Removing a stripped screw from the optical bay


macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
Bolton, UK.
The head doesn't look stripped on that!
You could carefully cut a slot in it with a Dremmel disc and then remove it with a flat screwdriver



macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2011
hey guys what is the best way to a stopped screw inside my macbook pro.
i will include a picture.
the screw is a philips 3.5mm
Have you tried a slightly larger screwdriver tip? Also, I've heard placing a napkin or paper between the screw head and driver can help.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 7, 2007
No I haven't tried those methods.
I might give it a try though.
I also read about putting super glue in the hole of the screw then glueing the screw driver and waiting until it dries and try turning


macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2012
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Superglue, napkins, and a larger screwdriver are not going to work

If you try whatever else you can think of and its still stuck you’ll probably have to go to that slot it and remove it with a small flat blade screwdriver idea.

There is plenty of room there to go in with a small hole enlarger bit sideways or a small round burring tip without damage to anything.

A good quality, exact fit, precision screwdriver in the beginning would have prevented this situation.


macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2012
Tucson, Arizona, USA
One other idea is that there is a possibility that there might be enough left of that screw that if you got a correct precision screwdriver and applied extra downforce it could come out.

Trying to turn the screw a very small amount at a time, with extra downforce, until it breaks free can also sometimes be helpful.

Also Its sometimes possible to use the correct screwdriver, and gently tap it sharply on top while at the same time applying turning force to the screw works, but you would have to be careful in how you position the laptop and also remove the hard drive first.

I have had the pleasure of removing a couple of this particular screw for other people after they stripped it.


macrumors newbie
Feb 9, 2012
I had a similar mishap and successfully used a special damaged screw extractor bit like this one:®-Damaged-Screw-Remover/dp/B0000DD2BV/ref=sr_1_22?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1396548543&sr=1-22&keywords=Screw-Out®+Damaged+Screw+Remover

Note that the above link is just for illustration and likely not the size you would need for the head of your damaged screw. I got the exact size I needed at a local hardware store and it wasn't too terribly expensive. Best of luck.


macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2014
I had this happen to me. I just took a drill bit and dirlled out the head. When I put the caddy in there for a second hard drive it was still secure with the one missing screw

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
Sagittarius A*
That's impossible for the usual dremel there, I am always wary with that particular screw cos I've learnt that to my cost. I am fortunate to have a brother who has a workshop bench drill with adjustable bed, led magnifier and very fine taps.

Though looking closely at the pic again you may be able to jam a flat driver in there though. Warm that part of the case up with a hair dryer from the other side to expand the tap slightly and the screw may give a little easier.


macrumors member
Feb 4, 2013
Try using a rubber band. Just big enough to cover the head and start unscrewing the screw slowly and see if the rubber will grip the screw.


macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
I worked at a hardware store in High School and we used to carry special screw bits for removing stripped screws. I don't remember what they were called, but they were basically like a cross between a drill-bit and a phillips head. Basically imagine a phillips head with sharp flanged edges to bite into screw.

Don't know how small they make them though, but could be work looking into.