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Replacing a MacBook Pro Fan
Ed Kohler

One of my MacBook Pro fans went crazy loud a couple months ago and started making more noise than a jet airplane taking off. One could try to make a case for it by stating that the white noise helps avoid distractions but that's not a long term solution.

So, I went to an Apple store where a "genius" told me it would take 3 days and $85 to replace the fan. That seemed ridiculous, so I ordered the fan online ($48.95 at the time) and installed it myself in less than 30 minutes once it arrived. Here's how:

MacBook Pro Fan Repair

This is what worked for me.

1. Power down, unplug, and remove your battery.

2. Unscrew all of the screws around the edges. Also remove all screws within the battery area. Then lift up the keyboard from the front. There are a couple latches near the front, so it helps to push back a bit against the front before lifting.

3. As you lift up the keyboard, you'll have an attachment (brownish orange) between the keyboard and motherboard. This can be disconnected by carefully lifting the connection from the motherboard.

Here is what things look like under the hood:

MacBook Pro Fan Repair

In my case, the right fan was shot. Of the two, it seems like it's a bit easier to deal with due to less chords overlapping it.

4. Remove the fan's mounting screws and tape, then pop it out:

As you can see, there was quite a bit of link built up between the fan and case:

MacBook Pro Fan Repair

5. Unplug the fan's power. This is a delicate job. Probably the most stressful part of the work. It pulls straight out with a little effort.

6. Plug in the new fan and reassemble.


1. Be careful with the keyboard. The screws removed from the outside were attached to drop down threads on the keyboard. Make sure they remain inside the case when reassembling. It's like putting a pizza box back together.

2. You can power up the computer while the keyboard is up if you keep the keyboard's power attached. This is a good way to verify that you've installed the fan correctly and that it works.

3. You'll need a some special screwdrivers. I picked up this set at Radio Shack that did the job:

Macbook Pro Fan Repair Screwdrivers

In the end, I paid less than Apple charged for the repair and was without a computer for 30 minutes rather than 3 days. I'd call that a win.


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1. Posted by: Bill Heyman on March 28, 2009 5:43 PM:

I think this is a common MBP problem. I had the same thing happen to me.

My fan was replaced in-store, under warranty by Businessware Solutions in Chanhassen, an authorized Apple repair center. I wonder how much they would have charged you.

2. Posted by: Justin Chen on March 31, 2009 11:01 AM:

This happened to my MBP a couple years ago. Instead of fixing I switched to a refurbished MacBook, but since the old MBP is still sitting around maybe I'll try fixing it too. Thanks for the how-to!

3. Posted by: pinay on April 4, 2009 12:13 PM:

This post is very interesting and for sure that many MacBook users will love to know how to fix problems. I really want to have this kind but I guess this is not the right one for me.. :(

4. Posted by: Naomi "Digitalfangirl" Williams on May 7, 2009 7:32 AM:

This is both bold and awesome. Truly good to know considering how hot these MBPs get. May eventually need to repeat this method on my own MBP. Thanks for sharing this.

5. Posted by: Joe Murray on June 10, 2009 10:10 AM:

Thank you i'm an evangelist of another sort but I have a macbook pro and this guide is most helpful.

6. Posted by: Larry Iverson on November 12, 2009 10:09 AM:

This is a problem that Apple seems to be ignoring. My right side fan went out on my MBP15" 5,1. This laptop isn't even a year old and I've been running one fan for a while now. When processing video or similar temperatures can reach almost 195 degrees fahrenheit! Even with two fans running this seems crazy or an incorrect sensing from the SMC fan control freeware that I use to control fan speed.
I definitely wouldn't want my computer in anyone's possession for 3 days much less
in their hands out of my sight. I'll definitely be replacing this fan myself thanks for the info.

7. Posted by: Melody Yu on January 9, 2010 3:49 AM:

Dear Sir/Madam,
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Here we would like to introduce our company profile for your simple understanding.
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8. Posted by: gps garmin on January 28, 2010 8:57 PM:

I am Macintosh lover, I will introduce to my friend too.ขายส่ง

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10. Posted by: ทัวร์ญี่ปุ่น on February 4, 2010 9:39 AM:

I still use the one I have. No change my mind.

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12. Posted by: กาแฟ on March 29, 2010 9:37 PM:

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13. Posted by: pattaya house on March 29, 2010 10:05 PM:

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