Introduction

Save money by replacing just the LCD rather than the whole display assembly.

With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.
  • 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.

Add Comment

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

Add Comment

Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.
  • 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

Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:
  • 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

Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.
  • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

Add Comment

Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its 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

De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive. De-route the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.
  • 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 -

Remove the following screws securing the camera data cable and right speaker to the upper case: One 9.9 mm partially 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

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.
  • 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

Remove the following two screws from the display data cable bracket: One 7 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

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

Add Comment

Open your MacBook so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.
  • 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.

Add Comment

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.
  • 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.

Add Comment

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.
  • 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.

Add Comment

In the following steps, you will use a heat gun to soften the adhesive securing the outer black border around the underside of the front glass panel to the display. The area the adhesive is applied  to is shown in red in the second picture. With the heat gun set to low, start by heating the outer black border near the upper right corner of the glass panel.
  • In the following steps, you will use a heat gun to soften the adhesive securing the outer black border around the underside of the front glass panel to the display. The area the adhesive is applied to is shown in red in the second picture.

  • With the heat gun set to low, start by heating the outer black border near the upper right corner of the glass panel.

  • Always aim the heat gun away from the soft rubber strip around the display glass. Heating the rubber will cause it to melt slightly, turning its finish from matte to glossy. Touching overheated rubber can cause it to permanently deform.

  • Due to the heat applied, it is normal for a layer of condensation to develop on the inside of the glass panel and/or the outside of the LCD. It can be removed with glass cleaner once the glass is separated from the display.

Add Comment

  • With the panel sufficiently heated, fasten a heavy-duty suction cup near the upper right corner of the display glass.

  • Don't fasten the suction cup on top of the rubber strip around the edge of the display glass.

  • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

  • Slowly and gently pull the corner of the display glass up off the display assembly.

  • If only the top edge of the glass lifts up (as seen in the third picture), repeat steps one and two until you can lift up the corner of the panel.

I'm having trouble getting the display glass off. I was able to put a card into a gap, but it wasn't the display case, but the entire lcd panel. Any ideas?

Taylor Vanderwarker - Reply

My display glass had multiple, long cracks, which is why I set out to replace it.

Lifting the screen didn't work as the suction cup was always over a crack and didn't take. I ended up lifting a piece of screen from the middle, existing cracks making it easy, and then had to go around the edge with a metal scrape to lift and remove the glued edge of the glass.

Took about two hours but it worked. Small splinters flying everywhere (goggles!). Made three inspection passes with a magnifying glass to clean up every little shard of glass and leftover glue. Everything else went fine!

sergioduroux - Reply

If you have cracks on the screen, use packing tape on the screen to get better grip with suction cup.

Jesse Nayak -

Really need to amend this step... I think it is easier to break the double sided stick by SLOWLY rocking it side to side motion w/ the suction cup (macbok logo to camera) from either side of the Macbook logo.

Steve Yeung - Reply

I overheated rubber strip and it is permanently deformed, as you said. Where can I find it ? Do you have it ? hanks a lot, regards

Juanpablo - Reply

Gently lift the corner of the display glass enough to insert a spudger between it and the display assembly. Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry up the adhesive securing the front glass to the display. Pry up the glass panel a few inches away from the upper right corner along the top and right edges of the display.
  • Gently lift the corner of the display glass enough to insert a spudger between it and the display assembly.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry up the adhesive securing the front glass to the display.

  • Pry up the glass panel a few inches away from the upper right corner along the top and right edges of the display.

Add Comment

Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the right side of the front glass panel. Attach a suction cup along the right side of the front glass panel.
  • Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the right side of the front glass panel.

  • Attach a suction cup along the right side of the front glass panel.

  • Pull up on the glass panel while you use the flat end of a spudger to separate it from the rest of the display assembly.

  • Continue working along the right edge of the front display glass until it is separated from the display.

  • It may be helpful to use a guitar pick or another thin plastic object to keep the upper right corner of the front glass panel from sticking back down to the display assembly.

