Introduction

A 27" iMac is a great thing. A 27" iMac with a broken display is a great broken thing. Don't let a broken LCD get in the way of your iMac being awesome. Use this guide to help you replace the display in the 2010 27" iMac.

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

  • To attach the suction cups, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel (as highlighted in the second picture).

  • While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle (as highlighted by the third picture).

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a damp soft, lint-free cloth. (Dampen with distilled water, and if needed, an equal ratio of distilled water and white vinegar for best results.)

  • Do not use the suction cups to carry the display glass because if one of them fails to stick, you could drop the screen and break it.

  • The original iMac box makes a good place to store the glass panel. Otherwise, a padded horizontal surface, like a towel on a desk will do nicely.

You can easily lift the glass panel off the magnets with only your fingernails (or something thin like a credit card or a guitar pick). No need to buy suction cups you will only use once.

Nick Caron - Reply

Yes, you don't need the specific suction cups to remove the display cover - it's held on by magnets, and if you start at the center by the iSight you can work out to the edges and remove it. I had an iPhone screen suction cup around and it helped with balancing the screen when you pull it out fully, but by no ways is it required.

jtowner - Reply

Great guide and pretty straight forward the only thing that took me ages and I didn't manage to undo were the power btn cable (step 28) and the thermal sensor (step 25) Seemed like they were glued on! Very difficult to remove and obviously conscious so I didn't break anything!

Eddie - Reply

Thanks!!! Worked excellently.

I used a plunger (clean first ;-) to get the screen off, and http://exirion.net/ssdfanctrl/ for fan control.

Then, i did not take out the whole display and left it in the hinges on the bottom side and held it up with two small cardboard boxes. Easy enough to disconnect the hdd then.

I replaced with an ssd, put that into a ssd enclosure. Had to drill an extra hole in it to fasten the pins that hold it in place.

Used Carbon Copy Cloner to make an image from the old hdd, with the sad connected via usb. Checked it of it booted via System Preferences > Startup Disk. It worked so the took the imac apart and replaced the disk. Booted, everything was working as always, only faster!

Frank303 - Reply

I'm replacing my optical drive too. what exactly needs to be plugged into the SSD? I don't have the kit - as I am not sure one is required if I buy something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056OB...

Can you please advise? Can I do it with this piece, or do I need to get the entire bracket kit?

Allen Borza -

My display data cable forks, with a smaller section going up near the camera board. Where it forks, it is attached to the aluminum plate that attaches around the cpu board. I haven't seen any images that look similar, and I'm stumped at how to remove this second section of the cable. 2010 i7 build to order

Awolf - Reply

Image 1/3: Pull the glass panel away from the lower edge of the iMac and carefully set it aside. Image 2/3: Don't use the suction cups to carry the glass panel—if either one loses its grip, the panel could fall and break. Image 3/3: After setting the glass panel down safely, be sure to release the suction cups, as the suction force over time, can crack the glass.
  • 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.

    • Don't use the suction cups to carry the glass panel—if either one loses its grip, the panel could fall and break.

    • After setting the glass panel down safely, be sure to release the suction cups, as the suction force over time, can crack the glass.

  • 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.

you should do this mac up, because, for me, one of the suction cup failed, and the glass fall into the lcd screen. Now there is a big hole in it...

Lau - Reply

do you still have this panel?

Alpha Dimension -

Reassembly: After powering on and running for a few minutes, found a large whitish patch on the screen. Persists after powerdown.

Turned out to be condensation, though it didn't look like it - more like fine white powder rubbed in. Humidity is very high this time of the year. Fix: start airconditioner in a room, leave it running a while, take iMac in, prise open the glass again. Condensation vanishes instantly. Keep it out for a ~15 minutes running infinite loops to get iMac nicely heated up and fans running. Snap glass back.

ganesh - Reply

I used a Swiffer dry cloth to get all the dust off the screen while just blowing with my mouth at a steep angle. I know I didn't get every speck, but the screen looks perfect once assembled and lit again. Removing the glass from the screen is pretty easy if you need to re-clean it.

