How to Clean a Retina MacBook Pro

If you use your MacBook Pro often and have had it for a couple of years now, it’s most likely filled with dust that needs to be removed. Here’s how to clean your Retina MacBook Pro.

MacBooks have fans on the inside that are used to cool down the processor during intensive tasks. Any time that the processor is being used, it produces heat, and the more that the processor is being used, the more heat that is created. The fans inside work to blow out the hot air in order to make room for cooler air, but these fans can bring in dust that’s flying around and eventually, it’ll build up on the inside, which can block airflow.


This is why it’s important to clean your MacBook every so often in order to keep it from overheating and possibly damage components, which can be a pricey repair.

However, not only does the inside of your MacBook need some loving, but the exterior needs maintenance as well. While you don’t necessarily need to clean the body and the screen of your MacBook Pro, doing so keeps it looking presentable, and thus makes you look more professional on the job (if you’re using your MacBook for work, that is). Otherwise, if you like a dirty-looking MacBook, then more power to you.

In any case, here’s how to clean your Retina MacBook Pro, both inside and out.


Internal Components

In order to access the internal components of your MacBook, you’ll need to take off the bottom plate, which is secured to the MacBook using very tiny pentalobe screws. This means you’ll need a pentalobe screwdriver (more specifically, a P5 pentalobe screwdriver). You can buy these on Amazon for pretty cheap, but this kit will have everything you need and then some.



You’ll also need a can of compressed air (also called an air duster). You can get these pretty much anywhere, as all office supply stores sell them.

Once you have your materials, it’s time to get started and get into the belly of the beast.

Start by obviously shutting down your MacBook and then flipping it over so that the bottom is facing up. Be sure to set it on top of a towel or other large cloth to prevent it from getting scratched while you’re working on it.


Next, take your pentalobe screwdriver and carefully remove all the screws around the edges. These screws are really small, so be sure to not lose them. Furthermore, make sure you know where each specific screw goes because some of the screws are different lengths and only fit in specific screw holes.

Next, remove the bottom plate to reveal the inside of your MacBook Pro. You should notice that most of the dust accumulated around the fan and along the edge where the vent is. This where you’ll use your compressed air can the most.


Gently spray the air can along the edge of the vent to remove the dust, but don’t spray it harder than you need to. If you full-on spray compressed air, there’s a chance that you can damage some of the components. When it comes to blowing out the fans, be sure to hold the fan with your finger while you spray to make sure the fan doesn’t move. The air can make the fan spin faster than it was designed for and can possibly damage the motor and break the fan.


Spray the air can anywhere else where there’s dust buildup. At that point, that’s all there is to it. After most of the dust is removed, you can reattach the bottom plate and screw back in. You’re not going to get rid of every single dust particle, but the important thing is to get rid of most of it.


Your MacBook’s screen can get covered in dust, fingerprints and smudges after just a few months of use. Even if you think you never touch your display, fingerprints and smudges always have a way of creeping in and making your MacBook’s display look disgusting, but there’s an easy way to clean it.


Simply grab a soft, lint-free cloth (a microfiber cloth, preferably) and a solution of water and dish soap. Go very easy on the dish soap, as you literally only need a drop of it.


Next, turn your MacBook completely off. Now get your cloth damp with the water and dish soap solution and begin to wipe the screen to remove the fingerprints and smudges (never spray the water solution directly onto the screen). I like to wipe in circular motions, but there’s no specific way of wiping that you need to know.

After you’re done wiping the screen down, take a dry microfiber cloth and finish wiping the screen to pick up any remaining water and dry it off completely.

Aluminum Shell

If the aluminium shell on your MacBook Pro is starting to look a little worse for wear, take that cloth that you used for your screen and get it damp again with the water solution. Again, wipe down the surface of the MacBook to get rid of any smudges or marks.


Be sure not to get your cloth too damp, as any excess water can get into cracks and wreak havoc on the internal components. Make sure to only get your cloth damp enough so that you’re only getting your MacBook wet enough to wipe away any crud.

Afterward, take a dry cloth and wipe your MacBook dry. All done!