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How to Replace the Unibody Macbook Glass LCD

September 25th, 2009

How to Repair Unibody Macbook Glass

It used to be that if your screen cracked on your laptop, you’d just replace the LCD and be done with it. That unfortunately is no longer the case. With the introduction of the Unibody Macbook and Macbook pro models, Apple changed the design of the display assembly. Now, there is a glass panel assembly that is placed on top of the LCD panel. The good news is that it is possible to crack just the glass panel and save yourself some money. The bad news is that it is also possible to crack both the glass panel and the LCD.



13” Macbook Glass - $59.95

13” Macbook Pro Glass - $59.95

15” Macbook Pro Glass - $69.95

If you take your Macbook to most repair companies with a cracked display, they’ll undoubtedly say you need to replace the entire display assembly and charge you some astronomical figure. It really isn’t an extremely difficult procedure to do yourself however, and so we’ve created the guide below to show you just how to do it.

The guide below is for the 13 Inch Macbook and Macbook Pro Unibody models. The 15 Inch procedure is similar, but not identical. We’ll have that guide available shortly.

If you’re not up for the repair, our Mac Service Center can do the job for you for $154.95 for a 15″ Macbook Pro, $154.95 for a 13″ Macbook or Macbook Pro, or $164.95 for a 17″ Macbook Pro.

The Procedure: (Video Format)

This text will be replaced

The Procedure: (Text and Photo Format)

Click on any photo to go to a higher detail photo.

To begin, use a heat gun to loosen the double sided adhesive strip that holds the glass in place. Use caution, and heat the glass in short segments as over heating can cause damage to your LCD.With the glass heated, place a strong suction cup on the glass  and pull up and away from the glass.

If heated properly, you’ll be able to see a small gap between the glass and the and the rest of the display. Insert a thin piece of plastic such as a credit card or movie rental card into the opening. Work the piece of plastic in enough where it can be slid along the seem of the glass. This will break the adhesive strip holding the glass in place.Repeat this procedure along the entire edge of the glass assembly. When you meet resistance, heat the area and repeat.

IMG_3474

Once you have used a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the adhesive strip, use a strong suction cup to begin to separate the glass from the display assembly.

macbook-glass-opening

Caution: When pulling up on the suction cup, you should have to exert some force. However, do not apply excessive force as this could crack your glass or LCD. When you meet resistance, heat the area and repeat. At a certain point the glass will easily come free from the rest of the display assembly. Set the glass to the side on a clean, dust free, surface.

macbook-glass-screws

Next, remove 4 philips head screws ( 2 on either side ) holding the LCD to the display frame. Then remove the 2 philips head screws at the bottom of the display.

macbook-glass-clutch

Next remove the clutch cover by sliding it to the side and applying a gentle upward pressure.

macbook-glass-tilt

Flip the display assembly forward, and the LCD will come free from the backing.

macbook-glass-cable

Gently work the LVDS cable out of the opening in the bottom of the display frame to remove the LCD from the display assembly.

glassfinished

All of the pieces of the Macbook Unibody Display Assembly


To reassemble, place the LCD back in the frame, and insert the LVDS cable backwards through the opening in the bottom the display frame. Then pull the cable through the opening.   You can use a plastic pry tool to assist you in routing the cable.  Be very careful with this cable as it can be easily damaged.

Line the bottom of the LCD up with the bottom frame, and slide it into the groove in the bottom frame. Then make sure the 6 screw holes are properly aligned.  Replace the 6 philip head screws.

Before putting the glass back on, use a cloth to glean any dust or fingerprints from the LCD and glass panel.

So where do you get the glass and LCD?

Macbook 13 Inch Unibody

Glass Panel – $59.95

LCD Panel – $129.95

Macbook Pro 13 Inch Unibody

Glass Panel – $59.95

LCD Panel – $129.95

Macbook Pro 15 Inch Unibody

Glass Panel – $69.95
LCD Panel – $169.95


82 Responses to “How to Replace the Unibody Macbook Glass LCD”

  1. 1
    beginner Says:

    hello, i have a macbook pro unibody 13 inch with a cracked glass screen. the lcd is fine and the laptop is working perfectly, so i am glad that there is a way to replace only the glass screen. i have two questions though before i purchase the glass screen from your site:

    1) your video does not show how to remove the lid from the hinge on the base, and i can’t figure this out from looking at the machine. does the lid not need to be removed if only the glass is being replaced?

