Model A1418 / Late 2013 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Remove bug under glass display of 2013 iMac


I recently got a thunderbug that died under the glass display of my 2013 iMac (the version that has the glass closely laminated to the LCD, so you cannot just remove the glass front like in the 2011 iMac).

In the past, I already opened that iMac once to install an SSD, so I would have no problem removing the whole display itself and installing a brand-new one. However, before I do that, I was wondering whether there are options other than buying and installing a new display unit.

  1. If I remove the display unit from the iMac, would I be able to somehow lift the glass from the LCD, and remove the bug through this?
  2. Would it be possible to somehow blow the bug away with a vacuum cleaner after removing the display unit? I don't remember whether I saw any ventilation holes on the display unit when I first openend the iMac, however, given that a bug found its way inside, there should be a way to suck air out of it, wouldn't it?
  3. Could nature do its work and decompose the bug after several years? I would probably just wait for this if the bug would really decompose after some time, but I doubt that a dead body "conserved" between the display would be able to fully decompose. For instance, a corn of dust stuck under those kind of iMacs (I had that once in a 2012 version) doesn't really move as well, so where would all the organic parts of the bug go?

Given that all of this really "bugs" my mind, I'd be thankful for any insights on this issue!

Beantwoord! View the answer Dit probleem heb ik ook

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If you have a local Apple Store near you I would visit them ASAP and see what they say. It should be covered under the extended warranty program they had for this. Why I say this is you are on the late side here.

Apple had a run of infested displays ;-} somehow a bunch of displays got hit with this exact same problem!

The logic on why Apple owns this problem: Apple made a big deal of the display cover glass being sealed so there is no way a wayward visiter could get in from your desk so the only place it could have is when the display was manufactured. In this case an egg was laid by a bug and it sat dormant until the conditions where right for it to hatch which is why it took awhile for the bug to be visible. I'm suspecting the foam tapes edge (when it was still in a roll) looked tempting to the mother to lay her eggs in the factory or where the tape was stored (open to the air).

If they give you a hard time push the issue to the manager and you may need to go up the ladder to the regional support manager to get this fixed for you. If that stalls out talk to your local consumer protection (government) or even a TV/Radio station that offers help in disputes. Apple will give in it just may take a bit of effort.

Lets look at what you need to fix this on your own: Sadly, opening the display glass sandwich to get to the bug is not easy! And you may in fact damage the display in the process and in addition getting it back together so it look good will be tough as well. It may end up being easier to just get a new display assembly, which is not cheap!

That is why you want to get Apple to deal with this even if you need to pay the bench fee (they pay for the part) if that is as best deal as you can get.

Good Luck!

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Hello Dan, thanks for your quick reply! Unfortunately, I live in Germany, where official Apple Stores are rare, and I already voided my guarantee by installing an aftermarket SSD (I was fully aware of that, of course). I just didn't expect I will ever experience this kind of "bug."

I was thinking of the following: If I remove the display unit from the iMac, perhaps it would be possible to use a vacuum cleaner and use it at every little opening of the assembly. However, detailed shots of the display unit itself are rare, and I wouldn't want the hassle of opening the iMac (a tedious project, as you probably know) just to find out that this won't work. Instead, I'd just bite in the sour "apple" and order a new display unit completely.

What would you say about my 3rd option? Do you think a dead bug will decompose after some time in this environment?


I wouldn't give up that quickly! I would still make the effort to get to at least a local Apple authorized service center. Adding a SSD in its self doesn't void an extended warranty condition! Germany has some strong consumer laws leverage them!

The display is fully sealed, there is no 'hole' to vacuum or blow air into to get it out. The best you could do is maybe shake it to get the bug to fall to the bottom to be less noticeable. As to decomposing you have a mummified bug nothing more will happen with the remains.

Only option is replace the display assembly if it is a distraction. Sorry I wish I had better news.


Would you still try to contact Apple even if the iMac is already out of warranty? Out of Apple's 1 year warranty, and also out of Germany's consumer warranty law.

I find it a little confusing whether those kind of iMac displays are supposed to be fully sealed or not---some people say there's no way something can get into it, and if there really appears something inbetween, then that's a production error/infestation, and it would be Apple's fault. Others say that a small bug could easily snuck into even through the narrowest part (for instance, the place where the cables come out).

My problem is that I don't have a display unit lying around to inspect it by myself, and I can't just open my iMac to take a quick look since I still need it for work. I guess I could still shaking the display, like you mentioned. Would you recommend to remove the display first or should it also work by gently shaking the whole iMac? (Once again, I try to avoid unnecessarily opening the iMac.)

Anyways, thanks for listening!


Yes! Push Apple an 'Extended Warranty' is for after the normal warranty period has ended when Apple discovers (or pushed) they had an Opps! with a part, thats is the case here.

Different series had different construction methods. The 'Thin Series' was the start of the sealed display. The older 2011 model as an example was the last separate cover glass 21.5" model. If you had this series you could remove the cover glass and clean the bug off with no issues. Just not possible here.

OK, is there any possible holes a bug could get though? Nope! Not one! Apple did a VERY good job in sealing it ;-{

Apple used an open cell foam tape so the air could move in and out thru the tiny pores of the foam that way the air pressure would be equalized. Review this IFIXIT guide: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Display Replacement while not easy to see you can get an idea how thin the display unit is. Now look at this: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Display Replacement note the differences.


I should point out you are not the first to encounter this issue! Others have and all had the display replaced for free!

As you are late in the game that might be an issue here, at worst you might need to pay the standard bench fee and Apple would cover the cost of the display.

For reference: iMac LCD Display Assembly, 21.5inch Late 2013 (A1418) Apple P/N 661-7513


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Under EU law you have a two year guarantee on all faulty goods starting from the date you received the product. From what I've read above this is manufactured as a sealed unit,

Apple has to repair this as a warranty issue in one of its stores as the policy should be honored in all stores worldwide.

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Agreed! Even still Apple has offered extensions on this as they know they had a problem (which is the case here).


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@atomsk - Heres what you'll need:

And here's the guides you'll need to follow:

iMac Intel 21.5" (2012-2017) Adhesive Strips afbeelding


iMac Intel 21.5" (2012-2017) Adhesive Strips


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Adhesive Strips afbeelding


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Adhesive Strips Replacement



30 minutes - 1 hour

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Display afbeelding


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Display Replacement



20 minutes - 1 hour

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As a follow up: I contacted Apple, and unfortunately, they won't replace my iMac's display, also telling me that it's not theirs but the vendor's responsibility to honor EU's warranty laws. That means if I wanted to have the display replaced because of EU laws, I should contact the vendor (however, I bought the iMac second-hand from an online store).

I went to an Apple Premium Service Provider nearby who said they would replace the iMac's display with a new one for 680 EUR.

I think I'll just bite into the sour Apple and replace the display myself. Do you know a good source for premium Apple parts? Preferably ones that came straight out of Apple's manufacturing, but without bugs this time.

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@atomsk - I'm so sorry to hear they won't help you.

I hope you pushed as hard as you could. Yes, buying online gave them an out as they can push the issue to them as the original buyer not you.

Before you replace the display on your own see if talking to your local governments customer protection folks to see if they can offer any help in pushing Apple.

They should have at least covered the parts cost then it wouldn't sting as much.


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