Use this guide to replace a dead hard drive.


  1. Remove the following ten screws:
    • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

    • When replacing the small screws, align them perpendicular to the slight curvature of the case (they don't go straight down).

    How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

    gunes314 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    You can save a lot of weight if lets say your installing a solid state drive or putting in a second hard drive but if you know that you use the CD/DVD disc drive a lot then you might just want to leave the drive alone.

    Marshall WahlstromHelgren -

    Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

    Robert Wacker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hello, where can I buy the screws I need in case I lose one of them?

    taylornya - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I have one stripped screw... How opening without drill it?! Any suggestions please?

    rodrigosady - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I also stripped a couple screws. I wasn’t able to open it up without drilling. After drilling the heads and removing the cover it was easy to hacksaw the tip and unscrew with a standard driver.

    Michael Wilkens -

    My top tip - make sure you buy good quality Phillips screwdrivers and a magnetic holder. Cheap screwdrivers won’t get the screws undone safely. Without a magnetic holder you have no chance of getting the tiny crews in and out safely.

    jeremyyoung - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    A good Phillips 00 is your friend here. Also, when reinserting the screws, gently start anticlockwise and you wil feel a click at the start of the thread. This tells you you’re in the right place and less likely to cross-thread through force in the wrong place.

    Iain Boyd - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I feel like these are 000 screws. Amazon sales describe them as such and my 000 screwdriver fits better

    cam2000deluxe -

    Before ordering a new Trackpad remove the existing battery and try clicking the Trackpad. If it clicks OK with the battery out the source of problem is likely a swollen battery, which should to be replaced even if it still works to some degree. From the side of the battery you will likely see the soft part of the battery bulging beyond the hard case.

    Patrick Langvardt - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  2. Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent. Remove the lower case.
    • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

    • Remove the lower case.

  3. Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board. It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.
    • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

    Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

    manodh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on

    khull -

    Prying the battery connector off does not take much force. I did exactly what the guide suggested (walked it off back and forth) with the spudger without any problems. Just be very gentle, much like with anything inside laptops, they are very fragile and need to be worked with carefully. A+ instructions, battery replacement was a success.

    aekinaka - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Be patient on disconnecting this one. It worked for me step by step, little by little.

    Phil Wagner - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.
    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

    I put some tape between the connector and socket while working on the drive.

    Stephen Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    That's a good tip

    Anrothan -

    Great tip, I did that too

    Ahmed Mahran -

    One other note: The screw heads fit flush with the curvature of the case -- which means that they aren't exactly horizontal. In other words, they aren't perpendicular to the table that the computer is resting on. Don't try to force them straight in vertically, because you'll risk cross-threading them. (nearly ruined one screw hole myself!)

    lelandjordon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    On my MacBook Pro, the connector seems to be an integral part of the battery.

    Jerry South - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.
    • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

    • These screws will remain attached to the hard drive bracket.

    These were Philips #0 screws in my computer.

    Church Tucker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    FYI my used Mac didn’t have the bracket or screws. 3D printed the bracket someone did (it’s on Thingiverse), M2x10mm screws were short but worked.

    sbierly - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  6. Remove the hard drive bracket.
    • Remove the hard drive bracket.

    • The hard drive bracket may be firmly seated against the upper case.

    Don't miss this step: I almost did and of course couldn't get the disk out until I looked at the video !

    francistasset - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  7. Use the attached pull tab to lift the hard drive out of the upper case.
    • Use the attached pull tab to lift the hard drive out of the upper case.

    • Don't try to completely remove the hard drive just yet. It is still attached to the hard drive cable.

  8. Pull the hard drive cable away from the body of the hard drive. Remove the hard drive.
    • Pull the hard drive cable away from the body of the hard drive.

    • Remove the hard drive.

    The hard drive cable is a recalled part on these machines. You may need to replace it before your drive will be read correctly. The Apple Store will replace your cable for free if it's problematic.

    Eric March - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  9. Remove the four 6.0 mm T6 Torx hard drive retaining posts from the sides of the hard drive. Transfer the hard drive retaining posts to your new hard drive.
    • Remove the four 6.0 mm T6 Torx hard drive retaining posts from the sides of the hard drive.