    2) there are quite a few cracks running down the glass, and it seems likely that it will come apart when i pull up on the suction cup. is that not something to worry about?

    thanks in advance for your response.

  2. 2
    Bradley Says:

    You do not technically have to remove the display assembly from the rest of the unit to replace the glass. If the glass is cracked, then it may come off in a few pieces depending how badly cracked it is. It isn’t something to worry about, just be careful when removing the glass so you don’t cut yourself.

  3. 3
    Tom Says:

    Hairdryer didn’t work. Besides that, my screen was a bit cracked. But I did it! Piece by piece, but it worked without damaging the LCD.

    *proud*

    :-P

  4. 4
    beginner Says:

    bradley: thanks for the response.

    tom: that’s very inspiring. i’m gearing up to make the purchase today. can you share what you used in place of the hairdryer? and how long did it take to loosen the adhesive and get the glass out? and did you manage it without having to separate the display from the rest of the case?

  5. 5
    Greg Says:

    Your video is killing me. Select a format that loads with a buffer. This is not working well with satellite internet.

  6. 6
    Bradley Says:

    All of our videos load with a 30 second buffer.

  7. 7
    Liam Speirs Says:

    Hi does the glass replacement come with the adhesive strips to install?

  8. 8
    Tara Says:

    Hi, Is the replacement glass actually glass or is it plastic? Does apple void your warranty if you replace this yourself without an apple replacement part?
    Thanks so much!

    :)

  9. 9
    Alex Says:

    Has anyone tried locating/sourcing a higher-resolution display for the MBP13? Would it be -technically- feasible to swap in a 1440×900 (WXGA+) screen instead of the current screen?

    Or is this crazy talk because some HW changes would have to be made for the laptop to recognize the higher-res screen?

    Thx.

  10. 10
    Bradley Says:

    The adhesive strips are built into the glass replacements, yes.

  11. 11
    Bradley Says:

    Our 13″ Glass panels are actually glass. The 15″ is currently plastic but will be glass within 1-2 weeks. If Apple can tell you’ve been in the machine yourself, then generally that will void your warranty. If your glass is cracked however, that would also void your warranty.

  12. 12
    Bradley Says:

    It should technically be possible, but we haven’t tested it in the shop yet. We are actually in the process of testing this though, and should it work we’ll have them up on our store shortly.

  13. 13
    edwin Says:

    How do you get the display hinges loose from the main body because my led is also broke

  14. 14
    Bradley Says:

    You can view our Mac repair guides here.

  15. 15
    Alex Says:

    sweet :) having had a 12″ WXGA laptop before (Dell d430), I really would love more pixel real-estate on a 13″ screen. I guess I’ll check back from time to time.

  16. 16
    Taylor Says:

    i have a macbook 13in if i gust pull the glass out and replace it with out removing the screen will it look like new and if not how.

  17. 17
    Bradley Says:

    It would of course depend on the condition of the machine before, but if just the glass is damaged, and you replace the glass, yes it would look like new.

  18. 18
    Lisa Stolen Says:

    I just replaced the cracked glass on my 13″ MacBook without removing the display. It was slick. It took less time than watching the video! I didn’t have a suction-cup tool, but the heat gun and credit cards were all I needed. I’m sooooo glad it went well. It’s my birthday, so I thought Karma-wise it was an auspicious day to try. Thanks Powerbook Medic!

  19. 19
    Andrey Says:

    Dear Bradley,
    Does your glass come with the logo MacBook at the bottom of the bezel?

    Please let me know?
    Thanks

  20. 20
    mrwhite Says:

    hey guys, i need urgently this glass for my 13¨ macbook pro. recently i scrath de display but its still working perfectly… the question is. if you do international purchase or even if you accept international credits cards… i need to kwon this as soon as you can… thanks for all…

  21. 21
    Bradley Says:

    Yes, we do take international orders and ship internationally.

