Use this guide to install a new hard drive in your MacBook Pro 17" Unibody for more storage space.

Warning! If you have an older 3.0 Gb/s (SATA II) based system you need to make sure the drive you use is able to run at this slower speed. Review your drives spec sheet, make sure it clearly lists compatibility with 3.0 Gb/s (SATA II) systems. Most drives sold today are fixed speed 6.0 Gb/s (SATA III) which won’t work in 3.0 Gb/s (SATA II) systems properly.

  1. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Lower Case: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

    important to reassemble the "lower case" successfully: the threads of the seven 3mm phillips screws are drilled at an angle :-/

    mysterioes - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Same issue with me. After reassembling my 13-inch and my 17-inch, one of the screws are sticking out ever so slightly. Very annoying, especially since I scratch whatever surface I'm on now.

    Kyle Spadaro -

    Very important note; this guide is NOT correct for the Macbook Pro 17" A1297 late '11.

    The A1297 has an assembly adjacent to the optical drive, identifiable by 4 antenna connectors, 1 usb cable (with very small connector) and one PCI-e flat cable running across the optical drive.

    I did not take pictures, but found one on the web. I'm very new to iFixit and have no idea yet on how to create a guide, but here's the picture showing the assembly on top (this pic only has 3 antenna wires, the A1297 has 4, but at least you'll know what to look for.

    - carefully undo all connections and 2 screws

    - remove the assembly and flip it over

    - again carefully remove the shielding tape

    - undo 3 tiny screws

    - gently pry the airport card from the assembly (the flat cable will be a bit of a pain)

    - reverse process with replacement card.

    image can be found here:

    Remon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    It helps if you mark the holes where the long screws go so you can easily find them when the time comes to button things up. Also, a little dish or custard cup to hold those tiny screws is essential.

    Human - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    3 x 13.5 mm screws are actually TWO different types! Return to EXACT SAME HOLES.

    -I discovered this on my mid-2010, but from comments, sounds like it may affect other models as well

    2 x 13.5 mm screws are pointed ends

    1 x 13.5 mm screw is a FLAT end <- CORNER HOLE

    These areTWO slightly different lengths, and must return to correct holes. If you put the flat end screw in the wrong hole, it will stick out slightly. If you put either of the pointed screws in the wrong hole, they will go in all the way, but will not catch threads, and will simply fall out when laptop is flipped back over.

    scottbernardis - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I printed out the image above and taped each screw to the photo as I removed each one, just to make sure I put them in the right location.

    Grace Morris - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    This is a brilliant suggestion! I did this for all the steps that involved removing screws, numbered the sheets, and that made it very easy to put it all back together in reverse. Thanks!

    Steve Adamczyk -

    Be sure to use Loctite on the screws when re-attaching the bottom of the computer. The screws can and will fall out once they have been removed for repairs if you do not put Loctite on them when you reuse them. Otherwise, purchase new screws before repairing the computer as the new screws come with Loctite material on them. (I have personal experience with this problem.)

    johnpartridge - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Be sure NOT to Buy this Battery from iFixit. I bought it from and the Condition of Battery is : Service Battery ,

    from the &&^&^$^ first day.

    Till today my battery Cycle Count is: 80.

    I’ve tried everything as: Battery Calibration, resetting the SMC, PRAM, reinstalling the battery,

    and Service Battery warning still there.

    Just DO NOT BUY crappy, trash from here.

    I have very bad experience.

    Doruntin Koci - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hi Doruntin,

    we’re more than sorry to hear about your bad experience.

    I’ll inform our customer service team who’ll reach out to you and offer either a replacement or reimbursement.

    If ever you’d need assistance again, please feel free to directly write to, as comments are not regularly checked for service issues.

    I’m confident that we’ll find the solution that suits you best!

