Skip to main content

Introduction

Replacing the upper case requires the removal of nearly every component in your MacBook.

Video Overview

  1. Remove the eight 4 mm Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook.
    • Remove the eight 4 mm Phillips screws securing the lower case to the MacBook.

  2. The lower case is constructed of rubber-coated aluminum. Do not excessively bend the aluminum during removal, as any permanent deformation will cause tolerance issues after reassembly. Slightly lift the lower case near the vent opening. Continue running your fingers between the lower and upper cases until the upper case pops off its retaining clips.
    • The lower case is constructed of rubber-coated aluminum. Do not excessively bend the aluminum during removal, as any permanent deformation will cause tolerance issues after reassembly.

    • Slightly lift the lower case near the vent opening.

    • Continue running your fingers between the lower and upper cases until the upper case pops off its retaining clips.

    • The location of these three clips is shown in the third picture.

  3. For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.
    • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the battery connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the battery connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

    • It may be easier to use your fingernails to lift up on both sides of the connector.

  4. Remove the following screws from the optical drive side of the rear vent:
    • Remove the following screws from the optical drive side of the rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

  5. Remove the following screws from the port side of rear vent:
    • Remove the following screws from the port side of rear vent:

    • Two 10 mm T8 Torx

    • Two 5.2 mm Phillips

  6. Carefully lift the rear vent out of the upper case.
    • Carefully lift the rear vent out of the upper case.

  7. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable up off the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable up off the logic board.

  8. Use a spudger to pry the fan connector straight up and out of its socket on the logic board. It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector. The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.
    • Use a spudger to pry the fan connector straight up and out of its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

    • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

  9. Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case: One 7.1 mm Phillips screw.
    • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • One 7.1 mm Phillips screw.

    • Two 5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

  10. Carefully pry the delicate rear speaker connector up off the logic board. These small L/R speaker connectors are quite easily broken.
    • Carefully pry the delicate rear speaker connector up off the logic board. These small L/R speaker connectors are quite easily broken.

    • Use extreme caution; this connector is easily destroyed.

  11. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector up off the logic board.

  12. Use a spudger to pry the right speaker connector and sleep LED connector up off the logic board. These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.
    • Use a spudger to pry the right speaker connector and sleep LED connector up off the logic board.

    • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

  13. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the trackpad ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the trackpad ribbon cable connector up off the logic board.

  14. Use your fingernail to flip up the locking flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable. Use the tip of a spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.
    • Use your fingernail to flip up the locking flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

    • Use the tip of a spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

  15. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector up off the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive cable connector up off the logic board.

  16. Use a spudger to pry the left speaker connector and microphone connector up off the logic board. These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.
    • Use a spudger to pry the left speaker connector and microphone connector up off the logic board.

    • These connectors are very delicate and easily broken.

  17. Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer. Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer.
    • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer.

  18. Gently pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board. Pull the socket parallel to the face of the logic board.
    • Gently pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

    • Pull the socket parallel to the face of the logic board.

    • The display data cable socket is made of very thin metal and is easily bent. Be sure to pull the connector straight away from its socket.

  19. Remove the six 4.1 to 4.4 mm T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.
    • Remove the six 4.1 to 4.4 mm T6 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

    • Remove the two 4.1 to 4.5 mm T6 Torx screws securing the MagSafe board to the upper case.

    • On some models, these screws may be T7. Be careful not to strip away the head with a smaller bit.

  20. Lift the side of the logic board opposite the ports out of the upper case. Rotate the logic board away from the upper case until the ports clear the lip molded in the upper case. Pull the logic board and MagSafe board away from the edge of the upper case as one piece.
    • Lift the side of the logic board opposite the ports out of the upper case.

    • Rotate the logic board away from the upper case until the ports clear the lip molded in the upper case.

    • Pull the logic board and MagSafe board away from the edge of the upper case as one piece.

    • The MagSafe board may get accidentally disconnected during this process. As a precaution, be sure the MagSafe board connector is securely seated in its socket before lowering the logic board back into the upper case.

