Use this guide to replace just your keyboard, not the complete top case.

Replacing the keyboard requires the removal of nearly every component in your MacBook Pro. Follow steps 1 - 36 of the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Upper Case Replacement guide.

You will also need to transfer your old keyboard backlight over to your new keyboard (if it did not come with your new keyboard).

  1. Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:
    • Remove the following 10 screws securing the lower case to the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody:

      • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

      • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    It looks like you need a Phillips #000 screwdriver for the 10 bottom screws. I tried the #00 and it's too big. Good thing I bought a 23 piece precision screwdriver set or else I would have been screwed.

    scott523 - Reply

    The 10 screws that hold tha bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesnt fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough. The only thing that I needed a #000 driver for was the keyboard screws. They're so small they look like specks of dirt or sand. I stripped out 4 of them & now will need to grind the heads off with a Dremel/rotary tool. The other thing that sucks is iFixit doesn't have a tutorial for keyboard replacement!

    iphonetechtips -

    A true Phillips head screw's slots are rounded at their inner corners, to allow the screwdriver to "cam out" (pop out) of the screw head before you apply too much torque and strip the threads in the part that you're torqueing the screw into. However, the screws used in the Macbook don't have those rounded inner corners, so they're not Phillips. Instead, they may be a Japanese standard known as JIS B 1012, or a Frearson (also known as a Reed & Prince), but that's a less common design. Maybe technically these non-Phillips screws should be used with a screwdriver that was specifically designed for them, but they can be properly removed and reinstalled using a truly precision-made Phillips #00 (some people find a #000 sometimes works even better) whose tip comes to a sharp point--not the lousy fake "precision" screwdrivers that are sold in too many places. See my next comment for more.

    johnsawyercjs -

    Many screwdriver manufacturers get away with marketing fake "precision" screwdrivers because, in the words of the Wikipedia article at "Most heads come in a range of sizes, typically distinguished by a number, such as "Phillips #00" or "Torx T5." These sizes do not necessarily describe a particular dimension of the drive shape, but are often arbitrary designations in the same sense as a "Size 8" dress."

    In other words, the quality of many "precision" screwdrivers is poor. In my experience, one of the biggest problems with many fake "precision" Phillips screwdrivers is that the four blades at the tip are often too wide, and their width may even vary on the same screwdriver (they're not supposed to). So just because a screwdriver is marketed as a "precision screwdriver", it may not be, and many that are labeled as #00, or even #000, will not work for a Macbook's screws. See my next comment for still more.

    johnsawyercjs -

    One of the best manufacturers of precision screwdrivers is Wiha ( cost more, but they're worth it. Or buy screwdrivers from iFixit, who seem to be selling JIS screwdrivers.

    Another article with some good info on screw and screwdriver types:

    Also keep in mind that some screws are tougher to remove and reinstall because they have a thread-locking compound on them, which is usually blue.

    johnsawyercjs -

    Phillips #00 is the correct screwdriver for the lower case. Maybe the one you have is worn or badly made.

    David Fear -

    Perfect man!Many thanks!:)

    wertaerte - Reply

    Compare the short screws carefully before reinstalling them. The shouldered screws go in the holes on the front edge.

    twisk - Reply

    thanks twisk, I wish i would have read your tip before I finished putting the bottom of my laptop back together. I managed to get all screws in somehow, but one was in fact too-tight.

    BTW, big big thanks to the Author: Andrew Bookholt. Just used this guide and my trackpad now works again.

    xitxit2 -

    i too need a #000 for the bottom of the case -- i got the recommended screwdriver (#00) and unfortunately it's too big

    plins718 - Reply

    Before I started removing any screws I took a piece of paper and drew the bottom of the laptop and put a piece of double-sided tape in the spot where each screw goes. That way when I took out the screws, I could put them on the tape so I knew exactly which screw went in which spot. I did the same thing for dismantling the inside on another sheet of paper, then a third sheet for the screen after getting the front glass off.

    mastover - Reply

    I use a similar technique: I print out the iFixit manual for the job, and Scotch-tape down the screws/brackets/cables I remove at each step next to the component descriptions. That way, when I'm reassembling, the bits are taped right next to the photo of where they came from.

    adlerpe -

    That's exactly what I do for all my repairs! It's the best way to keep track of all of the parts ' original location and to make sure that you don't miss any parts during reassembly.

    joyitsjennie -

    Great idea and one I use often

    Thomas Overstreet -

    Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing it here.

    Laura Sharkey -

    The colours you used for these circles are indistinguishable for colour-blind people. Please consider using something like the palette suggested by visibone:

    Eric Sorenson - Reply

    Squares, Circles, Triangles (you get the idea) would work as well to distinguish the different screws.

    danzeitlin -

    I'd use a Phillips #000 screwdriver also. The #00 can work, but if the screws are in really tight, it doesn't get far enough down into the screws to get purchase, so it will start to strip (and I agree that the screws are pretty soft). On mine, the screws for the fan were really tight, started to strip with #00, needed a #000 and quite a bit of pressure to get them to move.

    jonathanmorgan - Reply

    I thought it took a 000 as well. However, I tried both and realized the 00 works best.

    john - Reply

    Hi i was wondering if you can add 16gb to this model? or is 8 the maximum?

