Upgrade your hard drive for an increase in storage space.

  • Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown.

  • Stick a suction cup near each of the two top corners of the glass panel.

  • 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.

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent.

Change "Before beginning, unplug your iMac and lay it on a soft surface as shown." to "Lay your iMac on a soft surface as shown"

Henry Barnett - Reply

my imac power sullye not powering

tahir - Reply

imac 2544 2.5 core i5 i touched the motherboard to supply and it spark now it is not powering

please tell me the directions

thanks witting for answering .

tahir - Reply

Im sorry to say, If it sparked when you touched it your motherboard s now fried. You need a new one.

Robert Wacker -

Very easy to lift the glass out. Don't jerk too hard.

kctipton - Reply

Success replacing the stock ST31000528AS with a STBD3000100 (Dead 1TB to new 3TB, both Seagate). First try. Using another Mac and a quality Firewire 800 cable, I formatted it using Target Disk mode, 2 partitions (defaults, except I made the first one bigger than the second). To the second, smaller one, I copied a bootable Install OS X Mavericks partition. Tried to boot. It booted, and I installed; nary a glitch. (Running the Installer over Firewire would have been faster, but I didn't want to reboot this machine.)

See part 2 below...

Matthew Elvey - Reply

(Part 2:)

I SKIPPED steps 6, 7 AND 8! Instead, after doing Step 5, I noticed I then had enough room and cable length to access the screws in Step 11 if I lifted the LCD up an inch or so, rotated it about 20-30 degrees clockwise and moved it a couple inches toward the base, and put it down. After removing them (Step 11), I propped up the LCD (with a spare spudger) and had enough room to do Steps 12, 13, and 14 without much difficulty. Felt safer/less work and risk than not skipping steps 6-8. No risk of the damage Ersan and Michael caused performing Step 7!

Matthew Elvey -

I just edited that step to add a note about the shortcut.

Matthew Elvey -

What the ???

Geoff Wacker has REJECTED my edit:

I wonder why. What's the deal, Geoff? I mean I'd understand if I suggested folks didn't need the suction cups, as that could cut into iFixit's income stream, but what's wrong with suggesting that a few steps aren't needed? It worked for me; the EMC 2389 I fixed is humming along with a new 3TB HD I installed while skipping those steps.

Matthew Elvey -

I did not have to remove a single cable! After undoing the torx screws from the sides, I was able to rotate the LCD out of the way enough to reach all the screws holding in the ODD bracket. One of them was a bit challenging to get to, but I never felt that I was risking the cables by leaving them connected. Also, it wasn't totally clear, but you have to actually remove the ODD itself from the ODD bracket - 4 torx screws. The SDD mounts into the hard drive enclosure, then the enclosure is screwed into the bracket. Those holes (enclosure <-> Bracket) did not line up correctly for me, and I had to go with only three of them connected in the end. Seems to work fine.

cdansmith1 - Reply

Another comment on DATA & LCD Temp. Sensor cables: I had to remove the vertical sync, and the backlight cable, however, if you have an assistant or/can carefully rotate the screen clockwise/and then have it held up about 5" to 6" at a slight angle, you do not need to remove LCD data cable or LCD thermal cable, however - IMPORTANT: you must have a second pair of hands/or way to securely prop up the LCD. Also, don't rotate too much, since then you will pull out LCD data cable, and it renders the whole exercise moot, or can damage the cable or connector.

MaximBorzov - Reply

You don't need suction cups. The screen, held by magnets, can simply be pried off using a very thin blade such as a screw driver and fingers.

Deepsurvival - Reply

That's a bad idea. using a metal tool to pry off glass is likely to end with an expensive broken front glass.

Suction cups are common. Find a couple and do it the safe way. I use some cheap ones that came with iPhone repair kit.

max damage -

Hello, I just need to replace a slightly cracked screen on my iMac. Where is it best to place the suction cups? Thanks in advance

michelemiller0 - Reply

No need for suction cups, I just stuck my nails (short like guys usually have) between the top part of the screen and body, and it came off easily. I've never done it before, so it seems to be very easy.

Nikolas Lintulaakso - Reply

Nails worked for me too

Rob Dale - Reply

Just completed the replacement of the optical drive with an SSD using an OWC Data Doubler kit. Attempted to remove the optical drive without disconnecting any cables but found it a bit fiddly to orient the screen for good access. I bit the bullet and disconnected them and found the process less daunting than I imagined. Reconnecting them was similarly straightforward if you're careful.

