My trusty MacBook pro 15 (mid 2014 model) was slowly dying with all the symptoms of a swollen battery: the case was warm, the fans were blowing at full speed even when the laptop was not performing any CPU consuming tasks, the trackpad was not working anymore and I could even see that it’s back was not flat anymore. I was mostly using it connected to a screen, with a wireless trackpad and keyboard, so it was not such a big issue but I was starting to fear the battery would explode or catch fire.
I had already replaced the ssd with a bigger and faster one a few years ago so I was not sure Apple would accept to replace the battery and anyway I was not willing to pay the Apple premium price for replacing the battery of my old 2014 MacBook pro. So I decided to search a bit on the internet and found that it was not too difficult to replace the battery with a third party one by myself. Many compatible models were available on Amazon and I decided to choose a battery from SLODA. It was not the cheapest option (at 79,99€ in Amazon Spain) but it had rather good reviews and I was willing to give my trusty MBP a last chance.
I have decided to share my experience in this post so that others could benefit from it. But be aware that even if it’s not too difficult, it is not for the faint-hearted and that you might easily and irremediably damage your laptop. The author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps. So don’t do it if you feel unsafe about opening the case of you beloved MacBook pro, ask Apple or an other company to replace the battery for you. And anyway, be sure to backup any important files before starting to do it. In fact, you should always have multiple backups of your files, SSDs or hard disks will die one day and all their files with them.
Anyway, this is my experience with replacing the battery of my Macbook pro 15″ Retina Display (mid 2014 model).
First, let’s give a look to the replacement battery package (be sure to order the proper model!):
It was well packed and included the replacement battery itself, two screwdrivers (the blue one for the screws of the laptop back and the green one for the screws of the battery connector), a plastic pryer for helping to remove the battery connector and the remaining glue strips:
As well as a set of accessories used for removing the old battery and protecting the laptop and a pair gloves for your hands:
And the step by step instructions with pictures:
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the package included all the accessories and a step by step guide to replace the battery. That could explain its slightly higher price and the good reviews and it gave me a good impression of the product.
The package included a non woven cloth to protect the screen from any spillage that might ruin the anti-reflective coating (and as you can see on the photo below, the screen borders of my trusty old MacBook pro had their coating damaged after years of usage). I wasn’t planning to use alcohol or a liquid dissolvent but decided to put it on top of the screen anyway.
Just in case, I had let the old battery to drain completely before starting the procedure: less energy involved would surely mean less risks while manipulating the battery (remember that it can explore if punctured). I placed the MacBook pro on my desktop, took a deep breath and started to remove the 10 screws from the laptop back using the star-shaped screwdriver provided with battery (the blue one). Please note that two of the screws (shown with a blue circle in the photo below) are slightly shorter than the other eight (indicated with a red circle), so be sure to be able to differentiate them when you will screw them back.
I could feel that the swollen battery was pushing hard against the bottom cover and every screw I removed made me realised how swollen the battery was. One of the screws was initially completely stuck (maybe due to the force exerted by the swollen battery), so I removed the other nine and tried again. After a few minutes I succeeded to have it to spin in place but it would not come out. I started to rotate carefully the bottom cover around the last screw and it finally popped out but it broke the screw metal casing with it… Too bad, nine screws would have to be enough to close the laptop.
I placed the 10 screws in a small recipient in order to avoid to loose them.
With the bottom cover removed I could finally see how swollen the battery cells had become, they looked like small balloons and I was impressed that the laptop would still work with the battery in such condition. Be careful not to puncture the battery with a screwdriver or the plastic pryer as it might explode!
The next step was to peel back the warning sticker covering the battery connector (be sure to read and to understand the warning):
That was easy, I peeled it using my thumb and index fingers:
The next step was to gently remove the battery connector using the small plastic pryer, I gave a look to the side of the connector in order to find the right position to pry the connector out of its socket.
I bended it outward with the plastic pryer:
So that I could have access to the two screws of the battery circuit board and unscrew them with the second screwdriver (the green one):
And again, be sure to keep the two small screws in a small recipient to avoid to loose them.