  22. 22
    Bradley Says:

    Yes it does.

  23. 23
    Ernst Says:

    Hi Bradley, does the glass lens cover for the 13.3 unibody MacBook come with the iSight metal thingies in the middle of the backside? Thanks for letting me know. Regards, Ernst

  24. 24
    Bradley Says:

    No, it does not.

  25. 25
    Ernst Says:

    Hi Bradley, should I peal it off of the broken one or just leave it? By the way; when will the cover be available again? Thanks and best regards from Holland.

  26. 26
    Bradley Says:

    You shouldn’t have to transfer the piece.

  27. 27
    Greg Says:

    When will you have glass panels available again?

  28. 28
    Bradley Says:

    We get weekly shipments of the glass panels. Demand is so high that we sell out quickly, however we’re getting larger quantities to avoid stocking issues in the future.

  29. 29
    henry Says:

    hey bradley, how come you have to remove the LCD when all your doing is replacing the glass screen?

  30. 30
    Bradley Says:

    You don’t have to remove the LCD to replace the glass. This video is showing you how to remove the glass and LCD and perform both repairs.

  31. 31
    cc Says:

    Hello- do you have any estimated date that the glass only will be available again? Thanks!

  32. 32
    Bradley Says:

    Tuesday – Wednesday of next week (March 9th-10th)

  33. 33
    Nick b Says:

    Does the glass replacement (SKU17333) come with the little clear camera hole or watever it is? I still want to have the camera and microphone work.

  34. 34
    Bradley Says:

    Yes it does come with the camera and microphone holes, just like the original.

  35. 35
    Michael Gizachew Says:

    Well I must say that is some good news for my MacBook 13 inch fell and I cracked the LCD protector lucky me I did not touch the LCD. It is a great news thank you.

  36. 36
    Jim Says:

    I was thinking of removing the broken glass and using the MacBook Pro with replacing the glass? I realize the screen would look less glossy and also have less reflection. But are there other reasons NOT to consider going glassless? And if going glassless is OK, are there ways to make the LCD more secure/protected? And make it more attractive to look at? Any other advice here?

  37. 37
    Bradley Says:

    You can do it without major issues. A few of the minor ones I can think of off the top of my head are.

    1.) Your top case could potentially get scratched when the lid is closed.
    2.) Dust and other junk could easily enter the display clamshell assembly.
    3.) It would be easier to break the LCD which is more expensive than a glass panel.

  38. 38
    xclot Says:

    Hey my macbook screen is cracked and if I don’t push on the screen it doesn’t work most of the time. There are no ink bloches anywhere does this mean that it is only a glass repair still.

  39. 39
    Bradley Says:

    It’s unlikely that this is just a glass issue. You likely have something else going on there and I’d recommend professional diagnosis. We do offer free diagnosis with our send-in service.

  40. 40
    Paul Says:

    Hi. I have dented my Display Back Case on one corner. The machine works perfectly, it just looks bad. To replace the Back Case, i would have to remove the glass. Would this then require a new glass screen as the adhesive would be ruined?

    Regards
    Paul

  41. 41
    Bradley Says:

    You shouldn’t need a replacement glass. The adhesive is pretty strong and should be strong enough to stick even after being removed. If it doesn’t you can get some double sided adhesive strips to reapply the glass. We’ll have those strips available on our site shortly.

  42. 42
    Kiel Says:

    Is the glass replacement actually glass or plastic?

  43. 43
    Bradley Says:

    It is glass.

  44. 44
    Kiel Says:

    When replacing the macbook glass and the glass is actually broken, do you have an techniques or any recommendations on how to make sure that when removing the glass you do not hurt the lcd

  45. 45
    Bradley Says:

    Every situation is a little different, but the trick is to try to remove as much of it in one sheet as possible. The remaining pieces need to carefully be removed using a nylon tool or other safe object that won’t scratch the LCD. It’s also important that you clean the edges of the bezel from any leftover glass so that the new glass goes on properly.

