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You can finally replace the battery in your MacBook Pro with Retina by yourself if you've got the nerve

Remember when your MacBook had a battery pack on the backside that you could just pop off and replace? It was just a thin, rectangle brick that was attached to the bottom with an easy release switch next to it. By 2012, Apple did away with such simplicity by gluing the battery into the casing, making it nigh-impossible to replace by oneself.

iFixit has been showing people how to replace the battery in the MacBook Pro with Retina since it first came out, but now the DIY computer repair organization has built a kit, specifically designed for replacing your old battery so you don't have to track down all those screwdrivers and spudgers individually.

Each MacBook Pro Retina battery repair kit comes with a plethora of screwdrivers, opening tools, an actual OEM battery from a compatible MacBook Pro, and the most important tool; adhesive solvent.

The battery that is glued to the frame of the MacBook Pro with Retina display is the most difficult thing to remove in the replacement process. Comments from a variety of the iFixit guides refer to DIYers who've punctured holes in their batteries, had sparks fly, or smoke plumes. It's a dangerous task and that glue is solid.

The MacBook Pro with Retina battery replacement kits start at $79.99 for the older version, the mid 2012-early 2013 models, and cost as much as $109.99 for the 2015 15-inch model. The fact that these kits come with an Apple original OEM battery make them a steal. An OEM battery on the resell market will cost you about $60.

Even at the highest cost of $109, you're still getting a bargain considering Apple charges at least $199 to replace a MacBook Pro battery out of warranty.

The question is whether you're willing to replace the battery yourself, even if you have a special kit and step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures. iFixit recommends that, if you're not an experienced gadget tinkerer, you should get a friend who is to help you. Laptops are the most difficult to DIY repair of all the Apple devices.

I've got a late 2012 MacBook Pro that I could tinker with, but the battery is actually still in stellar condition. Maybe when it finally takes a powder, I'll have the nerve to try this fix. The cost sure makes it worth giving a try.

How about you? Are you a DIY gadget repair person? Would you replace a dead battery, even though it's kinda dangerous?

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

3 Comments
  • I can only imagine the number of fires caused by DIY'ers hacking the LiON battery packs.
  • I have a friend who's a Genius at an Apple Store and I asked him about this. What he said was the reason the battery is glued into the unit is because there are no protective shells around the LiOn cells like previous generations of MBP. Even the last version, the non retina, was not fully protected ( only the bottom had hard shell protection the cells) and that is why Apple has not wanted users to replace the battery themselves for a long time. Also, that $199 includes the top case which also means a new trackpad and keyboard.
  • Amateurs messing with Li-ion battery packs. What could possibly go wrong?