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.

Video Overview

    • 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.

  1. Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive from around the perimeter of the rear enclosure.
    • Before you start placing strips, remove all of the old adhesive from 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 each strip of adhesive—or if necessary, use a spudger to scrape up the adhesive, and peel with your fingers.

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

    • For best results, after all the adhesive is removed, carefully clean the area under the adhesive with 90% (or greater) isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth. Wipe in one direction, not back and forth.

      • This helps prep the surface so that the new adhesive bonds properly (and your display won't fall out).

    • Start with strip 13, 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

    • The two remaining strips (14 and 15) 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 14 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.

    • Repeat the previous step for the 15 adhesive strip, placing it along the left half of the bottom of edge of the iMac.

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

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

    • 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.

    • 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 16.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 15 strip by reaching in from above and pulling the tab straight up from the bottom edge of the display.

    • Repeat the previous step for the 14 strip.

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

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

    • 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.

    • Remove one side of the protective film from Strip 11 by pulling its tab straight up.

    • Remove the other side of the protective film from strip 11.

    • Repeat the previous steps to remove the protective films from all the remaining adhesive strips (labeled 11, 12, and 13).

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


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

155 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg

Member since: 10/17/2009

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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.

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

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