iMac (Flat Panel) and iMac (17-inch Flat Panel): How to Install or Replace an AirPort Card

This document explains how to install the AirPort card in the iMac (Flat Panel) or the iMac (17-inch Flat Panel).

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

iMac (Flat Panel) and iMac (17-inch Flat Panel) AirPort Card

Note: If your AirPort Card came with the AirPort adapter (shown in Figure 1) remove the metal clip and pull the AirPort Card from the adapter. The adapter and metal clip are not used with the iMac (Flat Panel) computer.

Figure 1 AirPort adapter

Installation Instructions

Important: Follow the instructions in this sheet carefully. Failure to follow these instructions could damage your equipment and void its warranty. Written and video instructions covering customer-installable parts are available at .

Tools Required

The only tool required for this procedure is a Phillips screwdriver.

Opening the Computer

    Warning: Always shut down your computer before opening it to avoid damaging its internal components or causing injury.


1. Unplug all cables from the computer except the power cord.

2. Supporting the neck and the base, lay the computer down on a soft cloth (Figure 2).
Installing AirPort Card. Figure 2

Figure 2 Lay down the computer

4. Loosen the four captive screws at the base of the computer and gently remove the access panel (Figure 3).
Installing AirPort Card. Figure 3

Figure 3 Loosen the screws

    Important: To avoid electrostatic discharge, always ground yourself by touching metal before you touch any parts or install any components inside the computer.


To avoid static electricity building back up in your body, do not walk around the room until you have completed the installation and closed the computer.

5. Touch a metal surface inside the computer (Figure 4).
Installing AirPort Card. Figure 4

Figure 4 Touch a metal surface

    Warning: Do not touch the screws on the bottom housing (Figure 5). Loosening these screws could cause the computer to overheat and damage internal components.
    Installing AirPort Card. Figure 5

Figure 5

Do not remove these screws

6. Unplug the power cord.

Installing the AirPort Card

    Note: If you are replacing a defective AirPort Card, rather than adding a card, remove the defective card before proceeding.


1. Connect the AirPort antenna firmly to the AirPort Card (Figure 6).

Installing AirPort Card. Figure 6

Figure 6 Insert the antenna to connect it

2. Insert the card into the AirPort slot (Figure 7).
Installing AirPort Card. Figure 7

Figure 7 Insert the card into the slot

Closing the Computer

1. Replace the access panel and tighten the four captive screws (Figure 8).

Installing AirPort Card. Figure 8

Figure 8 Reinstall the access panel

2. Reconnect all cables and restart the computer.

    Warning: Never turn on the computer unless all of its internal and external parts are in place and it is closed. Operating the computer when it is open or missing parts can damage your computer or cause injury.


These instructions are also available as an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file from the Customer-Installable Parts Web page (

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