Introduction

Use this guide to remove and replace the glued-in battery from your 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display. This is best done with the help of an iFixit battery replacement kit; the liquid adhesive remover in your kit will dissolve the adhesive securing the battery, allowing you to remove it with ease.

iFixit adhesive remover is flammable. Perform this procedure in a well-ventilated area. Do not smoke or work near an open flame during this procedure.

For your safety, drain your MacBook Pro's battery before you begin this procedure. A charged lithium-ion battery can create a dangerous and uncontrollable fire if accidentally punctured.

The MacBook's battery contacts are located under the logic board, and this guide recommends removing the logic board completely for battery replacement. While it's possible to remove the logic board screws and simply tip the board up slightly to remove the battery, it's very difficult to install a new battery correctly with the logic board still in place.

Note: The solvent used to dissolve the battery adhesive can damage and/or discolor certain plastics. Take care where you apply the solvent.

  • Before proceeding, unplug and power down your MacBook. Close the display and lay it on a soft surface, top-side down.

  • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case:

    • Two 1.8 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

    • Four 2.9 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

    • Two 6.1 mm P5 Pentalobe screws

  • Note the orientation of the screws as you remove them—they need to be reinstalled at a slight angle.

  • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from to avoid damaging your device.

IMPORTANT. You’re not removing the bottom, yet. This step is solely to separate the panel from its clips, permitting inside access.

Chris Leeds - Réponse

Wedge your fingers between the upper case and the lower case, starting from the rear of the MacBook between the hinges. Lift the lower case only slightly to avoid damaging the cables that connect the lower case to the upper case. Keeping a firm grip, lift steadily until the lower case separates slightly from the upper case.
  • Wedge your fingers between the upper case and the lower case, starting from the rear of the MacBook between the hinges.

  • Lift the lower case only slightly to avoid damaging the cables that connect the lower case to the upper case.

    • Keeping a firm grip, lift steadily until the lower case separates slightly from the upper case.

    • You may experience a lot of resistance when lifting the lower case. If necessary, slide an opening pick or other ESD-safe pry tool down the side edges of the lower case to pop the two hidden retaining clips free.

    • During reassembly, to re-engage the clips, press firmly near both side edges of the lower case (near where the pick is inserted in the third image) until you hear the clips snap into place.

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While holding the lower case in place, carefully flip the MacBook over so the Apple logo faces up.
  • While holding the lower case in place, carefully flip the MacBook over so the Apple logo faces up.

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Lift the upper case and display together from the front edge and raise it to about a 45˚ angle. It may be helpful to prop the MacBook open in this position for the next step.
  • Lift the upper case and display together from the front edge and raise it to about a 45˚ angle.

  • It may be helpful to prop the MacBook open in this position for the next step.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to press and hold the small gold battery discharge button. If the power LED is lit up, continue holding the discharge button until the LED goes dark, and then release. This may take up to 10 seconds. If the LED does not light, release the button after 5-10 seconds. Press and hold it again for 5-10 seconds, and release. Finally, press and hold it a third time for 5-10 seconds, and release.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to press and hold the small gold battery discharge button.

    • If the power LED is lit up, continue holding the discharge button until the LED goes dark, and then release. This may take up to 10 seconds.

    • If the LED does not light, release the button after 5-10 seconds. Press and hold it again for 5-10 seconds, and release. Finally, press and hold it a third time for 5-10 seconds, and release.

  • This step ensures the MacBook is fully powered down and safe to work on.

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Close the MacBook and carefully flip it upside-down.
  • Close the MacBook and carefully flip it upside-down.

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Lifting from the front edge, open the lower case to an angle of about 45°.
  • Lifting from the front edge, open the lower case to an angle of about 45°.

  • Take care not to damage the ribbon cables that still attach the lower case to the MacBook.

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Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector. Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector.
  • Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the trackpad cable ZIF connector.

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Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to carefully flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.

