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How to Clean the Dust from Your MacBook

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca Horton June 26, 2013 at 6:27 am

Hi Robert,

First of all, I would like to thank you in advance for being so generous with your time and knowledge. It is very kind of you to offer your expertise to complete strangers, and I really appreciate your willingness to do so.

Here goes:
I have a 2006 Macbook Pro that is making a lot of fan noise. I want to clean it myself and avoid what is sure to be a near $100 repair of something that I am capable of doing myself.

I noticed in your video that the fan’s were visible when you took off the back of the laptop. Watching some tutorials on my model it seems that the fans are not as accessible. There is some kind of copper electrical flat tape with adhesive that lays over the enclosure where the fans are. There are also connectors they suggest removing. As well, the back panel of my computer is not as simple to take apart as what you have shown here. You have to really manipulate the edges with your fingers to pull it apart, and Instead of a ‘0’ phillips screwdriver, they call for a ’00’ phillips and a T6 Torx screwdriver.

I wanted to know if you think I can get to the fans effectively with my particular model, without having to touch anything as you’ve suggested. I want to be able to do just what you did in your video, but I don’t want to take it apart if it would be un-wise to do so. I’m apprehensive because this model seems much more complicated. Am I over thinking it??

Again, thanks so much for your time!
I look forward to your response.

Rebecca Horton


Robert Seth June 26, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hi Rebecca,

First, thank you for you kind words and thanks for visiting. It’s always a pleasure to help.

If you’ve never had your computer open, you won’t really know what’s inside or what it looks like until you actually open it. They change the layout occasionally and there are a number of different models. Yours may be a little different from the tutorials you’ve been watching.

You’ll be able to tell what kind of tools it takes to open by looking at the screws. A torx head looks like a star. A 00 phillips just means a different size. If you have a Radio Shack near you, take your computer over and ask them for the necessary drivers to fit the screws to get your case open.

As far as being difficult to pry open, they always are the first time. Just be careful how you pry it so you don’t leave curled or damaged edges.

As far as it being unwise to take it apart, this is totally up to the user. With any computer repair there is always risk. However, if you make sure to ground yourself frequently and try not to touch any bare electrical connections you should be fine. Whether or not you proceed beyond opening the case may depend on what you find inside. If there are lots of things that need to be removed before you can get to the fan, you may want to have a professional do it. It just depends on how confident you are and if you want to take the risk.

Just be careful of the electrical connections. The ones inside Apple products are some of the most delicate I’ve seen and they’re very easy to damage. Once you get the case opened you should be able to tell if a connection is intended to be disconnected. You can also check other videos to see if there’s one that looks exactly like yours. If they take things out and it still runs afterwards, you should be able to do the same — with care!

Also, you may not have to take everything out. As long as you can aim your air can straw into the areas that need to be cleaned, you might be able to get most of the dust out without taking anything apart.

Lastly, if you would like additional help with this, feel free to leave your contact information on the contact page of the site. I have been very successful at helping people fix things virtually and maybe I could do the same for you.

Thanks again for visiting and I wish you the best with your project.

Robert Seth


Muhammad Babar Khan June 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

hellow. need help. i spilled tea on my mac book pro core i 7. the keys to the right got sticky . i turned the mac over and power off. dried it. on turning on it worked fine just sticky keys. tried cleaning the keys and opened the mac and cleaned the inside. some liquid over the battery, which i wiped. started on, all well but then the top row keys started not responding like audio volume control so opened again and this time cleaned till the back of keyboard , small lights etc after removing the paper cover on the inside. after this the screen of mac just showed white nothing else. in the process i may have damaged the display connector on logic board. looked via magnification and two pins looked tilted and one loose when poked with a needle. now using it with external monitor all is well. the camera on the lcd works on the external display and sometimes when i turn off the display the apple logo and screen on mac turns on , white??. what r my options? can i loop the cables connecting to external monitor back into mac so that the macs lcd monitor starts working as the external monitor does? are there adapters and cables available? which sort? or the logic board needs replacement. is it possible and how to replace the display connector on logic board, what tools are needed?? ??? kind regards


Robert Seth August 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I would take you computer into the Apple store and have them test it. It sounds possible that your computer may have a short in it. If so, you will need to replace the parts. My first MacBook Pro had a similar problem with the some of the top buttons not working sometimes. If you check out my six part article on Mac vs PC on my site, you can read about the problem. Apple service is amazing and they just ended up replacing the whole computer. Here is a link to the first part in the series.


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