MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Battery Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Replace the battery in your Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody.

Use this guide to replace a worn-out battery.

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm (14.1 mm) Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Using both hands, lift the lower case near the vent to pop it off two clips securing it to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case and set it aside.

Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery Connector  ¶ 

  • For certain repairs (e.g. hard drive), disconnecting the battery connector is not necessary but it prevents any accidental shorting of electronics on the motherboard. If you do not disconnect the battery connector, please be careful as parts of the motherboard might be electrified.

  • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

  • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

Edit Step 5 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5 Battery  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.4 mm Tri-wing screws securing the battery to the upper case.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the battery warning label off the upper case between the battery and the optical drive to reveal an additional Tri-wing screw.

  • Remove the last 7.4 mm Y1 Tri-wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

  • Do not remove the label from the battery.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the attached plastic pull tab to remove the battery from the upper case.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tri-point Y1 Screwdriver

$12.95 · 35 In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Very well documented and easy to follow.

russlein, · Reply

I'd say this difficulty should be rated as easy, not moderate - it's well written and easy to follow, and documents one of the more simple procedures.

gstinson, · Reply

I think they rate it as "moderate" for needing to acquire the "Y" type screwdriver, but, (and here's a protip for first timers...) A small straight-blade actually fits and turns the screw as normal, with no need for special tools. :)

pyrodice,

hello everybody

I am looking for a genuine brand new for my APPLE MACBOOK PRO 15.4 2.2GHZ early 2011 A1286

Someone cane help find it?

BOLLE, · Reply

The guide says to use a Y1 Triwing for the battery screws. The Triwing heads are smaller than that. I had a Y1 and it didn't fit. I kludged it with pliers and a Philips P000.

ecomm, · Reply

The Y-1 worked perfectly for me.

raholland,

Use a small straight-blade. Sounds odd, but works perfectly.

pyrodice,

Very useful. I was having problems with my trackpad, the cursor was jumping around irratically, and I figured the problem was likely to be either swelling of the battery that I could not see, or dust and dirt on the trackpad. I was at the end of my patience, and my warranty has expired anyway, so this time I VIOLATED APPLES' IMPERITIVE and took out the stupid battery. Piece of cake.

Two things I found, 1) the plastic tabs that hold down the battery were all three broken; the screws had been over tightened from the factory. There were small pieces of plastic from it under the battery on the trackpad. When I got the battery out, I found a very tiny screw loose on the trackpad. I have no idea where it came from, I suspect someone dropped it when this unit was put together, since this has been an on- again off- again problem since

Mark, · Reply

the computer was new. I removed the screw and dust, and put three small pieces of Velcro (just the fuzzy side) on the battery so that the back case would hold it in place, since the three ridiculous tri-screws were not doing anything, anyway. And put it back together.

And now, it works very, very well!

Somehow, I think an Apple genius would have not told me about having a screw loose...

Mark, · Reply

Tout simplement parfait comme guide.

J'ai reçu le matériel hier, aujourd'hui j'ai changé la batterie en 30 min vu qu'en même temps j'ai nettoyer un peu la poussière !!

Merci à vous !!

PS : la nouvelle batterie semble très bien fonctionner ;)

vdecroocq, · Reply

1 out of 10 for difficulty; easiest repair I have ever performed on a laptop

cweed, · Reply

About as easy as it gets.

scanslers, · Reply

Difficulty level should be revised to Easy but perhaps Moderate makes sense depending on how swollen the battery is.

Wasn't even aware that my battery was about to die until my trackpad started to stick and eventually became useless.

In my case, my Early 2011 (MacBook Pro 8,2) battery had over 1,300 cycles and the swollen battery was pressing against the trackpad rendering it basically useless.

Purchased a 3rd party battery off OWC for $99, arrived 3 days later and magic. My cycle count is zero now and the trackback works perfectly.

SuperMango Labs, · Reply

Step 1 (technically step 9 - replacing the base plate) Apparently one of my screws was a micron or two smaller than the others. This screw belongs to the hole above the optical drive, which is also apparently a couple of microns smaller than the others. It took seven attempts to figure which screw had originally been in that hole; all the other screws were too large, but fitted perfectly everywhere else.

Bizarre much?

Will, · Reply

It might be a matter of how the screws are driven in, and not that they're slightly different sizes. When I reassembled my MacBook, a couple of the screws, including the one over the optical drive you mention, were hard to drive in and jutted up a little bit instead of sitting entirely flush. Swapping screws didn't help. The solution was to unscrew them and drive them in at a bit of an angle - perpendicular to the slightly curved surface of the back plate where the screw holes were, instead of fully vertical with respect to the ground the Macbook is sitting on. Doing it that way, the screws were easier to drive in and they all ended up flush in their holes. Didn't matter which screws they were. (I swapped a few around just to check after reading this.)

Andrew Janke,

I discovered a great way of organizing the screws. I used an ice cube tray and added the screws in order, keeping the different kinds together. So when it came to reversing the steps, the screw order was an added control step to returning everything in its place.

leonie, · Reply

Great advise! Love it! :)

Ririds,

I used to do that and that worked really great until I bumped it by accident and the entire tray went on the rug! I spent the next day sorting things out.

Now I use these:

http://www.sciplus.com/p/50-114-CLEAR-PL...

The lower ones 50 to a package. I mark them w/ blue tape. Often if it's part like the fans, or the optical drive I'll tape the screws into/near the holes where they belong. I did this a lot especially w/ the bottom screws from MBPs until I'd done so many I knew exactly where the longer ones went.