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Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame. Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame.
  • Disconnect the trackpad ribbon cable from the trackpad by pulling it gently through its slot in the frame.

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Carefully turn the MacBook over, so that the lower case lays flat. Raise the upper case/display assembly to about a 90° angle, and prop it up against something sturdy so you don't have to hold it.
  • Carefully turn the MacBook over, so that the lower case lays flat.

  • Raise the upper case/display assembly to about a 90° angle, and prop it up against something sturdy so you don't have to hold it.

    • Add a piece of tape near the track pad to secure the upper case and prevent accidental movement.

  • It's possible to open the MacBook all the way and lay both sides down flat, but this may damage the flex cables and is not recommended.

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Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the battery connector to the logic board.
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the battery connector to the logic board.

From my experience it’s important to carefully press and hold the small button above left of the Battery Discharge label. Use a plastic spudger or finger tip. The illuminated yellow LED to the right will go off. I believe this discharges remaining electricity from logic board protecting it during repair.

* I cannot find any documentation to support this, but I have damaged boards by not including this step.

Chris Leeds - Réponse

As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector. As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector.
  • As an added precaution, you may physically disconnect the battery by inserting a battery isolation pick between the logic board and the battery connector.

You may keep pressing the button for Battery Disconnect while opening or loosening the battery screw, so it’s easier when inserting the battery isolation pick.

Abraham Armada - Réponse

Remove the two screws securing the USB-C port cable bracket:
  • Remove the two screws securing the USB-C port cable bracket:

    • 1.1 mm Phillips #00 screw

    • 3.5 mm T5 Torx screw

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Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the USB-C port cable bracket by prying it straight up from the logic board. To reconnect this cable, first line up the metal bracket over the screw holes, then press down on the middle of the bracket. Make sure it's aligned correctly, or you may damage the connector.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the USB-C port cable bracket by prying it straight up from the logic board.

  • To reconnect this cable, first line up the metal bracket over the screw holes, then press down on the middle of the bracket. Make sure it's aligned correctly, or you may damage the connector.

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Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the audio jack board cable ZIF connector.

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Disconnect the audio jack board ribbon cable by pulling it straight back out of the ZIF connector.
  • Disconnect the audio jack board ribbon cable by pulling it straight back out of the ZIF connector.

  • During reassembly, orient the ribbon cable so that the side with the white stripe faces you, as shown.

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Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector. Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector.
  • Use tweezers to peel back the tape covering the display cable connector.

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It's possible the metal retaining flap on the display cable connector may flip open, remaining stuck to the tape. If so, use the flat end of a spudger to hold down the retaining flap while peeling the tape away with the tweezers.
  • It's possible the metal retaining flap on the display cable connector may flip open, remaining stuck to the tape.

    • If so, use the flat end of a spudger to hold down the retaining flap while peeling the tape away with the tweezers.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the display cable connector.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to flip open the retaining flap on the display cable connector.

  • Try to keep it clear of the tape, or it may re-adhere and make cable removal difficult.

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  • Carefully slide the flat end of a spudger underneath the display cable to separate the adhesive holding it to the lower case.

    • Take care not to damage the cable. If the adhesive is very strong, heat the case directly beneath the cable with an iOpener to soften the adhesive, and then try again.

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Disconnect the display cable by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.
  • Disconnect the display cable by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.

  • Immediately close the retaining flap.

    • The flap must remain closed when the cable is reinserted during reassembly. Carefully line up the cable with the gold contacts facing down, and gently slide it into the connector. Take care not to crimp or damage the cable. When fully inserted, the indentations on the sides should not be visible.

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Separate the upper case assembly from the lower case assembly.
  • Separate the upper case assembly from the lower case assembly.