Jay Gillibrand - Reply

I used a microfiber cloth instead, which worked well. The same type as yo use to clean eye glasses, but in a larger form factor.

Daniel -

The Swiffer idea worked great! I just brush it over the LCD and glass panel lightly, and all dust particles are gone quickly. The screen after boot up looked beautiful. Thanks!

dtsai2 -

I strongly recomment to detach the suction cups while working at the rest of the steps. In my case after half an our i heart a crack noise behind me on the table... The vacuum of one of the suction cups braked the glass! maybe there should be a warning in the Repair guide

shippe - Reply

I didn't crack the screen, but it popped out of the shims and then popped back in, as if the glass edge is magnetic or has steel in it to connect to magnets. Be careful with this step — it is pretty nerve-wracking, but doable!

Alex Reynolds - Reply

You need a big clean surface free, or at least 2 or more free surfaces because the iMac, the glass and the LCD display are quite bulky. You'll also probably need space for a tablet or a laptop to read this guide while you are working. And don't forget room to work on the optical unit and for the tools you are going to use. I covered a large table with a double layer of bubble wrap. In my opinion it's better to put the glass face down to limit powder sticking on the internal surface.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the eight T10 Torx screws securing the LCD to the outer case.

The replacement display I received did not have a bracket around the edges so I can reinstall it. On the old display, it seems the bracket is screwed in, but even with all screws removed, I cannot get it to budge. Is there a trick? Is this even possible?

wooten1138 - Reply

Reassembly: be careful with the screws! The magnets attract them and the screwdriver as well! Better to use a screwdriver without replaceable end insert. I had to use one of this second type and I struggled a lot!

Roberto Blandino - Reply

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nB172HJeM0...

Try this easy GPU fix before buying a new graphics card! It fixed the white screen issue on my EMC 2374.

adamg5 - Reply

Image 1/3: Due to tight tolerances, you will have to use a thin hooked tool to lift the display out of the outer case. As seen in the third picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip. Image 2/3: Use a thin hooked tool to lift one side of the top edge of the display by its steel outer frame. Image 3/3: After lifting the top edge of the display on one side, hold it out of the outer case while you use a hooked tool to lift the other side.
  • Carefully lay the iMac stand-side down on a flat surface.

  • Due to tight tolerances, you will have to use a thin hooked tool to lift the display out of the outer case. As seen in the third picture, we made one out of a bent paperclip.

  • Use a thin hooked tool to lift one side of the top edge of the display by its steel outer frame.

  • After lifting the top edge of the display on one side, hold it out of the outer case while you use a hooked tool to lift the other side.

  • Do not lift the top edge of the display out of the outer case too far, as several short ribbon cables still connect the two components.

Be careful with any tool while lifting the edge of the display. Under the top left edge of the display sits the bluetooth-antenna-connector. I pulled it out while lifting. It was not such a great problem, cause i could just plug it in again. But maybe you could cut the small cable depending on the tool you use to lift.

Gee - Reply

The display is quite heavy, an is fitted with a tight tolerance. I found it very difficult and dangerous, lifting it with any tool in one corner while the iMac was lying down. Instead, after removing the T10 screws, it was quite easy pulling the display out of the iMac with my fingers on both sides, while the iMac was in the upright position. By doing that, you can easily hold the display with one hand and reach for the connecting cables with the other

Georg P - Reply

I broke the short ribbon cable that attaches to the inner top of the display but all the pics show the display completely removed after all cables are disconnected without the short ribbon cable intact. Does this short ribbon cable have a purpose and does it need to be reconnected? If so, how? Or is it just some worthless control put in by Apple to show its been messed with when brought back for repair? Thanks

alligator69 - Reply

Image 1/2: Be sure to pull the connector parallel to the LED driver board, straight out of its socket. Image 2/2: Be sure to pull the connector parallel to the LED driver board, straight out of its socket.
  • Using your fingers, carefully pull the vertical sync cable out of its socket on the LED driver board near the top left corner of your iMac.

