How to clean MacBook Pro fan

How To Clean MacBook Pro Fan (6 Easy Steps!)

Anyone who has had their MacBook Pro for a few years knows that overtime they can start to collect a fair bit of dirt and dust. In many cases, this quickly leads to a noisy, overheating and an under-performing device. Don’t let this happen to your Mac! Here’s how to properly clean your MacBook Pro fan.

How To Clean MacBook Pro Fan

To clean your MacBook Pro fans, first properly ground yourself and remove the bottom base of the MacBook. Then, disconnect the battery and disconnect, remove, and disassemble both fans. Clean the fans, case, and motherboard with compressed air and isopropyl alcohol. Finally, reassemble and reboot. The fans should run like new!

Ultimately, there are six easy steps you can follow to get your Mac looking and running like new again.

I recommend you follow these steps in the exact order as detailed below.

Step 1: Properly Ground Yourself

Prior to starting, you will need to learn how to properly ground yourself to avoid destroying your laptop with an electrostatic charge.

Do NOT skip this step.

MacBooks are made up of many fragile and delicate components that can easily be broken due to even a tiny static charge.

Step 2: Remove The Bottom Base Of The MacBook Case

Ok, we are ready to open up your device.

Before you get started, make sure that your Mac is unplugged and turned off.

Flip your MacBook Pro over and remove all of the screws.

The number of screws and their exact location will vary depending on your specific model and size.

Remove back of MacBook Pro case

If you are having trouble finding them all, you can use the Apple MacBook manual lookup for guidance.

In most cases, a #1 or #2 sized Phillips screwdriver head will do the trick.

Once all the screws are removed, carefully separate the top and bottom parts of the case.

The easiest way to do this is to wedge a credit card or a guitar pick in between the top and bottom base. Run it along all four sides until it pops open.

DO NOT use a metal object as your wedge. Use something thin and plastic.

Once the case is loose, gently remove the base entirely.

Step 3: Disconnect The Battery

With the device now opened up, locate the internal battery. The battery has a smooth, flat black surface and is easy to identify.

Once located, gently lift up on the connecting clip and disconnect the battery from the motherboard.

Disconnect Mac battery

This is an important step as you want to avoid any and all power moving through the device to avoid electrical damage.

Step 4: Disconnect, Remove, And Disassemble Both Fans

While it may not be visible to the naked eye, air is drawn into your MacBook and circulated through the side vents.

Overtime, dirt and dust begin to accumulate on critical motherboard components, the outer casing and the cooling fans.

This can have a significant negative effect on airflow, often resulting in your Mac overheating and underperforming.

For this reason, it is best to fully remove both fans from your MacBook Pro. This will allow you greater access and allow for a more thorough cleaning.

To remove the fans, first disconnect the connecting clip from the motherboard.

Then remove the three connecting screws and the lower flex cable. You should then be able to safely lift and fully remove the fan.

Unscrew Macbook Pro fan

The fan on the right hand of the laptop will require some additional work. Here you will also need to disconnect the airport card, WiFi card and some additional flex cables.

With the fans now removed, all that is left to do is to remove the outer shell from both of the fans. To do so, simply remove the three screws around the edge of the fan casing.

Disassemble Mac fan

Step 5: Clean The Fans, Case, And Motherboard

Now, thoroughly brush the fans with a clean paint brush or old toothbrush that is laying around the house.

Be sure to get inside each of the fan grooves as it is likely the dust will be fairly caked on.

Cleaning Mac fan casing

After you are done brushing, it is also a good idea to hit each of the fans with some compressed air to finish the job.

For the more challenging spots and areas you can even use a Q-tip with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol.

Next, thoroughly clean the case and motherboard as well.

It is best NOT to use a brush or vacuum on the motherboard as they are not electrostatic safe.

When using compressed air on the MacBook internals, be careful not to allow to much moisture to build up on the motherboard.

If any moisture does develop, make sure it is fully dry before reconnecting the battery.

Pro Tip: While you have your Macbook open and disassembled, it is also a good idea to clean the trackpad and ensure the RAM sticks are making a proper connection. By doing so you can prevent future erratic trackpad issues and RAM stick related errors.

Step 6: Reassemble And Reboot MacBook Pro

That’s it! All that is left to do is perform all of the above steps in reverse order to put your Mac back together.

Go ahead and resemble your laptop and start it back up.

Your fans should start running properly again!


Is your MacBook Pro collecting dust and starting to overheat? Don’t worry. This is an extremely common issue. Here’s how to get it clean in six, easy to follow steps.

How To Clean MacBook Pro Fan

  1. Properly ground yourself
  2. Remove the bottom base of the MacBook case
  3. Disconnect the battery
  4. Disconnect, remove, and disassemble both fans
  5. Clean the fans, case, and motherboard
  6. Reassemble and reboot MacBook Pro

If you’ve completed each of these steps, and yet your fans are still noisy, check out the Apple MacBook Support page for additional information. You can also call the main Apple Customer Support line at 1-800-275-2273.

If all else fails, use your serial number to review your Apple warranty status.

Did this post help you get your fans clean and back in good working order? If so, let me know how in the comments section below!

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