I could now bend the battery circuit board outward with my fingers:
The next step was the most stressful part, I had to remove the glued cells from the laptop chassis without damaging anything. Some tutorials propose to use alcohol to dissolve the glue, but I didn’t feel confortable with having a liquid in my laptop and I found that Loctite had a glue remover gel that was easier to apply and use.
I applied some glue remover gel on the yellow plastic card provided with the kit and inserted the plastic card below the first battery cell.
That was rather easy, there was a bit of resistance at the beginning…
… but after pushing the plastic card back and forth, left and right in order to allow the glue remover to penetrate deeper below the cell, I could finally lift the first cell upward without difficulties.
I applied a bit more glue remover gel on the plastic card…
… and I inserted the plastic card below the second cell:
And once again, after moving the plastic back and forth, left and right, I could unglue the second cell without too much trouble.
That was easy, so I applied more glue remover gel…
… and I started with the third battery cell on the other side:
And again, after moving the plastic card back and forth…
I could unglue it without too much difficulties:
Three more to go… so more glue remover on the plastic card:
And again, same procedure with the fourth cell:
That one offered more resistance… but after pushing back and forth… it was unglued too:
Two more battery cells to go… I applied more glue remover gel and started with the fifth cell on the right:
The fifth and sixth cells were glued on the back of trackpad, so I proceeded carefully in order to avoid damaging it. After a few tries the fifth cell was unglued, I added more glue remover gel to the plastic card and I went for the last cell:
And again, the last cell didn’t offer too much resistance. At last, I could remove the entire battery:
I could see now how swollen the battery cell had become:
There was some adhesive strips remaining in the case, so I applied a bit of glue remover and spread it with my fingers:
I changed the gloves and used the plastic pryer and my fingers to remove them… some of them went off easily while others required more time. At the end it took more time to remove these strips than to unglue the battery itself.
I used a window cleaning cloth to clean the laptop case:
It was not perfect as some adhesive remained but it was good enough.
It was now time to put the new battery in place. I checked that the battery corners were at the right position inside the case, that the battery connector was aligned with its socket and I started to slowly remove the plastic film protecting the new battery adhesive.
I pressed the new battery inside the case so that the adhesive would “glue” each battery cell in place:
The next step was to screw the battery logic board back in place:
And to insert the battery connector inside its socket:
The battery kit provided a sticker to replace the original warning sticker, I was not sure if it was there to protect the battery connector or its circuit board, but I put it in place anyway:
I had forgotten to remove the battery protective film the first time I closed the laptop and I had to unscrew all the screws again when I realised it was still there, so be sure to remove it BEFORE closing the case:
I could finally put the bottom cover back in place and screw all the screws:
It was now the moment of truth, I switched on the laptop and it welcomed me happily with a chime sound. I logged in and everything worked perfectly (trackpad included). I waited until the battery was fully charged to 100% and checked that everything was fine in the System Report Battery Information section:
I unplugged it from the power adapter and let the battery drain completely. I waited until the next day and plugged it back until it was fully charged again and so that I could verify that everything was still fine.
My trusty MacBook pro 15 mid 2014 now has a second life, it has survived a badly swollen battery and it is more than seven years old but with 16GB of RAM and a speedy 1 TB ssd it is still getting the job done even if it is not supported by macOS Monterey. I will upgrade it one day to one of the new mac equipped with a shiny Apple M1 processor or its successor (Hey Tim, do you have any spare MacBook left 😉 ?) but I am more than happy to go on with this one a few years more.
I have now used the new battery during a few days and so far it is working properly. I cannot compare it with other replacement battery kits but I really liked the fact hat it came with the instructions and all the tools necessary for replacing the battery so I highly recommend it.
As a conclusion, I hope that my experience might help you if you want to replace the battery of a MacBook pro 15 mid 2014 model yourself. While it is not for the faint-hearted, it is not too difficult neither. But again, the author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps. You can easily and irremediably damage your laptop if you do not do it correctly. So do you it at your own risk.The post How I replaced the swollen battery of my MacBook Pro 15″ Retina Display (mid 2014 model) appeared first on EatYourBytes