13″ MacBook Pro Retina – fixing no video issue by replacing display cable

posted in: Apple Products | 26

13 MacBook Pro Retina laptop

In this guide I will be fixing a 13″ MacBook Pro Retina laptop with “no video” issue by replacing the display LVDS cable. In this particular guide I’m fixing a Late 2013 model but all disassembly steps should be the same for 2014 and 2015 MacBook Pro Retina models.

I received this laptop with the following problem description: It turns on and chimes but has no video and no backlight. Video still works on the external monitor connected via Thunderbolt or HDMI ports.

I confirmed the issue and it was exactly as described.

Well… if you have a problem like that it can be one of the following:

  • Bad connection between the display cable on the logic board or display side.
  • Failed LVDS display cable.
  • Failed display.
  • Logic board related issues.

Reconnecting or replacing the display LVDS cable should be the first thing to try because it’s the cheapest option.

For this repair you will need screwdrivers for Apple laptops.


Remove ten screws from the bottom. For this you will need a special P5 Pentalobe screwdriver.

Two screws that I marked with yellow circles are shorter than screws marked with red circles.

Separate the bottom cover from the body and remove it.


You should always disconnect the battery while working with the internal components.

Battery connector

Carefully lift up the battery connector and separate if from the logic board.

Disconnect battery


Remove rubber covers from both hinges. There is adhesive tape on the bottom side of the rubber cover. Try to keep the adhesive tape intact so you can reuse it.

Remove rubber hinge cover


Remove left and right hinge brackets. Each bracket is secured by one Torx T5 screw.

Remove hinge bracket


Unlock the display LVDS cable by lifting up the metal bracket.

Unlock display cable connector

Carefully pull the display cable out of the connector.

Disconnect display cable


Remove the heatsink gasket.

Remove rubber fan gasket


Disconnect three antenna cables from the wireless card.

If you look closely, you’ll see that each cable is marked. There is a short black tube on the left wire, long black tube on the middle wire and no tube on the right wire.

Disconnect wireless antennas


Carefully disconnect the webcam cable from the logic board. Do not pull by the cable or you can damage it.

The cable is attached to the cooling fan with adhesive tape. Separate the cable from the fan.

Disconnect webcam cable


Place the laptop upside down on the desk edge so the display remains open.

Remove six Torx T8 screws securing the display hinges.

Remove six hinge screws

STEP 10.

Now you can separate the display assembly from the laptop body.

Separate display from body

STEP 11.

You will find two side covers attached to the left and right sides of the clutch cover.

Hinge side cover installed

Start removing it from the back using tweezers.

Lift up the side cover and unsnap it from the clutch cover.

Lift up hinge side cover

Remove the left side cover. Do the same with the right cover.

Remove hinge side cover

STEP 12.

Place the display assembly on the desk and slide the clutch cover to the shown direction.

Slide the cover until it touches the left hinge.

Slide hinge clutch cover

STEP 13.

Start separating the clutch cover from the display assembly. You can use plastic pry tool or guitar pick.

It might be necessary to apply some reasonable force in order to remove the cover. There are hidden latches securing it to the display assembly. Also, it might take some effort to install it back in place.

Probably it’s easier to remove the cover if you start lifting up by the left hinge, not the right as shown on my picture.

Lift up hinge clutch cover

The clutch cover has been removed.

Remove hinge clutch cover

STEP 14.

Remove six Philips screws securing the WiFi antenna board.

Remove wireless antenna screws

STEP 15.

Remove two T8 screws securing the left hinge.

Remove hinge screws

The left hinge is permanently attached to the display cable.

Lift up display cable assembly

STEP 16.

Unwrap black tape securing the connection.

Remove black tape from connector

Unroute the display cable.

Unwrap display cable

STEP 17.

Lift up the WiFi board and separate it from the display assembly.

Be careful, it’s still attached on the right side.

Remove wireless antenna board

STEP 18.

Lift up the metal bracket in order to unlock the display LVDS cable.

Unlock display cable connector

Disconnect the display cable from the LCD screen.

Unplug display cable from screen

Hopefully replacing this cable will fix your problem. I’ve fixed a few 13″ MacBook Pro Retina “no video” issues by doing that.

Sometimes, just reseating the cable connection on the LCD screen fixes the issue.

These cables are cheap, around $10 on eBay. Probably it’s better to buy a new cable before you start the disassembly process, just in case if you need one.

New display LVDS cables available here.

Replacement display panels available here.

Replace failed display cable

26 Responses

  1. Joris F


    Just wanted to say THANKS!! This helped me fix a friends Macbook Pro with a black screen.

    Some extra info that may help others: before replacing the cable, when hooked up to an external display, Apple Hardware Test gave Reference code VFD004, additional reference code VFD001.

    • Steven Layne

      Hey for those that this fix was successful for. Did anyone experience that when the were in a no video on the internal display but had perfect video via the hdmi or tbolt connections did about this Mac shown the internal display? Or did it only show the last known external?

      • IML Tech

        Steven, I don’t understand your question but…
        If your problem is related to the display cable, the laptop screen should start working as soon as you replace the cable.
        If your laptop screen doesn’t work after cable replacement, probably there is a problem with the logic board.

        • Steven Layne

          I’m having the problems where my laptops screen does not display anything at all, the Apple does not illuminate on the outside of the display housing and I’ve ruled out a backlight failure. The camera works and when I connect an external monitor the machine works perfectly. When’s go in to the “about this Mac”/ displays tab it doesn’t acknowledge that the laptop has an onboard display. It does however show my external monitor no matter if I’m connected to it or not. I have done the disassembly and the connection behind the WiFi antenna was poorly mad and the cable connection to the logic board appears to have torn insulation and lacks any insulating tape.