    Igor - Reply

    The Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13" does support 16 GB RAM, but it is very picky about the type of RAM. OWC sells a 16 GB kit (2x 8 GB). I think it's got to be 1066 (aka 1067) MHz RAM. A lot of 8 GB modules on the market now are faster than 1066 MHz, and reports I've read say people start getting kernel panics if they use the wrong RAM.

    Some info here:

    "1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM"

    "*Originally, both the official and actual maximum RAM was 8 GB. However, as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, if running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, updated with the latest EFI, and equipped with proper specification memory modules, this model can support up to 16 GB of RAM."

    Our Mid 2010 already had "the latest EFI" (i.e. Boot ROM version in System Profiler), so the reference to updating it may not be relevant.

    Winston -

    I used a 00 that fit but the screws were very tight so I used a tiny paintbrush with some wd40 on it and put it around the edges of the screws. Worked like a charm

    valentinedhdh - Reply

    I had the same problem. The #00 screwdriver worked for some of the screws but some others were too tight and I had to use a #000. Maybe it was because the cover had slightly bent because the battery inside had basically doubled its width, but I still found that the #000 was a much better fit for these screws. Even the ones that came out with the #00 came out much easier with the #000. I would suggest updating this guide to suggest using a #000.

    tarriojuan - Reply

    Had no idea they were so expensive.

    Franklin - Reply

    Phillips #00 is the right tool for all the steps (Except the 4 HD T6 screws). Maybe there is dirt in the notch.

    Luis Soto - Reply

    There is any chance to use the Toshiba MQ01ABD 1 TB 2.5" Internal Hard Drive MQ01ABD100 , it has7200 rpm , shuold it work?

    Luis - Reply

    If you are running OS X 10.11.2 or newer, battery provided by iFixIt will not work. I've already tried 2 batteries from iFixIt and neither worked. iFixIt needs to come clean on this unfortunate situation. I've already put 8 hours into this futile effort when it should have taken me 45 minutes.

    gkofga - Reply

    What was your solution? I'm using 10.11.3 OS X. I may need a battery replacement very soon too.

    John Doe -

    <i>The 10 screws that hold that bottom case take a #00 Phillips driver, if yours doesn't fit it's probably because it's cheaply made & not precise enough.</I>

    I purchased the IFixIt 54 bit Driver Kit and their Phillips #00 are <b>NOT</b> the appropriate size for the bottom screws on this MacBook Pro. This manual needs to have the tools changed to Phillips #000 Screwdriver. Until then I shall not click the "Give the author +30 points" button. Apart from that, the rest of the manual is very good. It would also be an idea to make a comment about making sure the battery connector is in the correct position when plugging the battery back in. One poster commented that their battery will not charge anymore. My guess is a pin(s) was/were bent due to the connection not being in the vertical orientation when being pressed back together. :-)

    THANK YOU for writing and generously supplying this guide for our use. It is much appreciated. +30 point coming when the Phillips #000 size is changed or added.

    Joseph King - Reply

    It would be nice to remind fixers which length screws go back in which holes, in case they get mixed up...

    Mike - Reply

    Wonderful guide

    Freda - Reply

  2. Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.
    • Slightly lift the lower case and push it toward the rear of the computer to free the mounting tabs.

    In the introduction you should link fixers to this excellent doc:

    It is really critical, super easy, and free(!) to clone your existing drive onto the new one you will install. I ran into one error, but SuperDuper! support replied immediately on how to fix it...Thanks ifixit and SuperDuper! (I ponied up the $28 for the software anyway, I was so impressed!)

    Mike - Reply

    • Use a spudger to pry up the fan connector out of its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to twist the spudger axially from beneath the fan cable wires to release the connector.

    • The fan socket and the fan connector can be seen in the second and third pictures. Be careful not to break the plastic fan socket off the logic board as you use your spudger to lift the fan connector straight up and out of its socket. The layout of the logic board shown in the second picture may look slightly different than your machine but the fan socket is the same.

    Bummer, I broke the connector at the solder points. Be careful!

    Hector - Reply

    Any tips on how to solder it back on? I made the same mistake.

    Juan Sebastian -

    Hi Hector, how did you put it back?

    I broke mine too and carefully glued it back in but now the fan isn't working... But I don't know if it's because of this or because it does not need to switch on as I also changed my hard drive from HD to SSHD Hybrid.


    Antoine B -

    I did a terrible mistake when I try to remove the fan connector socket form the logic board I accidentally pop out the connector from the board.. I am not expert in soldering so big problem for me. What should I do?

    Nielven Araullo - Reply

    Bring it to someone who know to solde...

    Chel - Reply

    that you dont have to break off the fan connector).It is possible to leave the fan attached to the logic board by the single torx screw (on the right hand side in the image below). So h

    Graham Tunnadine - Reply

    The image is very misleading. This is why many people are breaking their connectors. Please correct this and make it VERY clear that one has to put the spudger straight behind the cables, NOT behind the connector, as shown in the pic.

