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MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Battery Replacement

Safely remove and replace the glued-in battery in your 15-inch Mid 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

  • Author: Jeff Suovanen
  • Time estimate: 1 - 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Use this guide to safely remove the glued-in battery from your MacBook Pro with the help of an iFixit battery replacement kit. The adhesive remover in your kit will dissolve the adhesive securing the battery, allowing you to remove it with ease.

iFixit adhesive remover is highly flammable. Perform this procedure in a well-ventilated area. Do not smoke or work near an open flame during this procedure.

To minimize risk of damage, turn on your MacBook and allow the battery to fully discharge before starting this procedure. A charged lithium-ion battery can create a dangerous and uncontrollable fire if accidentally punctured. If your battery is swollen, take extra precautions.

Note: The solvent used to dissolve the battery adhesive may damage your speakers if it comes in contact with the plastic speaker enclosures. This guide instructs you to remove the speakers before proceeding to the battery.

If you're using the old-style iFixit adhesive remover with separate bottle and syringe (no longer sold), click here for a slightly modified set of instructions.

Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

Remove the two 3.9 mm T5 Torx screws securing the battery board.

Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 3.9 mm T5 Torx screws securing the battery board.

Step 2  ¶ 

The liquid adhesive remover provided in your kit can affect the antireflective coating on your MacBook Pro's display.

Step 2  ¶ 

  • The liquid adhesive remover provided in your kit can affect the antireflective coating on your MacBook Pro's display.

  • To protect your display, place a sheet of aluminum foil between the display and keyboard and leave it there while you work.

Step 3  ¶ 

With the front edge of the MacBook Pro facing you, lift the right side and prop it up at a slight angle, using a sturdy foam block or book. In the following steps, you'll apply liquid adhesive remover to the right (outer) edge of the battery. Keeping this side of the MacBook Pro elevated will help the adhesive remover flow underneath the battery.

Step 3  ¶ 

  • With the front edge of the MacBook Pro facing you, lift the right side and prop it up at a slight angle, using a sturdy foam block or book.

  • In the following steps, you'll apply liquid adhesive remover to the right (outer) edge of the battery. Keeping this side of the MacBook Pro elevated will help the adhesive remover flow underneath the battery.

Step 4  ¶ 

Now that your MacBook Pro is fully prepped, it's time to prep yourself. iFixit adhesive remover contains acetone, a mild skin and eye irritant.

Step 4  ¶ 

  • Now that your MacBook Pro is fully prepped, it's time to prep yourself.

  • iFixit adhesive remover contains acetone, a mild skin and eye irritant.

  • Wear eye protection when handling and applying the adhesive remover. (Eye protection is included in your kit.)

  • Do not wear contact lenses without eye protection.

  • Protective gloves are also included in your kit. If you are concerned about possible skin irritation, put your gloves on now.

Step 5  ¶ 

Pull off the black rubber stopper from your bottle of adhesive remover. Twist to loosen or remove the bottle cap before you cut the applicator tip. This unseals the bottle and allows the pressure to equalize before you cut the applicator tip. If you skip this step, the adhesive remover may spray out unexpectedly when the tip is cut.

Step 5  ¶ 

  • Pull off the black rubber stopper from your bottle of adhesive remover.

  • Twist to loosen or remove the bottle cap before you cut the applicator tip.

  • This unseals the bottle and allows the pressure to equalize before you cut the applicator tip. If you skip this step, the adhesive remover may spray out unexpectedly when the tip is cut.

  • Use scissors to cut off the sealed tip of the applicator.

  • Cutting close to the narrow tip will give you better control so you can apply the adhesive remover in small amounts.

  • Twist and close the bottle cap securely before you proceed further.

Step 6  ¶ 

Apply a few drops of adhesive remover evenly along the elevated edge of the outer right battery cell. You don't need to use very much. The small bottle contains more than twice the amount of solvent needed to remove all the battery cells.

Step 6  ¶ 

  • Apply a few drops of adhesive remover evenly along the elevated edge of the outer right battery cell.

  • You don't need to use very much. The small bottle contains more than twice the amount of solvent needed to remove all the battery cells.

  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the liquid adhesive remover to penetrate underneath the battery cell before you proceed to the next step.

Step 7  ¶ 

Slide one corner of a plastic card under the outer edge of the battery cell. It may help to gently twist the card to open up a slight gap between the battery cell and the MacBook Pro's case. Slide the card farther underneath the battery cell to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the MacBook Pro's upper case.

Step 7  ¶ 

  • Slide one corner of a plastic card under the outer edge of the battery cell.

  • It may help to gently twist the card to open up a slight gap between the battery cell and the MacBook Pro's case.

  • Slide the card farther underneath the battery cell to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the MacBook Pro's upper case.

Step 8  ¶ 

Lift the battery cell to separate it from the MacBook Pro's upper case, but don't try to remove it. Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

Step 8  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery cell to separate it from the MacBook Pro's upper case, but don't try to remove it.

  • Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

Step 9  ¶ 

Apply a few drops of adhesive remover evenly along the elevated edge of the next battery cell. Wait 2-3 minutes for the liquid adhesive remover to penetrate underneath the battery cell before you proceed to the next step.

Step 9  ¶ 

  • Apply a few drops of adhesive remover evenly along the elevated edge of the next battery cell.