        • Steven Layne

          I ask only because one shop said the display was out and the other said the logic board but when I saw that the connector was misaligned and missing a clip on one end I began to think the cable was at fault. Knowing what a MacBook with a faulty or missing cable shows as default display in about this Mac would effectively rule out logic board and display

          • IML Tech

            It’s impossible to tell if this is LCD or logic board issue without testing the laptop with another screen. You can search eBay for a cheap cracked display assembly for your laptop. All you need is a display with working backlight and partial image. Test the laptop to determine which part is failing. After that sell the cracked display on eBay.

        • Brittany

          THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have no tech knowledge whatsoever and every Apple authorized store I called told me I needed a new screen for $500+. Me and my husband followed these directions step by step and just disconnected the lvds cable and reconnected it and now our laptop works!

  2. Nicholas Hine

    Hay this is exactly what I’ve Noom looking for!!! Fingers crossed it works, will update!

  3. Nicholas Hine

    I went through the full process twice once with reseating the old cable and once with the new cable.
    Both times the laptop works perfectly with the DisplayPort or HDMI connections but the internal screen does not work. Have you got any suggestions?

  4. IML Tech

    @ Nicholas Hine,
    Replacing the video cable sometimes doesn’t help but still worth trying because it’s cheap.
    1. Take a look at the display connector on the logic board. Search for corrosion.
    2. If the display connector looks clean and undamaged, most likely you’ll need a new display.

  5. Grand


    My friends macbook is having similar issue. The inbuilt laptop display lights up but there is nothing on it. I tried connecting external monitor and using safe mode. I was able to get in using an external monitor. I could also adjust the brightness of internal display using the keyboard shortcuts but nothing on the internal display. I have tried mirrioring etc in display properties.

    Last time it happened last year and I just reseated the battery. That helped but not helpign this time.

  6. Hyoungrea Yoo

    Is that right?

    Thank you for your post.
    And I found some products in my country’s web site But I could not distinguish the right cable.
    Do you know the right cable product name?
    I’m using MBP late 2013 version.

  7. Mirko Prica

    I just wanted to add a big THANK YOU . Many experts convinced me that is is NEVER the cable on the retina versions !!! So much for experts….. I almost ordered a new screen but stumbled on this page and thought what can I lose to try with the cable first , so I did and voila it was the cable . My macbook is up and operational again thanks to you. Thank you again

  8. John

    Hello i have a 13 inch macbook pro retina early 2015 with the same problem except my backlight is working. Hdmi works but not display screen. Could it still be the cable or should I just get a new display screen.

    • IML Tech

      @ John,
      Still could be the cable issue. Probably it’s worth trying to replace the cable first, it’s not very expensive.
      FYI, I’ve seen cable failures mostly on 2013 models.

  9. dimi mate

    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

    I was ready to give my mac for spares and followed your guide and screen is working again!!

  10. Gabriele

    Hi guys, I hope you can help me. I have a Macbook Pro mid 2014. Some months ago, while I was working, display started to show purple lines. From that moment, sometimes the display shows that purple lines but after a while return at normal state. Some days ago the display show the purple lines and switch off completely. If connected to an external display everything is perfect, and there is no presence of purple lines. Following this guide I have changed the cable, and it does not work. After I have changed the entire display assembly and it do not work. I carefully inspected the connector and it is perfect. What can I do?
    Thanks guys!

  11. xtianjs

    This is a great guide. I tried the usual PRAM and SMC reset first, then went this route. I didn’t need to replace the entire cable fortunately – just reconnect it. Display now works. Thanks. for reference a Macbook Pro A1502 – 2013 model.

  12. John

    I highly appreciate this step by step guide. I had identified the issue through some googling and replacing the LVDS on my Macbook Pro Retina late 2013 A1502 model fixed the problem. The laptop now works perfectly. The replacement component and the tools combined cost a total of £16.

  13. Luke Timberlake

    I spilled water on the corner where this connector is and this guide fixed it for under $10!! It was very fulfilling once it worked perfectly. Thanks! Also just in case anyone is wondering if this will work for you, my MacBook is a late 2015 model and the part I bought is here: https://ebay.to/37vqilo

    • Luke Timberlake

      Also a tip: I had to use pliers to get more torque to get the T8 hinge screws off and on

      • IML Tech

        You got lucky that it was just the cable. Usually the connector on the motherboard gets corroded after liquid spill. It’s hard to replace this connector without right equipment and soldering skills. Learned from Louis Rossmann on YouTube.

  14. Michael Hemberger

    Thank you so so much!
    Considering how little the cable cost, it was worth the shot.

    It was about medium difficulty to do, but taking my time, I got thru it.

    I just can’t thank you enough considering how much a screen replacement would have cost or even sending it away to be checked for issues.

  15. Julien

    Many many many thanks for that
    It solved my issue by resetting this cable

  16. None of

    My macbook was completely black but worked perfectly on external display then i changed the cable and here’s what happened: at first the screen works fine but few seconds after boot before you can log in screen starts flickering and getting weird (distorted), it’s as if it’s frozen as cursor doesn’t move nor letters are entered into password. Yet on external display it still works perfectly and cursor moves. Something weird i noticed is the very top line of the screen (about half an inch width) still works and the cursors moves in it.
    What does this mean? Could it be i used the wrong cable or there’s dust in the way? Or is the connector ruined? Or is it the screen? Is it worth trying at this point or should i give up?