    Giunia - Reply

    I agree with Giunia. I just broke my fan socket off the board too

    vejdani -

    I agree with Giunia. Just broke my fan socket off the board >_<

    agoodcourage - Reply

    Thankfully there is a helpful guide in the comments on this post for fixing the socket in the likely event that you snap the sucker clean off like I did:

    I popped off the fan connection from the logic board...Fix?

    agoodcourage - Reply

    This is the worst step from this repair.


    Mer - Reply

    i also broke the fan connector off from my board, currently attempting to glue down with super glue. i agree with the others. photo could be updated to show spudger behind the connector wires (not at the corner of the connectors base as it currently, misleadingly shows). and perhaps even another line drawing or illustration showing how this fan connector fits into its socket on the board like a foot being put into a shoe. toes down first, heel with wires clicks in last. coming out the heel of the connector with wires comes up and out of the shoe first, then the toes. be careful out there.

    satanders - Reply

    I see people talking about gluing it back. This is a connector that carries electricity, the electricity is what make the fan turn, not magic. The connector needs to be soldered back, not glued., as glue doesn’t conduct electricity. Any attempt at gluing it back will make further reparations very complicated, as the reparator will have to try to remove the glue you put in order to be able to solder back.

    Long story short, if you think gluing it back is a good idea, you should not be attempting this repair (changing the keyboard) in the first place.

    Albert - Reply

    • Remove the following three screws:

      • One 7 mm T6 Torx screw

      • Two 5.4 mm T6 Torx screws

    Add Comment

    • Lift the fan out of the upper case.

    Add Comment

    • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the display data cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the computer.

    • Gently pull the display data cable connector away parallel to the board.

      • Do not pull the connector upwards, or you may damage the connector.

    On my system the pad on top of the connector was shifted making the bracket difficult to rotate into the up position. The bracket looks like a handle so my first instinct was to pull it straight up. Big mistake. I ended up popping the brass guard off the connector on the logic board. The instructions could benefit from an arrow indicating the direction to pull and rotation of the bracket.

    highnoontoday - Reply

    The same thing happened to me. What did you do when you reassembled? thx Alan

    Alan Schwartz -

    Everything went fine, but now I cannot get the connector back - it seems that I'm doing everything in reverse order, but i doesn't fit

    Alexei Zoubov - Reply

    I have break the connector trying to remove it to fast. Can I fix it by myself ?

    darkelek - Reply

    • Remove the following two screws securing the display data cable bracket to the upper case:

      • One 8.6 mm Phillips

      • One 5.6 mm Phillips

    • Lift the display data cable bracket out of the upper case.

    The 8.6mm screw is stripped, what to do now?

    mwmouawad - Reply

    Same problem here but with the 5.6 mm one. In fact, that screw was slightly different from a phillips, it seems a tiny torq-set screw. Is that possible? Anyone else had a similar problem? I stripped it out using a phillips 00 that worked perfectly removing all the other phillips screws...

    Blackwood - Reply

    Did you solve the stripping problem? I stripped the 5.6.

    Buzzy - Reply

    the other guides call the same screws 7mm and 5mm. please say which one is correct

    garegin - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the subwoofer and right speaker connector up off the logic board.

    How does this thing reconnect? there are no visible clips, hooks, pins, nothing. Adhesive?

    Ben Flemming - Reply

    Push it straight down. It should snap in.

    BobG - Reply

    My subwoofer connector cam off the logic board. I guess I’ll see if there is no issue putting it back together with a working sub woofer

    Greg Zulli - Reply

    Haha on the picture the person broke it! You should take it off same way you take off the fan connector. This illustrates what happens when you do it wrong.

    Albert - Reply

    I managed to break the connection to the mother board. I think when you remove the connection the bottom part should remain so as to reconnect. Maybe a little more info here would help. In the meantime my only option is to solder a new connection. Anybody tried this with a fine pointed soldering iron? Solder fine cables direct to the motherboard? By the way I don’t appreciate the haha from Albert.

    malcolm5054 - Reply

    • Pull the camera cable connector toward the optical drive to disconnect it from the logic board.

    • This socket is metal and easily bent. Be sure to align the connector with its socket on the logic board before mating the two pieces.

    As mentioned, the socket can be easily damaged when re-inserting it. I didn't care enough and one pin was damaged. Wifi was not detected.

    Hopefully the pin was not broken (only bent). Putting it back in its correct position, the wifi re-appeared.

    Arnaud ROSAY - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive, hard drive, and trackpad cable connectors up off the logic board.

    Add Comment

  3. Spread Fixmas Cheer
    Get $12 off your purchase of $50 or more with code FIXMAS12
    Spread Fixmas Cheer
    Get $12 off your purchase of $50 or more with code FIXMAS12
    • Use your fingernail or the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard ribbon cable.

    • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard ribbon cable out of its socket.

    Sometimes spulger is not the best tool to slide the cable out. If it is difficult to slide, try two toothpicks to pull the cable from two sides simultaneosly.

