Removing the display requires cutting through the adhesive around the perimeter of the screen. After the adhesive is cut, it cannot be used to re-seal the display in place, so you'll need to apply a new set of adhesive strips.

    • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed as shown, but are faster and easier with an iMac service wedge.

    • If you are not using an iMac service wedge, be very careful when installing and working behind the display—it can easily fall out and break if the iMac moves unexpectedly.

    2 Kitchen Paper Towel Rolls do the same job as the Wedge just fine .. :)

    Stef999 - Reply

  1. Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive around the perimeter of the rear enclosure.
    • Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive around the perimeter of the rear enclosure.

      • If you are re-using your existing display, you must also remove the old adhesive from the back of the display.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to grasp and peel up the edge of each adhesive strip.

      • Repeat this process as necessary to remove all of the old adhesive.

      • If necessary, use a spudger to scrape up the remaining adhesive, then peel with your fingers.

    it's not noted here, but if you are just replacing an internal part and intend to use the same display, you must also remove the adhesive from the display

    Gareth Jones - Reply

    Noted and added to the guide! Thanks :)

    Jeff Suovanen -

    Depending on what adhesive you are removing, I find that using something like Goo Gone Goop adhesive remover is very helpful.

    If it is the original foam based adhesive, then that can usually be taken off without the adhesive remover, but with these after market glue strips, the adhesive remover is best.

    G Trieste - Reply

    Spudger and tweezers couldn’t seem to get enough under the strip to grab. I had to use a low-angle edge of an Xacto blade.

    bstaud - Reply

    Makes me miss the days of the magnets.

    bstaud - Reply

    I worked with the display face-down on a pillow.

    bstaud - Reply

    • Start with the strip labeled 3 (or 03), which goes on the right vertical side of the rear enclosure.

    • Before peeling off any backing, line it up against the frame of the iMac to get an idea of where it goes.

    • Peel the short piece of backing off the back of the strip.

    Add Comment

    • Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the end of the strip from the side that still has a backing on it.

    With more than a little manipulation, the strips had a tendency to stretch, so the holes at each end did not quite align.

    bstaud - Reply

    I agree, line them up gently, don’t pull on the strips too hard or they will stretch.

    fo4ever - Reply

    • With the spudger still poking through the hole in the adhesive strip, push the spudger tip into the corresponding hole in the frame of the iMac.

    • Using the hole and spudger to anchor the position of the adhesive strip, line the strip up against the right edge, gently pulling up against the spudger to ensure the strip is taut, and stick it onto the frame.

    Add Comment

    • Once you've aligned the bottom half of the adhesive strip, peel the longer piece of backing out from behind the strip.

    • If the bottom half isn't aligned properly, you can carefully peel it up and re-stick it before peeling off the lower backing strip. Be sure to use the spudger tip to anchor the top.

    The info comment makes no sense. If you have to "re-stick it" then you have already peeled off the lower backing strip. If "it" means the upper portion of the strip, the use of a pronoun instead of naming the part specifically is confusing.

    Mark - Reply

    • Align the upper half of the strip with the right edge of the rear enclosure, and stick it down.

    Add Comment

    • Use your finger to smooth Strip 3 along the right edge. Make sure it is neatly aligned with the right side of the frame and that it sits flat.

    • Do not peel off the front adhesive backing yet.

    Add Comment

  2. Spread Fixmas Cheer
    Get $12 off your purchase of $50 or more with code FIXMAS12
    Spread Fixmas Cheer
    Get $12 off your purchase of $50 or more with code FIXMAS12
    • Work your way around the perimeter of the iMac, adding three more adhesive strips in the same manner.

    • Working counter-clockwise from Strip 3, place:

      • Strip 2 on the top right

      • Strip 1 on the top left

      • Strip 5 on the left vertical

    Please update this pic with newer model 2017, where you can see the wholes for the mic!!! These must not be covered! I hope the set of tapes 4R considering this issue, otherwise the mic will not work, as I used to have it!

    lgwaf - Reply

    • The two remaining strips (4L and 4R) do not have guide holes and are more difficult to place than the previous ones. Before sticking them down, we recommend first setting them in their respective places on the iMac to get comfortable with their placement.

    • Grasp the red film pull tab on the 4R adhesive strip and pull to remove the backing from the strip.

    • Align the strip on the bottom edge of the rear enclosure, directly to the right of the middle screw on that edge.

    • Run your finger along the length of the adhesive strip to ensure it is straight and unwrinkled, pressing down as you go to adhere the strip to the iMac.

    For some reason the adhesive strips for the bottom (4L and 4R) have the outer side as black whereas the others are white. A bit disorienting.

    bstaud - Reply

    when i pull the red tab at least one of the bottom strips always has the wrong side peel off. Poor design.