    • Before lowering the logic board back into the upper case, be sure the left speaker and microphone cables are seated in their channels cut into the upper case (as seen in the third picture).

  21. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case. These screws are captive in the hard drive bracket.
    • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

    • These screws are captive in the hard drive bracket.

    • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

  22. Lift the free side of the hard drive and pull it away from the side of the upper case.
    • Lift the free side of the hard drive and pull it away from the side of the upper case.

    • The hard drive is still attached to the upper case by the hard drive cable.

  23. Disconnect the hard drive by pulling the hard drive cable connector away from its socket on the hard drive. Disconnect the hard drive by pulling the hard drive cable connector away from its socket on the hard drive.
    • Disconnect the hard drive by pulling the hard drive cable connector away from its socket on the hard drive.

  24. Remove the single 3.1 mm Phillips screw securing the hard drive cable to the upper case. Lift the hard drive cable out of the upper case.
    • Remove the single 3.1 mm Phillips screw securing the hard drive cable to the upper case.

    • Lift the hard drive cable out of the upper case.

  25. Remove two 5 mm Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case near the battery connector.
    • Remove two 5 mm Tri-Wing screws securing the battery to the upper case near the battery connector.

  26. Use the tip of a spudger to carefully peel back the finger of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.
    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully peel back the finger of the warning label to reveal a hidden Tri-Wing screw.

    • Remove the 5 mm Tri-Wing screw securing the battery to the upper case.

  27. Remove three 3.1 mm Phillips screws securing the battery near the edge of the upper case.
    • Remove three 3.1 mm Phillips screws securing the battery near the edge of the upper case.

    • When reinstalling the battery, be sure to install these three screws before proceeding to fasten the Tri-Wing screws. Keep an eye on the keyboard ribbon cable, you may need to use the flat of the spudger to hold the ribbon cable out of the path of the battery as it swings down into place.

  28. Lift the battery near its connector and remove it from the upper case.
    • Lift the battery near its connector and remove it from the upper case.

    • When replacing the battery, take care that the keyboard ribbon cable is not trapped underneath.

  29. Use the tip of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth antenna connectors (three total) up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board. If necessary, de-route the long antenna cable from its slot in the rear speaker housing. If necessary, de-route the long antenna cable from its slot in the rear speaker housing.
    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth antenna connectors (three total) up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

    • If necessary, de-route the long antenna cable from its slot in the rear speaker housing.

  30. Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the antenna ground straps to the rear speaker housing.
    • Remove the single 3 mm Phillips screw securing the antenna ground straps to the rear speaker housing.

  31. Remove the single 2.2 mm Phillips screw inserted horizontally into the side of the optical drive.
    • Remove the single 2.2 mm Phillips screw inserted horizontally into the side of the optical drive.

  32. Remove the single 12 mm Phillips screw securing the rear speaker to the upper case.
    • Remove the single 12 mm Phillips screw securing the rear speaker to the upper case.

  33. Remove the rear speaker assembly from your MacBook.
    • Remove the rear speaker assembly from your MacBook.

  34. Remove the single 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the inner edge of the optical drive to the upper case.
    • Remove the single 4.5 mm Phillips screw securing the inner edge of the optical drive to the upper case.

  35. Remove the two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.
    • Remove the two 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case near the optical drive opening.

  36. Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.
    • Lift the optical drive near its connector and pull it away from the upper case to remove it from the computer.

  37. 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 remaining T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

    • Before retightening the T8 Torx screws, close the display and adjust it so that the back edges of the upper case and display are aligned and the gaps at the ends of the hinge are equal.

  38. 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 T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

  39. 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. The display data cable may cause the upper display bracket to get caught on the upper case. It may be helpful to slightly rotate the upper case away from the display  for more clearance.
    • 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.

    • The display data cable may cause the upper display bracket to get caught on the upper case. It may be helpful to slightly rotate the upper case away from the display for more clearance.

    • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

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

  41. There are four orange and black rubber inserts that the hard drive sit into. one side has full circles and the other side has half circles. ( The other side of the half circles are located on the hard drive bracket that was previously removed). The new upper case may not have these inserts. e sure to remove them from the old and insert into the new. The inserts are easily pried out with a spudger or a flat tipped screwdriver. They are not glued in, but instead have notched sides to hold them in place.
    • There are four orange and black rubber inserts that the hard drive sit into. one side has full circles and the other side has half circles. ( The other side of the half circles are located on the hard drive bracket that was previously removed).

    • The new upper case may not have these inserts. e sure to remove them from the old and insert into the new.

    • The inserts are easily pried out with a spudger or a flat tipped screwdriver. They are not glued in, but instead have notched sides to hold them in place.

  42. Remove the four 1.3 mm Phillips screws securing the upper edge of the trackpad to the upper case.
    • Remove the four 1.3 mm Phillips screws securing the upper edge of the trackpad to the upper case.

  43. Carefully tilt the trackpad away from the keyboard side of the upper case.
    • Carefully tilt the trackpad away from the keyboard side of the upper case.

    • Pull the trackpad away from its opening in the upper case to clear the two mounting tabs on its lower edge.

  44. Remove the 1 mm T6 Torx set screw near the front edge of the upper case.
    • Remove the 1 mm T6 Torx set screw near the front edge of the upper case.

  45. Use the following steps to install the old trackpad into your new upper case. Reinstall the T6 Torx set screw until it is flush with the aluminum bracket surrounding the trackpad.
    • Use the following steps to install the old trackpad into your new upper case.

    • Reinstall the T6 Torx set screw until it is flush with the aluminum bracket surrounding the trackpad.

    • Place the trackpad back into its void in the upper case, being sure the lower tabs are inserted underneath the keyboard side of the upper case.

    • Be sure the trackpad ribbon cable is not pinched between the trackpad and the upper case.

  46. Reinstall the four silver Phillips screws securing the trackpad to its steel brackets. Loosen all four silver screws about 1/16th of a turn.
    • Reinstall the four silver Phillips screws securing the trackpad to its steel brackets.

    • Loosen all four silver screws about 1/16th of a turn.

    • Flip the upper case over and adjust the position of the trackpad until the gap between the trackpad and the upper case is evenly spaced around the perimeter of the trackpad.

    • Tighten the four silver screws to hold the trackpad in place.

    • Repeat this process until the trackpad is perfectly positioned in its void on the upper case.

  47. While repeatedly pressing the trackpad to simulate clicking, tighten the T6 Torx set screw until the trackpad no longer wiggles freely.
    • While repeatedly pressing the trackpad to simulate clicking, tighten the T6 Torx set screw until the trackpad no longer wiggles freely.

    • Do not over-tighten the set screw, as the button will cease to click at a certain point. Adjust the set screw until the movable side of the trackpad has minimal play.

Conclusion

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

187 other people completed this guide.

23 Comments

NOTE: Ensure you don't pull the entire assembly straight up or the base will come off the logic board. Use an extremely small straight blade screw drive to gently loosen the inside assembly while gently pulling on the wire bundle! Will save buying a new logic board!!!!

janesem - Reply

Some of the screws are extremely tight, I stripped at least 6 Phillips screws during the upper case replacement.

firstn10 - Reply

I used the iFixit 54 bit kit and found that the Phillips 000 bit fits the screws better than the recommended 00 bit. When loosening or tightening I use plenty of downward pressure to keep the bit from rising out of the screw head and damaging it. The torx screws are so much easier to work with and I wonder why they don't use only those.

Matthew Hester -

Definitely only use unworn, appropriately sized drivers when going into any Mac or iPhone. If the driver starts to slip, stop and access the situation. That said, I have encountered many screws with damaged screw heads. I usually first try the “rubber band” trick to loosen the ruined screw. If that doesn’t work, I often resort to using a dremel tool to cut a slot in the screw (while protecting everything from the debris generated). In all cases, be careful - one slip can do a lot of damage.

Lance J -

Great guide! My only comment would be to remove the battery first. It makes dealing with the keyboard ZIF cable much easier to install/remove.

sales - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 19

Past 7 Days: 93

Past 30 Days: 348

All Time: 165,632