Tip: you can skip the step for removing the optical drive thermal sensor connector from the motherboard. Still need to remove the sensor from the optical drive but you can leave that hanging and reattach it to the SSD later.

osienna - Reply

I have an odd question -- I want to remove the polarizer from the LCD. With some monitors this is trivial, others not so much. My question is whether it is bonded to the Liquid crystal, or whether it's loose, or cutting it with a razor blade would remove it. Obviously I'd like to know before I go to the trouble of dismantling the thing... Thanks. Paul

Paul Kwiat - Reply

Image 1/2: Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside. Image 2/2: During reinstallation, be sure to meticulously clean the inside of the glass panel and the face of the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is turned on.
  • Gently lift the glass panel perpendicular to the face of the LCD enough to clear the steel mounting pins attached along the underside of the top edge of the glass panel.

  • Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside.

  • During reinstallation, be sure to meticulously clean the inside of the glass panel and the face of the LCD as any dust or fingerprints trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the machine is turned on.

What's the best product to clean the face of the LCD?

Steve Speirs - Reply

Microfiber Cloth

Leonardo Fournier -

Image 1/3: The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display. Image 2/3: The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display. Image 3/3: The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.
  • Remove the eight 8 mm T10 Torx screws securing the display to the outer case.

  • The last two pictures are detail shots of each side of the display.

The metal near the screws is VERY magnetic. Honestly, the hardest and by far most frustrating step was trying to put these screws back in.

seancourtney - Reply

I ran into the same problem - easily the most frustrating part of this process. To help deal with it, I took a drinking straw, cut it to be about 2 inches long, and used it as a chute to guide the screw to the hole. Dropping the screw down the straw, it'd still stick to the side due to the magnets, but using my screwdriver, it was easy to push the screw down to where it needed to go, and the straw kept the screw from being pulled out of place by the magnets.

josh -

+1 for the straw tip. Worked a treat!

osienna - Reply

Image 1/1: Do not lift it too much. There are several cables attaching the display to the logic board.
  • Slightly lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case.

  • Do not lift it too much. There are several cables attaching the display to the logic board.

You can use one hand to hold the edge up while reaching with the other hand to disconnect cables. You may want to have a prop handy (like a small book) or an extra person to hold the edge up while you disconnect cables.

kctipton - Reply

Use the teardown guide for your iMac to familiarise yourself with the layout of everything before you dive in. I was able to get an idea of how much clearance there was once the display is unfixed from the frame, where the optical drive was relative to the base etc

osienna - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull the vertical sync cable connector out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

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Image 1/2: Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac). Image 2/2: Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).
  • Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.

  • Disconnect the LED backlight power cable by depressing the locking mechanism while pulling the connector away from its socket (toward the bottom edge of the iMac).

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Image 1/3: Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board. Image 2/3: Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board. Image 3/3: Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.
  • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it towards upwards.

  • Pull the display data cable straight out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Do not lift up on the display data cable, as its socket is very fragile. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

I am having a difficult time reattaching the LCD cable. A better description or any tips would be useful here.

Ben Bauermeister - Reply

Me too — ditto that.

Roger Buttermore - —> abt. 5:30 into the vid. Handle up to slide in, then flip it down to lock the connector in place.

Roger Buttermore -

The connector needs to be carefully pushed in parallel to the board with a surprising amount of pressure and the pull tab must be folded back. Not super fragile, but not strong either.

Isaac Vande Zande - Reply

I really wish that the fagility of this connector was mentioned in Step 10 or 11.. When i rotated the screen on step 11.. It pulled this connector out and now I can't get it back in.. I hate computers.. HA!

Philip Nelson - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

When putting the display down on the table, be careful not to kink the flat ribbon cable.

frank - Reply

The replacement hard drive I used doesn't even appear to spin up and the Time Capsule restore process doesn't show it as available. It just stays at Searching for disks and never finds it.

JRBv3 - Reply

I had to use Disk Utility to partition the drive and then it showed fine. Rookie mistake.

JRBv3 -

Image 1/1:
  • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 9 mm T10 Torx screws securing the upper hard drive bracket to the outer case.

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Image 1/1: Be careful not to contact the AirPort card as you lift the hard drive out of its recess.
  • Slightly rotate the hard drive out of the outer case and lift it up off its mounting pins toward the top edge of the iMac.