    Sandra Hiller -

    PLEASE OBSERVE: The image of the left speaker used is NOT for a 2011 model. A 17inch MacBook Pro A1297 - LEFT SPEAKER + MICROPHONE - 2011 has IDENTIFYING NUMBER: Apple Part #:922-9821, 922-9822. And its COMPATIBILITY: 17 inch MacBook Pro Unibody A1297 - Early 2011 MC725LL/A 2.2 i7 - Early 2011 MC725LL/A 2.3 i7 - Late 2011 MD311LL/A 2.4 i7 - Late 2011 MD311LL/A 2.5 i7

    kenneth krabat - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  2. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Wedge your fingers between the lower case and the vent, and lift upward to release the two clips holding the lower case to the upper case.

    • During reassembly, carefully align the lower case and then press it firmly until both clips engage.

    • Remove the lower case.

    I recommend using anti-static protection, i.e., wearing a ground strap, or at least touch metal chassis inside the computer before unplugging cables. Otherwise, you might create an ESD discharge into your RAM and have to replace it like I did!

    d68ef792 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  3. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Battery: step 3, image 1 of 3 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Battery: step 3, image 2 of 3 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Battery: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits.

    • If present, grab the plastic tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the device. For Late-2011 models the battery connector will not have a tab and is simply a plug that inserts straight down into the motherboard--to remove pry the plug straight up.

    • If the plastic tab is missing, use a spudger to pry the connector up from its socket.

    • Pull the tab parallel to the face of the logic board.

    This step is a little difficult in reverse, that is, when re-attaching the battery. It helps to tilt the laptop up so you can see the edge of the board that accepts the plug. It may look like there are two slots for it, it goes in the bigger slot that is further away from the board.

    yary hluchan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Is this step really necessary? It is not part of the instructions how to replace the HDD in Apple's User Manual of the 2011 17" MBP.

    Tobias Hahn - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    As it says in the step: "Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits." It is not required, but it is simple insurance to avoid a $1000+ repair should you accidentally short components on the board with something metal.

    Andrew Bookholt -

    There was no tab on my model. Battery is affixed to board and screws must be removed.

    bhodges2 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Mine also, and looks as if removing connector could damage motherboard.

    Stephen -

    The battery on my 17” mid-2010 (MC024LL/A -A1297 ) is held by 3 specialty screws CR-V1 (3-wings similar to Mercedes-Benz tri-star)

    It has a tab which I pulled straight up

    The connector to the motherboard came away easily by pulling toward the front edge.

    Peter Grierson -

    * There is no tab on the A1297 (late 2011) model's battery connector. Be careful with the connector, it chips off the edges easily! Otherwise the same as bhodges2 & Stephen's notes.

    ** (Pleas also include the exact Model and Part numbers like P/N: MD311D/A; Mod.: A1297 in the comments and notes for your MBP)

    Pingumann - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Why are there no guides for the Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro A1297 (2.4GHz i7 quad core, MD311LL/A)??? I just replaced the RAM in mine and discovered that not only is there no tab on the battery connector, but the connector pulls straight up, perpendicular to the logic board, rather than parallel. I almost ripped the wires out of the connector by trying to pull it out parallel to the logic board like this guide instructed! After finally getting it out, my advice to those with the Late 2011 model is to use a spudger to loosen the edges of the connector then lift the connector straight up to get it out safely.

    Dave - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I replaced the display on my late 2011 model and noticed that it was quite different than the tutorial given here so I detailed all the differences to help others with late-2011 models on my blog:

    jmueller -

    I just put an SSD in a model #A1297 - MC226LL/A and the battery connector had to be removed by pulling it parallel to and away from the logic board — in other words, not up. I was definitely a bit confused when I tried to pull it up.

    Doug Hogg - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    With some dexterity and carefulness, the MagSafe could be removed from its place without the need to remove the whole logic board!