    • Transfer the hard drive retaining posts to your new hard drive.

    • If desired, transfer the pull tab over to your new hard drive.

    • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

    • If you upgraded your EFI Firmware ROM you can also perform an internet recovery.

    Reinserting the tiny screws was a pain, until I discovered this: initially turn them counterclockwise, till the threads 'agree' and the screw drops down into it's threded slot. Then go clockwise and they seat properly.

    Dave - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The paint on the screw threads makes it a little finicky to get them to 'find' the threading in their matching holes.

    Bad words were said, but job complete.

    Dave - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    T6 were just too small to fit the screws of the retaining post, and T8 was just too big. I suspect a T7 will fit. I will get a T7 screwdriver and report back.

    Beware other users: T6 as the guide suggests may not be the correct choice for all.

    fludiumvatn - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    If replacing the hard drive with a 7mm SSD, is a spacer required? This guide from Crucial suggests it is, but there's no mention of it here.

    Just wondering if people are managing without the spacer.

    Jeff Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I had the spacer and used it, and all seems fine. I put in a Crucial MX500.

    Steve Jones -

    I just replaced the original hard drive on my mid 2012 MBP with a Crucial SSD from iFixit and am amazed at the new zip this has giving it! I first upgraded the RAM from 8 to 16 GB and that helped the speed but nothing like this new SSD, I found everything in this guide to be accurate for my computer. I did take the course of first cloning my original drive onto the SSD using the recommended SuperDuper! software, following the guide for that, and highly recommend taking that route.

    Patrick Langvardt - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Great instructions as usual. Once I removed the old drive I found a round black rubber part (like a nipple) that had a rim on one end. I looked and googled to no avail! So there is a oblong hole (looks like a female lightning port) through the side of the MacBook right where the HDD is. And on the inside of the Mac there is a black frame near that oblong hole with a perfect circle shaped hole that this black rubber part fits into. All done and back together. Then I recalled person that I bought it from worked at auto dealer and took it into the shop where a co-worker used a blow gun to clean it up before selling. I guess 90 PSI blew the rubber part out!! So if any one finds one, you will know where to put it back

    CAM SEC - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The instructions are admirably clear and I successfully installed a 1TB Crucial SSD. However, it might be helpful to remark that the new drive MUST be formatted in APFS. Not knowing this, I formatted in HFS+ and loaded a Time Machine backup onto it. The new disk at first booted and then hung after the initial process had completed (the progress bar stayed on the screen). I only discovered the formatting problem when I wanted to clean install Mojave on the new HD. A day lost and a splitting headache later, everything is now up and running and LOTS faster!

    Christopher Clarke - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Great instructions. The only and VERY important thing I would add is to copy your hard drive FIRST before you remove it. If someone above hadn’t mentioned this, I would’ve been screwed. (seems obvious now, but I’m a newbie with computer repair). I installed a Samsung V-nand SSD 860 EVO 500GB using the Sabrient 2.5 SATA hard drive USB 3.0 Enclosure with the Super Duper software. Took almost 6 hours to copy the HD. Then I just swapped it out with the old one. Voila! my 2011 MBP booted up perfectly! Thanks again for your help!

    FYI: I tried to order the Crucial SSD as recommended on this site; however, it never shipped from Amazon after over 2 weeks. The Amazon listing never said it was out of stock. So, I researched Crucial and discovered it’s been sold to China and the customer service/product isn’t what it used to be. I cancelled my order and just went to Best Buy. Do your own research.

    Christi Ruby - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    To confirm (uk) T7 for the retaining post screws.

    To confirm - no need for a spacer for a 7mm drive the retaining post keep it in place, then there is just a bit extra 2mm “space” above (or below , depending on your perspective) the drive :-)

    With no SATA connector to clone straight to the new drive before removing, which would be simplest way IMO.

    I cloned to an external usb drive > fitted new drive > started up while holding alt key, choose the external usb clone as the startup OS > cloned that usb drive to the new internal drive> shut dow> unplug usb > startup > bingo!

