Replacing Thermal Paste on Retina MacBook Pro

I noticed my late-2013 model MacBook Pro had been running hotter than usual. The fan would seem to kick on when I wasn’t running anything too intensive on the machine, and the bottom of the case seemed overly warm as well.

I stumbled on this YouTube video from Luke Miani about “re-pasting” a MacBook Pro Retina 13″ – the process of replacing the thermal paste that bonds the processor to the heatsink. This paste is present in any machine and provides thermal conductivity to draw heat away from the CPU to keep it cool.

It turned out to be a pretty easy process once I had rubbing alcohol, replacement thermal paste, some Q-Tips, and the proper screwdrivers to open the case (T5, P5, and small Phillips).

After completing the repair, the laptop seems to run much cooler and the fan hasn’t kicked on at all yet during normal operation. In addition, I can feel a bit more heat coming out of the vent above the keyboard – this indicates that the heatsink is now doing its job more effectively. I definitely recommend this if you’re up to the task of cracking open your MBP.