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btownguy

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
545
19
I'm just wondering if the battery in the current MacBooks can be replaced, say 3 years in the future when the battery life begins to degrade. I'm in the market for a new MacBook Pro this fall and my guess is that it will follow some design cues from the current MacBook.
 

btownguy

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2009
545
19
Apple can do it for you.

Normal users not easily. It is glued in and not designed as a user-replacable part.

I'm fine with that answer. I tend to use my laptops for a LONG time and just don't for it to be considered disposable. Case in point, I'm currently on a mid-2009 MacBook Pro.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,897
I'm just wondering if the battery in the current MacBooks can be replaced, say 3 years in the future when the battery life begins to degrade. I'm in the market for a new MacBook Pro this fall and my guess is that it will follow some design cues from the current MacBook.

On the current MacBook Pro Retina, the battery can be unglued from the top case using plastic cards and a heat gun.

I have never replace the battery in the MacBook Retina before so that I am not sure about.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,712
I've seen some reports that even apple has trouble ungluing the battery and ends up replacing the the assembly that the battery is glued too. I'm not sure if that's the norm, or the exception but I do think that is not at all surprising.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,437
1,005
On the current MacBook Pro Retina, the battery can be unglued from the top case using plastic cards and a heat gun.

I have never replace the battery in the MacBook Retina before so that I am not sure about that.

It can be done but it needs to be done VERY carefully. If mishandled/abused, a Li-ion battery can be VERY dangerous. I'm not sure genuine Apple parts are available as Apple's standard for replacing the battery on the rMBP is to replace the entire topcase.

The Retina 12" MacBook Battery is integrated into the bottom case assembly. Apple replaces the entire bottom case in order to change the battery. Because the Logic Board is also secured into the bottom case on this model, that means a battery replacement is essentially a complete teardown and rebuild of the computer, with the exception of the Top Case and Display.

So there is a procedure there, but I wouldn't expect it to be easy or cost effective. Apparently Apple offers fixed price battery replacements in some regions that will offset the cost.


While technicians have had success in removing the battery from a Retina MacBook Pro without exchanging the top case, it would be far more difficult with the Retina MacBook. The terraced cells don't work in our favour in this regard.

As long as Apple continues to supply parts, sure. As soon as Apple stops supplying replacement parts for a machine, generally somewhere around five years, I wouldn't count on it being possible. That said, some of the more creative and adventurous types in the repair business have surprised me before, so who knows what will happen.

Process is just about right, terminology is one level off. The battery is part of what Apple considers the "topcase", the bottomcase is the panel that is removed to get to the guts. The LCD is in the clamshell. Yes, complete teardown as the clamshell/LCD has to come off and get swapped over to the new.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,437
1,005
Correct, but Apple doesn't even try to remove the battery in the service process. If your machine needs a new battery, they replace the Top Case, Keyboard and Trackpad with it. There are warnings in the service manuals advising technicians to never attempt to remove the battery separately from the entire assembly.

Correct. I've actually done that exact service on a rMBP, as an authorized tech. It wasn't for the sake of replacing the battery per se, but because of a trackpad issue.


In the MacBook Pro the battery is integrated into the Top Case; in the 12" Retina MacBook (Core M) the battery is integrated into the bottom case. I was referring to the 12" MacBook Retina (non-Pro) in this instance. It's an odd one.

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I stand corrected.
 
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