  46. 46
    Hans Gerhard Meier Says:

    Hi
    Can’t wait to get hold of your glass replacement. It’s out of stock, I’ve left my mail to be notified, but I can’t wait for an email so do you have a date Bradley?
    I’m in Norway, what’s your shipping cost and estimated delivery time?

    Cheers

    Hans g

    You guys do what apple sholuld do, save the planet from people trashing their mac’s just because one part is broken. Thanks!

  47. 47
    Bradley Says:

    They’re back in stock as of today.

  48. 48
    mustafa Says:

    how to find out whether only the glass is broken or the lcd is also damaged. there is no deterioration in the display as i view it?

  49. 49
    Bradley Says:

    If you’re unsure, you could send photos to our support department, and they can let you know for sure.

  50. 50
    Cristian Says:

    Only my glass screen is broken. Do I have to separate the clamshell or can I just remove the glass?

  51. 51
    Bradley Says:

    You can replace just the glass. You don’t need to replace the entire clamshell.

  52. 52
    Chris Says:

    Just to reassure myself… my macbook glass is cracked and spiderwebbed. It will come off in pieces. However, the lcd screen shows no sign of damage and works just fine. In fact I have been using it for months(and right now) but I just now came across your site. (You guys are great) I just ordered your glass repair. If the lcd shows no problems now, then it should not need to be replaced. Right? Thanks in advance.

  53. 53
    Bradley Says:

    If your LCD is working fine, then there is no need to replace it. In most cases, you only need to replace the glass.

  54. 54
    Will Says:

    I have a 13 inch macbook, but made a mistake by ordering the macbook pro 13 inch glass screen. Is there any difference? Can I just use the macbook pro glass?

  55. 55
    Bradley Says:

    They are the same. The only difference is the word Pro.

  56. 56
    bryan Says:

    where can i get a heat gun? will hair dryer do?
    where can I get a suction cup as illustrated?
    how easy is it to damage lcd with heat gun?

  57. 57
    Bradley Says:

    Heat guns are available at most home improvement stores. A hair dryer may work but isn’t as powerful. Suction cups are available on our website. If you are not careful with a heat gun, then you can easily damage the LCD.

  58. 58
    Nick Says:

    is there a visable differance for the glass screen or do you think it will void the warranty ( just replaceing the glass and not dissasembaling the whole computer)

  59. 59
    Bradley Says:

    There is not a visible difference. As far as warranty issues, you would have to check with Apple Care as we have no affiliation with Apple Care.

  60. 60
    vasya teh-pom Says:

    I’m broken my glass on macbook 13’3 unibody
    in the russia this glass 7500rub= 250USD. bad….

  61. 61
    James W. Says:

    Hi,

    I would like to know if this 13″ Macbook Unibody screen would fit on an older Macbook 13″ White..I want to mod it
    like the link below.

    http://i37.tinypic.com/28aumg2.jpg

  62. 62
    Bradley Says:

    It will technically fit, but you’ll have a metal sliver on the top of the display from where the bezel doesn’t cover the LCD frame and you’ll also have metal exposed on the corners from where the later generation models were more square than rounded. You’ll also have uneven edges, but it will technically work.

  63. 63
    Tye Says:

    I’m Perty sure just the glass is cracked on my 15 ” pro how can I b sure? Thanks in advance

  64. 64
    Bradley Says:

    If you don’t see dark blotches on the screen, then most likely the LCD is fine and you just need to replace the glass.

  65. 65
    Steen Says:

    I have a late 2008 Macbook Unibody 13.3″. The glass i not broken. The adhesive strip on the bottom under the name Macbook is slipping. If I daily press a finger along the bottom egde, it will hold. If I forget a day or two it will slip. Some dust has managed to come in behind the glass. Most not visible when the LCD is lit. On larger speckle is however quite annoying. In the long run not satisfying and more dust can be expected I guess.
    I am afraid that I have to take of the glass? You say it should be possible without disassembling the the casing and everything. I guess I would start with the bottom of the glass since it is where it slips, but I feel the space for manouvre is very thight if I start just there. Any suggestions? Two more questions. Can I use any adhesive strip or should I have you send them to me (europe) and please some clever advice for removing dust and cleaning the glass and the LCD. Hopefully I will never come there again.
    Thanks in advance

    with the bottom of teh glass

  66. 66
    Bradley Says:

    I’d remove the glass, clean it, and then replace the adhesive strips with new ones.

