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Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken or noisy left fan in your MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015.

Note that the left fan is on the left of the machine while you're using it, and on the right while you're working on it.

  1. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement, Lower Case: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following P5 pentalobe screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro:

    • Eight 3.1 mm

    • Two 2.3 mm

    The number of screws listed here is wrong on my model. I had four of the smaller size.

    anonymous 1286 - Reply

    Just to add to my comment above (I can't edit it because it's anonymous), my MacBook Pro is a mid-2015 15in model 2.8GHz (A1398; EMC2881). For the bottom case it uses six 3.1mm screws, and four 2.3mm screws at the clutch/hinge side of the MacBook Pro. I tried using a 3.1mm screw at the clutch/hinge end, as described in the main article, and they don't fit. It has to be four 2.3mm screws.

    anonymous 1286 - Reply

    The instructions below have you basically taking ALL of the guts out of case. I’ve been doing my own apple repairs since before ifixit was a thing and this one is a handful. My battery was swelling and I wanted to remove it before it burst or bent the case so I took it out without having a replacement and it occurs to me that aside from using the solvent (liquid) to remove the adhesive, you could probably do this only taking the trackpad ribbon out. I have mine reassembled now and will research the best battery to buy but I think installation will take about 5 minutes. See if you can slip a plastic gift card under the battery and wag/saw the adhesive out without the solvent before you go through all of this. It might work. Note, don’t bend or put too much stress on the battery and certainly don’t puncture it…

    br1ansk - Reply

    Battery Recall for 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina mid-2015. Check Apple’s site for recalls, and put in your serial number. They replaced my swelling battery for free, regardless of warranty.

    Steve -

    As we are only replacing the battery, you can safely skip steps 6-26 and 28-48, no need to disassemble the computer to pull out the battery. Use nail polisher remover I was able to pull a super bloated battery out, without disassembling my MacBook.

    John Sikking -

    I’m having a problem trying to get the screws off. I have a set of pentalobe screwdriver set. I found one screwdriver that fits perfectly on one set of screws, but I am unable to unscrew it. I tried using some force pushing the screwdriver into the screw, but nothing happens. Any suggestions?

    henry_k_wong - Reply

    All the screws on mine are the same length for some reason.

    ccfman2004 - Reply

    I would recommend the first step is: Run the battery down to ZERO before doing any next step. This reduces risk to you, people nearby, to the MBP and greatly reduces the risk of fire. Step 2 should be: Double-check that the battery is at zero.

    I like others listed below and on YouTube, disagree with these full tear down 70+ steps being the only focus. I get that I have to be careful not to get the acetone solvent near the speakers. I skipped 25+ steps by: tilting the MBP away from the speakers and using very little acetone solvent. More pressure with the plastic cards and only a few drops of solvent. While giving the full set of instructions is fine it should be very clear that you can (at the user’s own risk) do this.

    Kenneth Schleede - Reply

    As above—I consider full disassembly to be far riskier to fragile cables and connectors than the risk for solvent spillage. I did steps 1-5 and 46-74. No issues. I HIGHLY recommend the iFixit magnetic Project Mat. It’s a white marker board surface gridded into squares and invaluable for labeling part sizes/steps in disassembly.

    philtrit - Reply

    As above too. I benefitted from the advice. From step 51 onwards, I found a easier way using tip from China battery seller. Use a 2” width plastic scraper/plastic paint scraper to poke under the battery. Use moderate strength to poke and avoid rough handling of the battery so as not to puncture it. There is no need to pry the battery to avoid stressing it, just use a firm poking action under the battery and the double sided tape adhesive will yield. After 5 min of such poking, the entire battery pack can be removed without the hassle of pouring the adhesive remover from step 51 onwards. Get a scraper with a stronger handle so that it is more comfortable to poke.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32889670...

    Emma Pn - Reply

    Heads up as you go…we (husband/wife team) had a notebook that when screws/covers were removed, we marked the step # and actually taped the screws into the notebook noted by the step number. This was very helpful on reassembly and we knew we would be using the exact screw into the original screw hole.

    Ann Brainard - Reply

    After replacing the batteries myself, I wouldn’t even consider doing it again. Not that it’s difficult to do—that’s not the issue. The issue is aftermarket batteries. I’ve been using notebooks for well over 30 years, and never had satisfaction with aftermarket batteries.

    Modern lithium batteries are an amazing technological feat, but a dangerous one. So even putting aside that I’ve never found any aftermarket batteries with quality anywhere near original, I learned “cheap” aftermarket lithium batteries are downright dangerous.

