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Introducción

Use this guide to replace your MacBook Air's upper case. The upper case includes the keyboard and trackpad.

    • Shut down and close your computer. Lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

    • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • The special screwdriver needed to remove the 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

    When you say:

    Remove the following ten screws:

    Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    Do the 8mm & 2.5mm dimensions refer to the LENGTH of those screws, or the size of the pentalobe? That is, are there other sizes of pentalobe drivers like there are for hex, phillips and torx? When only one dimension is provided, it is usually the socket/driver size, not the screw length, maybe since the length cannot be seen when the screw is installed.

    Can I suggest that you clarify your instructions so folks are confident they are only in need of _one_ pentalobe driver?

    Nerdily yours,

    Larry (whose iPhone 4S can now get through a day without 6 recharges thanks to ifixit.com ;-)

    larryleveen - Contestar

    The 8mm and 2.5mm are the length of the screws. One pentalobe P5 screwdriver suffices for all the screws (P5 is implicitly the size of the pentalobe screw heads).

    Michael Welham -

    I sourced all the parts from ifixit, plus a magnetic project mat which I found to be very useful for organising the teardown and reassembly.

    Allen - Contestar

    The magnetic mat is

    GERARD SZAREK -

    Keep the 2.5mm tiny screws away from the MagSafe connector as they will be attracted and sucked in to the magnet.

    Frank O'Carroll - Contestar

    A tip an old bench tech taught me that has saved me many times: I put clear “Scotch” tape over the case screws as they became “free”. The tape kept them in place while I lifted the lid off, cleaned it etc.

    Michael Mee - Contestar

    Thank you for a really smart tip! I will be using that countless more times!

    Lilljedahl -

    I’m confused about internet recovery and installing MacOS. Is all of this done before placing in the new ssd card or after. I don’t have any files that I would like to safe/transfer, is all of this necessary, if I don’t do it before placing new ssd, will I still be able to instal/upgrade macOS afterwards.

    It’s an old Mac and now it won’t start or charge, I know I will have to replace battery and put new battery first and turn on Mac before doing the ssd stuff. Since it won’t effing start.

    I’m really clueless about backing up old ssd, since I don’t need any files, besides MacOS(software) ,and is that related to the ssd?

    AMG - Contestar

    The answer to your question: You need to insert your SSD into the computer before internet recovery. If you start the recovery before inserting SSD, it won’t affect the setup, you won’t damage anything. But your SSD will not be detected (as there isn’t one inserted.)

    Also, a little tip: If you bought a used SSD, go into Disk Utility and format the drive with the highest security level to permanently remove all of the previous files.

    Also a FYI: Internet Recovery will load up Mac OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks, so I would recommend making a recovery drive from a Big Sur (or desired version) through another Mac, and a USB. You can visit this support doc: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

    Hope this helps! -Dan

    danielwen -

    I got a macbook air with a damaged and swollen battery. I could remove all screws, except one 2,5 mm screw. I’m afraid it got damaged while attempting to remove it, I have no grip with the P5 pentalobe screwdriver. How can I proceed?

    Robert Hermans - Contestar

    Hi Robert!

    Try some techniques found in this stripped screw removal guide. Good luck!

    Arthur Shi -

    Hello I have a macbook air they are say they do not have parts for my laptop macbook air 11 inches 2013 mid need to replace battery which one to buy

    vensilver - Contestar

    Hello! This is the part you want—maybe we’re not able to ship it to you if you’re out of the United States. The battery in your MacBook Air should be the same for all 11” between mid-2011 to early-2015.

    Arthur Shi -

  1. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 2, imagen 1 de 1
    • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

  2. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Battery: paso 3, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Battery: paso 3, imagen 2 de 2
    • In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally contact its socket.

    My macbook air's configuration (Mid-2011 core i5) has a different battery connector. It slides into a receptacle on the logic board. If your battery connector does not look like the one pictured, use the pointy end of a spudger to depress the small indentation in the middle of the battery connector cable terminal, and pull aft to release the clasp mechanism.

    Ethan Cross - Contestar

    Maybe your battery connector doesn't match the picture because these instructions are for the mid-2012 model and yours is mid-2011.

    colleenthompson - Contestar

  3. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Solid-State Drive: paso 4, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD to the logic board.

  4. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 5, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 5, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use a spudger to help lift the free end of the SSD just enough to grab it with your other hand.

