Introduction

Issues with Photobooth and FaceTime? Might be time to replace your iSight camera.

Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear case. The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" (9.5 mm) into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage. The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" (9.5 mm) into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.
  • Starting on the left of the display, near the power button, insert the iMac Opening Tool into the gap between the glass panel and the rear case.

  • The hub on the iMac Opening Tool will keep you from pushing the wheel in too far. If using a different tool, insert no more than 3/8" (9.5 mm) into the display. You risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

Would a heat gun make this step easier? Or damage the iMac?

Clark Green - Réponse

A heat gun wouldn’t help you here as you still need to cut though the adhesive. You also risk damaging the display with the excessive heat.

Dan -

Removing the original adhesive is easier than removing newly applied adhesive (e.g., if you have to reopen iMac).  If you should happen to need to reopen the iMac, please use extreme caution and highly consider my suggestions below.

When using the pizza cutter tool, do the first few steps in reverse starting with step 8.  Starting on the left side is better since this is where the adhesive is narrowest.  The right side has two antennas and the top right has one, see the pictures for step 18-21, they are the brass colored metal rectangles near the edges.  The adhesive on these pieces are wider and therefore have more holding power.  The thickness of the pizza cutter tool is enough to crack the glass.

Walter Hayden - Réponse

Continuing from my previous comment.  To remove the adhesive on the right side you’ll need to create a very slight gap to give the pizza cutter some more room.  Do this by cutting the adhesive on the left side up and around to the camera.  Before attempting to cut the right side. Carefully slide the plastic cards (I purchased two sets) to ensure the adhesive on the left top and side is completely free.  Now slowly move towards the right side.  After every inch or two of removing new adhesive, slide the card over to create this slight gap.  Be careful to not move the card too close to where the adhesive has not been cut.  You want to create a very slight gap without creating too much pressure.  Use extra caution with approaching the areas where the antenna are since the adhesive is stronger here and will need some additional cutting.  Follow this approach all the way around the right side.  Be careful to not create too much pressure at any one time.  Good Luck!.

Walter Hayden - Réponse

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Réponse

I performed this on a Late 2015 iMac and there weren’t any significant differences to these steps, but I did find the repair to be nerve-wracking. My model cost nearly $3,000 and about 10 steps into this guide (which I did fully read ahead of time) I was thinking, “what have I got myself into?” But I didn’t rush and happily I’m typing this on my repaired iMac! I found a video from OWC that was more useful than the photos in this guide for certain steps: https://vimeo.com/139364064

Anthony Zimmerman - Réponse

Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center. Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle. Run the tool up along the left side of the display.
  • Use the tool like a pizza cutter—roll it along through the gap, and it will cut the foam adhesive through the center.

  • Be sure to always push with the handle behind the cutting wheel. If you pull, the wheel might get pulled out of the handle.

  • Run the tool up along the left side of the display.

I found the 'pizza cutter' surprisingly smooth at cutting through four-year-old adhesive.

Gerry - Réponse

Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner. Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner. Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner.
  • Continue wheeling the tool up around the top left corner.

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Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display. Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.
  • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

The pizza cutter will sink in all the way to the tool handle when the adhesive is full cut, but don’t feel you have to do this in one motion. Some parts cut easier and some require a lot (like 20x) of gentle back and forth.

Anthony Zimmerman - Réponse

Continue along the top of the display. You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.
  • Continue along the top of the display.

  • You may want to run the tool back and forth through what you've already cut a few times, to ensure you get as much of the adhesive separated as possible.

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Push the tool around the top right corner of the display. Push the tool around the top right corner of the display. Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.
  • Push the tool around the top right corner of the display.

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Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display. Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.
  • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

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Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display. At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.
  • Finish pushing the opening tool to the bottom of the right side of the display.

  • At this point, you'll want to run the tool back around the entire display, to ensure you cut as much adhesive as possible.

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While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive. Set the iMac face-up on a table. Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.
  • While the opening tool did the lion's share of the work, the display will still be slightly adhered to the case. A plastic card will be necessary to free up the last of this adhesive.

  • Set the iMac face-up on a table.

  • Starting from the top right corner of the iMac, insert a plastic card between the display and frame.

    • Be careful not to insert it more than 3/8" (9.5 mm), or you may damage internal components.