  • Be careful not to contact the AirPort card as you lift the hard drive out of its recess.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Disconnect the SATA data cable and SATA power connector from their respective sockets by pulling each connector away from the hard drive.

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Image 1/1: Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.
  • Remove the two T8 Torx screws securing the upper bracket to the hard drive.

  • Remove the upper bracket from the hard drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two T8 Torx pins from the other side of the hard drive.

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Image 1/1: Don't forget to transfer this to your new hard drive.
  • Carefully peel off the piece of EMI foam attached to the front of the hard drive.

  • Don't forget to transfer this to your new hard drive.

If you're replacing the drive with a 2.5" drive (including an SSD) you will need some kind of adapter bracket, lest the new drive dangle from cables.

seancourtney - Reply

I cheated a little by fixing one screw to the SSD only, and duct taped the other side. it looks quite stable.

Bruce -

I used one screw on the bracket at the end of the drive and a cable tie attaching it to the bracket closest to the data & power end. It's pulled reasonably tight but can still be slipped off or back in should the drive need swapped out for any reason.

Neil Cross - Reply


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

159 other people completed this guide.


iFixit Member of iFixit


127 Members

5,901 Guides authored


Hi guys, the tools arrived today and I did already chage the default harddisk against the WD Velociraptor 500GB. For now everything is working fine. The iMac is in the middle of restoring the time maschine backup. Everything worked out as described. Excellent! I was just a little surprised by the magnetic forces which one needs to overcome gently...

tholst - Reply

Is there a temp sensor that monitors the HD? I did the upgrade but now my fan is always on. I must've done something wrong.

Funkpolvo - Reply

Did you use the same brand hard drive? Did check the instructions about cable orientation on the hard drive? Did you double check the LCD thermal sensor cable?

Scott Dingle -

Take a glance at this page for full explanations:

I had the same issue here (after replacing the original HDD by a 1TB WB Caviar Blue) and it has been fixed by this utility.


Jo Campos -

In response to the software, that does work, however, it can be taken care of hardware wise if our recommendations are followed.

Scott Dingle -

Hi, I'm no stranger to upgrading my Macs (been doing it since 1989). I've followed this guide too since the inside of my '11 iMac is a little less upgrade friendly and my fans spin up afterward as well even if the computer is just sitting there idle. I replaced my factory internal 500GB WD drive with a 2TB WD drive. It doesn't take long before my fans start to spin up. I've checked and rechecked all of the cable attachments. What else could I be doing wrong? What are your referenced recommendations that take care of this with a hardware solution? My best find so far is a donation based version of the above mentioned S.M.A.R.T. tool (

sash5 -

Another device fixed due to iFixit. One iPhone 4, 1 MacMini, 1 MacBook Pro and now an iMac! You guys are better than awesome!!!

ajayme44 - Reply

Thank you iFixit, another successful repair. Upgraded 1TB hard drive to 2TB, no issues at all.

pdwickizer - Reply

I have been using iFixit for years, so thank you very much for these guides. Invaluable!

But, I have one question.....

It seems that when I replace the HDD, often the microphone goes dead or bad. I never touch the microphone, never touch those cables, so is there any idea why this would happen or what I can do to repair/recover?

I saw one iFixit guide which showed how to replace the microphone, but it gave no source for the part..... help!

David - Reply

This took me about 15 minutes. Watch step 7 the most; that display data cable is fragile, and you're going to need good lighting to see it.

If you're installing an SSD, you'll definitely need an adapter for it so it seats properly in the iMac's shell. I bought a Newer Technology AdaptaDrive 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Converter Bracket for $14, and it's of excellent build quality. Fits like a glove in there.

Finally, your fan is going to spin up like crazy after your first boot. Don't freak out just yet; follow these instructions after you've turned your computer on (from

1. Shut down the computer.

2. Unplug the computer's power cord.

3. Wait fifteen seconds.

4. Attach the computer's power cord.

5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.

Dave Mosher - Reply

Edit: That didn't work, but a free application called ssdfanctrl did. Installed, restarted, set to "SMART" control and... completely silent.

Dave Mosher -

SSDFanControl doesn't work, at least for me on El Capitan. I've seen other complaints about this too.

Glenn -

I replaced the HDD with an SSD. Works great thanks to this guide. Also the DVD drive was broken, I replaced that also.