Add Comment

Use your heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the top edge of the glass display panel. Attach a suction cup near the top edge of the glass display panel and use it to pull the glass panel up off the display.
  • Use your heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the top edge of the glass display panel.

  • Attach a suction cup near the top edge of the glass display panel and use it to pull the glass panel up off the display.

  • Work along the top edge of the glass panel, carefully using the flat end of a spudger to separate the adhesive if necessary.

Add Comment

Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip near the upper left corner of the glass display panel. Attach a suction cup near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.
  • Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.

  • Attach a suction cup near the upper left corner of the glass display panel.

  • Pull up on the suction cup and use the flat end of a spudger to carefully pry the glass display panel out of the display assembly.

  • Once the upper left corner has been separated from the display, it may be helpful to use a guitar pick or another thin plastic object to keep the glass from sticking back down to the display assembly.

Add Comment

Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the left side of the front glass panel. Attach a suction cup along the left side of the front glass panel.
  • Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive under the black strip along the left side of the front glass panel.

  • Attach a suction cup along the left side of the front glass panel.

  • Pull up on the glass panel while you use the flat end of a spudger to separate it from the rest of the display assembly.

  • Continue working along the left edge of the front display glass until it is separated from the display.

Add Comment

Now that the top, left, and right edges of the glass are free from the display, slowly lift the top edge of the glass panel and gently rotate it out of the display. If necessary, use the flat end of a spudger to free the bottom edge of the glass display panel from the display assembly.
  • Now that the top, left, and right edges of the glass are free from the display, slowly lift the top edge of the glass panel and gently rotate it out of the display.

  • If necessary, use the flat end of a spudger to free the bottom edge of the glass display panel from the display assembly.

  • Before reassembling, be sure to clean both the inside of the glass display panel and the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is on. It is recommended to use a silicon roller and sticky sheets to clean well.

Add Comment

Insert the edge of a plastic opening tool between the display glass and the camera bracket, and run it around the camera bracket to separate it from the display glass. Do not forget to stick the camera bracket down to the new front display glass before reassembly.
  • Insert the edge of a plastic opening tool between the display glass and the camera bracket, and run it around the camera bracket to separate it from the display glass.

  • Do not forget to stick the camera bracket down to the new front display glass before reassembly.

Add Comment

During the glass removal process, the  AirPort & iSight data cable may stick to the adhesive on the glass panel, disconnecting it from the camera board as the panel is lifted. If your AirPort & iSight data cable is still connected to the camera board, skip this step. If your objective is to remove the camera board, skip this step as reconnecting the  AirPort & iSight data cable is not necessary. To reconnect the cable, first use the tip of a spudger to remove the piece of foam tape over the AirPort & iSight data cable ZIF socket.
  • During the glass removal process, the AirPort & iSight data cable may stick to the adhesive on the glass panel, disconnecting it from the camera board as the panel is lifted. If your AirPort & iSight data cable is still connected to the camera board, skip this step.

  • If your objective is to remove the camera board, skip this step as reconnecting the AirPort & iSight data cable is not necessary.

  • To reconnect the cable, first use the tip of a spudger to remove the piece of foam tape over the AirPort & iSight data cable ZIF socket.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the ZIF cable retainer on the AirPort & iSight data cable socket.

  • Insert the AirPort & iSight data cable into its socket on the camera board and use the tip of a spudger to snap down the ZIF cable retainer, locking the cable in place.

  • Reapply the piece of tape covering the AirPort & iSight data cable socket.

Add Comment

Slide the clutch cover toward the right edge of the display. The clutch cover will move approximately .5" and stop. Do not force it too far to the right.
  • Slide the clutch cover toward the right edge of the display.

  • The clutch cover will move approximately .5" and stop. Do not force it too far to the right.

  • When reinstalling the clutch cover, be sure to slip it over the components protruding from the lower edge of the display about .25" to the right of its final installed position on the display.

Add Comment

Starting at its far right end, rock the clutch cover along its long axis while pulling it away from the clutch hinge. Working from right to left, carefully continue to release and lift the clutch along the lower edge of the display assembly. Lift the clutch cover up off the front bezel and set it aside.
  • Starting at its far right end, rock the clutch cover along its long axis while pulling it away from the clutch hinge.

