Upgrade your hard drive for an instant increase in storage space.

  1. Lay the iMac display-side down on a flat surface.
    • Lay the iMac display-side down on a flat surface.

    • Loosen the three Phillips screws securing the rear panel to the iMac.

    • These screws are captive in the iMac. The center screw will stop turning after about 3.5 turns and the outer screws will stop turning after about 5.5 turns. Do not try to remove these screws from your iMac.

    My iMac has only ONE catch, the central one, so the two outer screws are not to be touched.

    In fact, I tried so hard to unscrew them, with a good screwdriver, that my hand hurt. Knowing that some times captive things (like these screws or a faucet) can be already at the end of their travel and we only lock them further into that position, I tried both screwing and unscrewing to no avail.

    paulfrancoeur - Reply

    That chick MJ is sexy!!!!!

    djmadcracker - Reply

    Looks like one of these screws is not like the others... a security Philips?! Never seen one of those before.

    Terry Mullane - Reply

    Please Note: If your iMac has an antenna for the airport extreme and not the bluetooth card. Don't buy the bluetooth get the airport extreme instead. Also, some newer devices may not work with these units.

    James Janota - Reply

    Just want to say thank you to ifixit! You guys are amazing and so helpful! This was so easy to do and I ordered the part I needed as well! We are up and running over here and my 7 year old son could not be any happier! Thank you!

    mary nicolazzo - Reply

  2. Lift the rear panel slightly from the bottom edge of the iMac.
    • Lift the rear panel slightly from the bottom edge of the iMac.

    • Pull the rear panel toward yourself and remove it from the iMac.

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    • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the fan cover to the midplane.

    • The shouldered screw belongs in the lower left corner of the fan cover.

    • Lift the fan cover up off midplane.

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    • Disconnect the hard drive thermal sensor cable from the hard drive thermal sensor.

    • During reassembly, plug in the hard drive thermal sensor before lowering your new hard drive into the midplane.

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    • Remove the three Phillips screws securing the hard drive to the midplane.

    • Lift the hard drive from its right edge and maneuver it out of the midplane.

    • The hard drive is still connected to the motherboard.

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    • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SATA power cable connector and the body of the hard drive.

    • Twist the spudger counter-clockwise to slightly separate the SATA power cable connector from its socket on the hard drive.

    • Pull the SATA power cable connector away from the hard drive.

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    • Pull the SATA data cable connector away from the hard drive.

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    • Remove the two T10 Torx screws from both sides of the hard drive (four screws total).

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    • Lift the hard drive bracket off the hard drive.

    • Hard drive remains.

    • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

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

134 other people completed this guide.


I can't imagine why this disassembly is called "moderate." This has to be one of the easiest Macs to open up and gain access. Interestingly, the very next model, the 1144, is one of the most difficult and painful macs (that I know) to open up for access to the most rudimentary parts (drive and memory). The designers of the 1144+ iMacs should all be taken outside and shot!

Maybe the Quadra 700 is easier - no tools required! Or the G4 and G5 towers. Dunno about the later ones...

Boris - Reply

Awesome, thanks for helping me breathe life back into my G5, it's going to become the band computer for storing videos/recordings, as well as some mastering and whatnot.

michaelmontanez - Reply

Very easy, thank you!

MadameX - Reply

Thank you. This was fast and without pains. Now I will be able now to recover the information from a computer that did not worked at all.

Sergio Dore - Reply

This was great in helping me resuscitate my old iMac G5 and upgrade it in the process! Part of my searching for assistance revolved around what to do with the thermal sensor (mine was attached to the dead hard drive itself rather than the hard drive bracket). Luckily for me, your clear photos helped me determine I could simply pry up the thermal sensor and reattach it elsewhere (like to the hard drive bracket as depicted). Thanks!

a_karalis - Reply

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