I really needed HDD fan control to reduce the fan speed. A reset did not help for me, so thanks for that app suggestion in this comment post.

mlter2002 - Reply

Actually pretty easy install of SSD HD. Ordered the Newertech converter bracket and bought the fan control:

My wife had a couple of great ideas to keep lint and dust down: Use newspaper to set the glass and LCD on (then cover with newspaper) because it is very clean, wear powder free latex gloves to avoid hand oils contaminating computer.

Thanks again iFixit! My iMac is much faster.

tcoates52 - Reply

Upgraded 500 Mb hard drive to 2TB. Thank you for this good guide !

birdlike - Reply

Yesterday I replaced my internal Seagate 500GB with a Seagate 2TB hybrid hard drive without any issues. Was expecting tør fans to speed up due to failing harddisk hardware temperatur check, but everything runs normal :-) improved El capitan startup time from 56 secs to 32 secs. Very happy for this guide

tilst1 - Reply

I would to do the same replacement. Did you purchase the Seagate SSHD 2TB drive (ST2000DX001)? Did it have an Apple logo? And did you have to buy an additional thermal sensor to keep the fans from spinning? Any reccos would help.

dmindel -

Part the First:

Replaced 2428 internal WD 500GB with a Seagate 1TB hybrid hard drive yesterday. Couple of years ago, put in a SanDisk 128 SSD with IFixit hard drive.

My issues with the earlier installation were: 1. bent / broke display data plug teeth twice reinstalling —ambient light, case slipping, fat hand all contributory factors. (Repair guy had to finish it for me — $150.00 plus 2 extra cables.) 2. 128 SSD kept running out of space, was corrupted regularly. Constantly had to use Disk Utility and then MacPaw CleanMyMac 3 to jolly it along. Two different configurations, first I paid for (guy told me Fusion Drive wasn't really necessary), second I got off line about 6 months ago. Problems decreased but never went away. Reminded me of my 1966 USAF experience with a giant room-sized Univac — it was down about half the time.

Roger Buttermore -

Part the Second:

Anyway, I girded my loins for this latest foray into the guts of my 'puter. Lots of research, but I can never lock in a complete step-by-step list of parts, changes to SUDO, etc. So I'm glad to report that my girlfriend showed up at the end of the day with steady, small hands to hold lights and reconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable (my day was spent straightening the tiny pin on the right without breaking it — although the metal cover on LCD plug bent backwards, then broke) and then she helped with that pesky Display Data Plug — angle of insertion, that pull tab and a sinking lack of perception about whether it's seated properly being my previous downfall.

Roger Buttermore -

Part the Third:

OK, my recent experiences:

1. Note to self: Losing 2 T10 8mm Torx screws for reassembly not real brilliant.

2. Fan speed flat out ("SMART" button didn't show up for me using that first recommended utility, but turning iMac off, unplug, waiting etc, then reboot worked - fan still seems noisy but it's not constant.

3. Make a Fusion Drive of your SSD + HDD with Terminal —

A. diskutil list —> to find the mount points for both drives;

B. diskutil coreStorage create FUSION /dev/disk# /dev/disk# —> where # stands for those two different mount points;

C. diskutil coreStorage createVolume lvgUUID jhfs+ “Fusion HD” 100% —> where lvgUUID = that big long serial number that showed up after the last command; AND FINALLY

D. sudo trimforce enable ... WOW!

UberSanDisk was fast before, but FUSION HD 100% SCREAMS.

Roger Buttermore -

Thank you sooo much for this guide !! It saved my iMac after my hard drive crashed. I was able to skip 5, 6, 7 and 8. Because when you are lifting up the display, your elbow can hold it up, while you unscrew the drive and take the Sata cables off. I replaced my drive with an original Apple drive, just 500 GB for testing, but as mentioned so many times before, fans fans fans. So for a short temp time I used Macs Fan Control ( ) instead of the HDD control, not only the charge factor, but its temp, not permanent. I will replace it with Seagate SSHD hybrid drive, if still needed then, get OWC for fan control. Awesome page, thank you soo much. I was kinda lost before, now I have the knowledge, what was wrong and more important, fix it myself and not some shop who charges outrages $$$$$$.

Alexandra - Reply

maybe i have a big arm but i pulled out the data cable, the power cable out of their sockets when I held it with my elbow, and not knowing that I screwed everything back in and turned on the imac - bang, black screen.

took me an hour to refix everything and now it's finally back to normal...

Bruce -

Not a hard install to do - I just ran into the same issues already mentioned here:

- The magnets on the side of the casing really do make working with screws a pain. I ended up using a pair of tweezers to aid me but the suggested above idea of using a straw as a guide is genius!

