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Introduction

Follow the steps in this guide to replace the front panel in a 21.5" Retina 4K 2017 iMac.

Some images in this guide use a 2015 iMac, which has minor visual differences. These differences do not affect the repair procedure.

This procedure involves removing the faulty/broken display, as well as transferring the display data cable and thermal sensor to a new display.

    • With the hinge free to move, the iMac will be unbalanced and hard to work on. Repairs are fast and easy with an iMac service wedge, but can be completed without one.

    • If you are using the iFixit cardboard service wedge, follow these assembly directions to put it together.

    • Before beginning any work on your iMac: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

    • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

    The wedge is an extremely tight fit for this model. I was worried that the amount of force needed to use it as shown might damage the stand, so I used it with the long side down instead. It worked fine that way and didn’t need anywhere near as much force to insert.

    roberttrevellyan - Réponse

    Here’s a good YouTube vid on upgrading the RAM: Can a Normal Person Upgrade the RAM in the 2017 21.5" iMac?

    Dan - Réponse

    Here are a couple tips from me:

    1) Expose the adhesive to extreme temperatures. I did this by transporting my iMac in my car, screen-down on a piece of cardboard on a cold February morning (in Chicago). When I went to pick up the iMac, the screen practically fell off the chassis. I would have been distraught by this if I hadn’t already planned this replacement. So it was a happy accident.

    2) Remember to expell the residual power from the power supply by pushing the power button while the iMac is unplugged. This does NOT guarantee it’s safe to touch, but when I accidentally brushed the solder and exposed capacitors, I didn’t get shocked.

    jerrid_foiles - Réponse

    Instead of using the wedge, I placed the iMac faced up with the top side (web cam) facing me while I ran the pizza roller around. It worked out great!

    Sam Fung - Réponse

    “All iMacs also come with a traditional hard drive” mine doesn’t!! it’s HDD bay is completely empty, no SATA cable or anything. I guess I’ll have to upgrade the PCIe SSD instead.

    Chris Hughes - Réponse

    There is no replacement glass for this model, it is part of the LCD and impossible to remove or replace- the entire LCD has to be replaced unfortunately if the glass is cracked or damaged. You will have to Google search for a replacement. Also be careful with some of the lock tight tork screws as I broke one of my screw mounts taking one out.

    Phil Tesone - Réponse

    I used this service wedge but also found it a very tight fit. The same stabilization can be achieved by using a big rolled up towel.

    Ernst - Réponse

    While this is a good instruction guide, I recommend to also look at OWC’s instruction video about drive installation, before starting the exercise. Those install videos are very detailed and useful.

    Ernst - Réponse

  1. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 2, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 2, image 2 de 2
    • 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 enclosure.

    • 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" into the display. Otherwise, you risk severing antenna cables and causing serious damage.

    Don’t get too worried about starting exactly where the picture says. The glue is stronger in some parts so just start wherever is easier and then work slowly and patiently around in the direction shown.

    Richard Cook - Réponse

    As this guide doesn’t cover replacing the adhesive strips, I found referring to the following was useful (noting that it’s not for the same model of iMac, so the modification they mention wasn’t necessary): Changer les bandes adhésives de l'iMac Intel 21,5'' EMC 2544

    Alan Digby - Réponse

    It is very easy to crack the glass in front of the LCD during this step. I used the guitar pick, maybe it was too thick… crack is just on the frame but anyway it is disappointing :(

    Nikolay - Réponse

    This part of the exercise should be done with extreme patience. I took my sweet time with the opening tool, rolling it through the entire panel and enclosure gap over and over again, until I was very sure no parts were sticking together anymore. And when I thought I was I done, I decided to do it over again.

    Ernst - Réponse

    You can "warm up" the adhesive before try to cut it with the tool using a hair dryer. Heat the edges for about a minute, keep moving it so you don't cause stress in the glass. Also the above note.. use the tool and then the cards. Do not use a guitar pick or other objects as the thickness will cause you to break the front glass, which is a bonded part of the display (expensive).

    Carl Schultz - Réponse

    In korean, 아이맥 오프닝툴을 이용하여 화면과 뒷본체부 사이에 틈사이, 전원버튼이 있는 디스플레이 왼쪽부터 분리를 시작한다

    Ethan ryu - Réponse

  2. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 3, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 3, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 3, image 3 de 3
    • 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.