    Charles Lindauer - Reply

    Yes, all of the other strips go on without problem, but every strip kit I’ve ordered has the 4L and 4R strips reversed (like in the picture). And pulling the red tab usually doesn’t work at all. Why aren’t they just made like the rest of the strips?

    Brian Toth - Reply

    • Repeat the previous step for the 4L adhesive strip, placing it along the left half of the bottom edge of the iMac.

    • Once you've applied all the adhesive strips, the iMac should look as shown in the photo.

    Unless my iMac was assembled incorrectly, the 4L and 4R strips are mislabeled and should be reversed . The right angles of the strips should be towards the outer bottom edges of the display. I have photos but not sure how to get them in here.

    Leon Bisquera - Reply

    The picture here doesn’t quite match the currently provided tape kit. You should see two sets of each number, not one number and a bit of blue tape.

    Endareth - Reply

    • Gently lay the display in place over the iMac, and align it carefully.

    It is important to wedge something between the unit and the base so it doesn't swivel down as you are replacing the front cover. An unopened 5 pound sack of flour works fine.

    snively - Reply

    or 2 rolls of kitchen papertowels :)

    Stef999 - Reply

    • Use painter's tape or masking tape to temporarily secure the bottom edge of the display to the iMac's enclosure.

      • The tape preserves the display's alignment, and allows you to safely swing the top edge of the display open to access the display cables.

    1.Painter’s tape or masking tape (or low-residue duct tape, which I used) should be on the list of tools and materials.

    2. I made strap of tape for a side to prevent the display from hinging open too far.

    bstaud - Reply

    Make sure the tape is put in place after you’ve got the screen in exactly the right spot! And no tape around the sides, the screen still needs to swing.

    Endareth - Reply

    • At this point it's a good idea to test your repair, in order to make sure your iMac works properly before you seal it back up. Follow the next three steps to temporarily reconnect the display cables and boot up your iMac prior to pulling the protective film off the adhesive strips.

      • If you've already verified that your iMac is working correctly and are ready to seal it up, skip to Step 17.

    • Insert the display power cable into its socket on the logic board.

    If replacing of the adhesive is part of a larger job, where you had to replace the RAM for instance, please make sure that you can plug in the peripherals into the USB, Thunderbolt and the Ethernet. It’s late when you seal the iMac and discover that you can’t plug anything into the USB, because the logic-board has moved 1mm! Also verify that your iSight camera, speakers, wireless, IR and Bluetooth work before sealing.

    megaspeed - Reply

    • Use a pair of tweezers or your other hand to gently insert the display data cable connector into its socket on the logic board.

    • Be sure to press it straight into the socket, and insert it completely.

    • Secure the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable downwards towards the logic board.

    0. Put a loupe or magnifying glass on the list of tools and supplies.

    1. It would be good to show an enlarged picture of the data cable connector to see how it works.

    2. In my case, the metal retaining bracket did not hold the connector securely enough, so the connector kept popping out.

    bstaud - Reply

    Click on any image if you need to see the high-res version. Most of these are 40+ megapixel photos, so you can blow them up to almost any level of detail you could possibly want.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    • Set the display back on the iMac's rear enclosure.

    • At this time, plug in your iMac, power it on, and test your repair before moving on to actually sealing up the computer. Be sure to check for full functionality of any hardware you removed or disconnected.

    • When you are finished, shut the iMac down and unplug the power cord before you continue.

    Add Comment

    • Verify that your iMac is turned off and unplugged from power before you continue.

    • After confirming that your iMac functions properly, disconnect the display cables and carefully lean the display forward.

    • Remove the film from the 4R strip by reaching in from above and pulling the tab straight up from the bottom edge of the display.

    i had to tip the display outward enough for the strip to peel off. Glad it had the tape hinge.

    bstaud - Reply

    • Repeat the previous step for the 4L strip.

    Add Comment

    • Reconnect the display power and data cables for the final time.

      • Remember to secure the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

    Add Comment

    • Check the glass directly in front of the webcam for dust and other contaminants. If necessary, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth before you seal up the display.

    • Rest the display against the rear enclosure.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the protective film from Strip 1 by pulling its tab straight up.

      • The film/liner may break if pulled too hard. Work carefully and make sure that there's no pressure on the display and that it doesn't pinch the strips.

    Pull them out slowly, cos you the coverstrips can rip easily resulting in having no adhesive in that area cos the strip is rendered unreachable… (happend to me twice) ..