    • Do not lift the end of the SSD excessively.

    • Pull the drive straight out of its socket and remove it from the logic board.

    • When reinstalling the SSD, be sure it is properly seated before reinstalling its retaining screw.

    When you've completed all these steps to replace your SSD, don't despair if the MacBook Air shows a flashing folder with a question mark when you first power up the MacBook Air.

    - Power off the machine, then keep the option key (= Alt key) pressed down, power on the machine again, and keep the option key pressed down until a prompt appears.

    - If you've set a firmware password, then type it in at the prompt

    - You should now be prompted for a hard drive to boot from. Select "EFI Boot"

    - The MacBook Air should now boot to a window showing "OS X Utilities"

    - Click on the  at the top left, then select "Startup Disk..."

    - Select your SDD/Hard drive, and restart.

    Michael Welham - Contestar

    When replacing the SSD, be careful about the connector orientation. Replacement boards look almost the same if they are upside-down. Note that the connector is not reversible - there is a notch that will only line up if the board is right-side up. If it doesn't seem to line up, flip the board over.

    shamino - Contestar

    can i ask some links for some ssd’s that are compatible with that macbook model ?

    giannismistil - Contestar

    Hi I completed steps above, but the MacBook Air 2012 doesn’t seem to read the drive, on reboot I get a flashing folder, and upon clicking Control R on reboot it goes to internet recovery mode and then can’t find the drive on disk utility. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks, Devin

    Devin Patrick Hughes - Contestar

    if you’re using an M2 adaptor, be mindful to check the compatibility with the other end. In my specific case my adaptor was only compatible with M2 Sata and not with M2 NVMe.

    Andres Urena - Contestar

  5. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, I/O Board Cable: paso 6, imagen 1 de 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the I/O board cable up from its socket on the I/O board.

  6. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 7, imagen 1 de 1
    • Peel the I/O board cable up from the adhesive securing it to the fan.

    I did not peel the I/O board connector, it is not needed to be peeled away securing it to the fan.

    Leonard Francis - Contestar

  7. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 8, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 8, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the I/O board connector up and out of its socket on the logic board

    • Be sure to lift straight up on the connector as you disconnect it from its socket. The socket is very deep on the logic board and prying it from side to side may damage the logic board

    • Remove the I/O board cable.

  8. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Fan: paso 9, imagen 1 de 1
    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the fan cable ZIF socket.

    • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    Das ging leider nicht wie beschrieben: an der Mutter links unten war eine Platine befestigt, die über den beschriebenen Sicherungsbügel ragt, so dass der nicht erreichbar war. Ohne zu wissen, ob diese Platine einfach abgeschraubt werden kann, habe ich das lieber gelassen.

    Lise Lotte - Contestar

  9. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 10, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the following three screws securing the fan to the upper case:

    • Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw

  10. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 11, imagen 1 de 1
    • Lift the fan out of the upper case and carefully pull the fan ribbon cable out of its socket as you remove it from the Air.

    The replacement fan's ribbon cable is a few mm longer than the original. I t will loop upwards a bit after mounting. The rubber lip on top of the old fan needs to be transferred to the new fan.

    Martin Heinrich - Contestar

  11. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Battery: paso 12, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the following five screws securing the battery to the upper case:

    • Two 5.2 mm T5 Torx screws

    • One 6 mm T5 Torx screw

    • Two 2.6 mm T5 Torx screws

  12. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 13, imagen 1 de 1
    • Do not touch or squeeze the six lithium polymer cells when handling the battery.

    • Lift the battery from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.

  13. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Logic Board: paso 14, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Logic Board: paso 14, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to free the adhesive loop securing the I/O board power cable to the upper case.

    • Disconnect the I/O board by pulling the power cable away from its socket on the logic board.

    • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board toward the front edge of the Air.

  14. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 15, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 15, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the keyboard backlight ribbon cable ZIF socket.

    • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    • Pull the keyboard backlight ribbon cable out of its socket.

  15. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 16, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 16, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

    • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    • Pull the trackpad ribbon cable straight out of its socket toward the front edge of the Air.

  16. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 17, imagen 1 de 1
    • Use the tip of a spudger to de-route the right speaker cable from the slot cut into the logic board.

  17. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 18, imagen 1 de 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the right speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Pry up from beneath the cables.

