Introduction

The upper case assembly includes the keyboard. Use this guide to replace the entire case/keyboard assembly as a single unit.

  • Before proceeding, power down your MacBook. Close the display and lay it on a soft surface, top-side down.

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case:

    • Two 1.8 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

    • Four 2.9 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

    • Two 6.1 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

  • Note the orientation of the screws as you remove them—they need to be reinstalled at a slight angle.

  • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your device.

IMPORTANT. You’re not removing the bottom, yet. This step is solely to separate the panel from its clips, permitting inside access.

Chris Leeds - Reply

Wedge your fingers between the upper case and the lower case, starting from the rear of the MacBook between the hinges. Lift the lower case only slightly to avoid damaging the cables that connect the lower case to the upper case. Keeping a firm grip, lift steadily until the lower case separates slightly from the upper case.
  • Wedge your fingers between the upper case and the lower case, starting from the rear of the MacBook between the hinges.

  • Lift the lower case only slightly to avoid damaging the cables that connect the lower case to the upper case.

    • Keeping a firm grip, lift steadily until the lower case separates slightly from the upper case.

    • You may experience a lot of resistance when lifting the lower case. If necessary, slide an opening pick or other ESD-safe pry tool down the side edges of the lower case to pop the two hidden retaining clips free.

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While holding the lower case in place, carefully flip the MacBook over so the Apple logo faces up.
  • While holding the lower case in place, carefully flip the MacBook over so the Apple logo faces up.

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Lift the upper case and display together from the front edge and raise it to about a 45˚ angle. It may be helpful to prop the MacBook open in this position for the next step.
  • Lift the upper case and display together from the front edge and raise it to about a 45˚ angle.

  • It may be helpful to prop the MacBook open in this position for the next step.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to press and hold the small gold battery discharge button. If the power LED is lit up, continue holding the discharge button until the LED goes dark, and then release. This may take up to 10 seconds. If the LED does not light, release the button after 5-10 seconds. Press and hold it again for 5-10 seconds, and release. Finally, press and hold it a third time for 5-10 seconds, and release.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to press and hold the small gold battery discharge button.

    • If the power LED is lit up, continue holding the discharge button until the LED goes dark, and then release. This may take up to 10 seconds.

    • If the LED does not light, release the button after 5-10 seconds. Press and hold it again for 5-10 seconds, and release. Finally, press and hold it a third time for 5-10 seconds, and release.

  • This step ensures the MacBook is fully powered down and safe to work on.

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Close the MacBook and carefully flip it upside-down.
  • Close the MacBook and carefully flip it upside-down.

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Lifting from the front edge, open the lower case to an angle of about 45°.
  • Lifting from the front edge, open the lower case to an angle of about 45°.

  • Take care not to damage the ribbon cables that still attach the lower case to the MacBook.

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Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector. Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector.
  • Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector.

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Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.

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Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame. Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame.
  • Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame.

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Carefully turn the MacBook over, so that the lower case lays flat. Raise the upper case/display assembly to about a 90° angle, and prop it up against something sturdy so you don't have to hold it.
  • Carefully turn the MacBook over, so that the lower case lays flat.

  • Raise the upper case/display assembly to about a 90° angle, and prop it up against something sturdy so you don't have to hold it.

    • Add a piece of tape near the track pad to secure the upper case and prevent accidental movement.

  • It's possible to open the MacBook all the way and lay both sides down flat, but this may damage the flex cables and is not recommended.

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Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the battery connector to the logic board.
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the battery connector to the logic board.

From my experience it’s important to carefully press and hold the small button above left of the Battery Discharge label. Use a plastic spudger or finger tip. The illuminated yellow LED to the right will go off. I believe this discharges remaining electricity from logic board protecting it during repair.

* I cannot find any documentation to support this, but I have damaged boards by not including this step.

Chris Leeds - Reply

As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector. As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector.
  • As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector.