I actually DESTROYED my display (black vertical strips) by pushing the card in a bit TOO DEEP. So it is REALLY important to insert the card only a bit (1-2mm) more than the cutter wheel, in particular at the top side, where many flat cables connect the panel with the PCB. These can be damaged very easily!

Peter Fischer - Réponse

Same thing with me…. Pushed cards to far…. new panel needed…€600…..

i think ifixit needs to place a bigger caveat, as I have missed it the first time

Edgar Broekema - Réponse

i successfully upgraded two imacs. one opened with ifixit pizza knife and another with a regular paper knife. however, when i had to open the first one once again i broke its screen glass. it seems ifixit adhesive strips are too strong. next time i’ll try to use heater to weaken glue tension.

Eugene Kharkov - Réponse

Gently twist the plastic card to open the space between the display and frame. Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4" (6mm).
  • Gently twist the plastic card to open the space between the display and frame.

  • Move slowly and be careful not to stress the display glass too much—you only need to make a gap of about 1/4" (6mm).

My children tend to collect cards like this from hotels, Disneyland, old IDs, iTunes cards, gift cards etc. They came in handy for this step. After wedging in the first card into the left corner, I wedged the left corner, then added cards along the bottom edge. Finally I continued to push in additional cards to existing cards and found that this created a smooth even pressure along the display top. At 2-3 card-thickness the last of the adhesive let go, gentle as a baby.

Anthony Zimmerman - Réponse

Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it. Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive. Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.
  • Be sure to stop cutting before the iSight camera in this step, or you may damage it.

  • Slide the card toward the center of the display, to cut any remaining adhesive.

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Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling. Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.
  • Put the card into the corner again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

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Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner. Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner. Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.
  • Insert a second card into the gap between the display and frame in the top left corner.

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Gently twist the card, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame. As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.
  • Gently twist the card, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

  • As with the other side, move slowly to allow the adhesive to break, and be careful not to over-stress the display glass.

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Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera. Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera. Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.
  • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

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Insert the card back into the top left corner. Insert the card back into the top left corner.
  • Insert the card back into the top left corner.

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Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables. With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case. If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area.
  • Only lift the display a few inches—it is still attached to the iMac by data and power cables.

  • With the cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards to increase the gap between display and case.

  • If there are any sections that seem to stick and won't separate, stop twisting and use one of the cards to cut the adhesive in the problem area.

  • Begin to lift the top of the display up from the frame.

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While holding the display up with one hand, use the other to unplug the display power cable. Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").
  • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other to unplug the display power cable.

    • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connections, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

Mark all cable connectors with a spot of white correction fluid before removal. This will remove the risk, when reinserting them later, of getting them the wrong way round. Yes - I know they will only plug in one way round, but it does make life easier if you are not in perfect lighting!

Alastair Lack - Réponse

At this step, if you mess up anything with these 2 cables, especially when plugging them back in, even if you think you’re following the instructions here to a T, then you’re screwed.

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Réponse

The display cable, the wider one, has a lock on it , usually a plastic tape lift tab to release it, once thats flipped it should come out fairly easily, if your experiencing resistance and the cable isn’t coming out then check for this lock/latch, the power cable just pulls out, just don’t rush it everything should go fine, fairly easy to do with the end result a working iMac

Ed tabickman - Réponse

Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable. Disconnect the display data cable. This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.
  • Flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

  • Disconnect the display data cable.

    • This is a delicate connection that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, toward the top of the iMac.

I replaced HDD to SSD and assembled parts again. When I boot up the iMac, I found black lines on display (looks partly not broken).

I searched Internet, and some says graphic card problem, but I didn't touch anything but cable to lift up.

Could the damaged display data cable cause this situation? I hope I could fix this by just replacing the cables..

chansung park - Réponse

Sorry, Black lines is a damaged display assembly ;-{ In the process of removing it you either pushed the tool into deep or you torqued the glass severing the tiny wire traces.

Dan -

Same trouble here, is it cable trouble or connector trouble?

redfoxydarrest - Réponse

Sorry damaged display

Dan -

I think whenever words like "...is a delicate connection that can be broken. Be sure to pull the [cable in a certain direction] ANYTIME.... It is worth either a closeup or 2, maybe one with annotations or insertion directions and maybe a motion direction arrow with the something like and 'X' char or a circle division slash over the wrong one.

john - Réponse

I agree! +1

Jim Reitz -

[|There are 2 cables to disconnect on my Mac (?). Also, I don’t see a metal retaining bracket. I can take a picture, but cannot attach. I got the glass loose with no problem, but am worried about damaging the cables]

Jim Kelly - Réponse

Hi Jim! You can go to our Answers Forum to post some better images of your situation!