    After doing research into what’s involved with manufacturing lithium batteries, I know there are so many corners to cut, you’ll end up with junk regardless of what you pay.

    A week after replacing my batteries with those from iFixit, they showed clear signs of failure. Thank goodness iFixit refunded my money.

    After having Apple replace my batteries, everything is back to like-new. For my $199, I got not only excellent batteries, but a new keyboard and trackpad as well. That’s it’s done!!!

    AnnoniMoose - Reply

    I found an Apple Support link that said MBP battery replacement was $199, but the 2 Apple Stores near my house would not provide any appointments. Instead, I scheduled an appointment with and “Apple Authorized Service Provider” & that repair center quoted about $750 to replace the battery.

    I refused, went home, & opened a chat with Apple Support.

    After a lengthy & painful chat session where the Apple tech didn’t want to provide a battery replacement quote (he feared other issues with the MBPr), he finally gave me an Apple price of just under $650 to replace the battery.

    Did you go into an Apple store, or mail it in? I’m struggling to reconcile a price of $199 to get a battery + keyboard + trackpad against what I was just quoted 2 weeks ago. The new track pad & keyboard might have been due to repair tech error. i.e. they trashed those repairing your batter & had to toss them in.

    Bartt.Shelton@gmail.com - Reply

  2. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Lifting from the edge nearest the clutch cover, lift the lower case off the MacBook Pro.

    If you buy the entire kit, make sure you use the opening tool! I cut both of my index fingers trying to slide it off.

    Catherine Nath - Reply

    Additionally, this is an “opportunity” to clean the cooling fans - and any other obvious dust magnets - with a can of compressed air. On the laptop I worked on, the cooling fans had sufficient dust to not “spin” freely - showing signs of “drag”. After blasting each cooling fan with compressed air (including from the exhaust vent side, as hitting the fins alone wasn’t adequate), they both spin freely now. No obvious signs of battery swelling on mine, but lack of adequate airflow could have been a factor with original battery aging/failure.

    Zathras - Reply

    Good opportunity to give a good clean out. Air duster and small clean paint brush on plastic surfaces to clean up essential vents and fans. You can load fan monitor and control software to see what your your system is doing and how it improves with a clean up.

    Robin Razzell - Reply

  3. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 3, image 2 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • The lower case has two plastic pegs (red) that fit into plastic clips in the upper case (orange).

    • During reassembly, gently push down the center of the lower case to reattach the case to its two plastic clips.

    pretty hard to put it back, so I just remove the clips on the upper case....

    jamiegan835 - Reply

    The trick to putting it back on is to guide your fingers to the same level as the clips, and then when you put the case down move your hand from the left side of the case to the right side of the case; applying pressure when you reach the area where the clips are.

    Aaron Freidus - Reply

    Impossible to put those peds into the upper case clips! It just does not hold there, it fits but just does the ‘click’ sound and goes back. Is it possible to buy those clips as spare part? Thank you for help.

    Lopez Loku - Reply

    Same for me. It just never clips, regardless of the precision and the amount of force I apply.

    Vadym Borodin - Reply

    I also think I stripped the screws holding the clips in place. Does anyone know what screw characteristics should I look for as a replacement?

    Vadym Borodin - Reply

  4. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement, Battery Connector: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Peel back the sticker covering the battery connector.

    You only need to remove the tape to the edge of the flap. This is enough to be able to pry the battery connector up.

    Aaron Freidus - Reply

    +1 to above comment

    Andrew Saunders - Reply

    Note that the photo is taken from the hinge side - the other way to the photo in step 3

    Toby Thurston - Reply

    I chanced it, didnt disconnect the battery and all is well even after giving the insides a good vacuuming before changing the SSD.

    Dermot O Logical - Reply

    It is just the top layer of tape that you want to lift, you need to seperate it from the bottom layer.

    Kelv - Reply

    You don’t actually need to remove the tape or even peel it off at all. Just pull up the battery connector up with the tape still attached.

    AJ Lorenzo - Reply

    pay attention that the macbook in this picture is presented the “wrong side”: if you accidentally remove the tape covering the trackpad cable and thereby also take the trackpad cable out of the zif-socket, your keyboard and trackpad won’t work anymore. putting the trackpad cable back into the (tiny) socket will fix the issue though.

    sam - Reply

  5. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Gently lift each side of the battery connector to pry the connector out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Bend the connector back toward the battery, ensuring that the battery connector doesn't accidentally make contact with the logic board.

    why is this necessary to remove a hard drive?

    Lawtay - Reply

    @lawrencetaylor On any electronics repair, you need to disconnect all sources of power before you start. It’s a basic safety precaution and also removes the risk of accidentally shorting a connection somewhere (which can potentially kill your MacBook).

