I'm replacing the RAM in a 2011 MacBook Pro, something I've done before on other machines. I got all the screws from the back case off apart from one that sits in the corner on the end by the screen hinge.

After trying with a variety of screwdrivers I cannot get the screw undone, and have now stripped the head of the screw. Any ideas how I can get this screw out?

2 Answers 2


Whichever method you follow, be very, very careful. The worst case scenario may require drilling the screw out.

Try placing a wide rubber band on the screw and use a slightly bigger screwdriver. Instead of a rubber band, you could also try with a piece of cloth (anything that can provide more grip and change its shape a bit).

For other methods, see The 12 Best Ways to Remove Stripped Screws.

You could also try iFixit's Precision Screw Extractor Set.

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    Ill keep you updated on how i get on the other option ive seen discussed is to use a Dremmel and an cutting bit to try and cut a tiny notch in the screw head that you can use a screw driver to pull out
    – sam
    Oct 10, 2013 at 11:06
  • Feel free to update this answer anytime or add your own answer once you have found a good solution, preferably one that doesn't cause any damage to the body or anything else. :)
    – M K
    Oct 10, 2013 at 11:38

This is what i ended up doing, after taking it to the apple store and them battling with it for an hour to no avail - i tried this approach listed on IFIXIT - which didnt work out entirely to plan, but still achieved a similar result.

I bought off amazon this Dremel but the cutting disks where to large for the screw, after searching for fine metal cutting disks i decided that id just use the stock one that came with the Dremel, which i believe is for wood, but anyway.

My approach was to grind away the head of the screw which worked pretty well, what you've got be careful with is the heat this will make and also the vibration so do it in tiny 1 second bursts and let it cool each time, after about 10 or 20 little bursts i grinded away the screw head and most of the surrounding laptop case (i purchased a replacement online prior to doing this as i thought i might break it seeing that the screw was countersunk).

Either way i did this and got the case off, replaced the RAM, screwed down the new bottom cover and booted up the machine.

The only downside in the long run is that there is now 1 screw which cant be removed, as it dosnt have a screw head, but its only 1 of 10 so i dont think its that a big deal.

Be warned though this is a last resort, and not to be taken lightly, i really wouldn't recommend it to any one as the likeliness of breaking your machine is very high, i think i just got lucky.

Heres a pic of the screw after being ground away, as you can see the head of the screw is no longer there and you can just lift off the case.

ground down screw head

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    You should have used a small diameter drill bit instead of the cutting disc. The same (or slightly greater) diameter as the screw thread; just enough to shear off the head. Then with the case off, use pliers (or similar ) to unscrew the shank.
    – voices
    Mar 8, 2018 at 5:21
  • @voices, do you have a suggestion for the new screws I could buy so this doesn't happen again. The current ones are T5 heads but I'd like standard or phillips head, I think. Oct 22, 2020 at 17:40
  • @RobertLugg search for "macbook pro rear cover screws" on eBay / Amazon, just check they are the right ones for your macbook model
    – sam
    Oct 25, 2020 at 9:58
  • Just for others. My mistake is using T5. The correct screwdriver was a P5. Thanks @sam. Oct 26, 2020 at 16:47

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