    Leo Nikitin - Reply

    the zif cable is especially difficult to get back in fully. Seems I might need to make my own tool with fine tweezers that are rubber dipped (or something similar). Have had no luck otherwise and worry I am doing damage.

    Mateo - Reply

    As Mateo said, replacing the zif cable is NOT easy, and in this case, will leave you with a computer that won't power on- this cable connects the power button. I learned a trick somewhere for dealing with these cables- put a piece of good sticky tape on the cable, and use it to pull it back into the connector. Works every time.

    stevesontheroad - Reply

    Yeah! The tape trick worked for me. Thanks!

    Ted Bishop -

    Thank you Steve, it’s works perfectly.

    never_forever18 -

    Steve's trick of using a piece of tape is definitely a good one. It makes the re-insertion much easier.

    BobG - Reply

    Does anyone have pictures showing how to reinstall the keyboard and backlight cable?

    Michele Rathman - Reply

    • Peel the small strip of black tape off the keyboard backlight ribbon cable socket.

    Be very careful while taking this black tape off. I accidentally broke the chip off the motherboard and so my keyboard is not backlit any more.

    Asim Akath - Reply

    • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the cable retaining flap on the ZIF socket for the keyboard backlight ribbon cable.

    • Use your spudger to slide the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

    Easy to take out Zif cable but can't seem to get it back in again.

    linuxuser101 - Reply

    Be especially careful as my hole socket detached from the board. It would have helped to vertically press the socket to the board with the tip of a spudger. Thus partially blocking the strap, you can first peel the free end, then change position and peel the rest. Slide the ribbon cable perfectly horizontally.

    Rainer - Reply

    I had the same issue of trying to get the ZIF cable back in but found that if I used a piece of scotch tape, it worked. I followed this guide. MacBook unibody keyboard ribbon cable won't go in

    spearson - Reply

    A reassembly trick that works for me is to use some 3/4" blue painters tape to stick to the very back (lower end) of the ribbon cable so I can pull it up and back before locking the cam. Trying to get a good grip without cutting, or crimping the ribbon means no tweezers or pliers can be used.

    originalmachead - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery indicator cable connector up off the logic board.

    seems like a large leap from step 15 to 16. The microphone is under another mechanism of screws near the data cable bracket. Also there is a step missing above in which the screw is removed.

    Jean Kang - Reply

    If you’re swapping top cases, you might need to remove the battery indicator from the case and swap it to the replacement top case. It attaches with three very tiny Phillips screws. I wasn’t aware that my replacement top case didn’t have this part and got confused when reversing the steps to reassemble and I didn’t have this connector. I had to take the battery back out in order to swap the indicator over.

    Mark Barnes - Reply

    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone off the adhesive attaching it to the upper case.

    on the Australian/Asia version speaker cable is located underneath the logic board.

    linuxuser101 - Reply

    • Remove the following screws:

      • Two 7 mm T6 Torx screws from the DC-In board

      • Five 3.3 mm T6 Torx screws

      • Two 4 mm T6 Torx screws

    Can someone tell me what is glued on the ethernet port and what kind of glue it is?

    Harry - Reply

    • Removing the battery before lifting out the logic board is not strictly required, but makes removing the logic board easier and safer. If you leave your battery in, be especially careful not to bend the logic board against the battery's case near its bar code.

    • Remove the following Tri-point screws securing the battery to the upper case:

      • One 5.5 mm Tri-point screw

      • One 13.5 mm Tri-point screw

    • Lift the battery out of the upper case.

    Why not do this step near the start? Would make it easier to replace the ribbon cables in step 12, 13 and 14

    Joe Corbett - Reply

    • Lift the logic board from its left edge and raise it until the ports clear the side of the upper case.

    • Pull the logic board away from the side of the upper case and remove it, minding the DC-In board that may get caught.

    Be careful while taking the board out, as the heatsink usually is caught by the optic drive.

    Leo Nikitin - Reply

    If you only purpose is remove the heatsink, the microphone cable is Okay be leave here.

    yzg1199 - Reply

    • For precautionary purposes, we advise that you disconnect the subwoofer connector from the logic board to avoid any electrical discharge. This step is optional and is not required.

    • Remove the soft padding that may be on top and gently pull the connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

    During this step, I accidentally ripped out the whole subwoofer connector from the logic board.. I tried taping it back with scotch tape, but it didn't work - my right speaker and subwoofer don't work anymore.. what are my options? Solder it back on?

    Archdelux - Reply

    It is not necessary to remove the camera cable connector (step 5) or the camera cable connector (step 10). Simply push the camera cable gently aside to remove one of the three screws securing the optical drive (step 11). Gently wiggle the optical drive from under the camera cable connector and go to step 12. Less chance of ruining your motherboard!

    tomhart - Reply

    It does indeed come out of the connector, but the picture makes it hard to see how; the connector it goes into sits on top of the board—however, I, too, ripped mine off the board trying to remove it; I only got it out of the clip after I tore it off. SIMPLY DONT; it's unnecessary. I plan to solder it back if one of my Robotics club friends lets me borrow a soldering iron.