    Erreur de traduction: "de bas en haut" et non de" haut en bas" sur le côté gauche de l'écran

    Moreau - Réponse

    If re-opening a screen that was opened and re-attached using iFixit’s adhesive strips, I would strongly recommend heating it first with an iOpener, heat gun or hair dryer. 20 minutes after attaching with the iFixit adhesive I tried to open it again with the pizza slicer to fix something and cracked the screen on the left-hand side.

    plasticpool - Réponse

  3. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 4, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 4, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 4, image 3 de 3
    • Continue running the tool up around the top left corner.

    Ne pincez pas l’écran avec l’autre main. Vous exercez une pression inutile sur le verre et empêchez la roulette de couper le joint.

    phfoglia - Réponse

  4. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 5, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 5, image 2 de 2
    • Cut the adhesive along the top left of the display.

  5. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 6, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 6, image 2 de 2
    • 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.

    In this step can I cut along the display without make any damage to the front camera?

    arisnordico - Réponse

    Hi! Actually - there is no need to cut the tape around the camera area - there is no tape to cut at all! And so, the way go is easy - just pass 10 mm to the left and to the right from camera and start cutting!

    P.S. Just did the whole procedure to replace a RAM and to add SSD on PSIe an hour ago! Seems to be different reading the instructions... you know - 2/10 and so on. But it's really not that hard, trust me. I'll give it 5/10.

    P.P.S. By the way there is one trick to pass the difficult steps. Any action which requires pulling smth (motherboard, speaker, power supply unit) from the narrow crack (or should i say - slit?) at the bottom of your Imac is really not so easy.

    And the trick is to first remove a thin metal stripe with some kind of insulation on it which held by 5 small (very small!!) screws at the bottom of your Imac. After you done it - it's easy to pull everything! Pay attention to the fact that one of this 5 screws at the center are more shortly than others.

    dv1977 - Réponse

    After doing the replacement the adhesive still sticks quite good enough to hold the screen in place. Maybe this isn't rock-solid, but enough for me.

    Mirko - Réponse

    I did all steps like this manuell but now the Display wont work only some colered strips are to see! Whats happend??

    Can anybody help me ? Maybe the connector cable is broken?

    djfanta - Réponse

    Check both connectors, probably one of them not seated well

    pzhivulin -

    You can add a SATA SSD if you already have a PCIe SSD Factory?

    kaserlik - Réponse

    If you're changing cracked EMC 2638 display to new assembly, there's two more steps:

    Step 24: Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

    Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the display assembly.

    Step 25: Use the tip of a spudger to unplug bracket of the thermal sensor small cable near display data cable.

    Carefully remove scotch tape covering thermal sensor. Using iSesamo or flat tip of the spudger carefully peel the thermal sensor away.

    pzhivulin - Réponse

    omg - forgot to switch the termal sensor from the old display...

    now fan runs like crazy...

    Andrei Balotescu -

    The key thing is to never put any force on the opening tool when working through the tape. Just roll it back and forth with ease.

    Ernst - Réponse

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

  7. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 8, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 8, image 2 de 2
    • Wheel the tool down along the right side of the display.

  8. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 9, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 9, image 2 de 2
    • 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.

    Yes, do it many times to loosen the adhesive.

    Noah Ralston - Réponse

    Would be good data to show the 3 areas (wifi antennas where the "tape" is larger and covers them. The rest of the "tape" is 1.4" and easy. Also after removing the display, be sure to remove the old "tape" from both the display and the rubber parts of the case. Use the spudger to start an end and it should pull off easily. Careful on the baackside of the display as you can scratch off the black paint/covering.

    Carl Schultz - Réponse

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    • While the opening tool cut most of the adhesive, 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, wedge a plastic card between the display and frame.

    • Be careful not to insert the plastic card more than 3/8", or you may damage internal components.

    this step is extremely important NOT to stick in the cards too far….. doing so, you risk a 600 euro replacement as I experienced………

    Edgar Broekema - Réponse

    I drew a 3/8” line on my cards with a marker first.

    Max Romano - Réponse

    I’m reading this on the EU store, please change all measurements to cm/mm.