  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the liquid adhesive remover to penetrate underneath the battery cell before you proceed to the next step.

Step 10  ¶ 

Slide one corner of your plastic card underneath the second battery cell. Push the card underneath the second battery cell, and slide it side to side to separate the adhesive underneath. Leave the plastic card underneath both battery cells (or flip them over) to prevent them from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

Step 10  ¶ 

  • Slide one corner of your plastic card underneath the second battery cell.

  • Push the card underneath the second battery cell, and slide it side to side to separate the adhesive underneath.

  • Leave the plastic card underneath both battery cells (or flip them over) to prevent them from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

Step 11  ¶ 

It's time to switch sides. Remove your book or foam block and place it under the opposite side of your MacBook Pro. Repeat the procedure from the prior steps to separate the two battery cells on this side: Apply your adhesive remover to the elevated edge of the outer battery cell, and wait 2-3 minutes for it to penetrate.

Step 11  ¶ 

  • It's time to switch sides. Remove your book or foam block and place it under the opposite side of your MacBook Pro.

  • Repeat the procedure from the prior steps to separate the two battery cells on this side:

  • Apply your adhesive remover to the elevated edge of the outer battery cell, and wait 2-3 minutes for it to penetrate.

  • Work one corner of a plastic card underneath the battery cell, and slide the card fully underneath the battery cell to separate it.

  • Do the same for the adjacent cell.

  • Leave your plastic card in place or flip the battery cells over to prevent them from re-adhering during the following steps.

Step 12  ¶ 

Remove your book or foam block and place it under the rear edge of your MacBook Pro, near the display hinges. Remove your book or foam block and place it under the rear edge of your MacBook Pro, near the display hinges.

Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove your book or foam block and place it under the rear edge of your MacBook Pro, near the display hinges.

Step 13  ¶ 

Grab the battery connector or the top edge of the plastic battery frame and lift it slightly, exposing the top edge of the two center battery cells. Grab the battery connector or the top edge of the plastic battery frame and lift it slightly, exposing the top edge of the two center battery cells.

Step 13  ¶ 

  • Grab the battery connector or the top edge of the plastic battery frame and lift it slightly, exposing the top edge of the two center battery cells.

Step 14  ¶ 

While lifting the plastic battery frame out of the way, apply a few drops of adhesive remover underneath the top edge of each of the two remaining battery cells. Wait 2-3 minutes for the adhesive remover to penetrate before you continue.

Step 14  ¶ 

  • While lifting the plastic battery frame out of the way, apply a few drops of adhesive remover underneath the top edge of each of the two remaining battery cells.

  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the adhesive remover to penetrate before you continue.

Step 15  ¶ 

While lifting the plastic frame out of the way, push one corner of your plastic card underneath the outside edge of the first center battery cell. Do not pry along the edge nearest the battery connector, or you risk damaging the keyboard ribbon cable. Slide your card all the way under the battery cell, and leave it to prevent the battery cell from re-adhering.

Step 15  ¶ 

  • While lifting the plastic frame out of the way, push one corner of your plastic card underneath the outside edge of the first center battery cell.

  • Do not pry along the edge nearest the battery connector, or you risk damaging the keyboard ribbon cable.

  • Slide your card all the way under the battery cell, and leave it to prevent the battery cell from re-adhering.

Step 16  ¶ 

Repeat the above procedure to separate the last remaining battery cell from the MacBook Pro's upper case. Repeat the above procedure to separate the last remaining battery cell from the MacBook Pro's upper case. Repeat the above procedure to separate the last remaining battery cell from the MacBook Pro's upper case.

Step 16  ¶ 

  • Repeat the above procedure to separate the last remaining battery cell from the MacBook Pro's upper case.

Step 17  ¶ 

Lift the battery with the plastic frame and slide it back toward the MacBook Pro’s hinge until it clears the screw posts holding it to the upper case. Lift the battery with the plastic frame and slide it back toward the MacBook Pro’s hinge until it clears the screw posts holding it to the upper case.

Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery with the plastic frame and slide it back toward the MacBook Pro’s hinge until it clears the screw posts holding it to the upper case.

Step 18  ¶ 

Lift and remove the battery. Before installing your new battery, remove all the old adhesive from the MacBook Pro's case.

Step 18  ¶ 

  • Lift and remove the battery.

  • Before installing your new battery, remove all the old adhesive from the MacBook Pro's case.

  • With a little luck, you can slowly pull out each strip of adhesive with your fingers.

  • Otherwise, soak each strip of adhesive with a bit of adhesive remover for 2-3 minutes, and then scrape it out with a plastic tool. This can take quite a bit of work, so be patient.

  • Mop up any remaining adhesive remover and give your MacBook Pro a few minutes to air dry.

  • The replacement battery included in your iFixit kit comes with adhesive pre-installed. Test the battery's fit and alignment carefully before peeling off the film covering the adhesive, and then press each cell firmly into place. If any additional films/liners are present that weren't on your original battery, remove them now.

  • Calibrate your newly installed battery: charge it to 100%, and keep charging it for at least 2 more hours. Unplug and use it normally to drain the battery. When you see the low battery warning, save your work, and keep your laptop on until it goes to sleep due to low battery. Wait at least 5 hours, then charge your laptop uninterrupted to 100%.

  • If you notice any unusual behavior or problems after installing your new battery, you may need to reset your MacBook Pro's SMC.