    Rachel - Reply

    I avoided disconnecting the camera cable. If you are careful, it's not needed. I've taken tons of PC's apart and its 1 million times more complicated than a mid 2010 MBP! I've had my MBP for 5 years and I'm now upgrading memory, adding a SSD for OS and 750gb in the optical drive for storage. My computer has just started getting slower. This couldn't be any easier to do!

    amp1069 - Reply

    Same problem: The speaker/subwoofer connector was removed, and now it can’t be connected again. Probably has to be soldered, but the points are so tiny that this seems hardly possible. Result: No more bass and right speaker. Avoid.

    Michael - Reply

    Same story, on the picture the person broke it… You can see the naked soldering pads… This is wrong! Anf if you think glue or tape should fix it, you should not be attempting this!

    Albert - Reply

    GRR WHY would a tutorial show us how to BREAK IT wtf

    Duncan Ludlow - Reply

    • It will be necessary to slide the small clear plastic cable retainer (boxed in red) glued to the logic board out of the way before disconnecting the camera cable. Be careful not to break any components off the board as you slide it away from the camera cable connector.

    • Pull the camera cable connector toward the optical drive to disconnect it from the logic board.

    • This socket is metal and easily bent. Be sure to align the connector with its socket on the logic board before mating the two pieces.

    I just completed this replacement and there is no need to do this step, you can work around this cable pretty easily. Obviously you need to be careful "dancing" around it. But it's perfectly feasible and you don't risk to break stuff disconnecting it.

    Massimo C - Reply

    I messed around with my MBP some years ago and everything was fine. When I opened it yesterday that plastic retainer was glued *above* the camera cable and wasn't very sticky anymore.

    On a whim I decided to not put it back in. Now there's now Wifi anymore (did all the hardware reset things, nothing). Can that small plastic thing have to do anything with the wifi?

    Thanks for you help!

    Nick Names - Reply

    Well, I put that plastic thing back in, still no Wifi (would have really surprised me ^__^).

    Nick Names -

    I'm having a similar problem where I think I messed something with this step and now my computer is REALLY slow and I cant get any wifi. Heres my story.

    I am going to put a SSD in place of my HDD so I also took the optical drive out of my mac to reduce the weight. If this matters I also changed the fan because that was broken. I'm wondering what the problem could be. One thing im confused by in the guide was step 5. Am I supposed to remove that connector? If so how do I do that? I may have wiggled that a little trying to take it out.

    My computer will boot up very slowly but the mouse and keystrokles lag by about 4-5 seconds. The computer won't connect to wifi. The battery symbol has an "x" inside the battery so I keep in plugged in. It also has my apps in the dock and my name in the upper right hand corner.

    Any ideas what is wrong? If something is wrong how do I clone my old data onto my new hard drive? If you have any questions about my situation ill gladly answer them.

    Billy Walsh - Reply

    HDD in DVD slot with caddy works, but seems VERY slow, logically i assume step 5 , is HIGH risk critical, and now I must try undo everything , cos I spent a lot of time in step 5 and probably kill my mac

    Roman Nicolaevich - Reply

    This is the stage (5) that concerns me with my lack of wifi and Bluetooth. I enlarged the iPad screen to max so I could view the clear plastic cable retainer. Leaving the screen on max I missed the part that said,"pull the camer cable connector towards the Optical drive to disconnect from the logic board" makes me wonder if that caused the problem,as I lifted it away from the logic board? Any I found it very difficult to align the connector with its socket. Any thoughts please.

    Peter Mayo - Reply

    Which of the four ribbon connectors relates or controls the WiFi Bluetooth and Camera ?

    Peter Mayo - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the optical drive connector straight up off the logic board.

    I did on my 15" MBP (putting a SSD) without any problem

    but I did it on this very model 13" on a friend MBP

    and it seems the optical drive cable is dead (both drives works connected elsewhere ) the only other part i was not able to test separately is the data doubler from OWC that allows to fit a SSF in place of the optical drive.

    Do anybody experience this ?

    The optical drive cable shows no sign of tearing i unplugged it very carefully

    BUT once disconnected during the optical drive extraction from its original location the cable might have touch the logical board (not sure just guessing)

    Any clues welcome !!

    Chewbee - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive connector straight up off the logic board.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the following screws securing the subwoofer to the upper case:

      • One 3.8 mm Phillips screw.

      • One 5 mm Phillips screw

    On my computer, the 3.8 mm screw was near the midpoint of the subwoofer (left-to-right in the photo) and near the bottom. The 5 mm screw was top right of the subwoofer.

    BobG - Reply

    • The subwoofer is still connected to the right speaker, so don't completely remove it just yet.

    • Lift the subwoofer off the optical drive, and set it above the computer.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the two 10 mm Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

    • The leftmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

    • Lift the camera cable bracket out of the upper case.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the three 2.5 mm Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the upper case.

    • Lift the optical drive from its right edge and pull it out of the computer.

    Add Comment

    • Rotate the top case so that it looks like the top case in the picture.

    • Remove the 10mm phillips #00 screw.

    • Remove the 5mm phillips #00 screw.

    • Remove and set aside the centre bracket.