    Phil Boy - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Same here, I used a head-band light to see it and got it done without removing anything but the battery connection, the charging port and the display data cable. Then I had to do it again because amazone sent me the wrong charging port, the board has different width between screw holes, and on closer look, different components soldered on, also. AND, one is labeled 2008, the other 2009… make sure you get the correct one, the other ( “wrong”? ) might work, but I’m not risking it! So why does the 2008 fit in my 17” macbook pro(5,2) mid-2009 and the one labeled 2009 does not fit ? It is what it is…

    Tom Seaman -

    The battery on my 17” mid-2010 (MC024LL/A -A1297 ) is held by 3 specialty screws CR-V1 (3-wings similar to  Mercedes-Benz tri-star)

    It has a tab which I pulled straight up

    The connector to the motherboard came away easily by pulling toward the front edge.

    Peter Grierson - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the hard drive bracket to the upper case.

    • These screws are captive to the hard drive bracket.

    The screws are NOT captive to the bracket.

    Stephen - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    on my 2009 A1297 the screws are captive.

    Lucienp - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the hard drive bracket from the upper case.

  6. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Use the hard drive's pull tab to lift it out of the upper case.

    • Don't try to completely remove the hard drive just yet! Its cable is still connected.

  7. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Pull the hard drive connector away from the body of the hard drive.

    • Remove the hard drive from your MacBook Pro.

  8. MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 8, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the four T6 Torx screws around the outer edge of the hard drive.

    • If desired, peel off the plastic pull tab and transfer it 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.

    You need to put the four screws into your new hard drive, then follow all steps in reverse.

    Chantz - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Torx 7 on my MacBook Pro mid 2010

    nielsdolieslager - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    When I installed the new SSD hard drive I turned on the MacBook Pro and it asked if I wanted to recover using the internet. Since my wifi at work is not great, I connected via a network cable. Four items were presented of which one was a the disk utility. This allowed me to format the new hard drive. Then, I selected ‘recover OS’ and it began installation of the most current OS - macOS High Sierra. I had also upgraded the memory to 8GB. This is like having a new computer!!

    ksvideo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


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



Very easy to follow. Replacing the HDD on these unibodies is super easy. Thanks for the guide.

tech4eleven - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Very easy, excepted for finding the right screw for Step 8. I replaced original HDD with a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB. Fine!

yello73 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Exceptional instructions. If you're struggling to restore from a backup... connect your backup drive via cable, start your macbook, choose disk utilities, choose the new hard drive from the list on the left, if first aide options (repair/verify) are not available, erase and name the new drive, and then you should be able to restore from backup. :)

Deanna Ashby - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Thank goodness you posted this. I thought I messed up installation because there was no new HD when I turned on the laptop. I couldn't figure out how to restore. Then I saw this and tried it and it's restoring now. Thank you!!

catchpaco -

Very easy, Thank you for this tremendous guide. Works perfectly and I directly connected my old HDD to USB and restore all my information using the Migration Assistant app. Fine!

Abdullah Alqassar - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Once the new drive is installed, will booting in internet recovery mode get me to a point where I can reinstall the OS? I don't think I've got my 10.10 disks anywhere - or I may not even have ever received them. Can't remember what version was the DVD cut-off. Thanks for this great guide btw.

Cooper Cole - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

this is a stupid question but i wanna swap out my hard drive, which looks simple but the confusion is the optical drive upgrade with ssd and the hard drive upgrade with ssd. 2 totally different things correct? like if i wanted to replace only my hard drive with a new upgrade to ssd thats totally different from taking out my optical drive and adding the duel ssd?

ian moone - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi !

I just did it ! Great & many thanks !

LAOMUSIC ARTS - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Done and done. One of the easiest swaps. Thanks for the guide!

miccol - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Man Andrew, you are a “monster” all the stuff I want to do, you’ve done. Thanks for the guide. I replaced my 750gB HDD with a 1tB SSD. So much faster. Thanks ifixit (and Andrew)!!

Leo Lambert Jr - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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