Introduction

Removing the display 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.

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.
  • 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" (9.5 mm) 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

A heat gun wouldn’t help you here as you still need to cut though the adhesive. You also risk damaging the display with the excessive heat.

Dan -

Removing the original adhesive is easier than removing newly applied adhesive (e.g., if you have to reopen iMac).  If you should happen to need to reopen the iMac, please use extreme caution and highly consider my suggestions below.

When using the pizza cutter tool, do the first few steps in reverse starting with step 8.  Starting on the left side is better since this is where the adhesive is narrowest.  The right side has two antennas and the top right has one, see the pictures for step 18-21, they are the brass colored metal rectangles near the edges.  The adhesive on these pieces are wider and therefore have more holding power.  The thickness of the pizza cutter tool is enough to crack the glass.

Walter Hayden - Reply

Continuing from my previous comment.  To remove the adhesive on the right side you’ll need to create a very slight gap to give the pizza cutter some more room.  Do this by cutting the adhesive on the left side up and around to the camera.  Before attempting to cut the right side. Carefully slide the plastic cards (I purchased two sets) to ensure the adhesive on the left top and side is completely free.  Now slowly move towards the right side.  After every inch or two of removing new adhesive, slide the card over to create this slight gap.  Be careful to not move the card too close to where the adhesive has not been cut.  You want to create a very slight gap without creating too much pressure.  Use extra caution with approaching the areas where the antenna are since the adhesive is stronger here and will need some additional cutting.  Follow this approach all the way around the right side.  Be careful to not create too much pressure at any one time.  Good Luck!.

Walter Hayden - Reply

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Reply

I performed this on a Late 2015 iMac and there weren’t any significant differences to these steps, but I did find the repair to be nerve-wracking. My model cost nearly $3,000 and about 10 steps into this guide (which I did fully read ahead of time) I was thinking, “what have I got myself into?” But I didn’t rush and happily I’m typing this on my repaired iMac! I found a video from OWC that was more useful than the photos in this guide for certain steps: https://vimeo.com/139364064

Anthony Zimmerman - Reply

Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.
  • 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.

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  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

The pizza cutter will sink in all the way to the tool handle when the adhesive is full cut, but don’t feel you have to do this in one motion. Some parts cut easier and some require a lot (like 20x) of gentle back and forth.

Anthony Zimmerman - Reply

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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" (9.5 mm), 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

i successfully upgraded two imacs. one opened with ifixit pizza knife and another with a regular paper knife. however, when i had to open the first one once again i broke its screen glass. it seems ifixit adhesive strips are too strong. next time i’ll try to use heater to weaken glue tension.

Eugene Kharkov - 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" (6mm).

My children tend to collect cards like this from hotels, Disneyland, old IDs, iTunes cards, gift cards etc. They came in handy for this step. After wedging in the first card into the left corner, I wedged the left corner, then added cards along the bottom edge. Finally I continued to push in additional cards to existing cards and found that this created a smooth even pressure along the display top. At 2-3 card-thickness the last of the adhesive let go, gentle as a baby.

Anthony Zimmerman - Reply

  • 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.

was denn jetzt? Vor der Kamera aufhören, oder in Richtung Bildschirmmitte schieben, um DEN REST zu entfernen? Wenn ich vor der Kamera aufhöre, kann ich nicht alles an Kleber entfernen.

Julia S. - Reply

  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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

I would recommend using suction cups at this stage to lift the display.

Marco De Palma - Reply

  • 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

At this step, if you mess up anything with these 2 cables, especially when plugging them back in, even if you think you’re following the instructions here to a T, then you’re screwed.

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Reply

The display cable, the wider one, has a lock on it , usually a plastic tape lift tab to release it, once thats flipped it should come out fairly easily, if your experiencing resistance and the cable isn’t coming out then check for this lock/latch, the power cable just pulls out, just don’t rush it everything should go fine, fairly easy to do with the end result a working iMac

Ed tabickman - 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.