    • Pictures are captured from a Youtube video, but do show the correct screws and part to remove.

    When did you remove the Motherboard/Logicboard?

    Graham Tunnadine - Reply

    • Carefully peel the black keyboard backlight from the upper case.

      • The keyboard backlight.

    • best to start from the bottom right corner.

    • Slide a spudger under the bottom right corner and slide the spudger up the right hand side of the backlight.

    • Once you have the right hand side of the backlight loose, you can then use your fingers to gently peel the backlight from the keyboard.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the following screws:

      • Two 3 mm PH00 screws from the power button.

      • Sixty Seven 2mm PH000 screws from the keyboard.

    • Gently lift out the keyboard (and the attached power button).

    I have everything disconnected, I believe, and the keyboard is loose; however, I cannot gently lift out the attached power button. Is there a trick?

    Dan Daly - Reply

    Sorry - missed one small screw. Off to get new bifocals!

    Dan Daly - Reply

    I'd suggest adding a quick step covering attaching the new keyboard and its backlight. I’m not sure if there is anything more to do than just lay the backlight in there, and that would be helpful to know.

    agoodcourage - Reply

    Holy !&&* - that’s a lot of screws. Much easier with a magnetic set of screwdrivers ;)

    Patrick Sgro - Reply


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

86 other people completed this guide.

David Fear

Member since: 09/08/2011

2,695 Reputation

1 Guide authored


Pickle IT Member of Pickle IT


2 Members

4 Guides authored


Having just done this - successfully, I might add - I need to make this guide a little more clear:

Step 1: open the case. See every other tear down for the screw count.

Step 1A: remove the battery connection.

Step 2/3: remove the fan as instructed.

Step 3A: remove the optical drive. See the relevant tear down guide for specifics.

Step 3B: remove all of the connecters to the logic board: keyboard, backlight, trackpad, fan, speaker/subwoofer, battery status indicator, hard drive, optical drive, camera, display. See the logic board removal guide for more info.

Step 3C: remove the screws holding the DC-in board and the logic board. Remove the logic board.

The remaining steps are pretty OK. Buy a new backlight and diffuser panel along with your new KB.

Perry Schlanger - Reply

This guide is not very good at all... terrible actually. It misses so many steps!

mark -

I successfully completed this yesterday. Having never done Mac repairs myself the difficulty level made me nervous, however don't be afraid to give it a go! There are lots of little screws and parts but its not hard, more fiddly.

In addition to the tools here consider getting some kind of segmented box or little containers to keep all the screws separate. Also when I opened it up my logic board was filthy with dust! Keep a microfiber cloth and perhaps a soft brush around the clean a little as you go.

Andi - Reply

Where do you purchase the 13" Macbook / Macbook Pro (2009-2012) Keyboard? I can see the uppercase is for sale, but the guide is for just replacing the keyboard.

rob87 - Reply

Keyboards can be purchased from powerbookmedic, thebookyard, ebay and aliexpress.

David Fear - Reply

Is there any troubleshooting with reconnecting the pin cable to the logic board? I can't seem to get it right, right now my "enter" key isn't working.

Nick Lauder - Reply

There is a line printed on the keyboard connector ribbon; so long as that line is flush with the keyboard socket when the cable has been inserted and the socket latch is down, then you have connected the keyboard.

Two things to check - make sure the connector and socket are clean and no pins are damaged.

David Fear -

I have replaced my keyboard and followed some guides here. After all was back in place, I started my macbook pro and it started up, but shuts down almost immediately. And this is where I am now. Laptop can start, but shuts down direct. I have resetted my pram/nvram, SMC and also started in safe mode, but nothing keeps my macbook pro running. Any idea to do next? I had a feeling the power button kept pressing, but I tested that and the key is not the issue.

Sascha van Tillo - Reply

Hmm, did you solve your problem? Maybe you unluckily bought a defective keyboard, or maybe the connector on the board is dirty? I have the same issue with my macbook pro, which is why Im replacing the keyboard. I found that mine would only stay on if i had a key pressed down. Once I let go, it would shut off a couple seconds later.

Shane K -

I had to use the Upper Case and Optical Drive guides to help with missing steps, but this guide is still very beneficial. One additional, very critical step I learned the hard way was to use compressed air to very gently blow out the receiver for the keyboard ribbon cable. After I had a series of keys fail (but the rest of the new keyboard working), I got a second replacement, which failed on the same keys. I ended up taking everything apart again, gently using compressed air to blow out the receiving area for the cable, replaced the keyboard ribbon cable, and everything works great!

blueopus11 - Reply

I did this full replacement in 2013 after spilling coffee on my computer and it worked perfectly until last month. Last month my toddler poured a glass of water on the keyboard. I bought another replacement keyboard on amazon and did the full install. This time however most of the keys still don't work even after replacing (a few do). I also am having trouble getting the ribbon to stay in the motherboard. When I push the clasp back down it doesn't act like the ribbon is staying in place and is very flimsy in place and could easily fall out. I read about blowing out the connector with pressed air, is there any other recomendation on what I might be able to do?

