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

    Here’s a good YouTube vid on upgrading the RAM: Can a Normal Person Upgrade the RAM in the 2017 21.5" iMac?

    Dan - Reply

  1. 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.
    • 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.

    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.

    Add Comment

    • 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.

    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.

    Add Comment

    • 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.

    Yes, do it many times to loosen the adhesive.

    Noah Ralston - Reply

    • 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.

    this step is extremely important NOT to stick in the cards too far….. doing so, you risk a 600 euro replacement as I experienced………

    Edgar Broekema - Reply

  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
    • 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.

    Add Comment

    • 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.

    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.

    Add Comment

    • 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.

    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.

    • 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").

    Pulling the display power cable by the wires makes me nervous..

    bstaud - Reply

    I had a small flight light ready so I could see. Follow the directions - don’t blindly pull.

    Noah Ralston - Reply

    • 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.

    Sure could use a magnified picture of this connector and socket, especially the first time you go in. And it is the most critical step of the whole operation — bung it up and we’re toast.

    bstaud - Reply

    Hi bstaud! If you hover over the image you can click on the magnifying glass and get a large image of any guide photo. Hope that helps!

    Sam Lionheart -

    • 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.

    Where can I find a replacement display for my iMac?

    Braydon Boyce - Reply

    • 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.

    Add Comment

    • 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 9 mm T10 Torx screw.

      • One 27 mm T10 Torx screw.

    Add Comment

    • 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.

    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.

    When reconnecting the SATA cable, there is nothing to make the connector hold still, and it is hard to reach, so it took several tries. I ended up taking off the rubber baby buggy bumpers to get more room, and then jamming them back on after getting the SATA connector snugged up.

    bstaud - Reply

    • 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.

    Cool_Breeze - Reply

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

    boboswell -

    And DON’T do what I did, which is to remove the left speaker - which can easily lead to breaking the cable between the power on button and the power supply. The cable is routed through a hidden slot at the very bottom of the left speaker

    bsmith1 - Reply

    I did loosen the speaker so I could get a tool behind the SATA cable to push it on to the SSD drive. Otherwise hard to align cable.

    Noah Ralston - Reply

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


    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 ?


    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 -

    I was under the impressoin that this model, with it’s 2.5” drive, had no extra thermal issues like other older iMacs. Meaning you could just pop any other SATA 2.5” drive in there and the fans would operate normally.

    Other comments seem to imply this is not the case? I’ve never seen sensors or adapters for this model of Mac?

    John M - Reply


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

101 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

345,718 Reputation

535 Guides authored


iFixit Member of iFixit


113 Members

7,343 Guides authored


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 ?


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 -

Great guide. One thing I did on the reassembly was to loosen the speaker next to the drive bay so that I could get my fat fingers in to push the SATA connector onto the new drive.

Good job!

James Metcalfe - Reply

Step 21 is a little nerve wracking … however, if you look closely, each corner had a small section of tape that looked like a starter strip. If you pull that up and then, once loosened, pull toward you - the entire strip of tape will come off making the display removal very simple.

Joe Husk - Reply

Yes. Buy the adhesive strips, and the tools, so you don’t have to stop and scrounge around the shop/basement/house/office for tool-equivalents.

bstaud - Reply

Very apprehensive at first when taking on upgrading my iMac 21.5” Late 2013 Hard Drive with a Samsung Evo 860 SSD. Followed this hard drive replacement/ upgrade guide, plus the ‘clone and existing drive’ and ‘how to re-apply your iMac display’ and had it done with 2 hours. Fantastic guides, easy to follow and carry out. Thank you.

Nicholas Lake - Reply

Upgraded my 2014 iMac to an SSD and Its so much easier than I thought it would be. From start to finish the teardown was complete in about 30 min. The wheel and cards worked perfectly and the adhesive was easy to use. I like tearing this one down better than the older iMac. No screws or magnets to deal with.

Joe Henry - Reply

Good instructions!


dani - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 60

Past 7 Days: 450

Past 30 Days: 2,315

All Time: 65,536