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Use tweezers to peel up the tape covering the two ZIF connectors—one for the right speaker cable, and one for the audio jack board cable. Use tweezers to peel up the tape covering the two ZIF connectors—one for the right speaker cable, and one for the audio jack board cable. Use tweezers to peel up the tape covering the two ZIF connectors—one for the right speaker cable, and one for the audio jack board cable.
  • Use tweezers to peel up the tape covering the two ZIF connectors—one for the right speaker cable, and one for the audio jack board cable.

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Use the point of a spudger to flip up both ZIF connector retaining flaps. Use the point of a spudger to flip up both ZIF connector retaining flaps. Use the point of a spudger to flip up both ZIF connector retaining flaps.
  • Use the point of a spudger to flip up both ZIF connector retaining flaps.

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Carefully pull straight back on the two pieces of tape you just peeled up to disconnect the two ribbon cables. Carefully pull straight back on the two pieces of tape you just peeled up to disconnect the two ribbon cables.
  • Carefully pull straight back on the two pieces of tape you just peeled up to disconnect the two ribbon cables.

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Use the point of a spudger to peel up the foam pad covering the two antenna connectors. Use the point of a spudger to peel up the foam pad covering the two antenna connectors.
  • Use the point of a spudger to peel up the foam pad covering the two antenna connectors.

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Use tweezers to disconnect the first antenna connector by lifting it straight up from its socket. The antenna connectors and sockets are extremely fragile. Be very careful to lift only on the connector, and not on the socket itself. Do not lift under the cable, or put any unnecessary strain on it.
  • Use tweezers to disconnect the first antenna connector by lifting it straight up from its socket.

  • The antenna connectors and sockets are extremely fragile. Be very careful to lift only on the connector, and not on the socket itself. Do not lift under the cable, or put any unnecessary strain on it.

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Use tweezers to disconnect the second antenna connector by lifting it straight up from its socket. The antenna connectors and sockets are extremely fragile. Be very careful to lift only on the connector, and not on the socket itself. Do not lift under the cable, or put any unnecessary strain on it.
  • Use tweezers to disconnect the second antenna connector by lifting it straight up from its socket.

  • The antenna connectors and sockets are extremely fragile. Be very careful to lift only on the connector, and not on the socket itself. Do not lift under the cable, or put any unnecessary strain on it.

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Use a spudger to disconnect the left speaker cable connector by prying it straight up from the logic board. Use a spudger to disconnect the left speaker cable connector by prying it straight up from the logic board.
  • Use a spudger to disconnect the left speaker cable connector by prying it straight up from the logic board.

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Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector. Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.
  • Use a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the trackpad cable ZIF connector.

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Disconnect the trackpad cable from the logic board by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.
  • Disconnect the trackpad cable from the logic board by gently pulling it straight out of its connector.

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Remove the single 3.5 mm T5 Torx screw securing the logic board to the lower case.
  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T5 Torx screw securing the logic board to the lower case.

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Flip up the front edge of the logic board. Handle the logic board only by its edges. Lift and detach the EMI tape securing the logic board to the lower case.
  • Flip up the front edge of the logic board.

    • Handle the logic board only by its edges.

  • Lift and detach the EMI tape securing the logic board to the lower case.

    • Warming the tape with a hair dryer or iOpener makes it easier to detach.

    • Reattach the tape securely during reassembly.

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Remove the logic board.
  • Remove the logic board.

If you are replacing the logic board once the machine has been rebuild the 2015 model has to have a 5W power adapter plugged into the machine first before the full 29W power supply otherwise there is a risk of damaging the logic board. Once the power is supplied the battery disconnect LED will switch on and once this has occurred you can remove the 5W and supply the machine with the full 29W power adapter.

Aaron Dalziel - Réponse

Lift the back edge of the lower case assembly and prop it up at an angle using a book or foam block. In the following steps, you'll apply liquid adhesive remover along the edges of the battery cells. Keeping part of the MacBook elevated will help the adhesive remover flow underneath the battery. You can reorient the MacBook as needed throughout this procedure, but try to prevent the adhesive remover from touching any components other than the battery and metal chassis.
  • Lift the back edge of the lower case assembly and prop it up at an angle using a book or foam block.