    Stef999 - Reply

    It is MUCH easier to just align the bottom edge, then use painters tape to attach the glass at the bottom. Flip the screen forward so that you can see both tabs 4L and 4R. Carefully expose the adhesive at the bottom. Connect the two top cables, clean the webcam. Finally peel tabs 5 and 3 from the bottom up. Lastly while you can see everything, peel both sides of tabs 1 & 2. Then just press everything down squarely. (The biggest issue is that the tabs do not come off easily and removing the tabs while you can see them is the key here.)

    drgallo - Reply

    • Likewise, remove the protective film from the strip that was paired with Strip 1.

    Add Comment

    • Repeat the previous two steps to remove the protective film from all the remaining adhesive strip pairs (labeled 2, 3, and 5).

    What can happen here is the protective covering can break be careful

    megtechnical - Reply

    • Remove the tape securing the display to the rear enclosure.

    Add Comment

Finish Line

170 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

345,934 Reputation

535 Guides authored


iFixit Member of iFixit


113 Members

7,348 Guides authored


Good Lord, why does Apple have to make it so difficult to upgrade or repair? There comes a point where design aesthetic just isn't worth it. Magnets, like I believe older iMacs use to attach the front glass, would have made it much easier. I'll take the extra bulk any day.

amiller77 - Reply

Have you actually done the replacement? It's actually pretty easy. Apple did everything they could to make it as painless as possible: the old adhesive separates without *any* residue, it doesn't rip apart, it doesn't make a mess. Things align like magic.

True, it could be easier. Like with the old color iMac SD. But since I don't take my iMac apart every day, doing this once or maybe twice in my computer's lifetime is a small price to pay for a *really* slim and good looking device.

Daniel Mores -

I had some issues with steps 21, 22 and 23 ... the tabs would rip off. After the third one I used the plastic card to gently create some space for the strip to escape.

Daniel Mores -

Hello! Tell me, what adhesive tapes are used! Length, width, thickness? On what basis are these tapes?

Oleg - Reply

Thank you for this fantastic guide, and all of the iFixit guides! Just finished this replacement using the iFixit Adhesive Strips/iMac Opener tool combo--everything worked very well, except that the iMac Opener tool did not particularly like the broken glass area of the display, which bent the plastic of the "pizza cutter" wheel a little.


One bit of helpful advice is to use extreme care when placing the replacement display back into the iMac. Make sure that you do not put the display back in at too great of an angle, or there will be a very noticeable gap at the bottom, between the display glass and the iMac frame. Adhesive strips are not forgiving, and rarely give multiple chances!

IT Helper - Reply

We've revised the guide procedure and it makes positioning the screen very easy. You can drop it into place and fine-tune the position to your heart's content. :)

Jeff Suovanen -

Place some sticky tape along the lower edge of the iMac either side of Apple logo. Position screen carefully onto the lower ledge and then use the tape to hold. Tape then acts as a hinge allowing you to raise or lower screen while in the right position. I did this and also used some tape at the top so I could reconnect screen and test HDD install. Then you can hinge screen down to remove the adhesive tape backing strips in order to close up the screen for good!!

finepics - Reply

Thanks for the tip! We've added it to the guide.

Jeff Suovanen -

Somewhere between steps 2 and 3 you might want to add, that you also need to remove the old adhesive from the rear of the screen assembly

petercph - Reply

Good call! Done and done. Thanks!

Jeff Suovanen -

Just successfully upgraded one of these to an SSD using the instructions, tools and adhesive strips from iFixit. The instructions are excellent, and the iMac opener tool does a good job of cutting the adhesive to get it open.The adhesive strips in the kit are excellent - don’t even think about trying to make your own - just buy these and make your life MUCH easier. The final part of using masking tape to position the display before final sealing is very important, and works brilliantly.

Gary Pillans - Reply

I found that for steps 10 & 11, it is better to attach 4R and 4L to the glass directly by removing the blue side of the adhesive strips and placing where they fit correctly onto the glass. Then remove the red tabs just before placing the glass onto the Mac. The right-angle ends of the tape align with the corners on the glass back.

lasvegas - Reply

Of course monitor won't turn on after putting it back in. Any hint?

Joao Paulo Oliveira da Costa - Reply

Joao, I had the same problem just last week. In my case, it seems I hadn’t fully inserted the video cable. I opened it up again, reset the cables, and yes, the video still works. So, open it up, order some new adhesive strips, and be *extra* careful the second time you do it.

David -

This was the toughest part of the HD>>SSD upgrade.Removing all the gunk, and aligning the new strips took more than an hour. The rest half that! But all good now, Thanks Sam.

Stephen Babbage - Reply

Did it this morning, to replace the hhd with an ssd. Went smooth, about one hour all the job. Be patient and it works very well. Now my late 2015 Mac flies, thanks Sam!

Rob - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 30

Past 7 Days: 215

Past 30 Days: 1,011

All Time: 35,686