Introduction

Use this guide to replace or upgrade your hard drive.

  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs are fast and easy with an iMac service wedge, but can be completed without one.

  • Before beginning any work on your iMac: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

The wedge is an extremely tight fit for this model. I was worried that the amount of force needed to use it as shown might damage the stand, so I used it with the long side down instead. It worked fine that way and didn’t need anywhere near as much force to insert.

roberttrevellyan - Reply

Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear enclosure. The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. Otherwise, you risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.
  • Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear enclosure.

  • The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" into the display. Otherwise, you risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

Add Comment

Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center. Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle. Run the tool up along the left side of the display.
  • Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.

  • Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.

  • Run the tool up along the left side of the display.

Erreur de traduction: "de bas en haut" et non de" haut en bas" sur le côté gauche de l'écran

Moreau - Reply

Continue running the tool up around the top left corner. Continue running the tool up around the top left corner. Continue running the tool up around the top left corner.
  • Continue running the tool up around the top left corner.

Add Comment

Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display. Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.
  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

Add Comment

Continue along the top of the display. You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.
  • Continue along the top of the display.

  • You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.

In this step can I cut along the display without make any damage to the front camera?

arisnordico - Reply

Hi! Actually - there is no need to cut the tape around the camera area - there is no tape to cut at all! And so, the way go is easy - just pass 10 mm to the left and to the right from camera and start cutting!

P.S. Just did the whole procedure to replace a RAM and to add SSD on PSIe an hour ago! Seems to be different reading the instructions... you know - 2/10 and so on. But it's really not that hard, trust me. I'll give it 5/10.

P.P.S. By the way there is one trick to pass the difficult steps. Any action which requires pulling smth (motherboard, speaker, power supply unit) from the narrow crack (or should i say - slit?) at the bottom of your Imac is really not so easy.

And the trick is to first remove a thin metal stripe with some kind of insulation on it which held by 5 small (very small!!) screws at the bottom of your Imac. After you done it - it's easy to pull everything! Pay attention to the fact that one of this 5 screws at the center are more shortly than others.

dv1977 - Reply

After doing the replacement the adhesive still sticks quite good enough to hold the screen in place. Maybe this isn't rock-solid, but enough for me.

Mirko - Reply

I did all steps like this manuell but now the Display wont work only some colered strips are to see! Whats happend??

Can anybody help me ? Maybe the connector cable is broken?

djfanta - Reply

Check both connectors, probably one of them not seated well

pzhivulin -

You can add a SATA SSD if you already have a PCIe SSD Factory?

kaserlik - Reply

If you're changing cracked EMC 2638 display to new assembly, there's two more steps:

Step 24: Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the display assembly.

Step 25: Use the tip of a spudger to unplug bracket of the thermal sensor small cable near display data cable.

Carefully remove scotch tape covering thermal sensor. Using iSesamo or flat tip of the spudger carefully peel the thermal sensor away.

pzhivulin - Reply

omg - forgot to switch the termal sensor from the old display...

now fan runs like crazy...

Andrei Balotescu -

Push the tool around the top right corner of the display. Push the tool around the top right corner of the display. Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.
  • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

Add Comment

Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display. Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.
  • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

Add Comment

Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display. At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.
  • Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display.

  • At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.

Add Comment

While the opening tool cut most of the adhesive, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive. Set the iMac face-up on a table. Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, wedge a plastic card between the display and frame.
  • While the opening tool cut most of the adhesive, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive.

  • Set the iMac face-up on a table.

  • Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, wedge a plastic card between the display and frame.

  • Be careful not to insert the plastic card more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.

Add Comment

Gently twist the plastic card sideways to create a gap between the display and frame. Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".
  • Gently twist the plastic card sideways to create a gap between the display and frame.

  • Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4".

This part must be done very carefully or you can damage the flat cable from display, despite it was under a iron cover.

Cassio Machado - Reply

Slide the card toward the center of the display to cut any of the remaining adhesive along the top right corner of the iMac. Be sure to stop before the iSight camera, or you may damage it. Be sure to stop before the iSight camera, or you may damage it.
  • Slide the card toward the center of the display to cut any of the remaining adhesive along the top right corner of the iMac.

  • Be sure to stop before the iSight camera, or you may damage it.

Add Comment

Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again, and leave it there to prevent the adhesive from resticking. Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again, and leave it there to prevent the adhesive from resticking.
  • Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again, and leave it there to prevent the adhesive from resticking.

Add Comment

Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac. Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac. Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac.
  • Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac.

Add Comment

Gently twist the card upward, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame. As with the other side, twist slowly to allow the adhesive time to separate, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.
  • Gently twist the card upward, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

  • As with the other side, twist slowly to allow the adhesive time to separate, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.

Add Comment

Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera. Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera. Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.
  • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

Add Comment

Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner. Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.
  • Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.

Add Comment

With both plastic cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards sideways to increase the gap between display and case. If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the remaining adhesive. Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.
  • With both plastic cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards sideways to increase the gap between display and case.

  • If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the remaining adhesive.

  • Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.

  • Only lift the display a few inches—the display data and power cables are still connected to the logic board.

Add Comment

While holding the display up with one hand, use the other hand to unplug the display power cable. Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connector, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").
  • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other hand to unplug the display power cable.

  • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connector, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

Add Comment

Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable. Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the logic board. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the logic board.

  • Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket.

Add Comment

Lift the display up to a near-vertical position. At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.
  • Lift the display up to a near-vertical position.

  • At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.

Add Comment

If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip. If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.
  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

Cutting through this extra adhesive on the bottom took a bit more effort than the step and picture implied (to me). Unlike the other edges, here don't be afraid to really push the card in there to break the seal, there's nothing behind that adhesive that is breakable.

phil - Reply

cutting through the adhesive is unnecessary if it's not been opened before (outside of an apple store) there will be a tab at the end of each VHB strip that you can use to simply pull the vhb strips off.

Rory McKenna - Reply

To save a few steps and a bit of time, if you have a helper, they can hold the display at a 90° angle while you unscrew the brackets and remove/replace the hard drive rather than remove the display entirely. Also reduces the likelihood of damaging the display as you remove and handle it.

marty - Reply

Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac. It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive. Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.
  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.

Add Comment

Remove the following screws securing the hard drive bracket to the rear enclosure:
  • Remove the following screws securing the hard drive bracket to the rear enclosure:

    • Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws from the left-hand hard drive bracket.

    • One 9mm T10 Torx screw.

    • One 27 mm T10 Torx screw.

Add Comment

Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac. Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac.
  • Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac.

Add Comment

Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and pull it slightly out of its recess. The hard drive is attached by a single SATA power/data cable—do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac yet. The hard drive is attached by a single SATA power/data cable—do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac yet.
  • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and pull it slightly out of its recess.

  • The hard drive is attached by a single SATA power/data cable—do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac yet.

Add Comment

Use a spudger to disconnect the single SATA power and data combo cable by gently prying its large plastic connector away from the hard drive. Use a spudger to disconnect the single SATA power and data combo cable by gently prying its large plastic connector away from the hard drive.
  • Use a spudger to disconnect the single SATA power and data combo cable by gently prying its large plastic connector away from the hard drive.

Add Comment

Remove the hard drive assembly from the iMac.
  • Remove the hard drive assembly from the iMac.

When reassembling, I found it easier to loosen the HD tray screw from Step 48 and pull the tray outwards from the left side in order to plug the SATA cable in more easily.

KB1972 - Reply

Thanks! I, too, had a hard time reconnecting the SATA cable.

boboswell -

Peel the rubber hard drive bumpers up off the top and bottom edges of the hard drive. Peel the rubber hard drive bumpers up off the top and bottom edges of the hard drive.
  • Peel the rubber hard drive bumpers up off the top and bottom edges of the hard drive.

Hi,

I would like to change my standard HDD of 1To to a SSD following these instructions. All the SSD can be used like SSD Crucial BX100 500 Go or Crucial MX200 500 Go ?

Thanks

Denenden - Reply

And Samsung 850 Evo, but you should think how to solve the cooler problem before you start, because there's no thermal cable in those SSD's.

pzhivulin - Reply

Hi, is it important to use a HDD as replacement/upgrade from the same manufacturer like it is on older iMacs with 3,5" HDD? I'm thinking of the thermal sensor (which isn't there in this case) and the hispeed fans issue. Any hints appreciated :)

Mac - Reply

there is a cable adapter you can buy with an inline thermal sensor on it to attach to the outside of the drive

Danual Ansell -

Conclusion

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

57 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

272,251 Reputation

1,229 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

129 Members

6,418 Guides authored

8 Comments

Super awesome instructions, As always easy to follow, swapped out he drive pretty quick. makes me miss the magnets for sure.

Justin Weathersbee - Reply

Guide was great, didn't take long at all. I hope the adhesive proceeds to stick now that I put the glass back on!

MITG - Reply

Be sure to position the screen all the way down on reassembly. I sort of tried to hinge it back, resulting in a little space of a fraction of a millimeter. Had to push the screen down when attaching the rest of it.

Daniel JB - Reply

Great instructions, I chose to purchase the adhesive strips from Ifixit and they worked great, much easier than trying to shape your own plus they stick really well.

Alan Petten - Reply

Great instructions. Is it possible to replace HD with a SSD Samsung EVO ?

thanks

Claudio Tumeo - Reply

I believe the EVO is what I used in my iMac at home, but it was a while ago and I honestly do not remember for certain. In my experience though you can replace an HDD with pretty much any SSD that meets your capacity requirements. Some have better specs than others, but ~any~ SSD is going to have alarmingly better performance than an HDD. I have totally revitalized three computers that would otherwise have been put out to pasture, by the simple act of replacing the hard drive with an SSD. Working on an iMac is a bit more daunting than many others, but following these instructions, and being very "Zen" about it, taking your time, having the tools and materials laid out and ready at hand, being focused and not rushed, should result in a great upgrade, and a computer better than new.

Keith Gardner -

So on this model we don't need to worry about a thermal sensor or the fan going into overdrive after swapping the drive?

alyssaengleson - Reply

That's is correct :)

Daniel JB -

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 47

Past 7 Days: 288

Past 30 Days: 1,430

All Time: 40,499