- You really do need 2 people to safely disconnect the 4 cables before you remove the screen. The cables and sockets are very easy to damage, so it's much safer to have someone with 2 hands or one hand and a flashlight rather than you working with one hand while holding up the screen with the other.

- If you are installing an SSD, you will need an adapter bracket. I only realized this once I got inside my iMac. With a bracket, it's no problem at all.

jefft - Reply

I agree — data display cable design is the pits. Straw idea is good idea for seating screws near magnets — or a small screw driver with a flat magnet pickup on the back end — goes right in as well. AND... 2 people make all the difference!

Roger Buttermore -

- I ran into the same fan-running-at-full-speed issue after reassembly. Apparently the iMac uses the stock HD's temperature sensor, so when you switch it out it has no sensor and spins on max all the time. As mentioned above, don't pay for HDD Fan Control - use the free Macs Fan Control ( If you have an SSD, you can leave the HD fan permanently set to the minimum (as they emit so little heat).

I read that on some 2009 & 2010 iMacs, the fan issue occurs when one of the cables is put back mis-orieneted. Apparently, one of the connectors can work right-side-up or upside-down, and if you get it wrong it causes the fan issue. 'Anybody know if this is true for this model iMac? Anybody tried this as a fix?

jefft - Reply

Does anyone have a list of model numbers for supported hard drives that definitely won't cause fan issues? Also, where is the best place to buy them? I have a machine with a failed HD and need to replace it. Thanks!

Geordan Brown - Reply


Just replaced the hdd w/ a hybrid drive. Boots without a screen, and external display works fine, but it won't boot with the screen installed. Any thoughts? Thanks.

gabriel molnar - Reply

Thanks for compiling these instructions. I have successfully followed the other ifixit guides for the 2007 iMacs (3 x). For this model, why is the universal drive adaptor a required purchase? I do not see any reference to it in the instructions.

seanemail - Reply

Can i change the hard drive with an SSD ?

Andrea Foderaro - Reply

Takes under an hour, especially if you've done this before and have some practice with the cables. Under 2 hours if you count driving to Best Buy and back to get the replacement HD.

kctipton - Reply

Excellent guide thank you to the author!

Brandon - Reply

Why is the universal drive adapter required?

Daniel Verlaque - Reply

You don't need one if you have other means of attaching your 2.5" SSD to the back wall of the iMac case (like industrial strength Velcro or 3M VHB tape), but the bracket you mount into is a 3.5" space for a full sized desktop drive and SSDs are 2.5". Thus the adapter... just to mount the drive into the bigger bracket area.

brentp -

I was quite fearful about opening my iMac, but I did it anyway, and installed a SSD instead of the dead HDD that was in it, and it works like a new computer, starting up in 20 seconds and apps open almost instantly. My only heart stopping moment was I slipped and dropped the lCD a few inches, but it was fine. Now if I could just find a way to cheaply retrofit it with USB3 or USBc it would be good for another 5 years. BTW I use a free app called Macs Fan Control which lets me use one of the other sensors to control the HD fan. A bonus is the computer is running 35° f cooler so I can't even hear the fan running around 1000rpm.

Michael Crumpton - Reply

Don't touch the PCB with the Lightning Bolt icon. it hurts

CMSuiuc - Reply

He actualizado el HD de 500 Gb de mi iMac con uno de 2 TB!!! Todo perfecto gracias a esta excelente guía. Lo más difícil fue lidiar con el polvo y la grasa de las manos. Ahora tengo una iMac más rápida!! Muchas gracias.

Roberto Herrera - Reply

Anyibe gave an opinion if it's worth replacing the OEM SATA cable with one rated for SATA III? Seems like a logical step since everything is apart, but if someone can definitively tell me that the OEM cable won't degrade my SATA III drive performance I probably won't bother.

(As an aside - geez there's a lot of dust in there. Nice to clean those fans out!)

Patrick Holman - Reply

No this doesn't matter at all so don't bother doing so.

If it was the case, it wasn't the cable but the chipset of the board limiting it.

evo -

Does the drive's temperature sensor continue to work when you detach te sata power cable only?

Or does the de original hdd need sata power as well to provide the drive's temperature values to the iMac?

I'm asking because the drive is faulty and makes noise. I'm placing an ssd in the dvd bay area and don't want to use any software to control the fans.

evo - Reply

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