Introduction

Removing the display on a Late 2013 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With tools and Fix Kits
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Conclusion

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

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Andrew Optimus Goldberg

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5 Comments

Step 14: iFixit... you're kind of missing the point of the blue tabs here. Set the mac upright and peel off the bottom strips on the lcd but keep the adhesive backing on the strips on the case. Put the LCD on the bottom lip but rest it so the adhesive isn't or is barely making contact. Tilt the lcd out towards you and reach in and down to reconnect the cables. Make sure the bottom sides are aligned properly and push the panel in place. When you're ready, pull the blue tabs out from the sides to pull the backing off, this will make an instant seal with the glass. This way it makes it much easier to align, you don't have to worry about having a gap at the bottom since the weight of the glass will make it sit flush with the lip, and before you pull the tabs, you have one last chance to test it and hinge the panel forward to get back inside in case something isn't working.

Jesse Hazel - Reply

Precisely.

Thanks, Jesse…

CHalt -

Yeah, thanks Jesse! I wish I had read your post before finishing, because that would've been a whole lot easier! Apparently iFixIt thanks you, but ignores your suggestion and doesn't update the guides!

Jared White -

+1 I wish I've read that before badly aligning my screen from half a millimeter on the left :-|

Francois Pesce -

Is there any reason to believe that Apple would deny any warranty repairs due to these adhesive strips not being identical to Apple's? I'd like to open and clean my iMac before taking it in to have the display replaced under warranty, but the vibes I'm getting from Apple support suggest that Apple may deny me service if the adhesive strips 'show any signs of tampering', i.e., being replaced for any reason. This sounds silly to me, as it doesn't void Apple's warranty to upgrade my hard drive.

gibsonjont - Reply

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