  18. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 19, imagen 1 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 19, imagen 2 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 19, imagen 3 de 3
    • Gently push the tip of a spudger under the black plastic flap stuck to the display data cable lock to make the lock pop upward and away from the socket.

    • Remove the small rubber gasket from the corner of the upper case near the display data cable.

  19. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 20, imagen 1 de 1
    • While holding the lock away from the socket, gently pull the display data cable out of its socket.

    • Do not pull upward on the display data cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.

  20. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 21, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 21, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna cable connectors up and off their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  21. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 22, imagen 1 de 1
    • Gently de-route the antenna cables from the slot cut into the logic board.

  22. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 23, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the three 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

  23. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 24, imagen 1 de 1
    • Gently lift the logic board assembly out of the upper case, minding the fragile heat sink and any cables that may get caught.

  24. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Display Assembly: paso 25, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the small rubber gasket from the corner of the upper case nearest the I/O board.

  25. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 26, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 26, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the microphone cable ZIF socket.

    • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

    • Pull the microphone ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

  26. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 27, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 27, imagen 2 de 2
    • De-route the left speaker cable from the notch cut into the I/O board.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker cable connector up and out of its socket on the I/O board.

    • Pry up from beneath the wires.

  27. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 28, imagen 1 de 1
    • Pull the camera cable parallel to the face of the I/O board toward the rear edge of the Air to disconnect it from its socket.

    • Do not lift upward on this cable as you disconnect it, as its socket may break off the logic board.

  28. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 29, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the single 3.6 mm T5 Torx screw securing the I/O board to the upper case.

  29. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 30, imagen 1 de 1
    • Carefully lift the I/O board from its edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the upper case.

  30. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 31, imagen 1 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 31, imagen 2 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 31, imagen 3 de 3
    • Peel up the six cable loops securing the antenna cables to the upper case.

    • Gently pull the cable loops slightly out of the channel cut into the upper case one at a time.

    • Use your spudger to open up the plastic loops as you de-route the antenna cables through them.

    • Repeat this for all of the retaining loops.

    The plastic loops stay with the bottom and the wires go with the top (screen).

    Dennis Fennell - Contestar

    If replacing the upper case and needing to transfer the loops to the new upper case, it is difficult to slip the loops through the slits in the new upper case. A reliable way to do this is to use a length of fishing line to pull the loops through the slits.

    publicbanek - Contestar

    How do you use fishing line? I can’t get loops back through

    matt9236 - Contestar

    I used two sewing needles to get the loops back through. It is time consuming, but you can get the head of each loop through the slit with your fingers, then push on the back side of the loop with a sewing needle, hold it in place, then use a second sewing needle to push it through a little more. Once it is through a bit more, hold it on the back side with a needle, then on the front side use the sewing need to help position the loop so you can grab it with a tweezer and pull it through.

    Jeff Haferman - Contestar

  31. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 32, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 32, imagen 2 de 2
    • Remove the inner 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw securing each display hinge to the upper case (two screws total).

    These screws are extremely tight, but they'll go!

    Michael Sweetser - Contestar

    My kit didn’t come with this bit….

    CaRina Deneseus - Contestar

  32. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 33, imagen 1 de 1
    • Open the display until it is perpendicular to the upper case and place it on a table as shown.

    • While holding the Air steady, remove the remaining 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

  33. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 34, imagen 1 de 1
    • Before removing the last display screw, be sure to hold the display and upper case steady with your other hand. Failure to do so may allow the components to fall onto the table, causing potentially expensive damage.

    • Remove the last 4.9 mm T8 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

  34. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 35, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 35, imagen 2 de 2
    • Push the upper case slightly toward the display assembly, then rotate it away from the front of the display assembly.

    • Once the two display hinges have cleared the upper case, remove the display and set it aside.

  35. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: paso 36, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: paso 36, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the right speaker off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

    • Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself.

    • Remove the right speaker from the upper case.

  36. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 37, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 37, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left speaker off the adhesive securing it to the upper case.

    • Only pry up on the speaker from the areas of bare aluminum on the upper case. Prying up from the keyboard area may damage the keyboard and the speaker itself.

    • Remove the left speaker from the upper case.

    No screw to remove here.

    Mark Kammerer - Contestar

  37. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 38, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 38, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the microphone away from the side of the upper case.

    • Remove the microphone from the upper case.

    • Upper case remains.

