Introduction

Removing the display on the Late 2012 iMac requires cutting adhesive with a specialized iMac opening tool. After you've completed your repair, you'll need to follow our Adhesive Strip Guide to scrape off the old adhesive and replace it with new double-stick adhesive strips.

Parts

No parts required.

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 case. 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. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. 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. 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 case.

  • 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. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

Would a heat gun make this step easier? Or damage the iMac?

Clark Green - Reply

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.

I found the 'pizza cutter' surprisingly smooth at cutting through four-year-old adhesive.

Gerry - Reply

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, 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, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.
  • While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, 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, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.

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

I actually DESTROYED my display (black vertical strips) by pushing the card in a bit TOO DEEP. So it is REALLY important to insert the card only a bit (1-2mm) more than the cutter wheel, in particular at the top side, where many flat cables connect the panel with the PCB. These can be damaged very easily!

Peter Fischer - Reply

Same thing with me…. Pushed cards to far…. new panel needed…€600…..

i think ifixit needs to place a bigger caveat, as I have missed it the first time

Edgar Broekema - Reply

Gently twist the plastic card to open the space 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 to open the space 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".

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Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it. Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.
  • Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it.

  • Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.

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Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling. Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.
  • Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

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Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner. Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner. Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.
  • Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.

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

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

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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.

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Insert the card back into the top left corner. Insert the card back into the top left corner.
  • Insert the card back into the top left corner.

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Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables. With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards 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 adhesive in the problem area.
  • Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables.

  • With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards 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 adhesive in the problem area.

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

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While holding the display up with one hand, use the other to unplug the display power cable. Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, 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 to unplug the display power cable.

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

Mark all cable connectors with a spot of white correction fluid before removal. This will remove the risk, when reinserting them later, of getting them the wrong way round. Yes - I know they will only plug in one way round, but it does make life easier if you are not in perfect lighting!

Alastair Lack - Reply

Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable. Disconnect the display data cable. This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.
  • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Disconnect the display data cable.

    • This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.

where can i purchase the power and data cable from?

wei - Reply

I replaced HDD to SSD and assembled parts again. When I boot up the iMac, I found black lines on display (looks partly not broken).

I searched Internet, and some says graphic card problem, but I didn't touch anything but cable to lift up.

Could the damaged display data cable cause this situation? I hope I could fix this by just replacing the cables..

chansung park - Reply

Same trouble here, is it cable trouble or connector trouble?

redfoxydarrest - Reply

I think whenever words like "...is a delicate connection that can be broken. Be sure to pull the [cable in a certain direction] ANYTIME.... It is worth either a closeup or 2, maybe one with annotations or insertion directions and maybe a motion direction arrow with the something like and 'X' char or a circle division slash over the wrong one.

john - Reply

I agree! +1

Jim Reitz -

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.

There are two strips left and right along the bottom, and where they reach the outer edges the last 20mm has no adhesive, effectively making right-angled lift-tabs, so you can remove these strips completely by carefully pulling them off from the outer ends.

Stef - Reply

Thank you Stef, that's what i will do next time, i cracked the lower part of the screen went opening very slowly, that's probably why those "tabs are for !!

dforgues - Reply

Thanks Stef, this has saved me! Simple yet very effective.

David Zemsky - Reply

If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip. Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).
  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

Would have been helpful to box the same red area when using the plastic card to separate the glue. Since the red blocked picture is inverted, if someone doesn't pay close attention it may not be obvious that the area of concern is at the right top of the graphic pictures in which the plastic card use is being demonstrated..

Wizbang FL - Reply

you don't need to cut the bottom part as the bottom tape is stuck on each side and you can easily pull it out

Thomas Webb - Reply

What is the twisted wire taped to the back of the display that can bee seen in the upper right of the first two pictures? I have an 27” iMac without a screen an my replacement does not have this wire. I think it is a temperature sensor but do not know where it connects to.

Eric - Reply

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.

  • 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.

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  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed with the iMac laying down, but are faster and easier with an iMac service wedge.

ONLY FOR EXPERIENCED MASTERS WITH NON-HUGE (big fat) FINGERS.

On a 27" Retina, I skipped to step 34 and did not remove the speaker nor the Hard Drive. When the instructions instruct removing the left HD Rail, you know it's wasting your time. Go to the power supply and unscrew the 4 T10 screws. *Not in the guide, un-attach the small connector in top left corner, then gently lift and twist the board out. **Next unplug the small plug behind it, in the bottom right corner by pressing the release on it. Lastly dis-connect the large plug which does NOT slip right out until you depress the snap-clamp holding it on the back side.

To reassemble, do the same in reverse but keep power supply board more upright than slanted down when re-inserting it in to the lower right corner. The lower right screw post has an protrusion under/behind it and the Power Supply's small 2 wire plug must fit between the front of your Mac and the obstruction. Then it just slides right in and then screw it down.