    Morgana Devina - Réponse

    @ifixit The next batch of cards you create should have a line printed on the card 3/8” in from the edges. Would make a nice reference.

    Richard Giratd - Réponse

    Here’s where OWC provides glass removal suction cups, which is a better solution than plastic cards.

    The suction cups help to easily lift the glass panel, without risking the damaging of any internal wiring that the plastic cards could cause.

    Ernst - Réponse

    Better to remove stand wedge at this point? Can’t see from pics

    derekrobinson - Réponse

  10. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 11, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 11, image 2 de 2
    • Gently twist the plastic card sideways to create a gap 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".

    This part must be done very carefully or you can damage the flat cable from display, despite it was under a iron cover.

    Cassio Machado - Réponse

  11. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 12, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 12, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 12, image 3 de 3
    • Slide the card toward the center of the display to cut any of the remaining adhesive along the top right corner of the iMac.

    • Be sure to stop before the iSight camera, or you may damage it.

    You don't need to do it like this, simply open the iMac bendidng the LCD completely and use the pizza cutter to remove the adhesive.

    Felix - Réponse

    Agreed. The card is too thick to cut through the adhesive in this way. Use the pizza cutter or a sharper blade at this point.

    Max Romano -

    Using glass removal suction cups will avoid running this risk of damaging the camera (or any wiring).

    Ernst - Réponse

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    • Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again, and leave it there to prevent the adhesive from resticking.

  13. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 14, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 14, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 14, image 3 de 3
    • Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame near the top left corner of the iMac.

  14. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 15, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 15, image 2 de 2
    • Gently twist the card upward, slightly increasing the space between the display and frame.

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

  15. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 16, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 16, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 16, image 3 de 3
    • Slide the plastic card toward the center, again stopping just before the iSight camera.

  16. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 17, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 17, image 2 de 2
    • Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.

  17. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 18, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 18, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 18, image 3 de 3
    • With both plastic cards inserted as shown near the corners, gently twist the cards sideways 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 remaining adhesive.

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

    • Only lift the display a few inches—the display data and power cables are still connected to the logic board.

  18. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display Assembly Cables: étape 19, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display Assembly Cables: étape 19, image 2 de 2
    • Lift the display up enough to have easy access to the connector, but not so much that you stretch the cables and stress their connections (about 8").

    • Hold the display with one hand while using your other hand to unplug the display power cable.

    It was difficult to remove this connection. I ended up having to gently pull-up vertically a little on the wire side to unsnap it about 1mm and then horizontally wiggle it out.

    delacrj2 - Réponse

    I had a difficult time removing this connection. I had to lift the wire-side about 1mm before it unsnapped and then carefully wiggle it out horizontally.

    delacrj2 - Réponse

    Can this cable be replaced? I am worried mine is damaged. I have no display after the screen fell and stressed the display flex cables following an SSD upgrade.

    Jeremy Brainard - Réponse

    This step should be done with extreme caution and care, as this step 19 is not described in great detail (sorry, author).

    The first (most outward) cable will slide out by gently pulling it by its tabs. The second (inner) cable is more tricky, as the locking lever must be moved backward first, before gently pulling backward on the cable connector. The angled tweezers are useful here, to help lift that locking lever, because fingers are too big for this.

    Ernst - Réponse

    be VERY careful and SLOW...take your time. These displays crack VERY easily when removing and they'll spider web on you. I've done probably 20 or so of these and cracked 3 being super careful.....ugh.

    Faslane - Réponse

  19. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 20, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 20, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 20, image 3 de 3
    • Continuing to support the display with one hand, flip up the metal retaining bracket on the display data cable.

    • Carefully pull the display data cable from its socket on the logic board.

    • Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket, keeping it parallel to the motherboard, to avoid damaging it.

    Cannot seem to find a replacement cable for this, as I suspect mine is damaged. Can’t even find a part number. Anyone know what it might be?

    Jeremy Brainard - Réponse

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TTL...

    That's the part I ordered for mine and it seems to work ok. I did make a point of contacting the seller and advising them of my requirement and they ensured I got the right part and it matches the description of the link. Bear in mind I bear no responsibility if yours does not work since I am just sharing what I did and what I ordered. Thanks.

