac

Bert0ld0 -

Joel - the purpose of all of the trouble in removing the logic board is to make sure that you don’t damage anything when you start pull out the battery. After this step - it’s true, you have about 12 connectors and dozens of screws to unplug, but I didn’t have any major problems.

REASSEMBLY - I had to use alot of force to get the official IFIXIT battery connect to push into place to actually connect. I was worried that one of the wires would stress and break. It worked, but it was not super easy this part.

Jer - Reply

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 rotate it off of the heat sink.
  • 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 rotate it off of the heat sink.

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In the same manner described above, release the adhesive and flip back the heat sink cover on the left fan. In the same manner described above, release the adhesive and flip back the heat sink cover on the left fan. In the same manner described above, release the adhesive and flip back the heat sink cover on the left fan.
  • In the same manner described above, release the adhesive and flip back the heat sink cover on the left fan.

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Remove the following ten screws securing the heat sink to the logic board:
  • Remove the following ten screws securing the heat sink to the logic board:

    • Two 2.4 mm T5 Torx screws

    • Six 3.4 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 5.2 mm Raised Head T5 Torx screw

    • One 3.5 mm T5 Torx screw

This step forgets two silver T5 screws, on either end of the heatpipe (highlighted in purple here) : http://i.imgur.com/zCNdb.jpg

The one on the left is covered by a rubber cap which can be removed and put back easily.

If those are not removed, the heatsink will NOT come off and you risk breaking something by applying unnecessary force to the heatsink or surrounding components.

renaudbedard - Reply

Grasping the heat sink from one side, lift the heat sink off of the MacBook Pro, pulling it free from the computer.
  • Grasping the heat sink from one side, lift the heat sink off of the MacBook Pro, pulling it free from the computer.

  • The thermal paste may make it difficult to remove the heat sink. Pull the heat sink off gently but forcefully to avoid damaging any components on the logic board.

  • When installing the new heat sink, do not forget to replace the thermal paste underneath the heat sink. See our Applying Thermal Paste guide for further instructions.

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Conclusion

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

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Brett Hartt

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3 Comments

would doing this void the warranty?

sakada - Reply

Hello everybody!!! I tried to follow this guide... I removed the bottom case, no problem... but when it was the time to remove the upper 2.4mm T5 torn screw... it stripped and now i cannot remove it! How can i remove that screw?

And if this is not enough one of the 3mm pentalobe screw of the bottom stripped too! so what can i do?!? please help me!

Sorry for my bad english

Shaggot96 - Reply

I'm sorry to hear that! Try checking out this stripped screw guide and reading through What are your tips/tricks for removing or extracting stripped screws?. Hope this helps with your repair!

Sam Lionheart -

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