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

Sorry, Black lines is a damaged display assembly ;-{ In the process of removing it you either pushed the tool into deep or you torqued the glass severing the tiny wire traces.

Dan -

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

redfoxydarrest - Reply

Sorry damaged display

Dan -

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 -

[|There are 2 cables to disconnect on my Mac (?). Also, I don’t see a metal retaining bracket. I can take a picture, but cannot attach. I got the glass loose with no problem, but am worried about damaging the cables]

Jim Kelly - Reply

Hi Jim! You can go to our Answers Forum to post some better images of your situation!

Sam Lionheart -

At this step, if you mess up anything with these 2 cables, especially when plugging them back in, even if you think you’re following the instructions here to a T, then you’re screwed.

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Reply

  • 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.

  • Remove as much of the adhesive as possible by grabbing it at the outer edges, and then pulling or rolling it towards the middle.

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

Yep, I cracked the lower corner of the display as well. I failed to work the adhesive enough to loosen it sufficiently. Be careful, I just had to buy my customer another screen!

Peter Haigh - Reply

There seems to be missing a step or two. As I was removing the old display, there are two wires that need to get transferred to the new replacement display. There is not note about these two wires located at the top of the display. The 1.128-inch ribbon cable and then this other 4-inch long, two-wire cable that goes to a very small circuit board that is 1/4 by 3/8 of an inch and seems to be adhered to the panel.I have not been able to get this cable off the old display. There is a port for it on the replacement display.

Note: When ordering this screen, and plastic cards as noted tools, ifixit.com did not list the pizza cutter or the new replacement adhesive strips. So now I’m not sure how to get the new one on and secure.

Todd Derek - Reply

The adhesive strip along the bottom is designed with a pull tab on each outer end. Rather than lever and pull the screen simply carefully pull the tab which removes that half of the lower adhesive strip and frees up the screen.

Andrew Stephens - 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).

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

[|I opened up my iMac and there’s no HDD or SSD in that spot. its just empty.]

John Warmann - Reply

Please update the picture to include the RED BOXED IN AREA that you refer to on all three pictures in this step. I have had a few zaps from these supplies and it is not pleasant.

Charlie Nancarrow - Reply

  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass. The display has fragile edges. Avoid lifting the display by the corners.

  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac. Lay the display face down on a flat, soft surface.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

  • After the adhesive is cut, it cannot be used to re-seal the display in place. Follow this guide when your repair is complete to replace the adhesive strips that secure the display to the rear enclosure.

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  • If you are replacing the display panel, you may need to transfer additional components from the old panel to the new one. Compare the back of the old display with the replacement display. Note all cables, sensors, and foam cushioning that are missing from the new display.

    • If there is a wire or cable underneath adhesive tape, always pull the tape off first.

    • If the cable is glued to the chassis, use a heated iOpener or a hair dryer to soften the adhesive first. You can then slide an opening pick underneath the cable to loosen it. Never pull directly on the delicate connectors.

    • Slide an opening pick underneath the foam cushion pieces to separate them from the display, and gently pull them off. You may need some double sided tape to re-attach them to the new display.

Be extremely careful removing the LCD Temp Sensor from the rear of the screen. If you pull the wire, you run the risk of severing the metal wire from the connector but not notice it because the surrounding plastic insulation may still be intact. Use a razor blade so “shave off” the sensor under the adhesive. I just had the screen replaced by a local shop and, upon boot, the fan was running full-speed and the Mac’s speed was miserable; Excel took 30 bounces in the Dock to launch rather than the expected 4-5. Novabench showed the Mac running at 4% of its expected speed (overall). The tech examined the sensor carefully, found the broken connection, soldered it back into place, and all was fine. Note that the (partially disconnected) sensor actually showed up when I ran Macs Fan Control in an attempt to work-around this. No problem controlling the fan speed then but the iMac’s running speed was awful until the disconnected sensor wire was fixed.

barryjaylevine - Reply

  • 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.

