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Introduction

Removing the display on an iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K 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.

  1. Before you begin, make sure you have the right adhesive strips:
    • Before you begin, make sure you have the right adhesive strips:

    • The 2012-2019 iMac adhesive strips have a microphone cutout and are numbered 16, 21, 22, 23, 25, and 26. They can be used on 27" iMacs from 2012-2019.

    • If your strips are numbered 11-16, follow the 2012-2015 iMac adhesive guide instead.

    • 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 iFixit cardboard service wedge.

    • Follow these assembly directions to put the service wedge together.

    • 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.

  2. Before you install new adhesive strips, remove all of the old adhesive from 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.
    • Before you install new adhesive strips, remove all of the old adhesive from 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.

    • Peel off the adhesive strips using tweezers or your fingers. Start at the bottom and peel upward towards the top of the device.

    • After all the old adhesive is removed, carefully clean the surface with 90% (or greater) isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth. Wipe in one direction, not back and forth.

    • Don't skip this step, or your new adhesive strips may not bond properly, and the display may fall out of your iMac.

  3. Lay out the adhesives strips beforehand so you won't accidentally install a strip in the wrong place: Strip 22 on the top left
    • Lay out the adhesives strips beforehand so you won't accidentally install a strip in the wrong place:

    • Strip 22 on the top left

    • Strip 23 on the top right

    • Strip 21 on the right vertical

    • Strip 25 on the bottom right, dark side facing up

    • Strip 26 on the bottom left, dark side facing up

    • Strip 16 on the left vertical

  4. Start with strip 21, which goes on the right vertical edge of the iMac frame. Before you peel off any backing, line the adhesive strip up along 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.
    • Start with strip 21, which goes on the right vertical edge of the iMac frame.

    • Before you peel off any backing, line the adhesive strip up along 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.

  5. Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the end of the strip where you just removed one layer of backing. Insert the spudger from the side that still has a layer of white backing on it. Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the end of the strip where you just removed one layer of backing. Insert the spudger from the side that still has a layer of white backing on it.
    • Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole at the end of the strip where you just removed one layer of backing. Insert the spudger from the side that still has a layer of white backing on it.

  6. 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.

  7. Once you're satisfied that the top half of the adhesive strip is neatly aligned, peel longer blue 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 longer blue 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Use your finger to smooth out the strip. 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 out the strip. 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.

  10. Work your way counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the iMac, adding three more adhesive strips in the same manner: Strip 23 on the top right
    • Work your way counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the iMac, adding three more adhesive strips in the same manner:

    • Strip 23 on the top right

    • Strip 22 on the top left

    • Strip 16 on the vertical left

    • 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, the top-right strip's blue tabs will not line up with the top antenna in the same way as the non-5K model. This is perfectly acceptable and won't impact the performance of the strips or antenna.

  11. The next few steps will show you how to install the bottom right adhesive strip (strip 25), which includes a notch that must be aligned with the microphone.
    • The next few steps will show you how to install the bottom right adhesive strip (strip 25), which includes a notch that must be aligned with the microphone.

    • Read through this step and the next four steps before you attempt the procedure.

    • Grasp the red pull tab on strip 25 and pull to separate about 2 inches (5 cm) of white backing from the strip.

  12. Fold the loose white backing to a right angle and pinch the crease with your fingers. This exposes 2 inches of adhesive while folding the red tab out of the way. This exposes 2 inches of adhesive while folding the red tab out of the way.
    • Fold the loose white backing to a right angle and pinch the crease with your fingers.

    • This exposes 2 inches of adhesive while folding the red tab out of the way.

  13. The microphone hole is the center hole flanked by two larger holes. Align the adhesive strip to the bottom edge by positioning the microphone notch over the microphone hole. If your iMac does not have a microphone hole, align the right end of the strip such that the L-bend sits next to the right vertical adhesive. The L-bend should not overlap the right vertical adhesive.
    • The microphone hole is the center hole flanked by two larger holes.

    • Align the adhesive strip to the bottom edge by positioning the microphone notch over the microphone hole.

    • If your iMac does not have a microphone hole, align the right end of the strip such that the L-bend sits next to the right vertical adhesive. The L-bend should not overlap the right vertical adhesive.

