Introduction

Removing the display on a Late 2012 iMac 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.

Parts

No parts required.

Video Overview

Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive. Use a spudger to scrape up an edge, then peel with your fingers. Remove all of the remaining adhesive strips from the iMac's frame and display glass. Remove all of the remaining adhesive strips from the iMac's frame and display glass.
  • Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive. Use a spudger to scrape up an edge, then peel with your fingers.

  • Remove all of the remaining adhesive strips from the iMac's frame and display glass.

I've done this on several iMacs now, but today I noticed another layer of thin black plastic stuck to the back of the display.

It was really tough to remove and left a lot of clear, sticky goop under it.

It's really thin, but it was strong enough to hold the screen in place by itself - I reconnected the display cables and tested before pulling the backing off the new adhesive strips - and it stuck together!

I had to pry it apart again and it actually ripped my new glue strips in 2 or 3 places. I was able to still use them, but it did not go as smoothly as other iMacs I've upgraded. Everything was fine in the end, but I left some blue painters tape on the top of the screen overnight so the glue strips will set up without the screen falling off - just to be on the safe side.

Does anyone know if this last layer of black plastic on the screen should be removed or left in place when replacing the glue strips?

Daniel Cassel - Reply

Start with strip 13, which goes on the right vertical. 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. Peel the short piece of backing off the back of the strip.
  • Start with strip 13, which goes on the right vertical. 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 top of the strip from the side that still has a backing on it. Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the top of the strip from the side that still has a backing on it.
  • Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the top of the strip from the side that still has a backing on it.

Add Comment

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

Add Comment

Once you're satisfied that the top half of the adhesive strip is neatly aligned, peel the longer piece of backing out from behind the strip. If the top 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. If the top 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.
  • Once you're satisfied that the top half of the adhesive strip is neatly aligned, peel the longer piece of backing out from behind the strip.

    • If the top 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.

Add Comment

Align the lower portion of the strip with the right edge of the frame, and stick it down. Align the lower portion of the strip with the right edge of the frame, and stick it down.
  • Align the lower portion of the strip with the right edge of the frame, and stick it down.

Add Comment

Use your finger to smooth all of strip 13. 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.
  • Use your finger to smooth all of strip 13. 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

Work your way around the perimeter of the iMac, adding three more adhesive strips in the same manner. Working counter-clockwise from strip 13, place strip 12 on the top right, strip 11 on the top left, and strip 16 on the left vertical.
  • Work your way around the perimeter of the iMac, adding three more adhesive strips in the same manner.

  • Working counter-clockwise from strip 13, place strip 12 on the top right, strip 11 on the top left, and strip 16 on the left vertical.

    • These three strips have a hole at each end—always use the smaller hole for alignment for more precise placement.

  • On the iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display, strip 12's blue tabs will not line up with the top antenna in the same way as the regular model. This is perfectly acceptable and won't impact the performance of the strips or antenna.

Add Comment

Strips 14 and 15 will go on the display frame.
  • Strips 14 and 15 will go on the display frame.

  • Remove the white backing from the back side of strip 14.

Add Comment

With the front-side backing still on, line strip 14 up with the bottom right edge of the rear of the display. The "L" shaped corner at the end of the strip should fit around the back of the LCD.
  • With the front-side backing still on, line strip 14 up with the bottom right edge of the rear of the display.

  • The "L" shaped corner at the end of the strip should fit around the back of the LCD.

You've really got to pay particular attention to exactly where to stick these - especially the short right-angle part as it doesn't go on the back of the glass as you might expect but actually over part of the edge of the LCD. It's also really difficult to remove and reposition the stickers since they will stretch when pulling them off.

David - Reply

Use your fingertips to smooth the adhesive strip from its center out to ensure a good seal with no bubbles or wrinkles. Use your fingertips to smooth the adhesive strip from its center out to ensure a good seal with no bubbles or wrinkles.
  • Use your fingertips to smooth the adhesive strip from its center out to ensure a good seal with no bubbles or wrinkles.

Add Comment

Repeat the previous 3 steps to place strip 15 on the left side of the bottom edge of the back of the display panel.
  • Repeat the previous 3 steps to place strip 15 on the left side of the bottom edge of the back of the display panel.

  • Strips 14 and 15 should butt up against each other in the center of the display.

Add Comment

Peel up and remove the backing from strips 15 and 14 on the display. Peel up and remove the backing from strips 15 and 14 on the display.
  • Peel up and remove the backing from strips 15 and 14 on the display.

Add Comment

Peel up and remove the remaining backings from all of the strips around the frame. Peel up and remove the remaining backings from all of the strips around the frame.
  • Peel up and remove the remaining backings from all of the strips around the frame.

Add Comment

Do not fully lower the display in this step; there are still two cables that must be attached. Once you've set the display down, you won't be able to lift it again without damaging the adhesive.
  • Do not fully lower the display in this step; there are still two cables that must be attached. Once you've set the display down, you won't be able to lift it again without damaging the adhesive.