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Conclusion

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

25 other people completed this guide.

10 Comments

I'd like to note, that it is in no way necessary to save the wedge for when the screen is removed. In fact, the wedge is used when removing the LCD, because the rear housing may tilt when removing it, and the wedge counters this.

So, for your own sake, DO NOT lay down the iMac, but in stead, leave it standing upright, with the wedge in place, when removing the display, and let it stay there until you're done with servicing your iMac.

MorbidMylar - Reply

Also, from step 18 through 22, the iMac needs to be standing upright, NOT lying down, as you can easily damage the glass when lifting it like that.

MorbidMylar - Reply

Since there is not antenna wire to cut around the frame, I used a razor blade and and stopped at the camera and it worked like a charm. Where the guide used the card on the bottom edge for the final cut, I used a razor blade also and it only took one cut verses going back and forth with a card.

When I used a tool, the adhesive kept sticking together again as the guide mentions. The razor cut the adhesive down the center itself, so it was one easy pass and on sticky adhesive.

If you take a small chip out of the glass on the edge or crack, just get cell phone protector and cut it to size. You can also go to home depot and they have a glass specific crazy glue that you can first put in the crack or chip (do not put on the casing part. I cleaned with crazy glue first). Use a razor to get the glue into the crack, let dry and then clean off and put on the screen protector. I used rubbing alcohol first to clean the glass and chip area.

Not a perfect solution, but better than $700+ for a display.

jim - Reply

When you cutting the edge you can also put some books under the display part to keep it level and easy to go around as you cut. If you cut the bottom all the way with the razor, you will have a clean cut and you can pull it towards you while the unit is as described in the guide steps 18-22. I do not like the idea of standing up the unit as there is more pressure on the bottom edge of the glass from the displaly

jim - Reply

Has anyone tried to used the iMac without the display panel ? Mine runs at full fan speed and the startup screen turns into purple colour !

Can anyone tell me what is happening?

Keanwc - Reply

Is there any way to separate the display glass from the LCD or are they fused?

adindb - Reply

just one note, when replacing the new screen witch is fused and cannot remove the lcd from glass....i noticed that i put the new screen that didn't came with the lcd cable, started the computer and fan started to the max, well on this guide does not tell u that also u have to transfer the lcd thermal sensor, otherwise fan will be running so fast, after i transferred it computer was working perfectly. good luck replacing the screen....I am a tech from experimac west loop chicago.

Ivan Martinez - 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 earlier 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 the LCD replacement screen and the cable connector in the middle of my iMac screen is about 1/4" shorter than the connector on LCD replacement screen I just received. 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 with the right internal cable connections? Thank you, Dave J.

Dave Jensen - Reply

Hi everyone

I have a tip for everyone who removed the screen on your iMac. If you don't need to replace the screen, I try to avoid removing the lower section of the sticker/glue on the screen. If you are just replacing hard drive or anything minor. Why? Factory glue is better and it is still perfectly line up. When trying to place the screen, there is always a risk of sticking offset by few mm and those dam stickers won't let you move or redo it.

Also i like to keep sticker/glue free on the side and top part of the screen. I just have the lower section and use few inches or black electrical on top corners to hold the screen in place. Why? For future repair or cleaning. If I want to change or upgrade hard drive. I just remove the tape and have access into the iMac without the hassle of cutting the glue again. If you just have the stickers/glue on the bottom, you can just move the screen like engine hood of your car - up and down. Of course just be careful if need to move the iMac around.

iphone_hack - Reply

Dave - my advice on ordering parts, remove the old screen first, check the part number and contact your supplier. Don't order by the iMac model number. The screen will have a sticker and you will know for sure which part to order. Also I always remove the screen first before I order. In case you screw up, you need to order other parts, or worst. Machine is dead, no point to order a $400-600 screen.

iphone_hack - Reply

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