    • The adhesive tears easily. Be careful not to pull on the strip with too much force.

    • Once you have aligned the strip, carefully set the left exposed edge onto the iMac to secure the alignment.

  14. Peel away the white backing behind the strip to expose the remaining adhesive. Peel away the white backing behind the strip to expose the remaining adhesive. Peel away the white backing behind the strip to expose the remaining adhesive.
    • Peel away the white backing behind the strip to expose the remaining adhesive.

  15. Run your finger from left to right 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. Run your finger from left to right 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.
    • Run your finger from left to right 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.

  16. Repeat the previous steps for the bottom left adhesive strip (strip 26), aligning and placing it along the bottom left edge of the iMac. The strip should be positioned such that the L-bend sits next to the left vertical adhesive. The L-bend should not overlap the left vertical adhesive. Once you've applied all the adhesive strips, the iMac should look as shown in the second photo.
    • Repeat the previous steps for the bottom left adhesive strip (strip 26), aligning and placing it along the bottom left edge of the iMac.

    • The strip should be positioned such that the L-bend sits next to the left vertical adhesive. The L-bend should not overlap the left vertical adhesive.

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

  17. Gently set the display in place over the iMac and align it carefully. Gently set the display in place over the iMac and align it carefully.
    • Gently set the display in place over the iMac and align it carefully.

  18. 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.
    • 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.

  19. 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 22. 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.
    • 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 22.

    • 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.

  20. 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 sealing up the computer. Be sure to check for full functionality of any hardware you removed or disconnected.
    • 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 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.

  21. 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 two bottom strips by reaching in from above with a pair of tweezers and pulling the blue tabs straight up from the bottom edge of the display.
    • 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 two bottom strips by reaching in from above with a pair of tweezers and pulling the blue tabs straight up from the bottom edge of the display.

  22. Reconnect the display power and data cables for the final time. Remember to secure the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable. Remember to secure the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.
    • Reconnect the display power and data cables for the final time.

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

  23. 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. Steady the display with one hand as you remove the protective film in the following steps, or rest it lightly against the iMac's enclosure. Steady the display with one hand as you remove the protective film in the following steps, or rest it lightly against the iMac's enclosure.
    • 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.

    • Steady the display with one hand as you remove the protective film in the following steps, or rest it lightly against the iMac's enclosure.

  24. Remove one side of the protective film from the top left strip by pulling its tab straight up. Remove one side of the protective film from the top left strip by pulling its tab straight up. Remove one side of the protective film from the top left strip by pulling its tab straight up.
    • Remove one side of the protective film from the top left strip by pulling its tab straight up.

  25. Remove the other side of the protective film from the top left strip. Remove the other side of the protective film from the top left strip.
    • Remove the other side of the protective film from the top left strip.

  26. Repeat the previous steps to remove the protective films from all the remaining adhesive strips. Repeat the previous steps to remove the protective films from all the remaining adhesive strips.
    • Repeat the previous steps to remove the protective films from all the remaining adhesive strips.

  27. To ensure a strong bond, carefully tip the iMac flat on its back (with the screen facing straight up) and press carefully but firmly around all four edges of the display. Remove the tape securing the display to the rear enclosure.
    • To ensure a strong bond, carefully tip the iMac flat on its back (with the screen facing straight up) and press carefully but firmly around all four edges of the display.

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

    • Check the display after 24 hours to make sure that it is not loose on the iMac.

Finish Line

172 other people completed this guide.

Sam Goldheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

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22 Comments

This guide works great. Replaced a 2015 IMAC 27" screen without any difficulty especially since I purchased the Ifixit tape kit and removal tools. Thanks guys and gals. Couldn't do it without you.

gordywat - Reply

will this work on late 2015 27"5k iMac

ffjones54 - Reply

Hello, I got a Late 2015 iMac 5K, are the stripes the same?

filmore - Reply

yes .it works

Walter Fontes -

Yes this adhesive strip replacement kit works for the Late 2015 Retina 5K iMac. As mentioned in step 8, the tabs for strip 12 won't line up exactly the same as shown in the guide but it does not matter. It still works and will not interfere with that antenna.