Sam Lionheart -

At this step, if you mess up anything with these 2 cables, especially when plugging them back in, even if you think you’re following the instructions here to a T, then you’re screwed.

I would highly, highly, highly recommend AGAINST doing this at home. I followed these instructions to a T, and still somehow managed to have the screen not be able to turn on after the hard drive replacement. Then, once you’ve opened your Mac yourself, Apple will refuse to fix anything on the computer, and even other third party, Apple-authorized repair facility will refuse to repair it for you, and you will have to locate a non-authorized Apple repair facility. There, I am having to pay ~$600 to fix things that got screwed up, even though I followed the instructions here to a T, step by step, and did everything slowly and methodically.

Beware, if you’ve never done this before, that be locked out of ever being able to use an Apple repair facility, or Apple-authorized repair facility, if you mess things up here now.

Luke Gibson - Réponse

Lift the display up to a near-vertical position. At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.
  • Lift the display up to a near-vertical position.

  • At this point there is still a strip of adhesive along the bottom of the display, that will hold the display to the frame like a hinge. You can loosen this adhesive by working the display up and down a few times.

  • Remove as much of the adhesive as possible by grabbing it at the outer edges, and then pulling or rolling it towards the middle.

Thank you Stef, that's what i will do next time, i cracked the lower part of the screen went opening very slowly, that's probably why those "tabs are for !!

dforgues - Réponse

Thanks Stef, this has saved me! Simple yet very effective.

David Zemsky - Réponse

Yep, I cracked the lower corner of the display as well. I failed to work the adhesive enough to loosen it sufficiently. Be careful, I just had to buy my customer another screen!

Peter Haigh - Réponse

If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip. Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red). Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).
  • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

  • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

Would have been helpful to box the same red area when using the plastic card to separate the glue. Since the red blocked picture is inverted, if someone doesn't pay close attention it may not be obvious that the area of concern is at the right top of the graphic pictures in which the plastic card use is being demonstrated..

Wizbang FL - Réponse

you don't need to cut the bottom part as the bottom tape is stuck on each side and you can easily pull it out

Thomas Webb - Réponse

What is the twisted wire taped to the back of the display that can bee seen in the upper right of the first two pictures? I have an 27” iMac without a screen an my replacement does not have this wire. I think it is a temperature sensor but do not know where it connects to.

Eric - Réponse

[|I opened up my iMac and there’s no HDD or SSD in that spot. its just empty.]

John Warmann - Réponse

Please update the picture to include the RED BOXED IN AREA that you refer to on all three pictures in this step. I have had a few zaps from these supplies and it is not pleasant.

Charlie Nancarrow - Réponse

Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass. Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac. It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.
  • Be very careful handling the display—it's big, heavy, and made of glass.

  • Lift the display up from the frame and remove it from the iMac.

  • It may be necessary to slowly lift from one side, to peel against the remaining adhesive.

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  • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs can be completed with the iMac laying down, but are faster and easier with an iMac service wedge.

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Flip down the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable. Flip down the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable.
  • Flip down the metal retaining bracket on the iSight camera cable.

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Disconnect the iSight camera cable from its socket on the camera board. Be sure to remove only the iSight connector—the microphone connector is on a separate branch of the cable. Disconnect the microphone cable from its socket.
  • Disconnect the iSight camera cable from its socket on the camera board.

    • Be sure to remove only the iSight connector—the microphone connector is on a separate branch of the cable.

  • Disconnect the microphone cable from its socket.

    • These are delicate connections that can easily be broken. Be sure to pull the two connectors straight down out of their sockets.

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Remove two 4.3 mm T5 screws securing the iSight camera board to the top of the rear case.
  • Remove two 4.3 mm T5 screws securing the iSight camera board to the top of the rear case.

    • When reinstalling, be careful not to over-tighten these screws. They have large shoulders and will not hold the camera board tightly against the rear case.

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Remove the iSight camera from the iMac. Remove the iSight camera from the iMac.
  • Remove the iSight camera from the iMac.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse and use our Adhesive Strips Guide to reattach the display glass.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg

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