Pentalobe screw diagram
|Notes||Tamper resistant screw|
The pentalobe screw drive is a five-pointed tamper-resistant system being used by Apple in its products. Officially, the security screw is called "Pentalobular security screws" by Apple. Pentalobe screws have been used by Apple since 2009, when they were first implemented in the MacBook Pro. They have since been used on other MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPhone models. The DIY community had a public outcry when the Pentalobe screws first appeared; it was seen as Apple attempting to lock individuals out of their devices.
Pentalobe screw sizes include TS1 (0.8mm, used on the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S), TS4 (1.2mm, used on the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina display), and TS5 (1.5mm, used on the 2009 MacBook Pro battery). The TS designation is ambiguous as it is also used for the Torq-set screw drive.
Pentalobe screws first appeared internally in the Mid 2009 MacBook Pro 15-inch model. Three Pentalobe Screws were used to attach the battery to the internal frame. A 1.5mm flathead screwdriver could easily remove these screws, which were originally mistaken for 5-point Torx Screws. This was the only internal usage of pentalobe screws; all following MacBook Pros use the "Tri-Wing" security bit to attach the battery to the internal frame.
The next appearance of pentalobe screws was in the Mid 2012 version of the MacBook Pro, the first to include a Retina Display. Eight 3mm and two 2.3mm Pentalobe screws were used externally to attach the bottom plate of the case to the internal frame. The Late 2012 version of the 13 inch MacBook Pro was the first 13 inch model to have Pentalobe screws; several were used externally in a similar fashion to the 15-inch Mid 2012 MacBook Pro. All three 17-inch models of the MacBook Pro have never used any Pentalobe screws.
The MacBook Air has seen more extensive use of pentalobe screws than the Macbook Pro. All four version of the 11-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010, Mid 2011, Mid 2012, and Mid 2013) include eight 2.5mm-long and two 8mm-long external Pentalobe screws. The last four versions of the 13-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010, Mid 2011, Mid 2012, and Mid 2013) use eight 2.6mm-long and two 9mm-long Pentalobe screws. Pentalobe screws have only been used externally on MacBook Air models.
Third-party manufacturers have marketed a variety of 5-point screwdrivers that fit Pentalobe screws on MacBook models since Pentalobe screws first appeared externally in the Late 2010 Macbook Air.
Pentalobe screws were first used in the iPhone 4. Early production models had #00 Phillips screws, but Pentalobe screws were on the majority of all iPhone 4 models. The screws used are slightly smaller than a Torx TS1, about 0.8mm. If brought in for repair to an Apple store, early production iPhone 4 models with #00 Phillips screws are replaced with 0.8mm Pentalobe screws. Third-party manufacturers rushed to produce screwdrivers that would remove 0.8mm Pentalobe screws after the iPhone 4's June 2010 release. These inexpensive drivers are easily purchased and will remove Pentalobe screws quite easily. Many are sold as "kits", containing a 5-point driver and Phillips #00 screws, in order to replace Pentalobe screws with easily-removable Phillips screws. Most other security screwdrivers will strip the miniature heads, effectively locking the user out of their device.
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