What You Need to Know About Replacing Your MacBook Pro Screen

Apple has a longstanding reputation for building durable, high-quality products. Laptops and portable computers are more susceptible to accidents, however, and even the most well-made LCD displays can crack or break if dropped. If you need to replace your MacBook Pro display, here is a guide for how to do it.

How do you choose the right screen?

While Apple does use model numbers, they are not the main way in which Apple differentiates one MacBook Pro from another. Since Apple generally only releases only one version of each type of computer or device per year, the company generally refers to its devices by the year in which they were released. If you need to find the release year of your MacBook Pro (which will tell you which replacement part you need to order), there are two ways to accomplish this. The actual model number can be found on the bottom of your MacBook Pro near the regulatory markings. With that, you can look up the device year online. If your laptop is usable, however, you can also follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the Apple symbol on the left of the top toolbar on your Mac.
  • Step 2: Click on "About This Mac."
  • Step 3: A pop-up window will appear that will give you the details you need to order a replacement display for your MacBook Pro.
Are the same-sized screens of different models interchangeable?

While the size of a MacBook Pro display may not change from one generation to the next, each display is very specifically configured for that specific generation of Mac. Even though a MacBook Pro released in 2010 may have the same size display as the 2009 or 2011 version, that does not mean you can use a part made for a 2009 model on your 2010 MacBook.

However, in some years, Apple did release two of the same version of MacBook Pro within a single year. In 2011, for instance, it released both an early 2011 and a late 2011 version. In that case, the screen is generally the same for both versions. You will want to check with Apple to be sure, but the same screen replacement should work for both versions of a Mac released in the same year. Otherwise, they are not interchangeable.

Does the screen need to be replaced by a professional?

It's really up to your abilities and how much experience you have in these matters. The technical expertise necessary to replace a broken or cracked MacBook display will depend on the type of damage. The display is actually two separate parts: the LCD screen and a glass cover. If the glass is simply cracked, you may merely need to replace the glass, not the LCD screen itself. If you only need to replace the glass, you might have the option of doing it yourself. Be sure to refer to owner's instructions for specific steps for doing so.

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