    Used trail version of “Carbon Copy Cloner” to do this.

    nijafe - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The posts can also be removed gently with a pair of pliers, if you don’t have the torx T6, as was the situation with me.

    Speach Lobes - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Did these exact steps and yes very simple and easy! Took longer to clone the SSD with the HDD for hours but the hardware swap took only 15mins!

    Manee - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


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



Under updated firmware, macbook pro unibody models will not recognize many third-party hard drives. See this discussion:

Ewan Robinson - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Awesome guide! Swapped my 320GB hard drive for an 1TB hard drive. Took five mins thanks to iFixit!

Chris - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

hey, do you use SATA 3 for you’re MacBook Pro A1278? is it work good? no problems?

dimdimisra -

dimdimisra, you use the built in cable that comes in it, because of the proprietary mortherboard connector, you can’t use a regular SATA 3 cable

ryan sparling -

I feel you should be pointing out a couple of things about the chassis screws that are not obvious to the inexperienced

- the 6 screws that are not along the hinge edge of the body (4 yellow & 2 of the orange) are not perpendicular to the flat surface; they go in at an angle such that their heads are flat in the curve in which they sit. Attempting to hold the screwdriver upright in these heads could lead to damage to the screws, stripping out the "cross"

- attempting to insert these screws "straight" when reassembling will lead to cross-threading and stripping the screw threads

Christopher Bedford - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Will I notice a diference in booting speeds?

(actually, real question would be: Is it faster than the original sata, and if so, how much faster and how will it affect me?

C Eyzag - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes almost 5 times faster 20s rather than 1min30s

Felix Roque -

I did this upgrade as instructed and everything went swimmingly. I used SuperDuper to clone the drive well before opening the mac and removing the original hard drive. I loved SuperDuper but there are also alternatives for cloning. The iFixit kit contains the proper tools too and it's a bargain though the drive can be had for much less elsewhere.

phreest - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

All went well. Entirely doable. I did the memory while I was in there too. So now have 16Gb and a 1TB SSD running! Couple of comments

1: Whoever suggested using a prescription pill day counter for screws was a genius. You should do that too. Telling the shouldered from the unsoldered 3.5mm Phillips 00 screws will drive you nuts otherwise

2: The recovery instructions are a bit old if you've been keeping you OSes up to date. If you have Yosemite or what not, you have had your firmware flashed. So just make a time machine backup on a USB drive; replace everything; and right after you power up, hold Apple-R (if you have WIFI) and it will boot. Use disk utility to partition the drive as bootable (macos journalled with guid), then plug in the USB time machine, and recover from that. Few hours later you are in business.

Thanks iFixit. Great instructions,

paul - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand Apple-r. Are you talking about the command key? I don’t have an apple on my keyboard. Thank you!

strofan23 -

I did this with the iFixit provided 1TB SSD. It all went well. It's really an easy task, though it might seem daunting. Just don't "force it" with any of the delicate parts.

The restart of the computer was a little startling. I flipped open the laptop and bam, it started. Might have been an errant press on the power button.

Also, to reinstall, I used "Internet recovery" which worked perfectly, as building a thumb drive boot drive failed on me. Internet recovery saved my world. Took about 4 hours to restore 320G of data on my new drive.

keimel - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I went to the apple store and they stated that I needed a new hard drive. But, they noticed a water mark that was marked red and said that it voided the warranty and I would have needed to pay even more for them to replace the hard drive. So I bought the hard drive suggested by ifixit and replaced the hard drive. When i start my computer it stay at a apple sign with spinning wheel for a while. I pressed command option R to try to download the mac ox software but the hard drive does not put up under the disk utility screen in order to download it. HELP!

ronald61 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

try holding option, command, p and r on boot up. It’s called clearing the NVRAM I think (might be wrong about that ?) the mac soundeffect will play once then twice then let go. This really helped me out with my 2011 MBP after it installed some updates and didn’t seem to be able to load back up.

