My 2008 unibody Macbook Pro has a loose screen. Loose and wobbly and drunken at times. It’s been chugging along loyally for over three years, and in Internet time, it’s like a Regis Philbin. But as we all know, old folks can get wobbly. No shame in that — but it happens.
The whole screen/monitor (the part that flips up) developed about 2 cm of back-and-forth play, and it felt like perhaps the hinge was loose. Still usable, but definitely putting a dent in my Macbook’s sexy. Google didn’t proffer any good solutions, so I decided to dive into the unknown and try exploratory surgery on my Mac.
It turns out the fix is pretty straightforward. You just need the right tools and about an hour.
HEY: Attempt this at your own risk. Don’t try it if you suck at fixing stuff.
1. Remove the screen using the iFixit guide
The first step is to remove the screen from the Macbook body. It might sound morbid, but don’t worry: There’s a great guide for doing this on iFixit.
Before you start, make sure you have these tools:
Hint: I found a cheap hobby kit that has both the tiny screwdriver and Torx bits you’ll need. iFixit sells their own (nicer) kit for a bit more. There are many other kits for sale at various price points.
2. Tighten the hinge screws
Once you’ve separated the screen from the body, we can get at the little bastards causing the wobble.
Check out the black plastic sleeve that covers the hinge stuff. You don’t need to remove it completely, but to loosen it, slide it to the right. That sort of unlocks it, and you can then pry it up a little to see the hinge screws.
The two silver Torx screws you’ve exposed love freedom and have worked themselves loose in an attempt to escape the burdens of life inside a hot-ass laptop. With your T6 Torx, show them your oppressive nature with a good tightening. For extra credit, terrorize those screws with some thread lock.
On the other side of the hinge thingy, there is an identical pair of Torx screws that will also require tightening. Pull up the black plastic sleeve and crank those down, too.
3. Replace the sleeve and reassemble
Replace the black sleeve by working it back into place, and sliding it left so that it locks as before. You’re now ready to replace the screen and reassemble your laptop. Follow the iFixit instructions in reverse to put Humpty Dumpty back together.
4. You got your sexy back
BAM! Your Mac feels tight and sexy again, like when it was in its Internet twenties. Good job (unless you screwed something up).
Did this work for you? Got additional tips? Leave a comment and help others!