You may have heard, or experienced for yourselves that Macs aren't the most easy to repair.

Here's how you replace the battery in a MacBook Pro 15", basically any model with a retina display.

Detailed explanations are in the image descriptions.

Basically you open the MacBook Pro with a Pentalobe. Wearing Eye and respiratory protection, and for good measure, nitrile gloves always look fancy, you apply solvent under the battery cells with a needly and syringe.

Some time ago I did a thread about swapping a glued-in battery in an Apple MacBook Pro 15".

I'll just add a few things and what's different about this retina MacBook Pro (Mid 2014).

Just two screwdrivers needed. A Pentalobe5 1.2mm for the bottom case and a Torx 5, so nothing unexpected for an Apple device repair. Also, a syringe and industrial solvent. (Tuluene, C₇H₈)

The laptop was already quite wobbly on the desk, so not sitting flat anymore. The bottom case clearly bulging under the pressure of the puffing battery. (95Wh) Upon unscrewing the bottom case it popped up as expected. So first, let's inspect the battery for any obvious signs of damage as they might cause a fire hazard.

No damage visible, that's a good thing. So let's disconnect the battery pack and remove the two screws that hold the battery interconnect board in place.

To remove the battery we need to dissolve the glue strips. That's what the Toluene is for. Before we can crack the seal, let's put on personal protection gear. Simple working glasses and nitrile gloves. (I like the purple colour, though it's not relevant for this kind of work.)

Usually there's a nice gap of about 1.5mm between the cells where you can easily get in between with the syringe to apply the solvent. These cells are so puffy, the gas sack is like a balloon.

With the wide (and blunt) edge of a nylon tool we can get in between the cells an carefully wedge the casing to the side. That way I can get in with the cannula to administer the solvent. You do NOT want to poke the cells. So this needs good lighting and a steady hand. (Or three.)

Once the solvent has gotten under the cells and reached the glue, we can start prying the cells out of the case. The solvent takes about 10-15 minutes to make the glue strips soft enough.

Since this model doesn't have the super large glue pads, but only slim black strips these released reasonably easy. Put the flimsy 6-pack of lithium polymer balloons to the side and clean up the mess.

First get out the large strip pieces with a plastic spatula. Soak up the remaining solvent and glue goo with a paper kitchen towel. Then get out the isopropyl alcohol to clean it all up. Lot's of scrubbing action and a few kitchen towels later it's all clean and shiny inside again.


A comparison between the old battery pack and the new one. The old one is still wet and glibbery from the solvent and glue. The bulging is even more obvious now that the pack isn't squeezed in into the chassis anymore.

All that's left now is to remove the film from the new glue pads, neatly put in the battery pack, remove the top film. Then reconnect the battery to the motherboard, test everything, close it all up and recalibrate.

That's a battery swap on a 15" MacBook Pro.

Wachsfaden aka. Kerzendocht verwenden um die einzelnen Zellen vom Top Case wegzuschneiden.

@attero Ja nö, das ist ernsthaft eher gefährlich wenn Du das so versuchst. Im schlimmsten Fall brennt Dir das ab. Ich kann davon *sehr konkret* und nachdrücklich abraten das so zu machen.

@MacLemon natürlich mit Alkohol vorher etwas anlösen, das Wachs schmiert ein bisschen und verhindert das du die Zellen verletzt.

@attero Du kannst das gerne für Dich so machen. Ich würde das so nicht riskieren, insbesondere wenn die Akkus nicht, wie im Video, komplett in Ordnung sind. Hab' einen CO₂ Löscher in Reichweite.

@MacLemon aber ist mit dem Spatel die Zellen rausbrechen, wobei die verformt werden, wirklich die bessere Methode?

@attero „Rausbrechen“? Hattest Du schon jemals so etwas in der Hand?


das Lösungsmittel wird ja wohl kaum den Kleber komplett auflösen und die Zellen fallen einem so entgegen.

see also: pry of shame

@attero Ähm ja, doch. Wemma das richtig macht, dann brauchst Du nur minimalen Hebel und die Zellen lösen sich ohne Kraftaufwand.

Mechanischen Druck auf LiPos auszuüben ist eine hinreichend gefährliche Idee. Insbesondere punktuell.

@MacLemon Fantastic image captioning work! Thanks so much for putting all that time into it. :)

@Superfreq Thanks for the kind, motivational, positive reenforcement words!
I try.

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