John Kuckens -

Excellent guide. My daughter's MacBook Pro had stopped booting up and when she took it to the local Apple Store they recommended replacing the drive. I took the opportunity to upgrade to the 1TB hybrid drive. Easy replacement. I booted up and reinstalled MacOS Lion via WiFi and then upgraded to Sierra. Everything is working fine and now have 900+GB of free space!! Thanks iFixIt folks

Stephen Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

This guide, in combination with the youtube video instructions and the youtube video about how to clone the hard drive, worked perfectly. I am now using my much faster and much less full macbook - and loving it! Thanks for all you guys and gals do!

Melissa Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I used this guide to swap out my harddrive with an ssd. My Macbook pro is amazing now! Boot times and loading times are a thing of the past, and Spotlight searches are instantaneous! I won't need a new laptop for quite some time! The swap is easy, I did the whole thing in under 20 minutes.

Drew Dittmann - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Anyone know how to do this with a hard drive that's already failed? I don't need to recover anything from it, I just need to get my daughter's 2011 Macbook Pro operational again. I don't think replacing the hard drive will be hard, what I don't understand is how do you get the Mac OS back on it?


Troy Taylor - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

you can put a OS installer on a USB drive and after you install the new harddrive, hold command R and then follwo directions to boot from / install from USB.

John Kuckens -

Superb - swapped out my late 2010 Macbook pro 500GB HD w/ a Seagate 2TB HSSD in 20 mins (sure, the Super Duper back-up took ~8hrs prior to) and it's off to the races, fast boot etc.! Brilliant DIY site, couldn't have made it any easier - thanks very much! James

James Brighten - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

dec tan - you can most likely use a NVMe M.2, but you won't get the actual speeds of an NVMe card, due to SATA limitations. You're better off just getting a regular SATA SSD for this computer.

Troy Taylor - You can use internet recovery (option-command-R) at boot up to reinstall the basic OS to a new hard disk.

john chinte - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Just installed EVO850 500gb SSD on mac early 2011 with 16GB ram. No extra sata cable. Just replaced and started os x boot disk. All great. Amazing fast. Value for Money as Saves time :)

kabeer_bd - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hmmm could I replace the typical HDD with an SSD in a MacBook Pro Mid 2011?


Stephen McKenna - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

You probably did it already but yes you can. I did it a few days ago and it makes quite a difference, especially in booting.

tsa -

Well, that was easy. Thanks for the clear guide!

tsa - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

If you don’t already have the means to remotely connect your new hard drive to your computer, the hard drive/tool kit/hard drive enclosure is the way to go, as it gives you the option to clone your old drive to the new. Once that’s done, physically swapping-in the new drive allows you to seamlessly boot up from your new drive. The tool kit alone is easily worth the extra ten bucks, plus you get the USB hard drive docking station that you can use later with any SATA drive as an external drive (for backup?). Memory was upped at the same time, and it’s like I have a new computer!

Nathan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Fantastic video and step-by-step instructions! Thanks SO much for this! I used your kit that included the hard drive and the tools needed which made things very straightfoward (MacBook and MacBook Pro (Non-Retina) SSD Upgrade Bundle). The hardware installation was actually pretty easy, and I am NOT good at mechanical tasks, especially when the screws and tools are so tiny . The OS is installing right now! I am using Mac Internet Recovery.

My only (very) slight complaint is that I could not find anywhere that told me specifically if I needed the extra spacer that comes with the hard drive or not. The manufacturer, Crucial, should just have a list of laptops that require it and ones that don’t.

William Bell - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

ottima guida, ottimo risultato


davide artisan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Very clear and straightforward. Almost wished it had taken longer!

Iain Boyd - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Best way would be to clone your old HDD with newly formatted SSD…whole process was easy but the cloning took several hours as old HDD was soooo slooow! Once cloned, the swapping of the HDD and SSD was simple, easy and quick. My only regret was paying $100 more by ordering the SSD upgrade and RAM kits from ifixit with shipping cost vs Amazon that was cheaper and free shipping. Didn’t bother returning and ordering from Amazon as the time & hassle would off-set the cost diff - just wished I did the Amazon route to begin with. Oh well…lesson learned!

Manee - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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