  • Lay the bottom edge of the display glass against the top of the lower bezel. Be sure to align the edges of the display with the edges of the rear case.

Add Comment

While holding the display panel up with one hand, reach in to reconnect the display data and power cables, as shown in the next step.
  • While holding the display panel up with one hand, reach in to reconnect the display data and power cables, as shown in the next step.

Add Comment

Gently insert the display data connector into its socket on the logic board. Be sure to press it straight into the socket, and insert it completely. Flip the display data connector lock down onto the socket. Insert the display power connector into its socket on the logic board.
  • Gently insert the display data connector into its socket on the logic board. Be sure to press it straight into the socket, and insert it completely.

  • Flip the display data connector lock down onto the socket.

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

Add Comment

Before sealing the screen in place, you may want to test powering on your iMac to ensure you reconnected everything correctly. Be careful not to touch anything inside while the machine is powered on. While pressing the display against its ledge on the lower bezel, lower it down into place.
  • Before sealing the screen in place, you may want to test powering on your iMac to ensure you reconnected everything correctly. Be careful not to touch anything inside while the machine is powered on.

  • While pressing the display against its ledge on the lower bezel, lower it down into place.

Add Comment

Conclusion

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

111 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg

Member since: 10/17/2009

336,113 Reputation

1,015 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

130 Members

6,633 Guides authored

13 Comments

Hello guys!

Could anyone tell what the width of these strips is? I need to buy some double sided strips to do a hard drive upgrade, but I can't order from iFixit :(

Thank you!

Gonzalo Urioste - Reply

Some 3m Extreme Mounting tape works perfect for hdd upgrades on an imac.

http://bit.ly/22snsn1

torch130 -

Hey guys... there's one critical step that's missing here. Before doing Step 18, you have to make sure the iSight camera is in the right place. It's 'floating' inside the computer housing and has to be positioned just right for the glass to close/seal properly with the frame. I followed all of these steps but the glass would not seal around the camera, leaving a 1/8" gap there and distortion on the LCD when powered on. I had to re-order the strips and do the process over again. While doing a 'dry run', I realized the camera was the culprit and was able to hold it in position with a paper clip which allowed for the glass to adhere properly on the 2nd try.

raven13mb - Reply

I'm surprised to see, that you install the tape strips on the unit lying down.

It's a lot easier to attach them with the unit standing upright.

Also, attach ALL the strips to the rear housing, NOT to the LCD.

Attach the tape strips to the housing, mount the display, use som painters (/masking) tape, when you have aligned the display to the edges of the housing, attach the tape to the bottom of the glass and rear housing, making sure the display won't slip out of alignment.

Then, tilt the display towards you and support it with either a hand or your chest, while you remove the tapes protective layer and tilt the display back.

That way, it's still well aligned and it won't shift.

Same goes when removing the display in the first place.

Don't lay it down on the table - use a wedge, to make sure that the housing doesn't tilt while removing the display, and let the wedge stay there unit finished. The display is a lot easier to handle when upright, and you won't put too much pressure on the edges of the glass.

MorbidMylar - Reply

By the way, a minor detail you guys left out;

The tape strips for the 2012 and 2013, are not the same as 2014 Retina model.

The WiFi antenna's are located differently on the right. It's slightly elevated on the Retina, compared to the 2012 and 2013 models.

MorbidMylar - Reply

I've just added some steps, for closing the iMac backup. Please revise them if needed.

But you guys need to take notice, of users cracking their display glass and getting vertical or horizontal lines, when following your guides, as the guides are VERY far from Apple's iMac Service Guides!

MorbidMylar - Reply

Please help,

unfortunately after assembly of the Display, i have seen, that the outside dark frame in front of the display is torn. Obviously, the black film has solved on one side. Although open with the original iFixit tool (cutter)

Where can i get an new black foil

Andreas - Reply

Remember to check, before you close the case, that the small clear circle where the iSight camera looks out is dust-free, especially if, as I was, you are working with a unit that was pretty dusty inside.

You could easily seal the iMac up and then to your frustration see that there are multiple specks of dust slap-bang in front of the camera lens.

Guy Hemmings - Reply

Is the IFIXIT adhesive strip secure enough for 27" iMac late 2013 model? I still see some gaps after using IFIXIT strip and am worried that the display may fell off one day.

Firstaid computers - Reply

Hello all, how does the LCD cable get disconnected from the old screen, I am afraid of breaking it!

Do I lift anything or just pull on it?

Thank you

Carlos - Reply

Hi Carlos, this is a guide for reassembly, be sure you check out the full display removal guide to learn how to disconnect those cables!

Sam Lionheart -

Make sure to remove old adhesive tape from both the iMac *and* the screen before putting new adhesive tape on.

Thomer Gil - Reply

Success. Had a couple extra screws and a post to remove pn either side of the heat sink, but all good.

Dr. Sharleen Tan - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 34

Past 7 Days: 282

Past 30 Days: 1,403

All Time: 50,997