smudge - Reply

Does this work with iMac 27 2017?

macdeutsche - Reply

Used these guides to replace the cpu and ssd’s in my 2015 iMac 27”. Super easy! And yes with a late 2015 model, the cpu is replaceable with a regular Skylake cpu. I bought a 3.2 i5 model and replaced with a 6700K ! And yes these also take 64GB of DDR3. For the PCIE SSD you can get an adapter off of ebay…look for m.2 to iMac adapter…since they’re cheap I recommend getting like 2-3 and figuring out which one works best with your m.2 ssd. So yeah, you can get a 1TB m.2 AND a 1TB 2.5” ssd in this and have a nice little box for peanuts.

Michael Stram - Reply

Friends! This manual and accessories are compatible with the iMac 27 5K 2017?

Anton Gudzuman - Reply

Hi,

I done all of the above on my 2017 27inch iMac and now my microphone won’t work, when I tap the enclosure it reacts but it doesn’t hear my voice commands. Maybe the adhesive tape got stuck on the microphone somehow. where is the microphone located exactly? Help please……

Best regards, Henk

Henk - Reply

I have the same problem. Were you able to fix it?

Andrew Blackman -

I know this is an old question, but I wanted to post a followup so hopefully, no one else makes this mistake. The microphone is located on the lower edge. Here’s the thread that covers this better. Microphone very muffled after sealing up iMac

veenenen -

ottimo complimenti per i dettagli

guida superlativa e precisa grazie del vostro aiuto

gennariello1966@gmail.com - Reply

I did it! Be very careful when you place the tape at the bottom of the screen. The screen can fall off! Also important to keep the imac standing and not laying on it’s back because it will make it hard to remove the bottom adhesives.

Jonathan Meson - Reply

After following to the letter, the screen came off and went back on just fine. 5 days later (while setting in a cool environment) the screen just came unstuck and fell out sometime during the night, Of course it tore the two cables badly in addition to the antenna wires that must have gotten in the way somehow. Took most all day, but was able to the wifi and bluetooth wires back in place and the power cable (4 connector) plug back in. The hardest part was the ribbon cable. With high magnification hood on, was finally able to get it back in it’s socket. Had to tape it down to the rest of the board so it would stay. Used new sealant strips, then CLAMPED with spring clamps (around 12 of um) then laid it flat, screen up, then put it near a baseboard heater for two hours. Temp gun was around 100* all around it. Hopefully that won’t happen again!!

avflyguy - Reply

Excellent write up. Also, the detailed photos were super helpful in seeing the alignment.

The only hiccup I had was trying to remove the final tabs from strip 15 and 14 while the glass was blue taped down. I had to lift the weight of the glass panel off of the tab strips before they came off. Aside from that, a very smooth install, and very quality product. Thanks!

Jonathan Daiello - Reply

Excellent guide. Many thanks.

jhlincoln - Reply

Make sure you totally clean both surfaces. The back of the display can be a real pain. I know someone who told me he replaced the PCI SSD and it all went smooth (same thing I did plus a SATA SSD and new thermal paste) but a few weeks later to his HORROR the 5k display was smashed on his office floor. Make sure to really clean and press on all sides. Keeping some painters tape on the top corners wouldn’t hurt either for a few weeks to make sure it seats well.

Brian Peixinho - Reply

Thank you! Just completed this after an SSD upgrade to my 2015 iMac. Much appreciated Sam!

Kaiser Soze - Reply

would be REALLY nice to have this linked on every single repair page. there was NO MENTION of replacing the adhesive strips at the end of the hard drive replacement guide, and i am now staring at a smashed LCD display that will set me back $600 to replace. very frustrating as I usually love ifixit guides. please consider adding a heavily red-flagged link to this guide and information to every guide that requires removing the display.

Coleman Howard - Reply

This was a super useful guide that formed the closing stage of repairing my old iMac 27” (late 2012). I replaced the power supply and upgraded to an SSD. Thank you so much for taking the time to prepare and improve these guides. They are invaluable and enabling.

Nickie Daniel - Reply

very good - thank you

manxman - Reply

Se me acaba de despegar a las 4 semanas de haberlo utilizado.

Miquel Vera Pedrosa - Reply

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