    • Be sure to pull the connector parallel to the LED driver board, straight out of its socket.

This cable is very small and fiddley to remove if you don't have much in the way of finger nails. The cables are very thin and fragile.

James York - Reply

It took me a bit of work to remove this cable, it was a hassle actually. What worked for me, without any tools, was to use your index and middle fingers' nails and pull it. That worked better than the index and thumb. Took me like 15 minutes, more than what it should take.

thefinalzeta - Reply

Yes, me too! It stuck terribly hard and I spent most of the time for the repair for this s**** little connector. I thought all the time, I'm gonna break it or tear off these tiny cables... All the other cables were *rather* easy-going. In the end I finally got a new SanDisk Ultra II 480 GB SSD working.

And thanks to the SDD Fan Control app it is sooo silent. Thanks to Exirion!

Nick van Hill -

When the cable comes out, make note of which side has the gold contacts visible. On my cable, you could only see them from the "top" side (aka, as you look down on it). From the "bottom" or back side of the cable, you could NOT see any gold contacts. This will help to orient the cable when reconnecting it.

markcerv - Reply

In my case, all the cable connectors were oriented having the golden contacts, as seen from the wide side of the connectors, oriented facing away from the board

Georg P - Reply

From this point onwards I found very useful a flashlight to illuminate inside the iMac.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

Take care not to pull off the socket off along with the connector as happened to me.

Fortunately there are used pull on eBay. Even saw one that had the same socket ripped off also.

Joel Yang - Reply

Image 1/1: Pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.
  • Squeeze the two display data cable connector arms together to unlock it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Pull the display data cable connector away from its socket on the logic board.

This connection is very fragile, and many people have broken the display connector on the logic board. You need to carefully pull the connector out, and when putting it back together, you need to carefully push the connector back in.

pmah - Reply

i did break mine. do you know where to buy that component?

Cris - Reply

In my iMac the cable was stuck to the structure of the computer with a piece of foam tape. Pulling it very gently, gradually it detached with no damages.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Rotate the display out of the outer case enough to disconnect the LED backlight power cable from the LED driver board.

You need to squeeze the connector top to unlatch, then pull it parallel to the LED backlight board.

Charlie - Reply

Here I used the flat end of a spudger to unlatch the connector top.

Roberto Blandino - Reply

Image 1/1: If your fan is spinning full speed after completion, check this connection or the hard drive's thermal sensor cable.
  • Lift the display for enough clearance to disconnect the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket on the logic board.

  • If your fan is spinning full speed after completion, check this connection or the hard drive's thermal sensor cable.

Before you take/remove the LCD thermal sensor cable connector from its socket, make a note of which color cable is on the left, and which is on the right. When I removed the cable, the black cable was leftmost, and the grey cable was rightmost.

markcerv - Reply

I replaced hard drive and added a second SSD on a 2010 27" iMac. Everything seemed fine for about a year, and now the fans run continuously. I think it's this cable in Step 8; I'll get around to opening it up to check.

pigeonf16 - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Carefully pull the display toward the top edge of your iMac and lift it out of the outer case.

And if the panel has no frame? How you unattach the frame from the old panel to place it on the new one?

Daria Drozd - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Brett Hartt

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3 Comments

Hard to learn, easy to master. There are a lot of trap cables that are not very long. For best results, I like to use cardboard hard drive boxes to prop up my LCD display to a 30° angle so I can reconnect cables with both my hands.

Kevin McCartney - Reply

Does anyone know if the display from a 2011 27" iMac is compatible with a 2010 27" iMac? The 2011 in my office died, but the 2010 still works fine, albeit with color trouble due to a malfunctioning display.

Andrew - Reply

They are not. Sorry.

Al

Alan Ullman -

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