You may keep pressing the button for Battery Disconnect while opening or loosening the battery screw, so it’s easier when inserting the battery isolation pick.

Abraham Armada - Reply

Remove the two screws securing the USB-C port cable bracket:
  • Remove the two screws securing the USB-C port cable bracket:

    • 1.1 mm Phillips #00 screw

    • 3.5 mm T5 Torx screw

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Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the USB-C port cable bracket by prying it straight up from the logic board. To reconnect this cable, first line up the metal bracket over the screw holes, then press down on the middle of the bracket. Make sure it's aligned correctly, or you may damage the connector.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the USB-C port cable bracket by prying it straight up from the logic board.

  • To reconnect this cable, first line up the metal bracket over the screw holes, then press down on the middle of the bracket. Make sure it's aligned correctly, or you may damage the connector.

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Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector.

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Disconnect the audio jack board ribbon cable by pulling it straight back out of the ZIF connector.
  • Disconnect the audio jack board ribbon cable by pulling it straight back out of the ZIF connector.

  • During reassembly, orient the ribbon cable so that the side with the white stripe faces you, as shown.

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Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector. Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector.
  • Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector.

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It's possible the metal retaining flap on the display cable connector may flip open, remaining stuck to the tape. If so, use the flat end of a spudger to hold down the retaining flap while peeling the tape away with the tweezers.
  • It's possible the metal retaining flap on the display cable connector may flip open, remaining stuck to the tape.

    • If so, use the flat end of a spudger to hold down the retaining flap while peeling the tape away with the tweezers.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the display cable connector.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the display cable connector.

  • Try to keep it clear of the tape, or it may re-adhere and make cable removal difficult.

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  • Carefully slide the flat end of a spudger underneath the display cable to separate the adhesive holding it to the lower case.

    • Take care not to damage the cable. If the adhesive is very strong, heat the case directly beneath the cable with an iOpener to soften the adhesive, and then try again.

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Disconnect the display cable by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.
  • Disconnect the display cable by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.

  • Immediately close the retaining flap.

    • The flap must remain closed when the cable is reinserted during reassembly. Carefully line up the cable with the gold contacts facing down, and gently slide it into the connector. Take care not to crimp or damage the cable. When fully inserted, the indentations on the sides should not be visible.

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Separate the upper case assembly from the lower case assembly.
  • Separate the upper case assembly from the lower case assembly.

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Use a spudger to flip open the ZIF connector retaining flap for the dual microphone assembly ribbon cable. Use a spudger to flip open the ZIF connector retaining flap for the dual microphone assembly ribbon cable.
  • Use a spudger to flip open the ZIF connector retaining flap for the dual microphone assembly ribbon cable.

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Disconnect the  microphone assembly ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector. Disconnect the  microphone assembly ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector.
  • Disconnect the microphone assembly ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector.

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Remove the two 3.2 mm T5 Torx screws securing the audio jack board to the case.
  • Remove the two 3.2 mm T5 Torx screws securing the audio jack board to the case.

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Remove the audio jack board.
  • Remove the audio jack board.

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Prepare an iOpener and apply heat to the upper case directly behind the microphone assembly.
  • Prepare an iOpener and apply heat to the upper case directly behind the microphone assembly.

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Use a fine-tip probe or pick to gently peel the dual microphone assembly away from the case. Use a fine-tip probe or pick to gently peel the dual microphone assembly away from the case. Use a fine-tip probe or pick to gently peel the dual microphone assembly away from the case.
  • Use a fine-tip probe or pick to gently peel the dual microphone assembly away from the case.

very difficult to remove, even with heat. Can be purchased on eBay for ~ $10

zimmerninja - Reply

Remove the dual microphone assembly.
  • Remove the dual microphone assembly.

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Remove two 2.5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the USB-C port.
  • Remove two 2.5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the USB-C port.

