How to Remove the Hard Drive From a MacBook

By Michael Ryan

Removing the hard drive from a MacBook may be necessary if you are troubleshooting the computer or if you need to install a larger hard drive in your laptop. Removing the hard drive is also necessary if you plan to upgrade to a solid state drive. Although removing the hard drive from a MacBook sounds like a daunting task, it is a simple operation on the MacBook, which is designed for easy user customization.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Coin
  • Phillips #1 screwdriver
  • Nonmagnetic card

Step 1

Turn off the computer by selecting "Shut Down" from the "Apple" menu. Wait 30 minutes before proceeding to allow the computer components to cool down.

Step 2

Unplug all cables, including the power cord, from your MacBook.

Step 3

Place a soft cloth on the table or desk on which you are working. This will shield your MacBook from possible scratches.

Step 4

Turn over your MacBook so that the bottom is facing up.

Step 5

Release the battery latch by inserting a coin into it and turning it a quarter turn clockwise. Lift and remove the battery from the computer.

Step 6

Discharge static electricity by touching a metal part inside the exposed battery bay.

Step 7

Loosen the three screws visible from the battery bay. These screws secure the RAM door. Do not try to remove the screws; simply loosen them.

Step 8

Pivot the RAM door, which is L-shaped, out of the battery bay. You may need to use a nonmagnetic card, such as a library card, to pry the RAM door from the battery bay. The ends of the screws are not threaded, so you can simply pull and pivot the door out. Again, do not remove the screws.

Step 9

Locate the hard drive pull tab, which is visible inside that battery bay on the side nearest the battery latch. Pull the tab out and begin sliding the hard drive out from the battery bay.

Step 10

Pull the drive out of the battery bay while holding it by its sides.

Step 11

Slide the new drive into the battery bay and place the removal pull tab under the drive, in case it needs future replacement. Replace the RAM door and tighten it in place using its three screws. Refit the battery and secure it by tightening the latch using a coin. Connect the power cord and turn on the computer.