2015 MacBook Pro fan(s)

I felt my MBP was getting hotter than normal since we finally got summer here, but I confirmed it recently when my fan starting making noise. It’s only done it a couple of times and it doesn’t last long but what little I could find on it, plus the heat, makes me want to change it asap.

I found the MacFixIt article but am unclear if there are one or two fans.The article also says 2013-2015 and my model was the new one in 2015 (13"). I will try and contact them for clarification but hoped someone here knew too.

Apple has had this machine open soooo many times… :(


That sounds like you have a “MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)” Mac. You can verify it by going to “About This Mac” on the Apple menu.

That model has a single fan.

If you are comfortable opening a Mac yourself and working with tiny components, iFixit has some decent instructions and sells the necessary parts and tools. There are a lot of steps involved, but they’re not particularly difficult if you are patient and careful. The hardest part is keeping track of all the tiny screws. If you try the repair yourself, be sure you have the right screwdrivers (they are listed in the iFixit instructions).


I have the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) I had this problem two months ago. Removing dust by blowing compressed air into the fan outlet and inlet holes solved my problem.

Yes, I’ve always called it “early” (as does my About). I just didn’t think 2013-2015 was considered the same model and I want to be sure I get the right fan.

I (still) have a hard drive to install in the machine so it looks like I’ll be doing it along with the fan. I’ll have to get the fan and compare the tool kits.


I had the battery replaced Dec 2021 and it’s kind of amazing how much dust develops. I have to assume they cleaned the inside then but it wouldn’t hurt to clean the vents!


“The hardest part is keeping track of all the tiny screws.”

Pill organizers are good for this. For longer term storage of specialized screws, pill pouches (small ziplock bags) are good because they have a patch for writing on. For keeping larger quantities of standard techie screws such as the ever accumulating ones that hold hard drives to the enclosure, you can get clear 35mm film cans.

[Film cans and still sold partly because you can make small rockets out of them. They’re also an excellent way to carry a 10x hastings triplet magnifier in your pocket so it stays clean and unscratched, complete with (a thin enough) lanyard. New polypropylene cans are even food safe. Maybe I don’t need to mention that they’ve become one of my favorite containers?]


iFixit sells a magnetic project mat which is good for this. You can take notes with a dry-erase marker (e.g. which step of the repair corresponds to the stuff you put in each box) and the screws will stick to the mat.


I might need to try that. I’ve been using a small tackle box for separating screws while working on projects, but I like the idea of a working surface like that.

Have you done this? I am wondering how important their Thermal Paste is or if an automotive product will work the same. Because I don’t want to kill my laptop I will probably opt to buy it with the fan but thought I’d check.

I see alcohol works as well as their cleaner.


It is important. Any time you need good thermal transfer between two metal parts, thermal paste is needed. It fills in the microsocopic pits and gooves in the surface, to ensure that there are no gaps, which would act as insulators.

You don’t need to be particular about brand, but only get something designed for computer use. Here’s the selection of products from Micro Center: Thermal Compound, Paste : Micro Center

You don’t need to apply a lot - just enough to put a thin coat on each surface. The large blob Apple applies is overkill.

I would only tell you to avoid any “liquid metal” products. Although they conduct heat very well, you need to be extremely careful in order to avoid shorting out components on your board. Liquid metal should only be used by experts.

I wouldn’t consider an automotive product. It is designed for a different purpose and may not work as required.


Thanks David - that’s exactly what I needed to know! I’ll just get the one they offer.


Arctic Silver is a good brand. Not the best, but far from the worst.

iFixit’s kit is overpriced at $22 unless you need/want all the rest of the parts (spudgers, wrist-strap, etc.)

You don’t need special solutions to prepare a surface for thermal compound. Q-tips and 99% isopropyl alcohol will work just as well.

I also know people who use isopropyl alcohol prep pads.

Don’t use “rubbing alcohol” because those products often have chemicals other than isopropanol and water (e.g. fragrance), and you don’t want to use anything that might leave a residue when the alcohol evaporates.

Also know that if you use less than 99% isopropyl, it might take a few minutes to dry off (due to the water) after you’re done cleaning. Make sure the surfaces are completely dry before applying thermal compound.

iFixit’s guide to applying thermal paste is a good reference.


I don’t really need the rest of the stuff but it may be easier than ordering things separately on Amazon. I saw their magnetic mat on Amazon too but with a different pen. I’ve had a need for one a few times.

I have 91% isopropyl alcohol here. I don’t think I can buy anything higher in the stores?


I used to find 99% in stores, but they don’t usually stock it, because it’s not as useful for medical purposes. (Some water is needed to properly disinfect surfaces, which is why you frequently see pharmacies sell 70%)

You can use your 91% just fine. Just remember that it will take a little longer to evaporate after you’re done cleaning the surfaces.

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Amazon sells multiple brands of 99% alcohol. Just do a search for it. Of course, it’s more expensive than 91% or less alcohol.

As we have all learnt about hand-sanitising gels/fluids: There is a difference between x % of alcohol by weight or by volume. Super high alcohol percentages are likely by volume and may not be what you think you’re getting.