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MacBook Air Power-On Pads – Location & Use

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They go by “jumper pads”, “short-circuit pads”, “power pads”, and “power-on pads”. Whatever you call them, there are two bits of metal on your MacBook logic board that can force your laptop to boot up, even if the power button won’t do the trick.

My MacBook Air doesn’t turn on

Is it the power button? Logic board? Something else?

If your MacBook won’t power on, there’s an easy way to determine if the problem lies with the power button or with another component in the laptop. Apple was generous enough to design an integrated method for bypassing the power button on all MacBook logic boards. Below I’ll show you how to use the power pads, as well as provide high-res reference photos of the locations of these power pads on each individual release of the MacBook Air.

We’ve talked about this topic before on the Beetstech Blog; last time covering the MacBook Pro Unibody product line. If you’re looking for power on pad info for the MacBook Pro Unibody models follow this link.

Why use power on pads?

There are lots of reasons why your MacBook Air might not turn on, and this procedure only rules out a single, but very common root cause. The power button is connected to the logic board via the same 30-pin cable as the rest of the keyboard, and of those 30 pins, only two are necessary for the signal to travel from the power button to the logic board. There are probably quite a few ways you could damage this connection if you’re creative enough, but we typically find that either corrosion from a liquid spill damaged the logic board’s keyboard connector, or the keyboard flex cable was damaged from repeatedly attempting to insert the cable. Diagnosing Apple hardware issues is a simple process of elimination, and bypassing the keyboard allows you to at least rule out one component.

How do I use the power pads?

Tools Needed

  • The proper screwdriver to remove bottom case screws for your particular model.
  • A paperclip with electrical tape on the area you will hold (to act as an insulator) or a flat head screwdriver.

Steps

  1. Remove the bottom case.
  2. Don’t forget to protect your computer from ESD discharge by grounding yourself ahead of time.
  3. Disconnect the power adapter and battery. Connecting/disconnecting other cables while power is connected can cause damage.
  4. Disconnect the keyboard cable from your logic board. This step is very important! If you leave the keyboard plugged into the logic board, the power pads won’t work.
  5. Now that the keyboard cable is disconnected, plug the battery in again.
  6. Locate the power-on pads using the reference pictures below.
  7. Use the paper clip or flat head screwdriver to bridge the connection with the 2 power-on pads. Maintain the bridge for a maximum of three seconds.
  8. If the fan doesn’t start spinning after 10 seconds, then reattempt the bridge between the power-on pads.

Power Pad Locations

MacBook Air 11″

MacBook Air 13″

A1370 Late 2010

820-2796-A

820-2796-A power on pads

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A1370 Mid 2011

820-3024-A, 820-3024-B

820-3024-A, 820-3024-B power on pads

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A1465 Mid 2012

820-3208-A

A1465 Mid 2012 820-3208-A power on pads

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A1465 Mid 2013

820-3435-A, 820-3435-B

A1465 Mid 2013 820-3435-A, 820-3435-B power on pads

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A1465 Early 2014

820-3435-A, 820-3435-B

A1465 Early 2014 820-3435-A, 820-3435-B power on pads

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A1465 Early 2015

820-00164-03, 820-00164-A

A1465 Early 2015 820-00164-03, 820-00164-A power on pads

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A1237 Early 2008

820-2179-C

A1237 Early 2008 820-2179-C power on pads

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A1304 Mid 2009

820-2375-A

A1304 Mid 2009 820-2375-A power on pads

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 A1369 Late 2010

820-2838-A

A1369 Late 2010 820-2838-A power on pads

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 A1369 Mid 2011

820-3023-A, 820-3023-B

A1369 Mid 2011 820-3023-A, 820-3023-B power on pads

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A1466 Mid 2012

820-3209-A

A1466 Mid 2012 820-3209-A power on pads

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A1466 Mid 2013

820-3437-A, 820-3437-B

A1466 Mid 2013 820-3437-A, 820-3437-B power on pads

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A1466 Early 2014

820-3437

A1466 Early 2014 820-3437 power on pads

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A1466 Early 2015

820-00165-A

A1466 Early 2015 820-00165-A power on pads

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About The Author

Brite Cheney

I am an English major at CSU, Chico with a lifelong interest in computers and technology, and joy for writing about all things tech.

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Marcus

Great quality pictures. Really useful info.

Guest
Elliot Allan

Your pictures helped me figure out my keyboard was all that was the wrong. I cleaned my motherboard with alcohol just to be sure. But I just bought a new top case with keyboard (from you guys) instead of paying the Apple store to repair the whole thing. You rock!

Guest
badrepairer

Hey everyone. pls help with the repair. macbook Air early 2015 does not turn on from the battery, only from the adapter. tried to change the battery – the same result. maybe someone has a diagram or someone will tell you what to check

Guest
Adam

Doesn’t work

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