How to Tighten Loose MacBook Pro Hinge

Laptops are convenient for a number of reasons. They are typically more affordable than larger desktops. They come in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of any personal preference you might have. They also are far more portable and easy to travel with. Portability is one of my personal reasons why I’ll always have a MacBook for business and personal use.

One of the key features that make a MacBook so useful is its portability. And the key to this portability is the fact that the MacBook can open and close utilizing a hinge that allows it to function similar to a notebook.

Sometimes this hinge can get loose causing the screen to have a wobbly feel or a loose feel when opening or closing the computer.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to tighten this hinge on your MacBook Pro.

Signs Your Hinge is Loose

It is pretty easy to tell when the hinge on your MacBook Pro is loose and in need of tightening.

A MacBook Pro with a properly adjusted hinge will have a nice feel to it. It won’t be too hard to open or close but it won’t swing open or close with little effort. A bit of friction caused by the hinge is necessary to hold the display in place at whatever angle you like.

If the display on your MacBook Pro visibly wobbles up and down or left to right when you have it open, that is a telltale sign that your hinge needs to be tightened.

The other major indication is when your display will open or close in a very unrestricted manner. If it slams shut without you pressing it or opens wide up when you turn it upside down, your hinges are loose and you should have them tightened.

Also, if you dropped your MacBook recently or had some other sort of major physical damage, it might be a good idea to check on the tightness of your hinges.

Your laptop might operate completely normal after a decent drop but there is always a chance you damaged or loosened some non-essential component such as a hinge.

How to Tighten the Hinge

If you are pretty certain that the hinges are loose on your MacBook Pro, there are two different ways to go about getting them tightened.

It’s important to note that taking apart your computer in any way could possibly void the warranty provided by Apple or any other seller of Apple products. Even if it’s an easy fix, like a hinge, sometimes you have to get things taken care of by a professional to keep a warranty valid.

Have a Professional Tighten The Hinge

Even though tightening a loose hinge on your MacBook Pro is an easy task, having a professional take care of it is always a good option.

If your laptop is still under warranty or has an AppleCare+ Protection Plan you can have a certified Apple technician check out your laptop and it will usually be fixed, free of charge.

You have to take your computer into an Apple Store but the peace of mind this provides knowing the job will be done right is priceless.

Even though the process of tightening the hinges isn’t that complicated, it does involve taking apart some pieces of the computer. This can be intimidating if you don’t know how to use small tools and hardware or if you just aren’t comfortable with trying to maintain such a machine.

If you don’t feel comfortable with trying to fix up your computer yourself, you should take it to a professional to complete the job.

Tighten the Hinge Yourself

As I’ve said above, tightening loose hinges on your MacBook Pro is very possible to do yourself.

We’ll take a look at the steps below but if you are comfortable using a small screwdriver and are OK with slightly disassembling your computer, you can finish this task in a short amount of time.

If you don’t feel comfortable with doing it yourself, take it to a professional as described in the paragraphs above.

Step 1: Remove the Screws on the Bottom of Your MacBook Pro

Turn your MacBook upside down to get a good look at the screws on the bottom. There will be 10 P5 pentalobe style screws that you need to remove. Remove these screws (with the right tools) and you’ll be able to lift the lower case off of the computer. Here are the screw locations:

Image courtesy of iFixit

Step 2: Take Off Clutch Cover

The next step is to take off the clutch cover. This is basically a plastic strip that covers the area where the hinges are. You need to remove this cover to adjust the hinges. Use a small plastic tool to carefully remove this cover.

Image courtesy of iFixit

Step 3: Tighten the Hinge Screws

The next step is to actually tighten the hinge screws to fix the problem. These hinge screws will be on either side of the display.

Some MacBook models have two screws under the clutch cover and some have four. If these screws are loose, go ahead and tighten them.

If they seem worn or broken, you will have to purchase new screws to finish the job.

Step 4: Reassemble Computer

The final step is to put your MacBook back together. Pop the clutch cover back on, screw back the lower case screws with the 10 screws you removed, and then your hinge should now be tight and your display will open and close nicely.

Final Thoughts

Tightening the hinge on your MacBook Pro is not a difficult task. It’s an easy do-it-yourself fix but if you’re not comfortable with small repairs or if your computer is still under warranty, be sure to take your MacBook to a certified professional to get the repair done correctly and to leave your warranty intact.

Have you ever made any small repairs on your MacBook such as this one?

About Eric
Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

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  • Theo

    In the picture with the clutch cover I see a cable hanging off the cover, I don’t see any steps for disconnecting any cables.

    Reply
  • Seb

    Would this work with an Intel 2017 Mac air?

    Reply
  • Julia

    What kind of screws are used to replace worn hinge screws for a MBP 17″?

    Reply
  • Lucas

    What if after all 4 steps the hinges are still loose? I mean screen collapses when set below 60 degrees or above 120 degrees. How to tighten the hinges themselves, not only their screws???

    Reply
  • Ben Stevenson

    I’m scared to do it myself. Do I have to put the plastic cover back on? Would you skype me and talk it through with me?

    Reply
  • Oliver Rowe

    Hi, I have a stripped screw and one missing, please can you tell me the specs of the hinge screws so I can purchase new ones? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Ben Willy

    Another awful design by Apple. Ten screws with special heads, and an otherwise useless tool. Really? To tighten a loose screw?

    Nice that it has the stainless steel and rounded corners though…

    Reply
    • august

      its made like that exactly to discourage people from trying to fix things themselves and so that they take it to an apple store instead. they’re very cunning about these sort of things

      Reply