Replacing damaged headphone jack in 13-inch MacBook Air A1466

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Damaged headphone jack on MacBook Air 13

Today I’ll be replacing damaged headphone jack in a 13-inch MacBook Air laptop (model A1466).

In this particular case the headphone jack just started failing. In order to get any sound through headphones I had to wiggle the audio plug, find the right position.

This guid should fit all 13″ MacBook Air laptop models 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

The headphone jack located on the I/O board. The cheapest way to fix that problem is to replace the entire board about $15-20.

New and pre-owned I/O boards available here:

Update: here’s how to repair damaged USB port without replacing the I/O board.

I/O board with headphone jack


Remove 10 P5 Pentalobe screws securing the bottom cover.

Two screws that I marked with yellow circles are longer than 8 screws marked with red circles.

Lift up the cover and separate it from the body.

MacBook Air bottom screws


Disconnect the battery connector from the logic board. Pull it out using the black tab.

Disconnect battery from logic board


Disconnect the flex cable from the logic board and I/O board.

Flex cable between logic board and I/O board

In order to disconnect it, lift up the connector using plastic pry tool.

Disconnect flex cable from logic board

Separate the cable from the fan. It’s attached by adhesive tape.

Remove flex I/O cable


Now we are going to disconnect the cooling fan cable. Be careful, this connector is fragile.

Cooling fan connector

Lift up the left side of the connector locking tab so it opens up at a 90 degree angle (red arrow).

Using tweezers pull the fan cable out of the connector.

Unlock connector and release fan cable


Remove three Torx T5 screws securing the cooling fan.

All three screws have different length. Make notes or draw a diagram of the correct location for each screw.

Three screws securing the cooling fan


Lift up the heatsink gasket and remove the fan. The gasket attached to the fan by adhesive tape.

Remove cooling fan from laptop


Lift up the left speaker connector in order to disconnect it from the I/O board.

Disconnect speaker cable from logic board


The microphone cable disconnection procedure is similar to the cooling fan cable.

Microphone cable

Unlock the connector (red arrow) and pull the microphone cable out (yellow arrow).

Unlock connector and remove microphone cable


Disconnect the I/O board power cable from the logic board.

Disconnect I/O board power cable from logic board

STEP 10.

Carefully disconnect the webcam cable from the logic board. Do not pull by the cable, use tweezers and push the connector out instead.

Disconnect webcam cable from logic board

STEP 11.

Remove one Torx T5 screw securing the I/O board.

Remove screw securing the I/O board

STEP 12.

While removing the I/O board, take a closer look at how the webcam cable is routed.

Webcam cable routed under I/O board

STEP 13.

Remove the I/O board.

Remove I/O board

STEP 14.

Replace it with a new board and assemble the laptop following all steps in the opposite direction.

Replace I/O board with a new one

If the laptop wasn’t assembled correctly, you may run into a few problems. Let’s go through a few troubleshooting techniques:

  1. Both laptop speakers stopped working but they worked prior the disassembly. There is no chime sound on startup. TIP: Make sure the I/O board cable connected correctly. Try reseating it on both ends.
  2. The MagSafe adapter LED stays green all the time even though it should turn orange when the battery is charging. TIP: Make sure the I/O board cable connected correctly. Try reseating it on both ends.
  3. Left speaker stopped working. TIP: Check connection shown in the Step 7. Reconnect the cable.
  4. Webcam stopped working: TIP: Check connection shown in the Step 10. Reconnect the cable.
  5. Microphone stopped working: TIP: Check connection shown in the Step 7. Reconnect the cable. Make sure it’s seated all the way down.

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