Use this guide to replace or upgrade your hard drive.

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

    • 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.

  1. 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.
    • 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.

    • Be gentle! The glass may crack if pried too much. Use a hairdryer to heat the edges and loosen the tape if the room temperatures are low.

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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".

    • 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.

    • Wedge the plastic card into the top right corner once again and let it stay there to keep the adhesive from resettling.

    • Insert a second plastic card into the gap between the display and frame located at the top left corner of the iMac.

    • 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.

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

    • Wedge the plastic card back into the top left corner.

    • 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.

    • While holding the display up with one hand, use the other hand to unplug the display power cable. Make sure that you pull the cable out from the plastic tab, and not by pulling on the color wires.

    • 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").

    • 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 logic board.

    • Be sure to pull the display data cable connector straight out of its socket.

    • 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.

    • If necessary, a plastic card can be used to cut any remaining sections of the bottom adhesive strip.

    • 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.

    • Upon reassembly, now is the time to go to the Adhesive Strips Guide after cleaning off all the old adhesive. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Adhesive Strips Replacement

    • Remove the following screws securing the hard drive bracket to the rear enclosure:

      • Two 21 mm T10 Torx screws from the left-hand hard drive bracket.

      • One 9 mm T10 Torx screw.

      • One 27 mm T10 Torx screw.

    • Remove the left and right hard drive brackets from the iMac.

    • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the fan and pull it slightly out of its recess.

    • The hard drive is attached by two cables, do not attempt to fully remove it from the iMac just yet.

    • Disconnect the SATA power cable.

    • Unplug the SATA data cable from the hard drive.

    • Lift and remove the hard drive from the iMac.

    • Peel the flexible hard drive sleeve off the top left corner of the hard drive.

    • Continue peeling the hard drive sleeve off the adhesive securing it to the hard drive.

    • Remove the sleeve from the hard drive.

    • Hard Drive remains.


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

182 andere personen hebben deze handleiding voltooid.

Sam Lionheart

Lid sinds: 18-10-12

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iFixit Lid van iFixit


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I used the iMac Opening Tool just as shown in this guide to separate the tape. DISASTER! The screen cracked! I used the tool slowly and carefully and despite this, the screen cracked. I should have simply used a guitar pick. That said, while I was inside my iMac replacing the Harddisk with a SSD, which was pretty easy to do, I decided to also see if I could replaced the 8GB RAM with 16GB RAM WITHOUT removing the logic board, as shown in other instructions on this site. I found that by simply removing the fan assembly, this makes enough room to reach behind the logic board and unclip the 2 memory modules. I installed 2 8GB modules (1600MHz DDR3L SO-DIMM PC12800 204 Pin) without much trouble. I used a plastic stick to reach behind the logic board and unclip the existing memory modules, then carefully inserted the new ones and clipped them into place. This is much easier than removing the power supply and logic board and all of the associated connectors and screws.

gcortesi - Antwoord

I had to replace the HD as it failed after less than two years. It was a good opportunity to increase the RAM from 8 to 16 GB. So I ordered the RAM chips from Kingston and a 256 GB SSD from Angelbird.

The repair went smoothly: to anyone trying this, please carefully follow the iFixit step-by-step guide. I recommend reading at least twice the whole procedure *before* beginning. Check all the photos. During the operation itself, I had the guide open before my eyes on my iPad and followed it step by step. The opening tool is a bit fragile, the wheel got damaged after the operation, but I guess it was designed to be used only once. After all, the adhesive strips can also be used only once!

For those replacing the hard-disk with an SSD: I highly recommend the Angelbird model "SSD wrk for Mac" (, for several dollars more you spare yourself the need to use additional software to enable TRIM or persuade the fans of your Mac that the HD's temperature is Ok.

lix - Antwoord

Thanks for the tip on the Angelbird, working smoothly so far!

Elling -

Hi! Thanks for the tip! Do you know if can I put an SSD on an imac 21.5 in late 2012 ?

Tania Diego -

after changing the hard drive the monitor no longer works. Apple won't fix it because I opened it, and third-part wants to charge me $300-500. Hope you guys have better luck!

max - Antwoord


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