    • In the following steps, you'll apply liquid adhesive remover along the edges of the battery cells. Keeping part of the MacBook elevated will help the adhesive remover flow underneath the battery.

    • You can reorient the MacBook as needed throughout this procedure, but try to prevent the adhesive remover from touching any components other than the battery and metal chassis.

  • If necessary, add a layer of aluminum foil underneath your MacBook to protect your workspace from wayward drops of adhesive remover.

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iFixit adhesive remover contains acetone, a mild skin and eye irritant. Wear eye protection when handling and applying the adhesive remover. (Eye protection is included in your kit.)
  • iFixit adhesive remover contains acetone, a mild skin and eye irritant.

    • Wear eye protection when handling and applying the adhesive remover. (Eye protection is included in your kit.)

    • Do not wear contact lenses without eye protection.

    • Protective gloves are also included in your kit. If you are concerned about skin irritation, put your gloves on now.

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Pull off the black rubber stopper from your bottle of adhesive remover. Twist to loosen or remove the bottle cap before you cut the applicator tip. This unseals the bottle and allows the pressure to equalize before you cut the applicator tip. If you skip this step, the adhesive remover may spray out unexpectedly when the tip is cut.
  • Pull off the black rubber stopper from your bottle of adhesive remover.

  • Twist to loosen or remove the bottle cap before you cut the applicator tip.

    • This unseals the bottle and allows the pressure to equalize before you cut the applicator tip. If you skip this step, the adhesive remover may spray out unexpectedly when the tip is cut.

  • Use scissors to cut off the sealed tip of the applicator.

    • Cutting close to the narrow tip will give you better control so you can apply the adhesive remover in small amounts.

  • Twist and close the bottle cap securely before you proceed further.

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The adhesive securing the battery cells to the lower case is located in the areas marked in red. You may use this step for reference when applying the adhesive remover in the following steps. You may use this step for reference when applying the adhesive remover in the following steps.
  • The adhesive securing the battery cells to the lower case is located in the areas marked in red.

  • You may use this step for reference when applying the adhesive remover in the following steps.

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Apply a few drops of adhesive remover along the top edge of the front right battery cell. You don't need to use very much. The small bottle contains more than twice the amount of solvent needed to remove all six battery cells.
  • Apply a few drops of adhesive remover along the top edge of the front right battery cell.

    • You don't need to use very much. The small bottle contains more than twice the amount of solvent needed to remove all six battery cells.

  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the liquid adhesive remover to penetrate underneath the battery cell before you proceed to the next step.

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After 2-3 minutes, slide one corner of a plastic card underneath the battery cell. This should require minimal force. If you have trouble, apply more adhesive remover along the other edges of the battery cell and give it 2-3 additional minutes to penetrate. Try not to deform the battery. A damaged or punctured battery can leak dangerous chemicals and/or catch fire.
  • After 2-3 minutes, slide one corner of a plastic card underneath the battery cell.

    • This should require minimal force. If you have trouble, apply more adhesive remover along the other edges of the battery cell and give it 2-3 additional minutes to penetrate.

    • Try not to deform the battery. A damaged or punctured battery can leak dangerous chemicals and/or catch fire.

    • It may help to gently twist the card to open up a slight gap between the battery cell and the MacBook's case.

  • Slide the card farther underneath the battery cell to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the case.

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Lift the battery cell from the right edge to fully separate it from the adhesive, but don't try to remove it. Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.
  • Lift the battery cell from the right edge to fully separate it from the adhesive, but don't try to remove it.

  • Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

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Repeat the previous three steps to separate the front left battery cell. Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.
  • Repeat the previous three steps to separate the front left battery cell.

  • Leave the plastic card underneath the battery cell to prevent it from re-adhering as you proceed to the next step.

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Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the left side of the MacBook. Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the left side of the MacBook. Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the left side of the MacBook.
  • Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the left side of the MacBook.

