Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken display on your MacBook Unibody.

Image 1/1: Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end.  Lift the release latch until it is vertical.
  • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

  • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

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Image 1/1:
  • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

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Image 1/1: Grab the white plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.
  • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

  • Grab the white plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

Great tutorial ! great step !

Leo Etcheverry - Reply

Image 1/1: One 3 mm Phillips screw.
  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 3 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

On my model, it seemed the top-left was 3.5mm and the bottom 4 were 3 mm.

Jim - Reply

Make sure you have a good quality Phillips screwdriver. Mine had removable tips and had a small play at the connection. As a result I didn't have a good feel and damaged my screws (those securing the fan and the top left in step 23). Game over for me installing new thermal paste...

Be very carefull with your screws! Especially those on the inside.

Nickolas Michelinakis - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

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Image 1/1: Be careful not to pull up on the cable as you remove it from the socket.
  • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket.

    • Be careful not to pull up on the cable as you remove it from the socket.

Be EXTREMELY careful when removing and re-inserting the 'camera' cable. The contacts can be easily bent beyond repair if you try to force it back in. Damaging this cable at this connection or near the display may disable your ability to use your iSight camera, AND both your Bluetooth and WiFi. I had to pay apple $300 to replace the entire display assembly because one prong was faulty, causing my WiFi card to not be recognized.

seanheff17 - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

Although I ordered the screen for an A1278 MacBook Unibody Aluminum, the screen glass was marked as a MacBook Pro. The iSight/WiFi /BT cable was about an inch longer than the Macbook one and took a bit of creative re-routing, but everything works fine.

tjod - Reply

has it got the airport and bluetooth modules built in separately in the display assembly as in the macbook late 2008 and mbp mid 2009?

fericcio -

Image 1/2: One 9.9 mm partially threaded Phillips screw Image 2/2: One 9.6 mm threaded Phillips screw
  • Remove the following screws securing the camera data cable and right speaker to the upper case:

    • One 9.9 mm partially threaded Phillips screw

    • One 9.6 mm threaded Phillips screw

    • One 4 mm Phillips screw

  • Slide the camera cable bracket out from under the subwoofer and remove it from the computer.

  • The iSight cable has an eyelet through which passes the left-most screw in these pictures.

"orange" is the short one, that goes in the middle ;)

MrGreen - Reply

My model has different bracket, you need to remove the subwoofer first

Andrea Ghensi - Reply

1. With my Laptop, the left screw was partially threaded, not the right one. 2. Before removing the camera cable bracket, I needed to unscrew the subwoofer.

Edgar Fuß - Reply

Image 1/2: Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket. Image 2/2: Make sure to pull the connector straight away and not straight up from its socket.
  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

  • Pull the display data cable connector straight away from its socket.

  • Make sure to pull the connector straight away and not straight up from its socket.

i can't understand what I need to do in this step, I'm afraid with this step, i think i can "hurt" my mac and i don't want to do that, anyone knows what i need to do?

Thanks

Lucas Borges - Reply

There is a steel 'latch' that flips over from the left side of the connector, to the right side. After you flip this latch over, the cable will easily slide out.

madmaxmedia - Reply

as I pulled the monitor cable out of the bracket after flipping the lock over one side of the bracket broke loose. Now the monitor will not turn on. Can anyone help?

boldtu - Reply

Image 1/2: One 7 mm Phillips screw. Image 2/2: One 5 mm Phillips screw.
  • Remove the following two screws from the display data cable bracket:

    • One 7 mm Phillips screw.

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw.

  • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

Note for Step 10 during reassembly: Be careful when replacing the screw for the display cable bracket closest to the magnetic power cord receptacle. The interior magnet might attract the screw causing the screw to get pulled under the DC power circuit board which might then require that you disassemble things again to retrieve the screw.

wintermute - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two outer 6 mm Torx screws securing each side of the display to the upper case (4 screws total).

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Image 1/1: Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.
  • Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

  • Place your opened MacBook on a table as pictured.

  • While holding the display and upper case together with your left hand, remove the 6 mm Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

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Image 1/1: Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.
  • 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.

  • Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

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Image 1/3: Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case. Image 2/3: Lift the display away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught. Image 3/3: Lift the display away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.
  • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

  • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

  • Lift the display away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

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Conclusion

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

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3 Comments

This worked perfectly. My brother had an old MacBook laying around that he had fried when he spilled a drink on it. As a result it sat for a few years after he bought a new computer. His top case was ruined and after some pestering gave me his "broken" mac. I just finished swapping the displays, my computer was 6 years old and my display had dead pixels and a broken isight(for the last three years!) Swapping the display assembly fixed everything. Total time: 2 hrs.

NOTE: Be very careful when removing the cables, always use less force then you think you need, you should be good to go!

Melanie B - Reply

My display has a huge stripe down the middle that is inverse contrast. When I have the display in a certain position, like if I bend the screen ALL the way back, it'll be fine but mostly the stripe will pop back. This leads me to think the display cable is loose or not seated properly. I got to about step 9 in this guide, cleaned the connectors and re-seated but it's still there. Any ideas? I think the cable might be messed up when it goes into the black plastic hinge part. Seems pinched?

antiboyo - Reply

Curious if you made any progress here -- my brother has exactly the same issue. I'm planning on replacing the assembly outright, but going to open it up first just to see if I can "un-pinch" it. If it's just the cable, I was thinking of replacing it, but it looks like I'd have to take the display apart more which I'm not up to doing (heat gun etc.).

Mark Ahrens -

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