Richard Sato,

I wrapped the screws in a piece of blue masking tape and wrote the number on the little pouch I made. Then I stuck the blue tape pouches on the underside of the case bottom in order.

Roscoe,

I take double-sided tape, put that on a piece of paper, stick the crews to that, and label them.

jelimoore,

Best I've found is a bead sorting tray. They're like $5 at Wal-Mart and they have a lid that seals up and won't let them jump between containers.

maccentric,

@Will, in my case I had the same result as you did. As a reminder to myself the next time I need to open the computer, I put a dot of white paint on those two screw's head and a very, very thin ring of white on the very edge of each hole, that way I'll know they go into those two holes.

Roger, · Reply

Actually the four screws on the bottom were not threaded all the way up. I didn't check to see if the thread gauge was the same on them, but it wasn't until I had about four screws out (I didn't take them out in the order that the bottom all came out first) that I noticed a difference. I then took out the rest of the bottom ones to see if they matched the two that were already out that weren't threaded to the top. They did. So I went under the assumption that those were all bottom screws and when I put it back together everything went fine with no resistance.

So there are three types of screws: Four for the bottom, three long ones as indicated and three others that might be slightly smaller than the bottom ones.

wresnick, · Reply

Hi,

Although its more than a year since your contribution, I thought you might be amused to know that it is not just that the screws go in more easily when at an angle, Apple actually drilled and tapped the holes at a 15% angle. I too had tried to drive them in straight. An Apple "genius" - I was in for something else - clarified the design for me. It was done so that the screws lay flush on the angled part of the lower case. Nice design, but since Apple encourages DIY memory and drive changes, they could have mentioned this little ... trap.

H Stahl,

MacBookPro8,2

Intel Core i7, 2,2 GHz, RAM 16 GB

Mountain Lion

May someone help me?

I have installed the second drive with ssd 840 evo, but when I try to copy the file from the new drive to the main hd this in not allowed (errore -36)

Piero, · Reply

Hey everyone, here's the very best way to PERFECTLY organize your screws AND keep track of the order of the procedure: Get a piece of plain corrugated cardboard and a pen (I like using a Sharpie). For EACH step of the disassembly, draw a simple diagram of the layout of the computer on the piece of cardboard, with dots or Xs where the screws are located. Right after you remove each screw from the computer, poke a hole in the cardboard in its corresponding diagram position with your screwdriver and place the screw in that hole. If there are other non-screw related parts to be removed, you can add notes below each step diagram to remind you of where they go or how they should be placed. This cardboard method is great not only because your screws will not go flying or get mixed up by accident if bumped, but each screw goes EXACTLY back where it came from and you can keep the cardboard as a template for future use if necessary!

- zerø K

zeroK, · Reply

for all the mac 2011 owner. we should pressure apple to accept their fault. they gave as a piece of junk while they took our $2000. -betrayed apple fanboy

mindful, · Reply

These instructions worked great for me. I ordered a replacement battery from Key Power (on Amazon) for my 15" Macbook Pro (mid-2010). Cost was $74 shipped.

Battery came with 3 different screwdrivers to help with installation. I just needed the one size though, since my 2010 seemed to use all the same size screws.

Thanks!

Marcos, · Reply

During re-assembling (put the screws back in), it is important to note that the 3mm threaded holes are not completely vertical, but bent a little bit such that the hole direction is rectangular to the tapered surface. The force of the screwdriver must point towards the direction of the hole. Otherwise the screw gets jammed

kusi, · Reply

nails work pretty well as well...

Sibe Jan Kramer, · Reply

At first sight I was confused when I read the description at this step, 'cause it seemed that disconnecting the battery connector was optional, in order to eliminate static discharge. While it's a helpful advice in other circumstances (as mentioned as an example changing hard drives), when changing the battery it is not an option - you have to disconnect the battery connector.

It would have been better to mention the optional disconnecting recommendation in a side-note.

Other than that, an excellent guide!

Damienn, · Reply

the fact that this step is optional can not be stressed enough. i tried disconnecting the battery and in the process it short circuited which now leaves me with an even more expensive problem than i had before when i just wanted to change hard drives (at least the new hard drive works fine..)

the hard drive changing worked though.

nina, · Reply

Excellent guide, it was as easy as a breeze to replace my battery. I can't believe I nearly followed Apple in their saying that this part was not user replaceable. Great job for this description, and many thanks. iFixIt is THE reference for Mac owners.

Patrick.

Patrick Demaret, · Reply

So - I have a weird comment about this. I wanted to make sure that I was getting the right model - so I opened up my laptop and then thought "well, why not just remove the battery while i'm in here, it's shot anyway". Though, I forgot about the stupid screws (Apple really did us over on that one!). Though I disconnected the battery connector and didn't bother to re-connect it when I was finished and just put the cover back on.

Here's the weird part - when I went to turn my laptop back on...MY BATTERY WAS RECOGNIZED...AND WORKING! I was under the impression that the connector "connects" the battery's charge to the laptop, but this just doesn't make sense! Plus, now my very dead battery is in "normal" condition according to the system report. I haven't worked for apple, but have about 5 years of IT experience and am baffled by this! I'm starting to think i've experience a miracle! Has this happened to anyone else?

Shelly, · Reply

Possibly disconnecting the battery caused the System Management Controller to reset. That might have been your problem rather than the battery itself. See http://osxdaily.com/2010/03/24/when-and-...

Duke Briscoe,

I'd just like an advise of where to dispose the old battery. Thanks

Jaime Serafim, · Reply

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