Dan H - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow our Adhesive Strips Guide to reattach the display glass.

32 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg

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20 Comments

…thanks, but i have a crack on the screen as i was lifting it up. after reconnecting, there where lines on the display. what should i do.?

zeerowbadman - Reply

Something you may want to include for anyone replacing their damaged screen with a new one:

The replacement screens from LG more often DO NOT come with the thermal sensor attached, which means if you replace the screen without transferring the thermal sensor from the old LCD module, the computer will go absolutely insane, rendering it unusable.

This means re-opening the iMac and destroying the brand new adhesive strips. Because I had no idea this sensor existed, much panic ensued before I was forced to rip everything apart again and ultimately securing it closed with packing tape while I waited for the new adhesive strips to arrive in the mail....Not to mention the computer belongs to a client who lives 3 hours outside of the city.

placebomessiah - Reply

Sorry, could you help me? What thermal sensor?! Could you explain?

cristiano -

See the thin twisted black wire on the back of the display in this photo? The one that ends in a small piece of black tape:

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

that piece of tape covers the tiny thermal sensor at the end of that wire. It is not included as part of the new display, and must be transferred from the old display or your computer will turn into a nightmare.

placebomessiah - Reply

But this is for model emc2546 too? And how you can transfer thermal sensor? Thank You!!!!

cristiano -

Oh dammit… WHY DIDNT THEY PUT THIS IN THE GUIDE?! I JUST finished this up and couldn’t figure out why it was working. Till I read your comment. FUUUUUUUUGGHGIJFJF

toddmatthewmusic -

Where can I order the screen? There's a local shop nearby that offer to do the repairs for 550€ (!) and they claim it's because it's not just the glass but also the LCD that needs to be replaced. Is this true?

Robin Groenevelt - Reply

I got mine from a distributer in china

it's actually an LG screen. it's tricky to do business with them, because their english is very limited, but with patience, everything works out

placebomessiah - Reply

Hey placebomessiah, could you let me know where you bought it. I am in the same position and need the front display cause I cracked it while trying to open it to replace my hard drive .

Riki -

can you tell me where you bought it or how it is called?

Marc Klingelfuss -

Based on the pictures for the Late 2012 27" and Late 2014" 27" Retina screen replacements, the screens and connectors look identical. Has anyone tried to install a 5K Retina Display on a Late 2012 or Late 2013 27" iMac?

spencer - Reply

Seems like no one has tried it before but I am very curious to know as well. Since my Applecare has lapsed, I am considering getting my Late 2012 27" imac's screen to 5K Retina display too.

potzkie15 -

Hi there, do you know where I can buy the Retina display 5K at reasonable price? The Apple asked me 900 euro to repair it!!

Dee - Reply

Hi, where can I buy the display?

yoisel1979 - Reply

be very careful when you cut the tape. I really advise you to buy the pizza cutter-style tool. With the plastic card I broke my screen :(

alex - Reply

Looks like I accidentally went too far in and have damaged the LCD, put it all back together and have lines.

** wish I had that mini pizza cutter **

Otherwise advice perfect!

Jon Regler - Reply

I have now ordered my second LCD screen from vendors on Amazon and both of these have arrived with the wrong connectors. My iMac is a (late 2013) model A1419 and even though the LCD replacements I ordered claim they were for an A1419, the internal plug-ins are different sizes than my iMac requires. My iMac requires a 6 wire connection on the right hand side flat cable connector, NOT the 12 wire connector that came on my LCD replacement screen and the connector in the middle of the screen is about 1/4" shorter than the connector on the LCD replacement screen. Can this be so hard??? Can anyone tell me how to make sure I order a replacement LCD screen with the right connectors for my iMac (late 2013) model. Thank you, Dave J.

Dave Jensen - Reply

I'm looking to add an SSD in my 27" iMac (Late 2012), but I have a problem. I bought this very cheaply secondhand as it has a small chip and crack in the glass on the top left corner. It doesn't affect the display whatsoever, so has never bothered me. However, I'm really worried what might happen if I have to remove it to put in the SSD. I can't work out from the pictures the depth of the glass that is attached to the screen. Am I going to cause terrible damage by going ahead with this? Here's a picture of the crack.

https://s27.postimg.org/ov9s69hlf/IMG_06...

markbart - Reply

Unfortunately, I had to reopen my iMac because of my stupid perfectionism! I had clued it not perfectly. So I had to cut the new tapes, what was more difficult than the original ones. After I had replaced the tapes I assembled everything back together and there it was, a very thin yellow line. I could have cried!

Now I’m wondering if there is a solution to repair it instead of replacing it.

Appreciate every hint. Thank you!

Marc Klingelfuss - Reply

Because the new tapes were much stronger than the original ones, I broke the opening tool. I continued with the cards and probably broke the screen because of that.

So don’t use the cards to open your screen!

Marc Klingelfuss -

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