    This connector is different on mine and does not appear to be removeable. My replacement upper case came with it attached.

    Mark Kammerer - Contestar

    This microphone is different and glued in. Takes a bit of prying out

    Steve Weinberg - Contestar

    Don't pull too hard the microphone has the density of cardboard and I ripped mine in half.

    CaRina Deneseus - Contestar

  38. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: paso 39, imagen 1 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: paso 39, imagen 2 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement, Upper Case: paso 39, imagen 3 de 3
    • The ZIF connector for the keyboard ribbon cable is hidden under the cable itself.

    • Push/lift the keyboard ribbon cable off of the upper case with one hand.

    • With the other hand, use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the ZIF connector.

    • Once the retaining flap has been flipped up, carefully pull the ribbon cable straight out of its socket.

  39. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 40, imagen 1 de 2 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 40, imagen 2 de 2
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the trackpad ribbon cable from the underside of the keyboard.

    • The cable is held in place with adhesive. Work carefully, and be sure to not let the spudger slip and damage any components.

  40. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 41, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the six 1.5 mm Phillips #00 screws securing the trackpad to the upper case.

    • Check your replacement upper case—if it doesn't have this wide T5 screw, remove it to transfer into the replacement.

    • This is an adjustment screw to set the distance of the click of the trackpad—on reassembly, test the click and adjust this screw until it feels right.

    Also you will need to remove the T5 screw at the bottom of the trackpad, closest to the edge. It's located right underneath the hill shape in the aluminum. Without it the trackpad will not physically click.

    Orioles4L - Contestar

    I needed the #000 bit instead of #00.

    wanderchic - Contestar

    I also needed #000.

    alyssaberns -

    #000 is a necessity to remove those six screws - #00 is just too thick to fit.

    Michael Sweetser -

  41. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 42, imagen 1 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 42, imagen 2 de 3 MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 42, imagen 3 de 3
    • Holding the upper case up off the table with one hand, gently push the trackpad up through the upper case.

    • Remove the trackpad from the upper case.

  42. MacBook Air 11" Mid 2011 Upper Case Replacement: paso 43, imagen 1 de 1
    • The upper case remains.

Conclusión

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

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7 comentarios

I used this guide to replace the keyboard on my macbook air 11, mid 2011.

When I removed the perimeter screws on the keyboard, I then popped all of the 54 or so rivots. I bought a $34 keyboard and installed it with the perimeter screws. But then I bonded the top of each of the rivot shafts with a tiny amount of epoxy cement, after which I used a razor blade to shave each of them to be flush. After re-installing the backlight material, and reassembling the computer, it works PERFECTLY. The Apple store expert had told us that the computer could not be repaired. :-)

Bill Aldridge - Contestar

I’ve bought a replacement keyboard with holes in every place where a rivot existed. So it doesn’t requires any work on the case for the remains of the rivots.

lardissone -

Thank you very much for your clear guide! Even though I had never opened a laptop before, I was able to dig down to my keyboard with your instructions and I'm typing this now with BOTH shift keys :-D

Note: unlike @Bill Aldridge I bought extra screws to replace the rivets and replaced all but four of the rivets using (at my Father's suggestion) flat sharp wire cutters to bite into the stumps of the rivets and then pop them out.

Adam Lee - Contestar

Just replaced a top cover following this guide. It worked perfectly! Looks like this trusty old Air is going to get another couple of years of life. Didn't even want to try doing just the keyboard, that just seems brutal. Anyways, thanks for the guide!

nmirza - Contestar

I’ve gone used this guide TWICE on the same laptop. My Girlfriend seems determined to keep breaking her laptop! ;-) I may have to buy some screws if there the a third time, some of them are getting a bit worn… Thanks for the guide (again).

nmirza - Contestar

When reassembling, you’ll probably find it easier to reconnect cables before screwing some things in (e.g. connecting the trackpad cable before screwing in the 6 phillips, or attaching the io board cables before screwing down).

All-in-all, great.

Ian Schenck - Contestar

WOW just replaced my keyboard, had the faulty shift key, problem, and turning on and off was faulty. Also replaced the failing battery with a new one. I have never done this before and with these instructions, achieved this first time, with no screws left LOL. Very happy to have what feels like a new machine. Is an old Mac, but with an i5 processor, it was worth saving. Can not thank you enough.

Philip Healy - Contestar

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