    Jeff Suovanen -

    I chanced it, didnt disconnect the battery and all is well even after giving the insides a good vacuuming before changing the SSD.

    Dermot O Logical - Reply

    Picture doesn’t match the computer. Hard to tell which connector to disconnect

    James Mitchell - Reply

    Hi James, are you sure you have the correct guide for your machine? Try using our MacBook Identification tool.

    Sam Goldheart -

    Habe den Akkustecker beim putzen abgemacht um keinen Stromschlag zu kriegen, jetzt wieder eingebaut. Nun habe ich folgendes Problem: Akku wird geladen, aber steigt niemals ueber % und manchmal geht er trotz Anschluss an das Stromnetz einfach aus. Hat da jemand eine Idee?

    paul - Reply

    I used the identification tool and can confirm what James is seeing. The picture doesn’t match for this step. There is no piece with visible holes punched in it.

    Joshua McFarland - Reply

    There is an extra piece of plastic on the connector, you might want to peel that off too. It’s not in the pictures.

    Ellie B -

    There is a battery cover with two T5 screws that must be removed before prying on the connector.

    Dennis Newton - Reply

    Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for bringing this up! I’ll work on verifying this and adjust the guide as needed.

    Arthur Shi -

    My battery connector had another layer of plastic on it that I removed first

    Kelv - Reply

    For an A1398, the screws on the adjacent cover were T6, not T5; one of the tips in the battery kit was suitable.

    Zathras - Reply

    I need dis board hw much

    Ebuka Ofodile - Reply

    After separating the battery connector, I took the addd precaution of placing a folded post-it between the connector bank and the socket.

    Matt Fisher - Reply

    You can also use a plastic tool to hold back the battery connector. My connector was under the plastic tab and had no screws. You may need to check the build version as there are a number of A1398 versions.

    Robin Razzell - Reply

    When you install the new battery, it may look like the holes in the connector need to be slid on to the connector toward the rear of the mac. I tried bending the cable to make it work. This could damage the cables. You really need only push directly downward on the connector, as you pulled up on it to remove it initially. It will pop into place with a little pressure, just make sure it's lined up properly.

    Jeffrey Andrews - Reply

    I had to use quite a lot of pressure to make the connector on my new battery pop all the way down. I thought it was down already when it was only half way, as I was afraid to use too much force. Maybe it varies between different battery brands, but just make sure that the connector should go all the way down and not have a gap between the two parts.

    Magnus W - Reply

    " …ensuring that the battery connector doesn't accidentally make contact with the logic board."

    You appear to assume that everyone knows which item is the logic board. I can attest that not everyone does. Clarity here would be helpful.

    Mark - Reply

  6. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement, Left Fan: step 6, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement, Left Fan: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • Peel the left rubber cover up off the fan and fold it out of the way.

  7. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following three screws securing the left fan to the logic board:

    • One 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw with a wide head

    • One 5.0 mm T5 Torx screw with a 2.0 mm long shoulder

    • One 4.4 mm T5 Torx screw

    the yellow one may not go back in during reassembly unless the board is perfect. Stripped mine in the effort - put back together without this screw :(

    Paul Forgey - Reply

    I ran in a similar misalignment so had to bend the top left loop a bit to make it fit.

    Not a big issue, but better to lay it in and check the alignment of all screw holes (and adapt if necessary) before putting the screws in.

    I saw my replacement part had already a bit of paint missing at the top left and bottom right holes, so I assume it is a refurbished or sourced part, so a bit of tweaking may be necessary. BTW, the fan works perfectly, no more annoying clicking noises.

    Maarten S - Reply

  8. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the left fan ribbon cable ZIF socket.

    • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  9. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2015 Left Fan Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Lift the fan and push it gently towards the back edge of the MacBook to free the fan cable from its socket.

    • The fan cable may be adhered to the logic board—to avoid tearing the cable, gently peel it up while lifting the fan.

    • Remove the fan.

Conclusion

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

41 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldheart

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2 Comments

First repair job. After 5 years of use my laptop was getting heated quicker than the oven and making that antique modem noises. With 2 screwdrivers and a plastic card to pry the connectors cleaned all the dust inside the case and the fans following the fan replacement guides without any trouble. Huge thanks to Andrew for this very detailed page! Btw, if you intent to reuse the fans, be careful with the connector cables. They are not flexible, they bent easily and might break.

Furkan Karagöz - Reply

Thank you so much - I used this to access and clean (but not replace) the fan.

CCC - Reply

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