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Use tweezers to lift the USB-C port just over the hinge screws. Slide the port out and up over the display hinge to remove it. There's very little clearance when removing and installing the USB-C port. If there's not enough room, don't force it. Try removing the display hinge screws and moving the hinges for additional clearance, if necessary.
  • Use tweezers to lift the USB-C port just over the hinge screws.

  • Slide the port out and up over the display hinge to remove it.

  • There's very little clearance when removing and installing the USB-C port. If there's not enough room, don't force it. Try removing the display hinge screws and moving the hinges for additional clearance, if necessary.

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Remove the two 3.3 mm T5 Torx screws securing the display cable assembly. Take care not to lose the small retaining bracket located under the right screw. If it comes loose, note the orientation shown here for reassembly. The small tab on the outer left edge should be hooked under the perforated metal shield. Take care not to lose the small retaining bracket located under the right screw. If it comes loose, note the orientation shown here for reassembly. The small tab on the outer left edge should be hooked under the perforated metal shield.
  • Remove the two 3.3 mm T5 Torx screws securing the display cable assembly.

  • Take care not to lose the small retaining bracket located under the right screw. If it comes loose, note the orientation shown here for reassembly. The small tab on the outer left edge should be hooked under the perforated metal shield.

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Fully open the display.
  • Fully open the display.

  • Set the MacBook down on its right edge with the display facing away from you, as shown.

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Remove the four 4.8 mm T8 Torx screws securing the display hinges. There may be a rubber cover on the hinge screws. Remove this before removing the screws and replace it during reassembly.
  • Remove the four 4.8 mm T8 Torx screws securing the display hinges.

  • There may be a rubber cover on the hinge screws. Remove this before removing the screws and replace it during reassembly.

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Holding the display assembly with one hand and the upper case with the other, push them together slightly to move the hinges out of their recesses in the the upper case. There are only a few millimeters of play between the hinges and the case, so you won't need to push far. Push the upper case forward while pulling back gently on the display.
  • Holding the display assembly with one hand and the upper case with the other, push them together slightly to move the hinges out of their recesses in the the upper case.

    • There are only a few millimeters of play between the hinges and the case, so you won't need to push far.

  • Push the upper case forward while pulling back gently on the display.

  • Once the two display hinges have cleared the upper case, remove the display and set it aside.

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Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tape covering the keyboard ribbon cable connector on the trackpad. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tape covering the keyboard ribbon cable connector on the trackpad.
  • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tape covering the keyboard ribbon cable connector on the trackpad.

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Using a spudger, flip open the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector. Using a spudger, flip open the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector.
  • Using a spudger, flip open the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector.

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Gently pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its slot in the frame. Gently pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its slot in the frame.
  • Gently pull the keyboard ribbon cable out of its slot in the frame.

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Remove the five 2.5 mm T3 Torx screws securing the trackpad to the case.
  • Remove the five 2.5 mm T3 Torx screws securing the trackpad to the case.

    • On some driver sets, a T4 driver may fit better.

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Remove the trackpad assembly.
  • Remove the trackpad assembly.

    • Metal brackets on each side of the trackpad may fall away during removal. Be sure to position them as shown in the photo during reassembly.

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Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard ribbon cable ZIF connector.

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Gently peel the keyboard ribbon cable up from the case, and remove the cable. Gently peel the keyboard ribbon cable up from the case, and remove the cable. Gently peel the keyboard ribbon cable up from the case, and remove the cable.
  • Gently peel the keyboard ribbon cable up from the case, and remove the cable.

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The upper case remains.
  • The upper case remains.

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Conclusion

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

Adam O'Camb

Member since: 04/11/2015

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One Comment

Just a warning, but when any repairs are being done on this particular model, its important to discharge the battery before disconnecting ANY cables or connections internally. Not doing so can damage logic board components or more. I was looking into the take aprt for the top case, and there was no mention about discharging the battery before cables were being disconnected so I wanted to put this on your radar. Thank you

Manny - Reply

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