Johnny Knox - Reply

I bet you have already solved this, but for other people: I agree, the keyboard cable is one of the hardest things to put back in its correct place.

This YouTube video helped me: "Guide: How to Remove / Replace Macbook Pro Logic Board - Easy & Detailed Instructions" by MrTechEasy.

Go to 34:20. If the video is not available in the future, here is what he recommends:

- Make sure that the socket retainer clip on the backside of the connector is on the up-position (it's the hinge on the back of the socket).

- Use a flat, plastic thing to lift the keyboard ribbon cable from the underside, so that it bulges up a bit.

- Push gently on the top with your finger, on the bulge, so it will gently start sliding into the socket.

- Keep repeating until it doesn't go in any more. Make sure it's equally inserted across the entire width, so that it's not slightly bent towards one side. Mine went in until only 1mm of the pins were visible on the ribbon cable.

- Then close the clasp.

Aitte -

Everyone must understand: Official Apple parts are only sold *to* CERTIFIED Apple repair centers, and they aren't allowed to sell them loose. So the ONLY way to get an OFFICIAL keyboard is to pay for an OFFICIAL Apple repair.

YES, this means that EVERY keyboard you find on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, etc is a Chinese COPY. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!

But the copies are GOOD! I bought from "JS Mall Limited" at AliExpress:

* Price: 5/5. Only $18.

* Material Quality: 5/5. Plastic & metal quality as good as original.

* Keyboard Feel: 5/5. Typing feels and sounds exactly like original!

* Print Quality: 3/5. The key text is whiter than the original (that's not a bad thing). The print is also off-center by 0.5-1 mm, but you can't expect cheap copycats to perfectly align the printing. I don't care, they're "centered ENOUGH", only noticeable if you look very close, and you don't stare at keys when typing. Only a nerd would care about this minor issue.

Most importantly, $18 vs $400 (official repair) is an easy choice.

Aitte - Reply

Here are some tips for this repair:

- If you want a super detailed photo guide, Google "insidemylaptop How to disassemble MacBook Pro 15″ (Mid 2010) and replace the keyboard".

- Do NOT skip the PH000 screwdriver. You will destroy the keyboard screws if you try something larger than a PH00 on them, and a PH000 would be best. If you destroy the tiny screws, you may never be able to remove the old keyboard. Don't repeat my mistake. I nearly stripped mine and went and bought a PH000 in a panic!

- The keyboard cable connector looks weird, it has a blue strip on the backside. Do not peel that strip! It's supposed to be like that! It adds support to the connectors, which are actually the small lines on the FRONT side of the cable.

- To re-connect the keyboard cable, you should gently lift and push down on the cable to guide more and more of it into the connector, until it won't got in any further. In my situation I saw about 1mm of the connector markings on the cable when fully seated.

Aitte -

One more great tip:

People seem to freak out about the backlight, and how "hard it is" to remove. It was so easy to remove it nicely and save it for re-use. Just gently slide something under the glue on the sides, so that the glue lifts, and just sloooowly peel it carefully and gently.

If you only spilled water, the original backlight you peel off should still work and still be clean. The original Apple backlight outputs a perfectly even light and is the best backlight you can get. Chinese backlight copies are sometimes said to be uneven, so why take the risk?

If you carefully peel the backlight, it will be undamaged, and it's very easy to re-attach.

But I still suggest buying your chinese keyboard replacement WITH a chinese backlight just in case you destroy yours (or you spilled something gross and it's too sticky/dirty to save). "JS Mall Limited" sold me a package with both keyboard and backlight for about $3 more than just the keyboard. I ended up re-using the original so I never tried theirs.

Aitte -

Hello, thanks for that but steps from 3 to 4-5 is not very clear, do I need to remove every single, little and different screw from logical board? Or there is a more simple way for removing keyboard for replacement?

Salvatore Capolupo - Reply

The guide has been revised to include the correct steps to remove the logic board, optical drive and centre bracket.

Yes, you have to remove every single, little and different screw from logical board.

It is necessary to remove the logic board, optical drive, centre bracket, subwoofer and keyboard backlight in order to remove the keyboard.

David Fear -

So I did all of this and I thought I was successful. However, now my laptop will not power up. I has it plugged in and the light on the cable is on. Any thoughts on what I did wrong? Help!

Fabio Ricupero - Reply

Great guide! Would have costed me much more to have a technician perform this type of service. I did it all myself with minimal problems and gained a new sense of self-confidence when it comes to assembly/disassembly. Very good tutorial!

Chris Donley - Reply

I was able to replace my keyboard using this guide.

My backlight doesn't work anymore, but I attribute that to me messing too much with the backlight ribbon...

Sean Demura - Reply

here is detailed video tutorial manual for macbook pro 13 a1278 keyboard repair and replacement


Hey there,

I want to replace my keyboard, since i've spilt beer on it...

I successfuly reached the keyboard of my MacBookPro, but i have an issue with some PH000 screws.

Some screws just don't want to unscrew, it seems deeply stucked.

I am afraid that i might have damaged some screws too, using a PH00 screwdriver instead of a PH000 one.

I don't know how to deal with this tiny PH000 material..