  • Working from right to left, carefully continue to release and lift the clutch along the lower edge of the display assembly.

  • Lift the clutch cover up off the front bezel and set it aside.

  • When reinstalling the clutch cover, be sure to widen the opening when slipping it over the small black plastic cosmetic cover that fills the open end of the clutch cover when it is in place. The cosmetic cover has very thin and delicate plastic arms that hold it to the right clutch hinge.

Add Comment

De-route the display data cable from its retaining bracket near the lower left edge of the display.
  • De-route the display data cable from its retaining bracket near the lower left edge of the display.

Add Comment

Remove the following six screws securing the LCD panel to the front bezel:
  • Remove the following six screws securing the LCD panel to the front bezel:

    • Four 3.25 mm Phillips with large heads.

    • Two 3.2 mm Phillips with small heads.

Add Comment

Do not try to remove the LCD yet. The circuitry along its lower edge is wedged in a gap along the lower edge of the display recess in the aluminum display assembly.
  • Do not try to remove the LCD yet. The circuitry along its lower edge is wedged in a gap along the lower edge of the display recess in the aluminum display assembly.

  • Hold the display vertically and tip it enough to grab the top edge of the LCD and rotate it slightly out of the display assembly, being careful not to break the circuitry off its lower edge.

  • Pull the LCD toward the top edge of the display to slide the circuitry along its lower edge out of the recess in the aluminum display assembly.

  • It may be helpful to use one hand to feed the display data cable through its channel in the aluminum display assembly as you pull the LCD toward the top edge of the display with the other hand.

Add Comment

Pull the LCD toward the top edge of the display to slide the circuitry along its lower edge out of the recess in the aluminum display assembly.
  • Pull the LCD toward the top edge of the display to slide the circuitry along its lower edge out of the recess in the aluminum display assembly.

  • It may be helpful to use one hand to feed the display data cable through its channel in the aluminum display assembly as you pull the LCD toward the top edge of the display with the other hand.

Add Comment

Peel the piece of tape covering the display data cable connector away from the edge closest to the LCD.
  • Peel the piece of tape covering the display data cable connector away from the edge closest to the LCD.

Add Comment

Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the thin steel retaining clip securing the display data cable to its socket on the LCD. Pull the display data cable straight away from its socket on the LCD.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the thin steel retaining clip securing the display data cable to its socket on the LCD.

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

  • Lift the LCD out of the display assembly and set it aside.

Add Comment

Conclusion

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

67 other people completed this guide.

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

127 Members

6,394 Guides authored

12 Comments

I followed the steps regarding removing the display glass, since my old one needed replacing. Unfortunately it did not come off, even with a good amount of heat from a heat gun. I felt any more heat would start to melt things. Eventually I tried prying a corner, which caused a crack, and ultimately I ended up chipping out tiny shards of glass everywhere. Eventually I got it done, but it was a royal pain. BE CAREFUL AND WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.

charles - Reply

There are other guides for replacing the LCD on the 13" Macbook unibody without removing the whole display assembly. I tried this and had some problems when it came to reconnecting the new LCD to the LVDS. The main problem with this is that the LVDS connector cable is very short and therefore there is not a lot of room for plugging it into the LCD. After a while I decided to follow the ifixit guide and remove the display assembly. This made things very easy since I could push the LVDS cable back a little which gave me enough room for reconnecting the LVDS easily.

borise - Reply

Removing the glass front was difficult at first. I used a cheap suction cup (not from ifixit) but the glass didn't come off at all. At some point the suction cup broke, the rubber just came off. So I used a hair dryer and a credit card to get into the lower right corner. I started by placing the credit card in the small opening between the edge of the glass and the rubber lip (at right angle). Then I carefully and patiently dug into the corner, and as soon I was in I could carefully detach the glass from its adhesive (frequently using the hairdryer). Maybe I was just lucky, but for me this worked fine.