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Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the right side of the MacBook. Be careful not to damage the audio jack flex cable, near the back edge of the battery cell.
  • Repeat the previous steps to separate the large battery cell on the right side of the MacBook.

    • Be careful not to damage the audio jack flex cable, near the back edge of the battery cell.

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Lay the lower case assembly down flat, and apply adhesive remover to the two middle battery cells—at each side, and along the front edge (opposite the logic board area). Lay the lower case assembly down flat, and apply adhesive remover to the two middle battery cells—at each side, and along the front edge (opposite the logic board area). Lay the lower case assembly down flat, and apply adhesive remover to the two middle battery cells—at each side, and along the front edge (opposite the logic board area).
  • Lay the lower case assembly down flat, and apply adhesive remover to the two middle battery cells—at each side, and along the front edge (opposite the logic board area).

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Apply some additional adhesive remover down the middle between the two battery cells.
  • Apply some additional adhesive remover down the middle between the two battery cells.

  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the adhesive remover to penetrate before you proceed.

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Insert your plastic card under the front edge one of the battery cells and separate it carefully. Try not to deform the battery. A damaged or punctured battery can leak dangerous chemicals and/or catch fire. If you're having trouble getting the card underneath the battery cell, try working a piece of floss or wire underneath the battery cell and pull it side-to-side in a sawing motion to separate the adhesive.
  • Insert your plastic card under the front edge one of the battery cells and separate it carefully.

    • Try not to deform the battery. A damaged or punctured battery can leak dangerous chemicals and/or catch fire.

    • If you're having trouble getting the card underneath the battery cell, try working a piece of floss or wire underneath the battery cell and pull it side-to-side in a sawing motion to separate the adhesive.

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Repeat the previous step to separate the final battery cell.
  • Repeat the previous step to separate the final battery cell.

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Remove the battery by lifting it away from the speaker and logic board area. Take care not to drag the battery over the lower case assembly, or you may damage the speakers or flex cables. Before installing your new battery, remove all the remaining adhesive from the MacBook's case.
  • Remove the battery by lifting it away from the speaker and logic board area.

    • Take care not to drag the battery over the lower case assembly, or you may damage the speakers or flex cables.

  • Before installing your new battery, remove all the remaining adhesive from the MacBook's case.

    • Peel off larger pieces of adhesive using tweezers or gloved fingers.

    • Scrape away any remaining adhesive with a plastic tool, and clean the underlying areas with adhesive remover or isopropyl alcohol. Wipe in one direction, not back and forth, until all the adhesive residue is gone.

    • This can take quite a bit of work, so be patient.

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  • Test your new battery's fit and alignment carefully before installing it.

  • Unlike most laptop batteries, the MacBook's battery is precisely contoured to fit the "terraced" shape of the lower case. Each cell must be correctly positioned, or the MacBook may not close correctly and damage may result.

    • Your replacement battery may come affixed to a thick plastic top liner to help keep the individual cells in position as you install it. Don't remove this liner until after the battery is installed.

  • If your battery came with adhesive pre-installed on the bottom, peel away the bottom plastic liner to expose the adhesive. If your battery did not come with adhesive, apply a thin double-sided adhesive tape such as Tesa 61395 to the lower case in the areas marked in red.

  • Carefully position the battery and set it into place. Press and hold each cell firmly for 5-10 seconds to secure it to the lower case. Afterward, peel off the plastic top liner along with any foam padding.

  • 2015 models only: After reassembly, remember to connect your MacBook to low-voltage power before turning it on. Failure to follow these instructions may result in logic board damage.

  • Calibrate your new battery before using it: allow it to drain overnight, then charge it to 100% and drain it again until your MacBook shuts down automatically. Charge it again and use it normally.

  • If you notice any unusual behavior or problems after installing your new battery, you may need to reset your MacBook's SMC.

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Conclusion

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

Jeff Suovanen

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