1/ how do you force such a tiny screw to unscrew with minimal damage ?

2/ how do you unscrew a stripped PH000 screw ?

I plan to get a PH000 screwdriver from iFixit, and some new PH000 screw too... but if you have any advice, please let me know folks !

Jp - Reply



Q1. You can remove the upper display assembly from the top case, then you can place the top case flat on your work surface.

2) buy a screw extractor set.

Hope this helps.

David Fear -

I replaced the keyboard and put it all back together successfully it turned it and turned back on. So I shut it down and left it on the charger but now it won't turn on? Any ideas what went wrong?

Jose - Reply

Thank you for this guide, I just used it to replace the keyboard on a 17in Macbook Pro and it works. Most of the guide is still relevant to the larger macbook, I also used the ifixit teardown guide. FYI my local hardware store had a Husky 18-piece precision driver set for for about $10, and I used a large zip tie instead of the spudger, it worked just as well.

Just a note: It helped me a great deal to keep taking pictures of the repair as I removed each individual component. The order matters, and it helps distinguish the screw sizes as well.

Great Cornholio - Reply

A great tutorial. It was my first time and I did it successfully in about 4 hours. Thank you so much!

Alireza Alizadeh - Reply

Hi there,

I'd like to swap a Qwerty for a Qwertz keyboard, as the old one has some keys that are not working properly. Has anyone tried something like this? are they interchangable? the macbook was bought in Italy, but since I moved to Germany I'm now writing mostly in german, so it would be nice to have a native german keyboard.

cheers :-)

Anton - Reply

As far I can tell the QWERTZ (DE) and QWERTY (UK) keyboards have the same physical layout and and the keyboard connector is in the same place.

David Fear -

What is the reliable source to purchase keyboard backlight

Please guide me

waseem anwar - Reply

Where are you?

David Fear -

Done the repair today. I needed to look at the uppercase remove guide for die Macbook Pro unibody mid 2012 to complete it. It took me about 2,5 hours, but now my keyboard (I purchased the new one on amazon) works again! Thanks for the guide, it helped me a lot.

Cary Numen - Reply

I just did this for my Late 2011 13" MacBook Pro. A few of the steps are different but if you're confident enough to try this, you probably have the skills to improvise when things look a bit different. I had to load up some procedures specific to my model, like how to remove the CD/DVD drive (and the subwoofer on top of it).

This guide needs substantial editing (steps 21 and 22 can be cut because you already removed those cables in step 10, for instance). They also forget to remove the battery cable in the beginning, which is pretty important. But kudos to the author for getting this started. If it wasn't for this guide I wouldn't be able to type the letters D, F, G, H, J, K, and L!

minlay - Reply

This is a good guide, but several steps are out of order. For example you have to remove the speaker before the optical drive ans so on. The order is necessary in this case.

j0vian - Reply

EPIC FAIL at Step 3!!! The late 2009 Macbook pro I was working on has the fan cable SOLDERED to the logic board. Inexperience led me to try a little to hard in prying this off - snapping the soldered contacts. Plan A had this MBP destined for the recycling, but I thought I'd give this a try. So it is back to Plan A. Beware if your model is not exactly the same. There are several differences in constuction on the 2009 models.

Andrew Morrice - Reply

This process was horrible. I'll never do it again.

Jared Borne - Reply

My MBP is an A1286 15.4” Family ID: Z0M1

I have NUMEROUS keys that do not work. Tried to research, and directly OPPOSING “Advice”. About 40% say that My model’s Keyboard is NOT replaceable (part of entire ‘body’). Leaving about 60% saying that it CAN.

While, I AM mechanically inclined, I CANNOT AFFORD TO RUIN MY LAPTOP. Doing copious reading, I pulled the trigger and got all of the Parts, including anti-static mat, whiteboard grid with dbl sided tape to lie screws in correct orientation, as they are removed, (Chinese) Keyboard w/ backlit keys, etc.

integritybuilders - Reply

Hit Submit key too soon.

I am replacing HD, and hoped that while I'm at it, I can resolve Keyboard issue as well. I realize that (F’ing Chinese) parts have LOW Quality Control, but I saw No other viable options (that I could afford).

Experienced Advice MOST APPRECIATED

integritybuilders - Reply

All A1278, A1286 and A1297 macbooks have replaceable keyboards.

David Fear -

Anyone know where I can get an affordable tool kit (with EVERYTHING I will need in it) to do this keyboard replacement procedure?

Mike Duckwall - Reply

The 64 Bit Driver Kit should have all the bits you need.

Mako Driver Kit - 64 Precision Bits

David Fear -

Thanks for tutorial :)

anderson_nino - Reply

I did it succesfully ! It is not as hard as it seems.

My keyboard was typing 2 caracters at the same time and was missing keys. ie : typing “R” would write '“RY”. I changed the keyboard with a cheap one you find on eBay. Now it works perfectly !

Thanks a lot to whoever made this tutorial.

David Scanu - Reply

Thanks! But I support myself with this video

PetaZeta - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 62

Past 7 Days: 457

Past 30 Days: 2,017

All Time: 161,940