The rest was pretty easy (except reconnecting the LVDS which was a pain at first; see my other comment). I used permanent double sided tape to put the glass back on, which seems to work just fine.

borise - Reply

Ok I tried to remove the front glass with a hair dryer with no success. The back case became so hot I can't even hold it to pull this the suction cup...

So I borrowed a heat gun and it was very easy to remove. I was surprised. I heated until I saw steam inside the panel through the glass. I then pulled hard on one corner ands it came. After that the all glass came easily without reheating.

After the LCD panel exchange I manage to have no dust or finger tips inside and put the glass back on its old tape glu. And shazam !

The MacBook now work great again.

Thank you ifixit.

Ben Souverbie - Reply

Thank you all was ok.

xavicaceres - Reply

Shards of glass everywhere! Do not attempt this repair unless you have a backup display glass on hand (or are prepared to shell out for it). This is not for the faint of heart: even with what seemed like excessive heat-gunning, the adhesive was too fused to everything to be able to remove it without cracking (my suction cup popped it out, and the spudger was useless for getting under the corner).

Josh - Reply

Does anyone know if that inverter can be purchased somewhere. I've tried ebay but no such luck.

iHeartMacs - Reply

Problems - heated glass too much and think I melted the display glass as a clear droplet formed on the inside.

- was unable to get any glass up at all despite extensive use of the heat gun, ending up cracking the glass trying to insert a knife under an edge as the glass was not budging at all. Was able to use knife to run under the glass after that.

- some plug popped out whilst trying to reinstall the clutch cover which was difficult to reinsert, and there is little space for the cables within this cover

-the new LVDS cable was too short and had to reinstall the old one

However, after all that, the operation appears to have been a success and everything works again, including wifi, eyesight camera and the new screen.

All in all, it was touch and go, Good luck with this procedure.

Thanks for the advice ifixit.

Anto G - Reply

Thank you for the guide. The cover glass gave me a real hard time, but I managed to get it out in one piece. The key is patience (lots of it!!) and heat. Careful with the heat gun, though. Too much heat and the inner face of the glass panel will deform permanently (some kind of laminate, I guess), with small ripples ruining the job. Anyhow, two thumbs up for iFixit and the author. My laptop is running strong again.

Jesus Casabiell - Reply

I did this procedure in 2012 and it was a total disaster, even though I'm exceedingly patient and love tinkering with difficult repairs.

My heat gun overheated the display, so all the edges (about 1.5in in from each outer edge) were much much darker than the rest of the screen forever after that.

The glass cracked while removing it - I couldn't get any edge/corner to come up without shattering. I ended up spending hours chipping away hot shards of broken glass - total nightmare.

I started out with just a bad cable, and ended up having to buy replacement LCD, glass, and of course the cable.

Since then I always simply buy new/used top clamshell assembly with everything included, it's much easier and safer and ultimately cheaper - especially if doing this for a client or business-use machine.

The only way I'd attempt this again is if I was unemployed and broke and it was my only computer and somehow just didn't have any other options whatsoever - I can't imagine a scenario that would get me to try this again.

Daniel Cassel - Reply

I just love it ! Works so well ! P E R F E C T

Leo Etcheverry - Reply

My original display was going bad with wide vertical lines of mis-mash showing up on the right side of screen. The display glass also had a small 3 inch wide crack near screen bottom. So I ordered new glass, and an lcd panel from ifixit.

Great directions and illustrations! The main problem I had was getting the display data connector re-attached to the new lcd screen fully (reverse, step 32).

The weird angle of the receiving receptacle, the way the cable is twisted and how bloody minute the connection is, all combine to make this a painstaking and tricky match-up. I hooked up tother end of the cable to logic board and powered up MacBook to test before re-assembly. Screen was blank. I played around with the connection further to make sure it stayed fully seated when lcd screen was positioned in display assembly and cable stretched out. After a couple of tries the display illuminated. Miracle!

Re-assembled all the parts back together and everything works correctly (except Bluetooth - I never use).

Dan Packard - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 202

Past 7 Days: 1,276

Past 30 Days: 5,919

All Time: 164,690