    Jim Stanford -

    I also need that cable.

    cameronjpu - Réponse

    It's a little difficult to tell... but looking at the connection to the logic board on the video data cable, are the pins faced up or down?

    On the display, same question since it appears you have to "twist" the cable during the reconnection step.

    Jim Stanford - Réponse

  20. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display Assembly Separation: étape 21, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display Assembly Separation: étape 21, image 2 de 2
    • 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.

    The best way to remove the chin adhesive is to use the tabs at either end (there are two strips that run from each outside corner to near the centre). Carefully pull the tabs up and the strips should peel off.

    Advance Technical Service - Réponse

  21. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 22, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 22, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 22, image 3 de 3
    • Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply (boxed in red).

    • Grasp the small tab at the end of one of the bottom edge display adhesive strips and pull the adhesive toward the top of the iMac to remove it.

    • Repeat this step with the other adhesive strip and remove it.

    • If either adhesive strip breaks before it's removed, use a plastic card to slice through the remaining adhesive.

    At step 21-22, releasing the adhesive strips from the bottom of the display, I noticed a tab on the outer end of each strip. Pull the tab to remove the whole strip, no need to mess around with the plastic cards!

    roberttrevellyan - Réponse

  22. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 23, image 1 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 23, image 2 de 3 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 23, image 3 de 3
    • 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.

    • After the adhesive is cut, it cannot be used to re-seal the display in place. Follow this guide to replace the adhesive strips that secure the display to the rear enclosure.

  23. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display: étape 24, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement, Display: étape 24, image 2 de 2
    • Gently set the display face-down on a sturdy, flat surface. It may be helpful to put it on a towel or cloth to protect it from dirt or debris that can scratch the front glass.

    • Use your fingernail or the pointed tip of a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the display data connector.

  24. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 25, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 25, image 2 de 2
    • Pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket on the back of the display.

  25. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 26, image 1 de 1
    • Use an iOpener near the top edge of the display assembly to heat and soften the adhesive on the piece of tape holding the thermal sensor in place.

    • Instructions on how to properly heat and use the iOpener can be found here.

  26. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 27, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 27, image 2 de 2
    • Peel up the piece of tape securing the thermal sensor to the back of the display assembly.

    • Depending on your iMac model, the thermal sensor may be positioned slightly differently.

  27. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 28, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 28, image 2 de 2
    • Use an opening pick to break up the adhesive holding the thermal sensor to the back of the iMac display.

  28. iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 29, image 1 de 2 iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Display Replacement: étape 29, image 2 de 2
    • Disconnect the thermal sensor from its socket on the back of the display.

    • Remove the thermal sensor and transfer it to your new display assembly.

Conclusion

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

6 autres ont terminé cette réparation.

Adam O'Camb

Membre depuis le 11/04/2015

163 231 Réputation

418 tutoriels rédigés

6 commentaires

Great work, done in 35 min. Thanks :)

John Grace - Réponse

What is the part number for a replacement screen for an iMac Intel 21.5” Retina 4K Display (Apple Model No. A1418, EMC 3069)? Does ifixit carry them?

Justin Wren - Réponse

Hey there, I am in the same situation.

My screen has a crack in it, so I am ordering a replacement from Alibaba soon, but it seems like there are 2 part numbers associate with this iMac model:

LM215UH1-SDA1

LM215UH1-SDB1

Please let me know if you have found a solution.

Mr.Maker -

Mr. Maker, I ordered this one from ebay back in March: https://www.ebay.com/itm/323724320252

The part number was LM215UH1 (SD)(B1) and worked perfectly. Really easy repair. Good luck!

Justin Wren - Réponse

Hi, unfortunately I cracked the front glass of the 4k lcd, so I wonder if there is the possibility to replace only the glass instead of the whole lcd assembly.

Please le me know. thanks for support

Alessio

Alessio Antonini - Réponse

So I was replacing RAM and hard drive and cracked my display. It still worked when reassembled but the crack in the display bothered me and I went to replace it today. Everything went great until I went to test the display…nothing. My old display doesn’t work now either. (One quick note - I took a “B1” out and my new part was an “A1”)

Anyway, the first three LED’s on my logic board are fully lit, 4th is on but very dim, 5th not on at all. Any advice what to check next? Ribbon cable maybe?

Steven Phillips - Réponse

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