  67. 67
    Fred Wydler Says:

    Great Advice

    I have a MacBook Pro 17″ with a 15.3″ display that needs a new glass. The LCD still works fine. Does anybody know where I can find such a glass. I believe that the same instructions as for the 15″ model still apply. Thanks, Fred

  68. 68
    Bradley Says:

    If you have a 17″ Macbook Pro, then your LCD should be 17.1″. If your LCD is 15.3″, then you have a 15″ Macbook Pro. We sell the glass for the 13″, 15″ and 17″ Macbook models at our online store.

  69. 69
    Bob Says:

    we have a 17″ macvook pro with anti glare display screen. Nom the display is scratched. display is fine but the scratch mark is viosible. I was wondering hpow can that be fiixed? Apple wants over $500.00. if I send my laptop to you what is the turn arround time and total cost.
    if i want to do it is there any guide? one vodeo I watched shows to take out entire display apart and reinstall it. can I just install the glass?

  70. 70
    Bradley Says:

    @Bob – The part is $179.95 and labor is $95. You can give us a call at 1-866-726-3342, option 2 to speak to our repair department.

  71. 71
    John Says:

    I’ve got a 13″ A1278 MacBook Pro, which had a small amount of plain water spilled over the keyboard area.

    After drying etc…the laptop physically powers up correctly and seems to work in every way with the exception of the display which is definitely on (if I point a torch at the screen and look carefully, I can see everything from bootup to desktop correctly)

    I’ve had a look at the cable & logic board connector and there seems to be a small amount of black on the cable pins which may/may not have been there beforehand.

    In your opinion, could this be an LCD backlight fault (they don’t have inverters do they?) needing a new screen or maybe a cable fault or something else?

    Thanks in advance!

  72. 72
    Bradley Says:

    @John – With liquid damage it is hard to tell. It could be the logic board or the Display. We do offer a free diagnosis service if you wanted to send the machine in to us to be professionally diagnosed.

  73. 73
    Diego Says:

    Hi There, I was wondering if this procedure it is possible also with Macbook Pro 13″ late 2011 models.
    Thanks

  74. 74
    Bradley Says:

    @ Diego – Yes, the procedure is the same.

  75. 75
    Bill Says:

    I have vertical lines, about 1″ wide appearing on the right third of my 15″ unibody screen. They were intermittent at first, as I could apply pressure and they’d go away. If I follow your instructions to access the screen, is there a place where I may find an unseated portion of a cable or aspect of the LCD that I can reseat, or do you think I will need to replace the entire LCD display?

    Thank you!

    Bill on Vashon

  76. 76
    Bradley Says:

    @ Bill – You’ll have the replace the LCD to fix that issue.

  77. 77
    shreyas Says:

    I have

    MacBook Pro 13.3″
    Processor:2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (P8600)
    Model #:A1278
    Production Year:2010

    and on screen there are 3 vertical thin lines appear ( Blue, Yellow and red ) constantly ( No blinking ) I see them constantly , what I need to replace and which parts I need to order from this website ( Please suggest tools also )

    Thanks

    Shreyas

  78. 78
    Bradley Says:

    @ shreyas – You likely need to replace your LCD to fix that issue.

  79. 79
    Peter Says:

    I have a 2010 Macbook Pro model A1278. The screen (LCD and glass) is cracked, so I know I need to replace both parts.

    Here’s my question: will ANY A1278 screen work, or does it HAVE to be a 2010 screen? Is the screen of a 2010 A1278 different than one for a 2008 A1278 (for example)?

    Thanks

  80. 80
    Bradley Says:

    @ Peter – You need to get the display for your model year. Any screen will not work.

  81. 81
    Kevin Says:

    Do you need to remove the screen from the body of a MacBook Pro (15″, mid 2012) prior to changing the glass?

  82. 82
    Bradley Says:

    @ Kevin – No, you don’t have to remove the body.

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